Don Gingrich
RMIT University
School of Computer Science and Information Technology
Don's Picture

My office is in 14.11.27
While I have no officially scheduled consultation times, it is often possible to see me at most times if you send me an e-mail first. During the period from November to March I will often be working at home. I've got some writing to do and it is easier there. But, I can come to the city to meet, if necessary, preferably on a Friday.

You can e-mail me for an appointment at:
Don's e-mail address

Oppose Internet Censorship!!

I've put together a page of information opposing the current Australian government's plans to censor the Internet.

Note: these are my personal comments and do not represent the view of the RMIT University

I am the lecturer and course leader for:

Operating Systems Principles

Unix System Administration

Unix Essentials for System Administration

RMIT students can access course materials for these subjcts by following the above links to pages on the Computer Science restricted web server.

Note: access to these secure pages is limited to staff and students at RMIT located in Melbourne who have userids on the yallara / numbat / bilby computer systems.

Some useful links to scripting tutorials (Help with the assignments)
Shell Scripting Tutorial by Steve Parker
Bash Shell Scripting Tutorial This one is really short and to the point
More General Unix Information Includes command and scripting references
Advanced Bash Scripting Guide in .pdf format. Please do not print this.(It's about 360 pages.)
If you need it it at home then download the file.
Answers to some of the tutorial questions are here.
The Slackware Manual This provides more detailed information about the process of installing Slackware. (Use it as a reference - it is really too big to print.)
Installation troubleshooting suggestions for common installation problems
TCP/IP Troubleshooting suggestions for the common problems likely in the lab
Special Makeup Lab resources

Several years ago there was a scheduling problem with the first lab session in Unix System Administration. To help students who were experiencing difficulties I wroter the following extra lab sheets. They are undoubtedly dated by this time since we currently use a much more recent version of Slackware and since the machines in the lab are now Sun Ultra 20 machines with USB keyboards and SATA hard disks, both of which present special problems for system installation. So, use these sheets with caution.

The first of two lab sheets from the special make-up labs
The second of two lab sheets from the special make-up labs

A few more useful links. Note: the Linux Standards Base and Filesystem Hierarchy documents are Big -- don't try to print them. But do have a browse of them to get an idea of the topics that are discussed. In particular, the Filesystem Hierarchy Standard is interesting in the discussion of what should be put into the various directories in a Linux system. Not surprisingly, there is not much difference between this specification and the organisation of a typical Unix system.

The Linux Filesystem Hierarchy Standard is here

The Linux Standards Base Project is intended to provide a common base level specification for Linux systems for software developers. The goal is to make it easier for developers to write applications that run on the various distributions with minimal or no special adaptations.

The Filesystem Hierarchy Project provides documentation about what is supposed to be in the various directories on a standard Linux system.

Many of you may have noticed that I wear a SAGE-AU shirt often, and that there are SAGE-AU posters in the lab. SAGE-AU is the System Administrators Guild of Australia. Their web page is at It is worth a look. SAGE (which has been renamed to "Usenix special interest group SAGE") and SAGE-AU are trying to improve the professionalism of system administrators. One of the key elements in this effort is the SAGE-AU "Code of Ethics". This is on the web site and is also posted on the wall in the lab.

Classless InterDomain Routing -- (CIDR)

The book, Linux Administration Handbook by Evi Nemeth, Garth Snyder, Trent R. Hein, et. al. has what I believe is probably the clearest explanation of "Classless Interdomain Routing" (CIDR) that I have read. I have organised with the library to make this available for your use. To access this, click here.

A paper that I wrote discusses the design of computer machine rooms. It was presented at the SAGE-AU 2002 Conference.
The paper in what was effectively its final form is here(in pdf).
The slides from the three hour tutorial are here(in pdf). Unfortunately, without the verbal presentation they may be difficult to follow.

Click on link for

Hobby Section


In accordance with RMIT's Electronic Communications Policy this web site and its contents are the responsibility of Don Gingrich. The content is not authorised by and does not necessarily reflect the views of the University. Permission is granted to use the content of this web site to wrap fish or as garden compost, unless the fish in question is European carp, in which case permission is withdrawn with extreme prejudice (except on public holidays in the State of Victoria where there is no commercially operating espresso machine within five-and-a-half furlongs, and prior written permission has been obtained under a full moon). No special permission is ever required to throw this web site at rabbits. Use of the web site to impale cane toads is strictly encouraged.

Portions of disclaimer shamelessly borrowed from James Harland. Thanks, James.

My Current gpg key is available here
Note that the previous key expired on 26 August 2007.
Last update 25 July 2010

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