CIALUG August Meeting Notes

  • Meeting topic was “graphics”, but we pretty much had a free-for-all discussion.
  • Last night I complied this list of graphics-related links. We really didn’t talk about this list all that much.
  • Dave Weis from Internet Solver had swag to hand out (spiffy tees) in celebration of being recognized in the Business Record as a Best Of
  • I brought some miscellaneous electronics and books to give away.

TheVUG meeting notes for August 2009

  • We met at Raccoon River Brewery around 7 PM.
  • The Iowa State Fair Parade was going on, so traffic was pretty bad getting in to downtown.
  • Microsoft Server 2008 with Hyper-V R2 is coming out soon. Sounds like there are going to be some Hyper-V improvements.
  • Debated security vs. business models for low-rate Web hosting. Many Web hosts do not pro-actively scan for security issues, adopting a strictly reactionary strategy. While economical, this can result in widespread outages if a vulnerability lands large numbers of hosts or entire subnets on black lists.
  • Several members are busy gearing up for VMWorld 2009

July 2009 CIALUG Meeting Notes

CHDK – Firmware hack for Canon point-and-shoot cameras

  • TJ reviewed the installation procedure and discussed some of the extra functionality to be gained.
  • Installs to a CF card (must be under 4 GB).
  • Booting to it does not replace anything on your camera, so camera’s firmware remains un-touched (read: you won’t void your warranty).
  • CHDK Wiki

Linux-y stuff

  • It does help to connect an antenna to your internal wireless card.
  • What happens when you send /dev/null to /dev/null? How do you get it back?

Social Media

  • Origins: USENET and IRC. MUDs, MUSHes and MOOs.
  • Photo sharing sites such as SmugMug, Picasa, Flickr, Shutterbug, PhotoBucket, etc.
  • OpenID use with sites.
  • Facebook, MySpace, etc.

After-meeting at Raccoon River Brewery

20090709 Iowa Robotics Meeting

Introductions

Group organization

  • Discussed various ideas for how to organize.
  • Competitions?
  • Teaming w/ local educational orgs?
  • Start with the basics and work up? Arduino, Parallax, MindStorms?
  • Age groups? Any age is welcome.

Skills inventory

  • Lots of programmers/developers.
  • Not too many mechanical/electrical engineers.
  • No venture capitalists.

Projects?

  • Build something for a competition?
  • Build a CNC machine which can be used for future projects? There seemed to be a lot of support for this idea. Agreed to continue discussion on the mailing list (http://groups.google.com/group/iowarobotics).
  • Bring your own and share/seek assistance?

Matthew Nuzzum demo’d his VEX r/c platform wheeled robot.

  • Controller from http://www.vexrobotics.com/
  • Aluminum body with two drive motors and 4 wheels.
  • Uses tank-style steering.

Gentleman from the Twin Cities Robotics Club (sorry, arrived late and didn’t catch his name) brought his ~70 pound robot

  • About 30 pounds of the weight is battery.
  • Has a sonar array and Web cam for sensors.
  • Plans to put an on-board Linux computer.

Some links to Web sites brought up during the meeting:

Meeting Notes: TheVUG, July 2009

Theron Conrey demo’d Nexenta Systems, an enterprise storage solution built on top of an OpenSolaris kernel with ZFS, an Ubuntu user space and some proprietary elements for managing the storage. Check out Theron’s take on this storage solution.

Theron built a Nexenta storage array within a VM on his laptop — probably the first time such a feat has been performed at Raccoon River Brewery.

Also held a long discussion about Virtual Desktops, SunRays and their adoption by businesses of various sizes. We pondered why this cool technology isn’t getting adopted as quickly as it should and where the ROI “cut off” is in terms of business size.

We are working on lining up Impromptu Studio for next month’s meeting. Stay tuned to The VUG for details.

June 2009 CIALUG Meeting Notes

I didn’t take any notes during the meeting itself, so these are the high points as my memory serves:

The focus of this meeting was Security, and we didn’t stray too far off that core topic.

InfraGard is a partnership between the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the private sector.

Some of the interesting security tools or concepts discussed at this meeting:

  • netcat is literally THE Swiss Army Knife of IP tools.
  • port knocking and webknocking involves sending patterns of traffic to a server to trigger it opening ports and services to your IP address.
  • MetaSploit Framework automates the exploitation of the latest vulnerabilities.

After the meeting, a large group of us walked over to Raccoon River Brewery for dinner, drinks and discussion.

TheVUG Meeting. June 2009

We had six show up for last night’s meeting (6/10/09) at Granite City in Clive, IA. It was mostly a social occasion, so there wasn’t a lot of Virtualization content to record. Here are a few points which stood out in my mind:

  • SuperMicro now offers blade servers which integrate a miniature SAS SAN on the back plane. Sounded pretty cool.
  • Josh More discussed some basic security concepts around Internet-accessible servers — Virtual or otherwise.
  • Had an impromptu “Name That Tune” competition between an iPhone and a G1. The iPhone won. This time. . .
  • Laserdisc video is analog, as I pointed out to some peoples’ dismay.

The conversation was, as usual, quite random so there were many, many more topics discussed than I’ve presented here. I guess you’ll just have to attend the next meeting so you don’t miss out!

May 2009 CIALUG Meeting Notes

This meeting’s theme: Programming

Eclipse IDE presented by Dan Juliano

  • http://www.eclipse.org
  • UI layer runs on top of SWT libraries, so it should be more responsive.
  • Engineered differently than most other IDEs
  • Fairly memory-intensive. Just launched, it took 135 MB of RAM on Dan’s demo system (an Intel Mac).
  • IBM has put a lot of support behind this project.
  • Primarily supports Java development, but there are versions and plugins for other languages.
  • Aptana http://www.aptana.com is an online web dev environment that fits nicely with Eclipse.
  • Good code validation plugin which will validate various languages.
  • Standard IDE stuff like syntax highlighting.
  • Has a large undo feature that remembers every change made since you started the session and can revert to any point. That causes a lot of the memory usage.

Several random discussions took place at this point in the meeting.

Hudson (https://hudson.dev.java.net/) presented by Dan Juliano

  • Billed as an “Extensible continuous integration engine”
  • Tons of plugins.
  • Dan exploring using this for automated scheduled jobs as a replacement for doing the same with cron.

Several members of the group adjourned to Hessen Haus for food and beverages.

March 2009 CIALUG Meeting

Zimbra Open Source Collaboration Suite

Presented by Rich Harms

Intro

  • Zimbra is more than just a simple mail server. It is a full collaboration suite.
  • Web browser client and offline client are extremely similar.
  • Supports IMAP and POP3 clients. Outlook, Thunderbird and the like.
  • Shared Calendars, document spaces and such not only within the company but with external users as well.
  • Powerful built-in search features.* Wiki-like document features.
  • Spamassassin and virus scanning built in.
  • Built on several other Open Source projects.
  • Zimlets scripting language for administrative and feature add-ons.
  • ZMProv utility for scripting admin tasks.
  • Import utility for pulling in Exchange data (licensed).

Installation from scratch

  • CentOS 5.2 virtual machine for the demo.
  • Download the OSE edition as a tgz file.
  • Run the included installer shell script which walks you through the install.
    • Install script is text-based, and starts out with some questions.
    • After the interview, it unpacks the RPMs, installs them and configures itself.
    • After it unpacks and installs, there are a few more questions, then completes the install.
    • At this point, you should have a basic running configuration.

Administrative Interface

  • Accessible via https://{siteurl}:7071/zimbraAdmin
  • Domains are pretty easy to set up, just a few steps configures all the services on the back end.
  • User setups are pretty easy. Password is not required, but you can’t log in with a null password!
  • Resources have their own management section.
  • Class of Service controls what features that client sees and can access.
  • Built-in IM server which uses the Jabber protocol.
  • Full control over what themes are available on the webmail interface.
  • Domains can be configured to be hosted on a specific server (clustering features).
  • Can also use the Zimbra server for LDAP authentication on your network to provide authentication for users on workstations.

Good Things

  • Lots of Zimlets, or plug-ins to add features. Some which are available are Bugzilla integration, Asterisk integration, WebEx integration, etc.
  • Good statistics gathering and reporting interface.
  • Some basic Exchange integration is built in to the Open Source version. The more advanced features require licensing, though.
  • Rich search features for building custom searches for Admin accounts, locked out accounts, inactives, etc.
  • Client can pull e-mail from multiple servers such as Gmail, Yahoo, mail-enabled PBX, etc.
  • Works with smartphones such as the Iphone (via IMAPS).
  • Two-month “try before you buy” license is available for the non-OS version.

Complaints

  • Web interface sometimes truncates HTML messages.
  • Most, but not all PCI requirements can be met within the configuration. Logging login failures is a bit wonky, so hard to bring into compliance.
  • User training can be tricky. Recommend leaving all unnecessary features disabled and only enable them as needed.
  • Non-core Zimlets require manual updating. No package management system for them.
  • Large mailboxes (10+ GB) can cause issues requiring more server-side RAM.
  • Be sure to install cron on your server! Zimbra will happily re-import logs, which it expects to be rotated by cron.
  • Backup management is missing from the OS version, but present in the licensed version.
  • Missing the Assigned Tasks feature Outlook/Exchange users are used to.
  • Exchange import wizard did not import recurring calendar appointments.