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Concepts 33

May 4, 1999

This newsletter / info-pack is generated by Tower Concepts, and is provided to our users and specific members of the net community. Concepts is generated and distributed every few weeks as necessary. Please send comments to


Tips from our Techies

One of our resident experts has written another stellar, intergalactic Tech Tip to explain the implications of their PATH variable relative to Razor. This tip is geared to pre-4.1d users. Click here to read the latest tip. As always your comments are encouraged, both on this tip and all tips. We also would like to hear from you on suggestions for future articles.

A word on Tower's software release policy

Tower regularly releases new versions of Razor. We thought we would give you a little insight into our software release strategy and what motivates us to issue a release.

We listen to your suggestions and we try to incorporate those that have reasonably wide appeal. After we add it to the product, we test it, and get it out to the public as soon as is reasonable. This approach could cause our version numbers to quickly be exhausted. Rather than continually update major and minor numbers, we augment this process by appending letters and "patch" numbers.

Our version numbering scheme contains a major.minor identification and a letter modifier (e.g. our current version is identified as 4.1e). Version components (major, minor, and letter) must match for executables to be compatible. The "patch" numbers do not. Therefore, a 4.1d release is not compatible with a 4.1e release, but is with 4.1d.06. Some people think that a patch number is an indication of instability. We actually use this scheme to denote compatible enhancements.

We NEVER release a version unless we are happy with it. We put it through a rigorous internal test on all of our supported platforms and configurations. This starts with an installation/ upgrade of our candidate distribution and proceeds through a series of tests designed to verify backward compatibilty as well as forward functionality. Are we always perfect? No. Do we strive to be? Absolutely!

There's more to a Razor release than just software. A lot of time also goes into updating the Razor manuals and the release notes. We put the documentation through a similar, rigorous review process. The documentation and release notes that are on the Web site ALWAYS match the latest software release. That's why it is very important that you read the release notes and documentation with each software release as they contain the most up-to-date information from our team.

So you ask "how often can we count on seeing a Razor release from Tower?" Our answer is, it depends. In general, we try to adhere to a quarterly release cycle; but the actual release dates are always subject to change. If it makes sense to have a release every other week, we'll do it. As always, read the release notes for the summary of changes to determine if you need to upgrade.

A chance to win Tower stuff

Where do you turn to get your information? We'd like to find out. Tower is planning a marketing ad campaign and would like to target customers such as yourself. We'll make it worth your while by putting you in a drawing for some free Tower stuff. Filling out the survey automatically enters you in the contest.

Most puzzling

Another in the continuing series of puzzlers.

The early settlers of the Isle of Begile were a rather conservative group who established the Island's bylaws. One of the first laws passed was that all men were to be clean-shaven, and furthermore, no man was allowed to shave himself. To make matters even more trying, the bylaws stipulated that all men must be shaved by a licensed barber. For whatever reason, the Isle only issued one barber's license, and that was to an elder who was nearly eighty years of age.

Strangely enough, everything seemed to work until a landed immigrant laywer arrived on the scene and asked the overlooked question, "If no man is allowed to shave himself, who then shaves the barber?" How did the Begilers avoid this paradox?

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