Tag Archives | BenScott

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.)

Notes from CentraLUG, 5-May-2008, Ben Scott, The Linux Server That Could

Nineteen people made May 5th’s CentraLUG meeting the second best attended of any LUG meeting so far this year, and the most populous CentraLUG meeting in over two years!

The meeting starting with a rag-tag band of Linux enthusiasts wandering around the campus looking for a room to meet. It’s finals week at NHTI and we’d been bumped from our regular spot. From the Library to the Crocker building to the Little Building we moved as more and more and more attendees arrived and we outgrew our first and second choices of rooms. Thanks to all for patience and multiple moves, and apologies for any folks we lost along the way.

The hassle was worthwhile, as Ben put on a great presentation on “The Linux Server That Could: Setting up a Small Office Server.” Over the years, both as part of his work and his hobbies, Ben has set up many multi-purpose computer servers: a single machine to serve a small workgroup with mail, files, printing, centralized DNS, DHCP. Ben had some slides to introduce the concepts and frame the problems his scripts solves, and then he dove into how to set up and configure the services. Providing a running commentary while he showed us configuration files, he offered a number of Best Practices tips for configuring, naming your intranet ‘domain,’ how CentOS/Red Hat family distros work, the differences in different flavors of Linux distros, editing configuration files, viewing error logs and more. It was a content-filled hour!

Slides and sample scripts and configuration files can be found on the GNHLUG web site here. Thanks to Ben for a great presentation, to Bruce Dawson for last-minute projector duty, to Bill Sconce for helping with the raffle, to the NHTI staff for helping us find facilities, and to all who attended and participated!

MonadLUG notes, 11-October-2007: Ben Scott and DNS

Late post: a great meeting Thursday night the 11th of October: thirteen people made it to the October meeting of the Monadnock Area Linux User Group, held as usual at the SAU #1 offices in Peterborough on the second Thursday at 7 PM. Thanks to Ken for sponsoring us at the offices, and dealing diplomatically with the double-booking of the space.

Ben had a little trouble finding the place, after a long, long drive from Dover. We forgot to mention in the driving directions which of the dozens of “Use other door” doors the meeting was held behind, so Ben had to find the Boy Scout meeting and the girls volleyball practices before finding us. Charlie promised to update the directions.

Nonplussed by all of this, Ben gave a great presentation on DNS, reprising his previous presentations. He’d replaced the MagicPoint presentation with S5, and had a few technical issues with getting it to behave, but persevered. I expect we’ll see an update to the slides on:


But the other files there (bind configuration files, sample inside and external zone files, etc.) should be relevant.

Ben gave a great overview of the Domain Name System and how it works from several client OSes, how the trail of DNS queries is processed, the structure of zone files, the structure of the BIND configuration files, and many of the common misconfigurations that lead to errors or just quiet failures.

It was a meeting well worth attending. Thanks to Ben for efforts above and beyond, to Charlie for hosting and managing the meeting, and to Ken and the SAU#1 offices for providing the facilities.

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