Notes from CentraLUG, 6-October-2008

Eight people attended our October meeting of the Central New Hampshire Linux User Group, held as usual on the first Monday of the month, at the New Hampshire Technical Institute‘s Library, Room 146, at 7 PM.

We had the usual round of announcements. I had a ‘hot off the presses’ set of Apress Fall/Winter 2008 catalogs (3.3 Mb PDF) to pass around, including the half-page feature of the GNHLUG group as the highlighted user group. I mentioned the many discounts UG members can get through the various publishers, especially Apress, O’Reilly and Pearson. As usual, I plugged the gnhlug.org web site as the place to get the event calendar, and we reviewed some of the upcoming events, like the SwaNH infoeXchange and MonadLUG’s MySQL meeting tomorrow, the NEAR-Fest the following two days, and some of the interesting upcoming meetings. Keep an eye on the calendar and subscribe to the announcement list for future meetings.

Arc Riley was the main presenter. A newcomer to New Hampshire, Arc was previously active in a FOSS group in Ithaca, NY, and is an active contributor to several Open Source projects, including PySoy (which he demoed a few months ago at PySIG). He’s also an active member of the New Hampshire Ubuntu Local Community organization (“Loco”), which is working its way to formal approval as a Loco with the Ubuntu organization. Activities such as the Software Freedom Day activism last month and presentations at the LUG count towards this recognition.

Arc had a presentation on the upcoming version of Ubuntu, 8.10 (Year.Month) due out at the end of the month, code-named Intrepid Ibex. A list of new features can be seen on the web site and Arc reviewed them briefly (slides) and then demonstrated several of them, including: Gnome 2.2.4., X.org 7.4, Guest session, Network Manager 0.7, and more.

We also got to break it a bit, perhaps, by testing to see if a USB device plugged in when the Guest user was active would be readable, and whether there would be any security implications to that. The USB subsystem seemed a bit unresponsive, and poking in the logs revealed that some of the other devices on the bus, like the webcam, weren’t natively recognized (Arc hadn’t added drivers yet) so it was possible the subsystem was unavailable. Did we mention it was a beta? Beta test reports are welcomed by the Ubuntu team, as they hope to release a final product at the end of the month.

We got to talk a bit about Ubuntu and the community behind it, the philosophy surround the distribution, and the activities of the Loco, including pictures from SFD 2008, which included a Wookie, balloons, a penguin, Ben Scott and lots of geeks promoting Linux. Ben was heckled in absentia at the CentraLUG meeting. The next meeting of CentraLUG will be on Monday, November 3rd, the day before what may be the most important election of our time (vote early, vote often!) with a topic TBD, but at the same place and time. Stay tuned for announcements and updates! Thanks to Arc for presenting, to Bill for the projector, to Nikki for the transportation, to the New Hampshire Technical Institute Library for the facilities and to all for attending and participating!

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