Tag Archives | ManchLUG

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!

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Notes from ManchLUG, 28-Sept-2010, maddog, Project Cauã

Eighteen people attended the second ManchLUG (wiki, twitter) meeting, held at “Wings Your Way” on Elm Street in Manchester. Early attendees to the meeting enjoyed good food, beverages and camaraderie.

It’s never easy to summarize a maddog presentation :). Maddog had a lot of interesting materials to cover, and provided a lot of depth and background to his main thesis. Briefly, Project Cauã is based in Brazil as the center of its first pilot and rollout, but intends to be worldwide. There’s a strong ethos of openness and transparency in hopes the project will be duplicated elsewhere. It is an effort to distribute computing power and internet connectivity to as many people as possible as cheaply as possibly, but using the power of capitalism and business to drive the project, rather than some completely free charitable model that would be trying to fight the entrenched interests. There seemed to be an emphasis on sustainability, both for the project and the world, and the principles of Open Software.

The infrastructure would consist of very-low-power (10-12 watts) mini-machines, a small fanless thin-client box with USB3 and gigabit ethernet connectivity, wired into large servers centralized in neighborhoods or apartment building basements. The machines would be manufactured as greenly as possible and built for long term service (6-10 years). Small businesses would be established and trained (cheaply over the internet and/or with DVDs) to service the machines. The thin clients would rent/lease for a target price of $6/month. To avoid vendor lockin or obsolescence, the thin client design would be open, designed by the University of São Paulo and distributed/licensed freely to the many SMT (Surface Mount Technology) assembly facilities available within Brazil (import duties of 100% on finished goods, versus a 6% surcharge on raw components, means that in-country assembly is economically feasible, driving local employment). The project intends to use the network to provide free metro-wide Wifi. Some vendors have expressed an interest in providing free internet band width in exchange for idle CPU power. There’s lots more to the project of course: finding the proper motivations to financial institutions to provide the seed money the many small startups will need, certifying and bonding the local computer experts, designing and integrating the hardware, software, networking, etc., but maddog only had a little over an hour to present. More can be learned at http://www.projectcaua.org and maddog promised he’d be further updating the site soon.

Thanks to maddog for the presentation, to Kenta Koga and Chip Marshall for coordinating the meeting, to Wings Your Way for the facilities and good food, and to all for attending and participating!

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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!

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