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Notes from CentraLUG, 1-Feb-2010

Five people attended the February 1st meeting of the Central New Hampshire Linux User Group. We met at Room 146 of the New Hampshire Technical Institute’s Library from 7 to 9 PM.

There were lots of interesting discussion. Ed was attending for the first time, and is getting back into software engineering after some time in another career. He had some questions on what the different distros were and how they worked, and there were, of course, plenty of opinions. Susan had some updates on her research on the BF scheduler, the bleeding-edge Ubuntu releases, realtime kernels, and the Dragon Naturally Speaking application. I reviewed some of the upcoming meetings, and there was a lot of interest in the Seacoast LUG’s “Sugar on a Stick” presentation and the Cascading Stylesheet presentation at PySIG at the end of the month.

Mark McSweeney made the main presentation. Mark works in a small office with a few partners, and budgets are tight. A few years ago, they had deployed a Microsoft back end and discovered that there were no satisfactory solutions for spam filtering on the Exchange server they had as a mail server. Mark came up with a very effective and economical solution using PostFix, Amavisd-new, ClamAV, DCC, Razor, Pyzor and SpamAssassin. Mark’s slides can be found at http://wiki.gnhlug.org/twiki2/bin/view/Www/SpamFilter, including links to the solution he followed, an updated version of which can be found at http://www.freespamfilter.org/

Member Susan Cragin will be making the presentation at out March 1st meeting, on the Dragon Naturally Speaking 10 program running on WINE. Stay tuned for more details.

Thanks for Mark for his great presentation, to the NHTI and Library staff for the great facilities, to Dave Rose for bringing the projector, and to all for attending and participating!

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CentraLUG notes, 1-October-2007: Michael Kazin on Nagios

Ten attendees made it to the October meeting of the Central NH Linux Group, coming from as far away as Nashua, Laconia, Peterborough and Hanover. CentraLUG is a chapter of the Greater New Hampshire Linux User Group, and our meeting was held as usual on the first Monday of the month at the New Hampshire Technical Institute‘s Library, Room 146, from 7 PM to 9 PM.

Michael Kazin presented Nagios, the host and service monitoring system. Michael told us a bit of his colorful personal history, and his exposure to Nagios as a student administrator of the Rutgers University computer center. He had found a neat diagram of the relationships between the configuration files in Nagios (we covered the current 2.x and not the 3.x, currently in beta) and went to explain how it could be used for businesses and home users, keeping an eye on working systems, alerting the operating to problematic conditions of low disk space, high CPU usage or unavailability of resources or services. Nagios has a huge number of pre-built modules, a 240-page manual, and documentation on how to extend the system for your own use.

Michael ended up with a presentation of a working Nagios installation on his home network, and showed how shutting down a service would set off an alarm, how the operator could flag the alarm as acknowledged, fix the problem, and verify that the alarm cleared. While the audience watched, participated and pestered Michael with questions, we identified and fixed a couple of permissions issues with his install and got the system to do things he’d never tried before. A good time was had by all. Wish you were there.

Michael’s slides are available on the GNHLUG site.

Bill Sconce was present to point out that modules could be written in Python. Ben Scott was heckled. I made the usual announcements: GNHLUG meetings can be found on http://www.gnhlug.org; several related meetings are taking place this month: SwANH’s annual infoeXchange, the NEARfest ham radio gathering. See the web site for links.

Thanks to Michael for a fine presentation, to Bill Sconce for providing the projector, to NHTI for providing the space and to all for attending and participating.

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