Archive | July, 2009

Notes from MonadLUG, 9-July-2009, Charlie Farinella and OpenBSD

Seven people made it to the July meeting of the Monadnock Linux User Group, MonadLUG, held as usual on the second Thursday of the month at the SAU #1 offices in Peterborough. (Note that there will be no August meeting.) MonadLUG is one of the many chapters of the Greater New Hampshire Linux User Group; keep an eye on that web site (and the mailing lists linked off that page) for announcements and upcoming meetings.

Charlie talked about his job and the many uses they have for some legacy machines (older PowerPC Macs, Pentium-150 boxes) that could be useful as single-task machines running mail server, router, firewall or other similar tasks. CentOS or other modern distros are too complex and demand too many resources, especially for older machines or VMs within a machine. OpenBSD has low resource requirements, a strong reputation for security and ‘correctness,’ ease of use and configuration. He showed a couple of virtual machines (VMs) running inside of VirtualBox on his ArchLinux ThinkPad. Charlie walked us through a basic installation, using an .iso of OpenBSD that appears as a CD to a new VM. He talked about network configuration, package management, ports, pf configuration, runlevels, service configuration and more. There were slides; I’ll post a URL if Charlie’s willing to send them along. OpenBSD looks like an ideal, minimal OS for a dedicated-function machine.

Finishing a little early, Charlie talked about his company’s move to Zimbra and the kinds of collaboration they plan to do with it. Audience participation about other competing packages like eGroupware and LifeRay was quite interesting. A replacement for Exchange and/or Sharepoint is needed in a lot of companies, and this seems to be a popular FAQ.

Note there is no August meeting, as MonadLUG takes a summer break.

September 10th will have the MondaLUG host a presentation by Patrick Galbraith. Pat blew us away with his first presentation on MySQL. This is a not-to-be-missed meeting for anyone using MySQL.

Thanks to Charlie for the great presentation and to Ken and the SAU for the fine facilities.


Has everyone made the connection that coding web applications in HTML for content and structure, CSS for presentation and Javascript for functionality is the same as HTML as Model, CSS as View and Javascript as Controller? Metaphors and models are always only a first approximation, but this is an interesting one.

Fedora display switching rocks!

Just a note of praise to the Fedora distribution and the recent updates to Linux, et al for getting display switching to work, at least on my laptop.
For years, it’s been a running joke that the first 10 minutes of every LUG presentation is spent watching the speaker (and too many helpful volunteers) struggling to get their laptop to properly display on the projector. (I’ve noted the equivalent at Rails meetings is everyone digging around in the bottom of their bag for the properly-matching MacBook-to-VGA adaptor.)
At the most recent CentraLUG meeting, I just plugged my running Thinkpad T61 laptop (running Fedora 10) into our ancient projector and had it immediately recognized! xrandr listed the VGA adaptor as 1024×768 and 800×600 (the higher format is interpolated — did I mention the projector was ancient?). The GNOME desktop menu options of System | Preferences | Hardware | Screen Resolution detected the display, also, and let me lower the screen resolution and mirror the two displays or align them side-by-side or top-to-bottom.
While I know other OSes have been doing this forever, this is a great milestone for Linux.

Notes from CentraLUG, 6-July-2009, Philip Sbrogna and WINE

Eight people made it to the July meeting of the Central New Hampshire Linux User Group, held at its July location of the Hopkinton Town Library.

Philip Sbrogna spoke and demonstrated Wine, the Microsoft Windows ™ API emulator for Linux. Phil showed us how the install and configuration occurs, using a first-person shooter installed from CD. We talked about the structure of the files installed (in the home directory, under .wine), how to reset the Windows configuration (delete everything under .wine and run wine again to rebuild the default structure), where the registry files are stored (in the directory above the drive_c directory), add-on tools that can help get specific applications running (Winetools, Wine-doors, Winetricks). Members had lots of questions, on- and off-topic, and discussion was vigorous and educational.

Tentative August meeting: a cookout, somewhere off I-93 exit 23. Stay tuned for details.

Thanks to Philip for making the trip and making a great presentation (despite projector difficulties) and to the Hopkinton Town Library for the facilities.

Photo Gallery

I’m evaluating some photo gallery add-ons for the blog, so anticipated a few posts that appear and disappear…

Blue Iris, taken June 8th, 2009

Blue Iris, taken June 8th, 2009

orange day lilly, taken 27 June 2009

orange day lilly, taken 27 June 2009

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