It's 2:00 a.m. You want to bid on a pair of rare, pricey
Bart Simpson flip flops in an auction that ends in four hours. But the
seller has a feedback score of 96 percent and not many comments. Where
do you go to ask whether this seller is worth a risk?
eBay offers help in several different formats, including a
Learning Center just for newbies, a Help page, interactive
help via live chat or email, a centralized Services page, a site map,
discussion boards, and more. This chapter covers them all.
What eBay doesn't have, to the disappointment of many, is a
number for telephone support. Top-level PowerSellers and owners of
eBay Stores get a phone support number, but that's it. From time to
time, you can find "eBay phone numbers" posted on discussion boards
and around the Internet, but these numbers are usually bogus.
When you're new to eBay, the site can feel overwhelming.
Instead of jumping in at the deep end, you can test the waters before
you take the plunge, thanks to eBay's Learning Center.
Costs map to received value: The absence of license fees does not mean that working with open source has no costs. Employees must be paid, costs for additional hardware borne, and (possibly) commercial support purchased. However, all of those costs are associated with actually using the application, not merely the decision to implement it. This is far different than proprietary systems, in which you pay for a significant part of the total project cost before you use it.
As the global economy grows and IT becomes more embedded in every business offering, software license fees will increasingly become burdensome. IT organizations facing the dilemma of growing demands and decreasing budget will need to get off the proprietary license treadmill—the “gift that keeps giving”—and aggressively implement open source wherever possible.
Cost Case Study: Big Lots
Big Lots is a Fortune 500 closeout retailer with over $4.5 billion in annual sales. The company uses seven distribution centers to serve over 1300 retail stores. As typical of many large companies, its technical infrastructure is a mix of different servers, differing software technologies, and limited-functionality end user devices—in the case of Big Lots, these devices are their Point of Sale (POS) systems.
User accounts and authentication are two of the most important areas
for which a system administrator is responsible. User accounts are the
means by which users present themselves to the system, prove that they are
who they claim to be, and are granted or denied access to the information
and resources on a system. Accordingly, properly setting up and managing
user accounts is one of the administrator's chief tasks.
In this chapter we consider Unix user accounts, groups, and user
authentication (the means by which the system verifies a user's identity).
We will begin by spending a fair amount of time looking at the process of
adding a new user. Later sections of the chapter will consider passwords
and other aspects of user authentication in detail.
From the system's point of view, auser isn't necessarily an individual person. Technically,
to the operating system, a user is an entity that can execute programs
or own files. For example, some user accounts exist only to execute the
processes required by a specific subsystem or service (and own the files
associated with it); such users are sometimes referred to as
pseudo users . In most cases, however, a user means a particular
individual who can log in, edit files, run programs, and otherwise make
use of the system.
I have been using Ruby on Rails for almost a year and a half now, which is not long compared to many of my colleagues.
As my passion for the framework and language grew, so did my appetite for more knowledge. Now that I own about 12 books on Ruby on Rails and Ruby, I find that there is a true need for a pocket reference guide to Ruby on Rails.
This book does not contain new information that is not easily accessible online or in printed books. It is not meant to “shed new light” on the language or framework. It is merely my attempt to collect as much useful information as possible that a typical Rails developer like myself might find helpful on a daily basis. A large portion of the book contains actual Rails documentation, as provided by the Rails community, along with annotations and examples from myself and others.
To see whether Rails is running on your computer, type the following at a shell or command prompt: rails --version