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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.

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CentraLUG, 6 July 2009: Philip Sbrogna, WINE

WINE may or may not stand for “WINE Is Not an Emulator;” you might consider coming to the meeting to find out.

The July meeting of the Central New Hampshire Linux User Group, CentraLUG, will happen on the usual first Monday of the month, starting at 7 PM at the Hopkinton Public Library’s Community Room. Gather for Q&A and informal chat at 6:30.

Philip Sbrogna, an activist with the Monadnock Linux User Group, MonadLUG, will be presenting WINE. Philip got his start in the field of computers programming games for early microcomputers in ’79 after which he spent some time on mini’s at DEC. After an intermission on submarines he returned to the world of corporate computing where his daily fare at a small southern NH company provides him some opportunity to do the DB & Web dev thing. Personal interests include optimizing algorithms & innovative datastructures; particularly NXDs. He’s been a Linux enthusiast since switching from Coherent to Slackware in ’94.

Learn more about running Windows programs under Linux natively (Ubuntu Jaunty for presentation). Talk will include architectural overview & practical demonstration of what works and what doesn’t. Bring your favorite Window program along to see how it fares.

Note this meeting is at the Hopkinton Public Library 61 Houston Drive, Hopkinton/Contoocook, NH. Google map here. (Also, if you are coming from the southwest on route 202/9, the route 127 road over the Hopkinton Dam is once again open after a long repair closure.)

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Notes from PySIG, 28-May-2009

It was a dark and stormy night. Nonetheless, six members made it to the May meeting of the Python Special Interest Group, held as usual on the fourth Thursday of the month at the Amoskeag Business Incubator in Manchester.

We had an Open Mike Night format, a round-table discussion where everyone shared what they were working on.

I plugged upcoming meetings, available as always at http://gnhlug.org — MonadLUG in particular, is to be praised for posting 4 months worth of meetings in advance.

Mark has a client who’s weaning off a proprietary OS and looking for a replacement document management system / word processing system, and is considering LyX, which is a  front end to LaTeX and has numerous utility scripts written in Python. Mark asked for suggestions for additional resources and the two Bills were able to come up with some ideas.

Arc talked about some wireless technologies he’s researching (neat stuff!). Arc also reported the Gaming SIG is coming along nicely: 5 people at the first meeting, 10 at the second. Details at gnhlug.org . Hoping to schedule a FPS (First Person Shooter) night soon. Coming up next Friday June 5th, the SIG will take a look at the awesome audio utility, Audacity, as it relates to gaming, and then engage in the Battle for Wesnoth.  Gaming SIG meets at the Brady Sullivan building in the DynInc offices on the fifth floor – see http://wiki.gnhlug.org/twiki2/bin/view/Www/GamingSIG.

Shawn O’Shea completed a course in Network Design and Planning at UMass Lowell (and got an ‘A’, congrats!) and showed us his lab work, written in Python! He very bravely showed us his code and we talked about some of his algorithms and looked at a couple of the modules he used, including optparse, netaddr and cmd.

Bill Freeman reported he’d been working in Plone and Python 2.4 and missed some of the features available in later versions. He created some code to address the worst of the deficiencies, and hopes to be able to release it freely soon. Stay tuned.

Thanks to Bill for organizing the meeting, to the Amoskeag Business Incubator for the fine facilities, to Arc for bailing us out with an extension cord, to Janet for the awesome (!) cookies, and to all for attending and participating!

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Notes from MonadLUG, 14-May-2009, Tim Wessels and Kablink

Five people attended the May meeting of the Monadnock Linux User Group. Thanks to Charlie for scrambling at the last minute to secure the Peterborough Town Library for the meeting, as our regular venue was unavailable. Charlie made the iniital announcements – Ed Lawson presents Scribus in June, Charlie will show OpenBSD in July, no August meeting, and Patrick Galbraith returns for another (not-to-be-missed) meeting on MySQL in September.

Tim Wessels did the main presentation of the evening. Kablink is the Open Source version of Novell’s Teaming product, bought from SiteScape, Inc., a company that started in Clock Tower Place in Maynard, MA. The Open Source version had been known as ICECore previously. Source code can be downloaded from http://www.kablink.org and sourceforge. Tim discussed some of the history of the project, where and how it is being used, possible ways to configure it for workgroup and corporate enterprise use. and reviewed some of the challenges and tricks to installation and configuration. If you’re looking for an Open Source competitor to Microsoft’s Sharepoint, with the ability to create portals, finely-control roles and access, and scale to thousands of documents, Kablink is worth investigating.

Thanks to Tim for the presentation, Charlie for running the meeting, and all for attending!

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EBM better than ABM!

I was listening the FLOSS weekly podcast of Perl monger extrodinaire Randal Schwartz interviewing Jan Lehnardt about CouchDB, a free-form, non-relational database. CouchDB is built by Damien Katz, one of the originators of Notes and a developer currently employed by IBM. The CouchDB project is hosted by the Apache Foundation. Jan mentioned that his projects include “Everything But Microsoft” meaning that his software was running on Linux and BSD, Debian and RedHat and Ubuntu and CentOS and the Unixes and OS X. I found that a much more inclusive and open way of looking at development than “Anything But Microsoft” that’s often portrayed as a irrational and zealous rejection of anything Microsoft. For those who like to put a positive spin on things, I think that EBM beats ABM by a long shot.

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Notes from PySIG, 24-July-2008: Improv Intro

Seven attendees made it to the July 2008 meeting of the Python Special Interest Group of the Greater New Hampshire Linux Group, despite the heavy rains. Due to some last-minute conflicts, our planned speaker, Ray Côté, had to take a rain check for a future meeting, but cookies were made and we resolutely carried on.

There were two first-time attendees, one with a novice level of knowledge of Python and the second very little. Lead by the PySIG leader, Bill Sconce, we launched into an improvised session introducing Python and talking about its power, range and flexibility, comparing it with other languages, heckling Ben Scott, demonstrating several IDEs, talking about procedural scripting and object-oriented programming, showing off some working code, migrating database applications from proprietary platforms, and much, much more. A good time was had by all.

Prominently mentioned were the great tutorials available directly off the Python web site and the Tutor mailing list.

Great thanks to Janet for a delightful variety of cookies, to Bill for not only running the meeting and providing the projector but also bringing the milk, to all for participating, and to the Amoskeag Business Incubator for providing the fine facilities.

(Note: despite the organizational support of the GNHLUG, members running all sorts of OSes are welcome. A typical meeting has people running Python on OS X, Linux and Windows. All should expect equal-opportunity heckling.)

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Ken Levy leaving Microsoft

Ken blogs, “After working at Microsoft for over 7 years as an employee and almost 5 years before that as a contractor/vendor, I’ve decided it’s time for me to do become independent and start my own company. My official last day at Microsoft is July 18th. I’ve enjoyed all the years working at Microsoft since the early 90s, especially with great people making many friends along the way.”

Read about his new venture at: http://mashupx.com/blog. Best of luck, Ken!

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OpenDisc 08.07 released!

Chris Gray posts: “We’re pleased to release 08.07, the latest version of OpenDisc, with no less than twenty five updates, including Firefox 3 and the latest milestone versions of OpenOffice.org, FileZilla, Seamonkey and many more.” Grab the .iso or join the torrent at http://www.theopendisc.com.

The Open Disc has been a huge benefit in getting clients to see the power of Open Source. On a single disc they can install on all of their Windows machines, share with their friends, make a copy to take home, and it includes a complete office package (OpenOffice.org 2.4), a PDF driver (PDFCreator), diagramming tools (dia, InksScape), desktop publishing software (Scribus) and lots more. It’s a bargain at twice the price!

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Continuous Learning Curve: Javascript

I’ve avoided spending too much time delving into Javascript. My four-year switch from Windows-uber-alles (including VFP, VSS, SQL Server, Ingres, Oracle, HTML, OLE, ODBC, SCC, COM, XML, MCSE, MCSD, XSLT, DCOM, RSS, MS Office, Exchange, MAPI Bad, SMTP Good, MVP and more acronyms!) to Linux-Apache-MySQL-Postgres-PHP-Python-Ruby, not to mention XHTML, CSS, bash, Smarty, Django, TWiki, dojo, et al had kept me busy enough. But a new client assignment needs a highly-interactive web site and dropping in great big globs of someone else’s Javascript is not going to solve all the problems; at a minimum, I’ve got to be able to read it, debug it and tune it for the client’s particular needs.

Did you know that a limited version of Safari, the O’Reilly online library, is included with a membership to the Association of Computing Machinery? I’ve been an ACM member for years and been meaning to get around to trying this out. My Javascript studies seemed the perfect occasion. I’m reading Shelley Power’s Learning Javascript online and getting quite a bit out of it. I love when you settle down with a book and start going “Oh, is that what that meant?” or “Now I get it!”

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This work by Ted Roche is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 United States.