Tag Archives | template

Getting Stuff Organized

This next month, I’ll be flipping the calendar page to 2009 to schedule the next month’s work. I’ve been using a “desk-size” Day Runner – 5½” x 8½”, conveniently half a US Letter sized sheet – for fifteen years. I’ve got one of the older 3-ring models, and lots of the cool accessories: zip pouches, business card holders, etc., but I’ve bought the calendar refills each year. I’ve also printed some pages for myself: some grid pages using DOS-characters and FoxPro/DOS, dumps of my contacts, etc. But I’ve kept DayTimer and other vendors busy printing.

This year, I came across a great site, DIYPlanner.com, with some great templates to use. The host developed a set of templates, now up to version 3.0, released under Creative Commons, an nearly 80 pages of clever templates. Many other have contributed templates, graphics, word processing documents and executables to generate some really professionally-finished pages. Supporters of Getting Things Done, Hipster, the Covey plans and the other organizing techniques seem to be getting along pretty civilly, and have posted a number of interesting articles. If you’re a fan of systematic ways of doing things (and that seems to be a common trait amongst the computer nerds), check out DIYPlanner.com.

November 1: Real-Time Linux, Ed Haynes of Wind River, at DLSLUG

The Dartmouth-Lake Sunapee Linux User Group will be hosting Ed Haynes of Wind River, presenting some of Wind River’s innovations on the Linux kernel to produce real-time Linux. Here’s the announcement from coordinator Bill McGonigle. Should be a fun meeting! Note the the meeting is held in Haldeman building, next door to our past location, in the lower level of the building.

DLSLUG Notes, 6-Sept-2007: ATTACK of the Nifties!!!

Bill McGonigle hosted the September meeting the Dartmouth – Lake Sunapee Linux User Group, held as usual on the first Thursday of the month, but at a different location: the Dartmouth Regional Technology Center. Seven members attended.

The night was announced as “Nifties:” short presentations that hope to elicit from the audience just that reaction. Everyone present had something to show off:

I showed the S5 (Simple Standards-Based Slide Show System) developed by Eric Meyer of CSS fame. S5 used standards-compliant CSS, JavaScript and XHTML to generate a slide show with keyboard shortcuts, drop-down slide lists, handout and slideshow formats, additional notes and more. Free as in speech, free as in beer. Nifty!

Bill McGonigle showed off pfSense, following up on a blog entry he had written. pfSense is a spin-off of monowall, the xBSD-based firewall program. Bill talked about how to configure it off a read-only CR, with a small (512 Mb) USB fob holding the configuration file, running diskless on an older computer. The web interface was pretty slick, rich and intuitive, and exposed a huge number of options. Nifty!

Adam showed off some work he had been doing with WebSphere Community Edition (aka Apache Geronimo) and a commercial add-on that provided VT-400 terminal emulation via Java and a browser, to access some legacy machines he needs to maintain. Nifty!

I mentioned that TheOpenCD September 2007 edition was out and available via BitTorrent. We talked about some of the neat software on the disk. PDFCreator seemed most popular, but OpenOffice and WinSCP got good mentions, too. Nifty.

We did NOT mention the OpenEducationCD, a spin-off project, but that got mention at last week’s GNHLUG Board of Director’s meeting.

We talked quite a bit about the OLPC project and I showed off one of the videos available on the RedHat site to great acclaim. Not just “Nifty!” but “I want to work there!!!” There are more videos here, here and here.

Many interesting side discussions, too. Sorry if you missed it; it was a fun night.

DLSLUG, 2 August: Usable Web Applications with Rails and AJAX

Bill McGonigle announces the August meeting of the Dartmouth – Lake Sunapee Linux User Group, held as usual at Dartmouth College, Carson Hall, Room L01 from 7 – 9 PM. The main presentation will be “Usable Web Applications with Rails and AJAX,” presented by William Henderson-Frost.

“Will will present Greenout!, a new web application that’s focused on usability and developed on the Ruby on Rails platform using AJAX techniques, the Prototype library, and plenty of custom code. He’ll describe the process of developing a web application with Ruby on Rails, the challenges of writing an AJAX application, and some of the tips and techniques he’s developed along the way.”

“Will is a Senior at Dartmouth College, majoring in Computer Science, and a Hanover native. He enjoys good programming languages, like Ruby.”

Sounds like an interesting meeting. Ruby is a pretty sleek language, and the Rails platform makes application development far easier.

DLSLUG notes, 7-June-2007

The Dartmouth – Lake Sunapee Linux User Group held their meeting on the usual first Thursday, but at a new location: the Dartmouth Regional Technology Center, where Bill McGonigle has recently set up his new offices. Nice place!

Seven attendees found their way to the meeting, and we had an informal chat covering a wide range of issue: the challenges of single-person consultancies, the business of consulting, Nagios, Dartware, a new version of Logo from MIT, having a presence at Hanover’s Street Fest (July 28, btw).

Bill had an interesting proposal: that the group create a “chuck box” (Boy Scouts’ term, ref: http://www.troop168.net/forms/patrolboxa.htm) that could contain a GNHLUG-booth-in-a-box: a banner, handouts, a tent/canopy,… what else? Interesting idea.

Bill also recommended we check out http://www.zazzle.com if we’re considering making promotional items.

Good times had by all. No DLSLUG meeting in July; instead, you’re encouraged to come to the GNHLUG-wide BBQ July 15th. Hope to see you there!

Is ZFS Apple’s secret weapon? | InfoWorld | News | 2007-06-08 | By Gregg Keizer, Computerworld

Gregg Keizer asks “Is ZFS Apple’s secret weapon?? Sun’s CEO Jonathan Schwartz said Apple’s upcoming Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard would rely on a file system that engineers at his company have spent years creating: ZFS.”

Very cool! GNHLUGgers saw ZFS presented at the Dartmouth-Lake Sunapee Linux User Group meeting in April when Todd Underwood mentioned the OS X rumors. An XServe running as the front-end to a whole mess of disks could mean a very easy-to-use, near-infinite scaling of storage devices, ideal for any SME with delusions of grandeur. Looking forward to seeing what Apple does with ZFS!

DLSLUG notes, 5-Apr-2007: Todd Underwood discusses ZFS

Fifteen attendees made it to the April meeting of the Dartmouth Lake
Sunapee Linux User Group
, held as usual in Carson Hall at the Dartmouth College campus on the first Thursday of the month.

Todd Underwood, Vice President, Operations and Professional Services at Renesys presented “ZFS: The Last Word in File Systems.” Renesys is in the business of collecting, analyzing and archiving data about what’s happening on the internet and, not surprisingly, that’s a lot of data and growing geometrically. One of Todd’s projects is to provide fast and reliable storage for the hundreds of gigabytes per day acquired and the tens of terabytes of data stored. He presented a survey of what’s out there, what his needs were, and how he reluctantly narrowed the search down to SUN Solaris and ZFS. While he had nothing but praise for ZFS, he expressed some reservations about SUN. Strong reservations.

Todd dug into the ZFS architecture. ZFS is truly amazing: disk contents are always coherent, with writes all checksummed, writes as atomic transactions, with “fancy FS internals” like IO scheduling, dynamic block sizes and prefetch queues, huge limits (128-bit data). ZFS flattens the Linux file system model of multiple layers into a single monolith, and eliminates entire classes of problems introduced by the multiple layer architecture. There is no fsck. Devices are accumulated into pools. File systems are assigned to pools. Storage addition and maintenance is fairly trivial. ZFS performance is remarkable, at disk speed (with compression, sometimes in excess of disk speed).

Todd presented the rough outlines of his storage system: $17k worth of hardware from SUN and Dell yields 7.5 terabytes of storage with nearly a gigabyte per second throughput. Todd’s disk storage challenge is solved, as the company’s demand can’t match the throughput capacity of his system, for now, and the system can be expanded with additional external storage.

As for the porting of ZFS onto other architectures, Todd expressed the opinion that running on Solaris or OpenSolaris is likely the best current solutions. Porting onto BSD is underway but not yet ready. He had heard that ZFS was ported to OS X but could not confirm (Googling ZFS OSX yields interesting results).

Todd promises to send along slides from his presentation; I’ll try to post links to them to the website.

After the main presentation, there was a good session of questions and answers. I asked a question on replication of Postgres and Todd recommended the Sequoia product.

Thanks to Todd for his thorough presentation, to Bill McGonigle for organizing the meeting, to Bill Sconce for sharing his notes with me for this post, and to all for attending and participating. Next meeting, still tentative, will be on writing a FireFox extension by Roger Trussell.

DLSLUG: April 5th: Todd Underwood: ZFS

Bill McGonigle announces the April meeting of the Dartmouth – Lake Sunapee Linux User Group. The main presentation will be “ZFS: The Last Word in Filesystems, ” presented by Todd Underwood, VP of Operations and Professional Services, Renesys Corporation. Here’s the pitch:

ZFS is the most original work in storage management in years. It offers a revolutionary, integrated approach to block device, raid, volume management and filesystem technology. We’ll take a high-level look at what makes ZFS so different from previous storage technologies and look at efforts to port ZFS to free operating systems (ZFS is available for FreeBSD and in a userland port to Linux, but the path will not be easy).

Todd has with more than 10 years experience in architecting, building, and supporting large-scale distributed systems. Before Renesys, Todd was senior vice president and chief technology officer at Oso Grande Technologies, the largest Internet service provider in New Mexico, where he was the lead consultant in the security practice. Before that, Todd was chief technology officer at Lightdart Managed Data Centers, a co-location and hosting start-up built in partnership with Public Service Company of New Mexico. As a graduate student, Todd led the effort studying high-speed networking for large-scale computer clusters at the University of New Mexico. Todd holds a B.A. from Columbia College, Columbia University and an M.S. in computer science from the University of New Mexico.

Looking forward to the meeting. Hope to see you there!

PySIG, 22-March-2007: Project Night

An even dozen people showed up for the Python Special Interest Groups March meeting, held as usual at the Amoskeag Business Incubator in Manchester, NH.

Bill Sconce called us to order promptly at 7 PM and we proceeded through the printed agenda. It was duly noted the Ben Scott deserved heckling despite his absence. We ran through announcements of a couple of upcoming meetings, plugging the MythTV installfest beta and pointing out Jarod’s book. We mentioned meetings upcoming for the LUGs, including ZFS at DLSLUG, LVM at CentraLUG and the new Ruby group.

Kent’s Korner: Kent S. Johnson presented his month talk, this month on list comprehensions. Kent had a great handout, and has collected his past couple of handouts in one place. Starting with simple examples and building in complexity, Kent lead us through what can be an intimidating topic in a way most couple follow. Some great discussions, on-topic and off-, regarding assignment and Python idioms, always make this a fun part of the meeting.

There was some discussion of Python 3000 and its expected schedule. Bill Sconce had a video of Guido practicing his Py3K presentation in front of an audience at Google, which he went on to present at PyCon.

For the Gotcha of the month, Bill Freeman offered up an “Un-Gotcha:” a=b=4 works, but not for the reason you might think. Assignments of this style in C have a different underlying meaning, and perhaps in some circumstances, different side effects. A key to understanding the single = assignment in Python is to understand that it is a STATEMENT. There is no value associated with the statement and “chained” assignments in Python like the above are specially-coded as an exception case. This lead to yet another great discussion.

Ric Werme showed off the web pages that result from his Python software that collects and forwards weather data from his weather station. His current conditions page, http://home.comcast.net/~ewerme/wx/current.html has links to everything else. Ric bought the weather station in part to have an excuse to write more Python code, and his current code runs the gamut from implementing the weather station protocol through pyserial.py and the serial port to CGI scripts that take data requests, fetches the data from MySQL, creates gnuplot data files that create .gif files, and returns a HTML page to display the results. His description of the software is at http://werme.8m.net/wx/vantage_software.html .

Ric also demonstrated a Python cgi script for collecting data for a weather observers group that Todd Gross created while he was WHDH. It’s customizable, so people can create a form preloaded with their location that offer just the data they collect, and the submission code adds it to a MySQL database and recreates a web page of members reports over the previous day.

Shawn O’Shea showed off Python running in the Win32 and COM environments. Shawn does a lot of work administering and automating Windows configurations, and the COM set of interfaces can allow a lot of internal manipulation of the major applications, a big step up from the VBScripts supplied by Microsoft with some of the tools. Shawn demonstrated the canonical Hello, World with Microsoft Word, but then dug into a couple more concrete and practical examples with querying the Registry and spelunking in the IIS metabase.

Lots of interesting stuff coming up at future meetings: Martin Ledoux offered to show something on the work he’s done with amateur book-binding with pytut/pyref books. Kent has promised an update soon on his real-life experiences with Django. Ray Côté may be able to show off the new web site he used as an excuse to miss the meeting. And I’ll bet Bill will wheedle some more cookies from Janet.

Thanks to Bill Sconce for organizing, Alex Hewitt for getting the networking working, the Amoskeag Business Incubator for providing the great facilities, Janet for the awesome cookies, Kent for his great Korner, Bill Freeman for the csv module and those strange blinking white blocks, Ric Werme for demoing his weather projects, Shawn for the Win32-COM-Automation and everyone for attending and participating.

P.S. Anyone got python running on a WRT54G?

P.P.S. Tom Mosco mentioned to me that the Chicago Python group had a very long presentation on Django by the creators and also a Ruby on Rails presentation by its author. Videos can be found at here and here

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