Tag Archives | Linux

ManchLUG, 25-Jan-2011, Marc Nozell and Sheeva Plug, Kenta Koga with Boxee and Kinect

Seventeen people attended last night’s meeting, held at Wings Your Way on Elm Street in Manchester. A good time was had by all. There was no dearth of conversation, whether on-topic or dissing Perl.
Marc Nozell brought a Sheeva Plug to show us the tiny computer. Marc has owned it for a couple of years and uses it as his in-house file sharing server. The Sheeva came with an older Ubuntu installed, he has used a couple of different Debian installations. It’s an ARM-based processor, has 512 Kb Flash and 512 Kb RAM. It has an MMC slot that supports Compact Flash, and that’s typically where Marc keeps his OS. The box also has USB and Ethernet connections, so it can host external drives via a powered USB hub and have a network presence. Marc passed it around and there were a fair number of questions on installation and configuration and file system choices.
Kenta brought his Mac to show Boxee, an application based on XBMC (originally, XBox Media Center, but its evolved to be more hardware-generic). Kenta talked and demonstrated how Boxee could show his social media feeds, NetFlix, Hulu, YouTube and more. It’s a pretty slick application for the next generation of media centers. We talked about some of the hardware available, proprietary and not, and the evolution of the media space.
Kenta also brought a Microsoft Kinect and showed how he had hacked it to work on his Mac. We talked about some of the new immersive and interactive technologies out there.
Thanks to Kenta (and Chip Marshall) for organizing and announcing the meeting, to Wings Your Way for the fine facilities, and to Marc for his presentation, and to all for attending and participating!

0

LAMP – Linux, Apache, Microsoft?!?!!, PHP?

For a new client project, I’m configuring LAMP in a way I have not before. The “M” in LAMP, often referred to as Middleware or the trademark of a certain database, is Microsoft in this case, Microsoft SQL Server.

My development workstation is running Fedora 14 and I installed the following to get it working: unixODBC, FreeTDS and php-odbc. (The other components were already installed.) In order to get it working (the target server is up and running, that’s another rant/post), I followed the how-to at http://www.unixodbc.org/doc/FreeTDS.html. Taking care to do the intermediate tests with tsql and isql, and then configuring the PHP CodeIgniter framework to use odbc (with one tweak to the source), I was up and running!

The power of Open Source continues to amaze me.

0

Notes from CentraLUG, 4-Oct-2010: Patent Absurdity

Five people attended the October meeting of the Central NH Linux User Group, an affiliated chapter of the Greater New Hampshire Linux User Group. We met at the NHTI Library, Room 146.

We had an attendee with a tech support question we weren’t able to answer on the spot, but gave him some resources to pursue. He was plugging his camera into his Ubuntu machine, and he wanted to set the mount point to be a fixed mount point rather that something dynamically created by dbus. He made some changes, but wasn’t sure of exactly what he had changed, and the device no longer appears when he plugs it in. It does appear on other machines, Linux Mint and Windows, so the device is unlikely to be broken. No one present was sure where the settings might be stored for this. We suggested joining the gnhlug-discuss list as well as the support forums provided by Ubuntu Linux. I look forward to some of our experts helping our friend out.

I let folks know that I’ve reserved the room for November and December. After that, we’ll likely start meeting with the ManchLUG group, unless someone else wants to keep running meetings in Concord. We reviewed the GNHLUG wiki for upcoming meetings. Especially noted were the upcoming DLSLUG meeting “About Lisp -or- Lambda, the Ultimate Lecture, presented by Yoni Rabkin” and the New Hampshire High Tech Council‘s TechWorld 2010 conference ($25 – $210) coming up next Thursday and Friday. We discussed the idea that a nicer-looking forum software, like Drupal, would be nice to implement on the GNHLUG site, and talked about the past efforts to do that, and some of the challenged past projects have run into.

We mentioned that there’s a effort to create a community-driven site to support and distribute a new fork to OpenOffice.org named LibreOffice. Some of the other projects involved in the MySQL – Sun – Oracle mergers have been making interesting news as well.

Thanks to Dave Rose for providing the projector. We used a Live USB version of Fedora 14 beta which shipped last week and saw a pretty remarkable “It Just Works” effect: plugging in the running ThinkPad (a T61, 1680×1050, with an nVidia controller), the open source nouveau driver recognized the Sharp projector and automatically reconfigured the display (1400×1050) for side-by-side (“twinview”) layout with the internal screen. No xrandr, no rebooting of the machine! Wow. We brought up the Gnome display properties dialog and moved them around and finally settled on a mirrored display for the main presentation. This is a huge time saver and convenience for doing presentations!

Our main presentation was a viewing of the documentary, “Patent Absurdity, How software patents broke the system” and a discussion afterwards on what you can do (contact your Congress-person, contribute to organizations, etc.). Everyone learned something from the show, and perhaps from the discussion afterwards.

Thanks to all for attending to Dave for providing the projector, and to NHTI for providing the facilities!

0

Notes from ManchLUG’s Launch Meeting

Twenty-seven people attended the first meeting of the Manchester Linux User Group, held on August 24, 2010 at Wings Your Way, Elm Street, in Manchester, NH. Congrats to organizers Kenta Koga and Chip Marshall for taking the initiative to start a group, finding a location and publicizing the meeting!

The meeting was primarily a meet-up, more focused on finding out if people would come out than running a training session. Kenta and Chip made a few announcements at the beginning of the meeting, including mentioning the GNHLUG calendar at http://gnhlug.org (on a Mac!), Leslie Poston’s efforts to bring together a lot of local tech and social media calendars on Google, activities happening at Float Left Labs and their Archimedes Space in Manchester, Jellies at Studio99 in Nashua.

Conversations were pretty local at that point, with a lot of people in a small space with good food and beers and apparently lots to say. What a joyous noise!

Thanks to Kenta and Chip for organizing the event, to Wings Your Way in Manchester for providing the space and to all who attended!

0

Notes from CentraLUG: Joseph Smith and the Coreboot project

Nine people attended the August meeting of the Central New Hampshire Linux User Group, held at the Hopkinton Town Library on August 2nd. We announce our meetings in advance on the GNHLUG-announce mailing list, a very low traffic list we encourage everyone to subscribe to. Joseph Smith presented some information on the Coreboot project, had some hardware to show off, and had a lot of insights into the workings not only of the machines but of the vendors in the space.

We had a couple of announcements, mentioning upcoming meetings on the gnhlug.org web site. We had a round of introductions. We then asked for questions, announcements, job searches or job postings, etc. One attendee had a problem with having Ubuntu insisting it was updating grub with newer kernels, but the kernels were never appearing in the menu. The group had several very good suggestions to follow up on, including the suggestion to join the -discuss mailing list for more help and support.

I mentioned that the CentraLUG is affiliated with several publishers who offer discounts on their books, and that InformIT/Pearson Education (Addison-Wesley, Cisco Press, IBM Press, Prentice-Hall, Que, Sams) sends out a newsletter and holds a monthly user group contest/raffle for good stuff on their web site.

Finally, Joseph Smith got to do his presentation. You can find his slides here. Joe is an AS400 Administrator for a local well-known retailer’s headquarters, but had always enjoyed tinkering with hardware. It was frustrating to find that set-top boxes and other devices were restricted in what they could do (or run) due to defective or proprietary locked-in BIOSes. He was delighted to find the coreboot project and has been contributing ever since. Joe attended NHTI to polish up his software skills and earn a certificate. He brought along several boxes to show us what he was working on. He talked about the sequence of events that occur within the BIOS and how coreboot can replace them. He demonstrated booting a machine with a serial console and minicom monitoring a fully-verbose debugging session. He talked about the issues with getting coreboot running on a new machine, how vendors cooperated and contributed to the project (or not!) and the problems with turning a BIOS chip into a brick and how to recover. It was a fun and interesting presentation.

Thanks to Joe for his presentation, to Bill Sconce for supplying the projector, and to the Hopkinton Town Library for use of the great facilities. Note that CentraLUG will not have a September meeting due to the Labor Day holiday (come on up and see the Hopkinton State Fair!) but plans to meet in October, November and December at the NHTI Library. Stay tuned for announcements.

1

Notes for CentraLUG, 7-June-2010: Wikis

The topic of the month is Wikis. “Wiki Wiki!” is Hawaiian for “quick, quick!” and is a pattern of presenting a read-write web site. There are more variations and implementations than grains of sand in the universe. but we’ll look at a couple of them, specifically:

We’ll talk a little bit about the range of markup languages, the technology behind the wiki, the social and community aspects of how a wiki works (or doesn’t), and how Free/Open Source has played into the success of wikis.

Recommended Reading: “The Wiki Way, Quick Collaboration on the Web” by Ward Cunningham (inventor of the wiki) and Bo Leuf, Addison-Wesley, 2001, ISBN 0-201-71499-X and http://wiki.org/. We’ll have a copy there for your browsing.

Comments from other members suggest we might also want to look at:

MindTouch (http://sourceforge.net/projects/dekiwiki/)

Wekkid https://launchpad.net/wikkid

Wikipedia’s entry on Wikis: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wiki_software and

a list of software with comparisons: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_wikis

and http://www.wikimatrix.org/

My most active Wiki experience: http://fox.wikis.com (Not open source, either in implementations nor base language).

1

HowTo notes: installing REE, Passenger, Ruby on Rails on CentOS5

Recently, I installed Redmine, the Rails-based project tracker,  on an existing virtual private server, running CentOS 5 Linux and an assortment of LAMP applications and web sites using Apache, PHP and MySQL. I chose Ruby Enterprise Edition (REE), an optimized and high-performance version of Ruby, and Passenger, an Apache module to connect to Ruby. Here are the steps I followed, as a reference and in hopes it might help others:

  1. Log onto the box via ssh. As a good practice, I run as an unprivileged user, and use sudo only when superuser rights are needed. So, download the files and un-tar them and read the READMEs and run the processes as a regular user, switching to root via sudo only when the rights are needed.
  2. Download and install Ruby Enterprise Edition. Today, that’s:
    wget http://rubyforge.org/frs/download.php/68719/ruby-enterprise-1.8.7-2010.01.tar.gz

    but follow the instructions you’ll find at http://www.rubyenterpriseedition.com/download.html for the latest. Those instructions will have you un-tar the file and then run the installer.

  3. Install the tools needed to build Ruby Enterprise Edition. If you run the installer, it will prompt you for missing tools. In my case, I needed to:
    sudo yum install gcc-c++ make patch zlib-devel openssl-devel readline-devel
  4. If you’ll be using mysql, you’ll need the native code to build the matching gem. REE attempts to build gems for MySQL, SQLite and PostgreSQL, so choose your flavor and issue the appropriate command like:
    sudo yum install mysql-devel
    

    or postgresql-devel or sqlite-devel as appropriate.

  5. Follow the instructions supplied by the REE installer. They did a nice job on that. To install Passenger when I was done, some additional source code files were required:
    sudo yum install httpd-devel apr-devel
    sudo /opt/ruby-enterprise-1.8.7-2010.01/bin/passenger-install-apache2-module
  6. Once again, follow the prompts to add the proper load module and path commands to your web server configuration, add a configuration file for your site, and you’re ready to start installing your site’s code.

NOTE: It wasn’t the case with my particular host, but you may need to adjust your SELinux settings, if you’ve got SELinux enabled. See the post at http://www.catapult-creative.com/2009/02/04/installing-rails-on-centos-5/ and look for “SELinux” for some ideas.

0

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!

0

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.

0

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.)

0

Powered by WordPress. Designed by Woo Themes

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