Tag Archives | Linux

No CentraLUG meeting tonight

I had no luck in securing an alternate location in time to advertise the Central NH Linux User Group meeting that usually meets the first Monday of the month, and so have canceled the meeting. Please join us in July on July 6th at the Hopkinton Public Library when Philip Sbrogna will make a presentation on Wine, the Windows runtime environment for Linux.

CentraLUG Notes, 4-May-2009, Cole Tuininga on MySQL Optimization

Sixteen people attended the May meeting of the Central NH Linux User Group. Thanks to Larry Cook and Sybase for the use of their meeting room and projector!


  • David Marston, SwaNH Dinner, May 14th
  • Maddog: working with Koolu on Freerunner-based phone, running “Cupcake,” the version 1.5 of the Google Android phone OS. See http://www.engadgetmobile.com/tag/koolu/ and
  • Me: watch gnhlug.org for future meeting announcements

Cole works for Dyn Inc, the parent company to DynDNS and the other Dynamic companies. Cole Tuininga presented tips and tricks on optimizing the performance of MySQL in high-traffic, large-dataset situations. He talked about the selection process Dyn, Inc went through to select databases and the large scale processes they have automated at Dyn. You can find the slides on the GNHLUG site at http://wiki.gnhlug.org/twiki2/bin/view/Www/MySQLOptimization.

By the way, seven of us made it to Panera Bread before the meeting for a breaking of the bread. I hope to make this a regular extension to the regular meetings.

Thanks to Larry Cook and Sybase for providing the facilities, to Cole for the presentation, to all for participating!

June meeting *Might* be next week, or we may have to reschedule — securing a location has proven to be a problem. Stay tuned.

Tonight, MonadLUG (new location): Tim Wessels, Kablink

If it’s Thursday, it’s LUG-Day. Tonight: Tim Wessels demos Kablink open collaboration at MonadLUG: http://mail.gnhlug.org/pipermail/gnhlug-announce/2009-May/000709.html – note unusual location.

Kablink looks promising: a synchronizing folder feature, document management, and conferencing software. It appears to be (or have been) the Open Source version of Novell’s SiteScape, at least a portion of which came from the 2008 acquisition of SiteScape, Inc., a company that traces its roots back to Clock Tower Place in Maynard, Massachusetts and the Alta Vista folks.

Looking forward to the presentation!

Notes from DLSLUG, 2-April-2009: Nifties!

“Nifties!” are the name for the Dartmouth-Lake Sunapee Linux User Group meeting nights when a featured speaker can’t be found: the Users of the Group make short presentations to each other, hopefully eliciting the “Nifty!” response.

I spoke on my work with Nick Plante and Brian Turnbull starting a business to host a coworking site in Portsmouth, NH with several of the folks there before the meeting started. We had some insightful discussions on the terminology of commercial space leasing, and the intricacies and politics of finding the right spot to start a business.

Rich Brown of Dartware talked about Dojo, the javascript library, and a book he borrowed from the DLSLUG library. (see below for more)

Lloyd Kvam presented his book report on the Google Apps books. Google Apps allows a small business or group to buy a domain, register it with Google Apps. We shared experiences of setting up domains in Google Apps.

Then we realized the meeting was actually next door in L02 rather than L01, not the first time we’ve gotten the wrong room, so we moved over and caught the end of a presentation. Then Bill McGonigle showed how ejabberd was set up with Red Hat – family user accounts (Pluggable Authentication Module – PAM) to which he contributed some code.

Richard Brittain (http://www.dartmouth.edu/~richard) showed a ksh script to kill a subprocess after a specified timout and another script that would check a path (checkpath.ksh) and remove all the cruft that builds up as software is added and removed, machines appear and disappear, etc.

Rich Brown of Dartware presented his Dojo report again. Rich needed a simple web page that would let his clients enter in several key pieces of information in a form and from that data generate a configuration file in a specific format. Eventually, he realized a prebuilt library of JavaScript could do a better job, he worked with Dojo and realized he needed a reference. He borrowed the Dojo book from the DLSLUG library. While there were a few frustrations, overall he was pleased with the content of the book, it’s organization, clean examples and good indexing. The book didn’t have a good description of how the CDN supplied JS libraries can be downloaded over the web quicker and in the correct forms and versions; he ran into a race condition that took a while to debug. The Dojo book covers 1.1 while he was working with 1.2, may even be up to 1.3 by now, always a problem with letting the ink dry.

Parker (I didn’t catch his last name) posted a Madebyparker.com blog entry that was spurred on by trying to make a copy of document, but the machine was eating dollars, so scanned to his email address and sent it to himself: nine pdfs in nine pages. The Dartmouth facilities wisely try to minimize the waste of paper with something called “GreenPrint” but the implementation leaves something to be desired, especially for folks running Linux. He searched around and found a command line to concatenate the documents together into one PDF for faster printing and management.

Ten folks made it to the meeting, and I have no doubt everyone learned something; a great result!

Fedora 10 “Cambridge” ships!

Last Wednesday, just in time to give thanks, the five-year-old Fedora Project released their 10th version, code-named Cambridge. Fedora 10 has all the latest goodies: a very improved wireless networking tool, far better Java support, and a slew of features they list here. I was very impressed with the new version upgrade features: I was able to download a single “pre-upgrade” package and run it to convert my Fedora 9 installation on my ThinkPad T61 to a Fedora 10. Over at the Linux Format website, Andy Hudson reviews the new release and concludes, “If you’ve not tried Fedora, or have moved away from it in the past then you should definitely take a look…”

Jump on the bandwagon and check out the new Fedora 10 here

Notes from CentraLUG, 6-October-2008

Eight people attended our October meeting of the Central New Hampshire Linux User Group, held as usual on the first Monday of the month, at the New Hampshire Technical Institute‘s Library, Room 146, at 7 PM.

We had the usual round of announcements. I had a ‘hot off the presses’ set of Apress Fall/Winter 2008 catalogs (3.3 Mb PDF) to pass around, including the half-page feature of the GNHLUG group as the highlighted user group. I mentioned the many discounts UG members can get through the various publishers, especially Apress, O’Reilly and Pearson. As usual, I plugged the gnhlug.org web site as the place to get the event calendar, and we reviewed some of the upcoming events, like the SwaNH infoeXchange and MonadLUG’s MySQL meeting tomorrow, the NEAR-Fest the following two days, and some of the interesting upcoming meetings. Keep an eye on the calendar and subscribe to the announcement list for future meetings.

Arc Riley was the main presenter. A newcomer to New Hampshire, Arc was previously active in a FOSS group in Ithaca, NY, and is an active contributor to several Open Source projects, including PySoy (which he demoed a few months ago at PySIG). He’s also an active member of the New Hampshire Ubuntu Local Community organization (“Loco”), which is working its way to formal approval as a Loco with the Ubuntu organization. Activities such as the Software Freedom Day activism last month and presentations at the LUG count towards this recognition.

Arc had a presentation on the upcoming version of Ubuntu, 8.10 (Year.Month) due out at the end of the month, code-named Intrepid Ibex. A list of new features can be seen on the web site and Arc reviewed them briefly (slides) and then demonstrated several of them, including: Gnome 2.2.4., X.org 7.4, Guest session, Network Manager 0.7, and more.

We also got to break it a bit, perhaps, by testing to see if a USB device plugged in when the Guest user was active would be readable, and whether there would be any security implications to that. The USB subsystem seemed a bit unresponsive, and poking in the logs revealed that some of the other devices on the bus, like the webcam, weren’t natively recognized (Arc hadn’t added drivers yet) so it was possible the subsystem was unavailable. Did we mention it was a beta? Beta test reports are welcomed by the Ubuntu team, as they hope to release a final product at the end of the month.

We got to talk a bit about Ubuntu and the community behind it, the philosophy surround the distribution, and the activities of the Loco, including pictures from SFD 2008, which included a Wookie, balloons, a penguin, Ben Scott and lots of geeks promoting Linux. Ben was heckled in absentia at the CentraLUG meeting. The next meeting of CentraLUG will be on Monday, November 3rd, the day before what may be the most important election of our time (vote early, vote often!) with a topic TBD, but at the same place and time. Stay tuned for announcements and updates! Thanks to Arc for presenting, to Bill for the projector, to Nikki for the transportation, to the New Hampshire Technical Institute Library for the facilities and to all for attending and participating!

Do you really want to install software from a psycho?

Well, like you can really tell. I hear some of the current software vendors throw chairs around in tantrums.

But I’ve been struggling to get VMWare 1.07 to work with my Fedora 8 installation on my main development laptop. A kernel update, sorely need to address some outstanding security issues, required that the proprietary kernel modules for VMWare be regenerated and installed as well, and I was running into a glitch that all the Googling in the world didn’t seem to yield an answer to.

Finally, I found a clue on the Fedora support forums, suggesting I download the latest patch to the VMWare source from http://www.it-psycho.de/2008/07/27/vmware-server-106-mit-kernel-2626/ and sure enough, I’m up and running again.

Notes from MonadLUG: David Berube, Ruby on Rails

Eleven members attended the August 14th meeting of the MonadLUG, Monadnock Linux User Group, held as usual on the second Thursday of the month at the SAU1 offices in Peterborough. David Berube was the main presenter.

We had the usual announcements (check upcoming events at http://www.gnhlug.org) and also some time for Q&A while waiting for the main speaker and had the ceremonial struggling with the laptop and the projector. One fellow was looking for help understanding how to install drivers for a scanner not supported by SANE, another had questions on what the keyring was and how he could get it to stop demanding a password from him.

David’s been a fixture in the groups for some years. He served as Fearless Leader of GNHLUG for several years, and took a stint as coordinator of the CentraLUG group. He has written a number of magazine articles and authored or co-authored several books, the most recent, Practical Ruby Plugins, due out later this month.

David gave us a brief history of web development, focusing on the incremental improvements made from scripts to cgi-bin to modules to long-running processes in terms of responsiveness, latency and the ability to scale to larger and quicker demands. He briefly compared Ruby with Perl, Python and Lisp, and then dove into the demo.

David had an Ubuntu laptop that he hadn’t previously done Ruby on Rails development on before, so he showed us the basics of installing Ruby, using Ubuntu’s package manager, and cautioned us against using the OS package manager to install gems: The gem system is a package manager in its own right, and it does things in a somewhat different way than most of the OS package manager tools. Instead, he recommended using ruby to install gems. As is often the case, there were some glitches, so we had a small distraction while we worked through creating the /usr/bin links for rake and rails that somehow hadn’t been created automatically.

David then created a new project, and walked us through the directory structure and the significance of files in each folder. He created a model that defined the wiki example we were creating, a controller to answer requests from the web server, and a view that would render the response from our application. He used the built-in rails and rake scripts to create the example database (SQLite3 is built in and used by default if nothing is specified, new in RoR 2.1), showed how the rails console could be used interactively to create model objects (implicitly saving them to disk) and that the console could be used to add, edit, query and delete objects. He then ran the application, after explaining the logic of URLs constructed in a “RESTful” fashion as http://yourwebserver/controller/action/parameter addresses. David started the built-in Webrick webserver and navigated his browser to http://localhost:3000/page/show/bob to show us Bob’s wiki page entry. Whew!

There was some good Q&A during and following the presentation.

I asked some questions on how a team of developers could insure that they were maintaining the same versions of gems when developing, as the gems are usually installed globally and are not in the main application source code tree. David suggested either creating a local team gem repository, or hardcoding the exact versions you want to freeze the target application at, directly within the code.

Charlie had some questions on how to keep up. While he’d read through the “PickAx” book and the “Skateboard” book, those are already a version out of date. David booted up Pidgin and we chatted with a couple of his fellow authors on what they recommended. Here’s a few links I noted from the meeting:

David also mentioned he was running Gnome-Do, a QuickSilver-clone that lets you launch applications or perform functions with a keyboard shortcut and your keywords. And David also showed off the Vimperator, a Vim-like interface for the FireFox browser. David noted you might find some troubles with Javascript-intensive pages:

Thanks to Charlie Farinella for organizing and running the meeting, to Ken and the SAU for providing the fine facilities, to David for an informative presentation 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.