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MUUG Monthly Meetings for 2017-18

Please note our current meeting location: 1M28 Manitoba Hall, University of Winnipeg, entrance on Ellice Ave. between Spence and Balmoral St. (Check out the UofW's maps for nearby parking locations.)

Meetings start at 7:30pm sharp.

September 12, 2017: NTP

Wyatt Zacharias presented NTP, starting with a bit of theory and history of the protocol, and ending with practical information and a demo on setting up NTPD.

Wyatt has made his presentation slides, in PPTX and PDF format, available online.


Following up on his earlier presentation on Revision Control for SysAdmins, Adam Thompson presented this month's RTFM segment focused on RCS(1), the Revision Control System. Like other version control systems, RCS automates the storing, retrieval, logging, identification, and merging of revisions. This primer helped you manage your frequently-revised text, source code, programs, documentation, graphics, papers, and form letters. Adam demoed using RCS (including the ci(1), co(1), and rcsdiff(1) commands) to manage a shell script that might be modified by multiple maintainers.

October 10, 2017: VLAN Theory and Implementation

VLANs (Virtual Local Area Networks) allow you to partition a physical network at the data link layer, "creating the appearance and functionality of network traffic that is physically on a single network but acts as if it is split between separate networks." (Wikipedia) VLAN tagging (IEEE 802.1Q) allows traffic from multiple VLANs to travel between Ethernet switches over the same physical link.

In this presentation, Gilbert Detillieux introduced some of the basic concepts of VLAN setup, and showed how this can be implemented. Examples of implementation were given using Cisco IOS commands and typical Linux network interface configuration.

Gilbert has made (a Creative-Commons-licensed subset of) his presentation slides, in PPTX and PDF format, available online.

RTFM: Kid3

This month, Wyatt Zacharias presented and demonstrated Kid3, the KDE ID3 tag editor. Kid3 is available as open source, and as binaries for many popular platforms, including macOS and Windows. (The Windows implementation is what was shown.)

November 14, 2017: Linux Containers using LXD

LXD is a next-generation system container manager, which offers a user experience similar to virtual machines but using Linux containers instead. Kevin McGregor presented an introduction to basic Linux containers using LXD on Ubuntu.

RTFM: MacPorts

Adam Thompson presented and demonstrated MacPorts, one of the systems used for compiling, installing and upgrading command-line, X11 or Aqua based open-source software on the Mac operating system.

December 12, 2017: KeePass

Wyatt Zacharias gave a short demonstration of KeePass.

KeePass is a free open source password manager, which helps you to manage your passwords in a secure way. KeePass is fully open source (OSI certified). You can have a look at its full source and check for yourself whether the encryption algorithms are implemented correctly.

Round-table, Mingling and Munchies

As 2017 drew to a close, MUUG continued our recent tradition of turning the December meeting into more of a social event. We had the usual round-table session, followed by a mini-presentation, and then had some time for mingling, eating, and drinking. We also collected food and cash donations for Winnipeg Harvest.

January 9, 2018: Fusion Compositing Software

Tyhr Trubiak gave a basic introduction to the node-based digital compositing software: Blackmagic Fusion, which now has free versions available for Linux and macOS, as well as Windows. (Tyhr demoed the macOS version, since the Linux version kept crashing when his laptop was connected to the low-res data projector.)

Blackmagic Fusion is one of the many different software packages movie studios use to do visual effects in post-production on movies such as Thor, The Martian and Avengers: Age of Ultron. It is a GUI used to manipulate motion graphics.

RTFM: xargs (redux)

Adam Thompson presented an RTFM on xargs(1), a command line utility to forward output from one command to the command line of another.

February 13, 2018: iSCSI + S3 Cloud Backup

Wyatt Zacharias presented the AWS Storage Gateway with iSCSI block storage. The AWS Storage Gateway allows AWS S3 storage to be presented to hosts as native block devices using iSCSI. Wyatt demonstrated the setup of a new storage gateway and how to connect a new volume to the gateway with iSCSI, and also talked about the costs and technical limitations of the service.

RTFM: jmtpfs & simple-mtpfs Android USB

Trevor Cordes demonstrated how to transfer files to and from your Android device via USB cable using the MTP protocol and simple command line utilities. Cloud? We don't need no stinkin' cloud!

Trevor has made his presentation slides, in ODP and PDF format, available online.

March 13, 2018: PostgreSQL: Who, What, Where, When, Why

Adam Thompson talked about the PostgreSQL open-source relational database: who should use it, what's it all about, where do you find it, a little bit of its history, and the rationale behind its current existence. PostgreSQL is the leading OSS RDBMS for non-trivial applications, scales to enterprise and beyond (petascale), and has features that let it compete directly with Oracle. In fact, there's a commercial edition that you can buy specifically to replace Oracle!

Adam has made his presentation slides, in Keynote and PDF format, available online.

RTFM: ulimit

Gilbert Detillieux presented an RTFM on ulimit(1), as well as the csh/tcsh equivalent, limit(1). This is a shell built-in command for displaying and setting various per-process resource limits, using the setrlimit(2) system call.

Gilbert has made his presentation slides, in PPTX and PDF format, available online.

April 10, 2018: Checkpoint Next-Gen Firewalls

Wyatt Zacharias presented and demoed Checkpoint Next-Gen Firewalls. Checkpoint firewalls feature next-gen features such as IPS, Application and Web control, Download Sandboxing, HTTPS deep inspection, and advanced central management capabilities. Checkpoint software is available on a variety of platforms, including their own hardware appliances and any standard x86 platform. Wyatt demonstrated how to install and set up the software in a virtual environment, showing the typical firewall setup with connections to the Internet, an internal network and a DMZ, and how to get started with the next-gen features of the firewall.

RTFM: true/false

Brad Vokey covered the basics of how these "do-nothing" commands, true(1) and false(1), can be used in useful ways.

May 8, 2018: LISA Review and Intro to Docker

Katherine Scrupa summarized her experience from the training portion of the 31st annual Large Installation System Administration conference. The training section had a devops-heavy focus, including Docker, Golang, PostgreSQL, Git, tuning, and CI/CD. Katherine also gave a beginner-level demonstration of Docker containers.

RTFM: systat

UNIX systems in the 1990s routinely came with terminal-based system performance-monitoring tools. Linux and FreeBSD unfortunately did not continue this tradition with the exception of top(1). OpenBSD has had standard system monitoring tools since inception, but in 1995 they added systat(1), a full-screen system monitor designed to run on the console or in a terminal. Adam Thompson demonstrated the use of systat(1) and described some of the interesting details it displays that are still difficult to get today on other systems.

June 12, 2018: RTFM: Pioneer

RTFM: Pioneer

Pioneer - A game of lonely space adventure - was demonstrated by Trevor Cordes. Not just a game, Pioneer is a full-blown space simulator with realistic Newtonian physics. After you figure out how to not crash into planets or over-shoot space stations by mega-kms; explore the planets and other star systems, work as a trader to make a few bucks, or arm up and become a pirate or assassin. Beautiful spacescapes made this a demo worth seeing!

July 2018: No meeting this month

August 2018: No meeting this month

Please note our current meeting location: 1M28 Manitoba Hall, University of Winnipeg, entrance on Ellice Ave. between Spence and Balmoral St. (Check out the UofW's maps for nearby parking locations.)

Meetings start at 7:30pm sharp.

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