MUUG Monthly Meetings for 2010-11


Please note our meeting location: The IBM offices, at 400 Ellice Ave. (between Edmonton and Kennedy). When you arrive, you will have to sign in at the reception desk, and then wait for someone to take you (in groups) to the meeting room. Please try to arrive by about 7:15pm, so the meeting can start promptly at 7:30pm. Don't be late, or you may not get in. (But don't come too early either, since security may not be there to let you in before 7:15 or so.) Non-members are welcome, but may be required to show photo ID at the security desk.

Limited parking is available for free on the street, either on Ellice Ave. or on some of the intersecting streets. Indoor parking is also available nearby, at Portage Place, for $5.00 for the evening. Bicycle parking is available in a bike rack under video surveillance located behind the building on Webb Place.

September 14, 2010: A Trio of RTFM, Part Deux!

Once again this month, we offered up a trio of RTFM presentations! To start, Gilbert Detillieux introduced the diff(1) command.

Next, Michael Doob followed up on Adam's RTFM in June on the awk(1) command, showing you how to use it for more substantial scripting. Michael has made his presentation slides, in PDF format, available online.

Finally, Sean Cody presented the screen(1) command, while also mentioning alternatives such as the byobu and tmux(1) commands. Sean has made his presentation slides, in PDF format, available online.

Roundtable audio | RTFM: diff audio | RTFM: awk, pt2 audio | RTFM: screen audio

October 12, 2010: The Wireless Neighbourhood

Over three years ago, neighbours and MUUG members Kevin McGregor and Kelly Leveille thought they had some cool ideas for data sharing that would work well via a direct link between their homes. They had briefly experimented with using their broadband Internet connection, but they were disappointed by the asymmetric connection speeds. This month, Kelly and Kevin discussed the hardware, firmware, topology, trials and tribulations, configuration and eventual successful implementation of their private, wireless-connected network. With pictures, and demo-free!

Plus, this month's meeting was the MUUG annual general meeting, which included the election of the MUUG board of directors for the 2010-2011 year. We also found the time to include our usual round-table discussion.

Roundtable audio | Wireless presentation audio

November 9, 2010: WordPress and podPress

WordPress is an open-source content management system for setting up blogs and websites. It's fairly compact and very easy to set up on a web server that supports PHP and MySQL. With the addition of the podPress plugin (a "dream plugin for Podcasters using WordPress"), you have all you need to set up an audio or video podcast feed that is RSS2 and iTunes compatible.

In this presentation, Gilbert Detillieux described this software, showed some of the trickier parts of setting up the prerequisite software, walked us through the installation and configuration of WordPress and podPress, and ended off with an initial posting to a shiny new podcast feed.

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

This month's RTFM topic was on DNS resolution. Sean Cody discussed some tools for DNS resolution in UNIX and some lookup tools such as dig(1), host(1) and nslookup(1).

Sean has made his presentation slides, in PDF format, available online.

Roundtable audio | RTFM: host/dig/nslookup audio | WordPress/podPress presentation audio

December 14, 2010: Round-table, Mingling & Munchies

As the holiday hustle and bustle got into high gear, we took it easy this month, with a longer-than-usual round-table session, followed by a time for mingling and nibbling on munchies (instead of the usual, short coffee break).

There was also a door-prize draw at the end, where, in order to enter the draw, we asked members to bring a tin or other non-perishable food item for Winnipeg Harvest. The response was very generous, and we collected two large boxes of tins, juice boxes and packaged food for Harvest. In return for their generosity, four people each got to take home a cool book from O'Reilly, and one person got a laptop bag!

January 11, 2011: KVM

The concept of running a virtual machine within another computer has been implemented for almost 50 years, and yet it has become commonplace in Linux distributions only recently. The creation of these machines has now been made much easier by the inclusion of the appropriate hooks within the Linux kernel.

In this talk, Michael Doob looked at KVM, the main tool that allows the user to create, modify, run, clone and save virtual machines using these hooks. The approach was hands-on, by using both a GUI (virt-manager) and the command line (virsh). Both fully-virtualized and para-virtualized virtual machines were created, modified, or run.

Before the break, Peter O'Gorman introduced us to Macports as this month's RTFM topic. The meeting started with the usual round-table discussion.

Roundtable audio | RTFM: MacPorts audio | KVM presentation audio

February 8, 2011: FOSS Games

Open source games seem to number in the zillions. This month, we took a look at a few of them in the form of multiple mini-presentations, in a demo-oriented format with plenty of visuals. Mike Pfaiffer started things off, with a look at Warzone 2100, as well as the LinuX-Gamers Live DVD. Next up, Rob Keizer demoed Urban Terror. Adam Thompson wrapped things up with a look at SLASH'EM, a NetHack variant, as well as some classic BSD games like fortune. The audience also chimed in with gems like xcowsay.

Also this month, Adam Thompson presented an RTFM on netstat(1), the useful all-things-network display utility that no good network admin should be without.

Roundtable audio | RTFM: netstat audio | FOSS Games presentation audio

March 8, 2011: Distributed Operating Systems

Most people have heard about Cloud Computing; developers may have heard about MPI systems. What about an operating system that was distributed? Robert Keizer took a look at different distributed operating systems and their uses, with details pertaining to Linux single-system-images such as OpenMosix, Kerrighed, and OpenSSI.

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

Before the break, as this month's RTFM topic, Sean Cody described using the dd(1) command to do data recovery on devices such as USB keys.

The door prize this month also included two 4U fileservers with triple redundant power supplies, courtesy of Rob Keizer.

Roundtable audio | RTFM: dd audio | Dist. OS presentation audio

April 12, 2011: UNIX Certification -- Why Bother?

Many UNIX® professionals come from unusual backgrounds: geology, mathematics, music performance, etc. Given the inward-looking nature of the UNIX job market, why bother getting certified when no-one cares about your education? Yet with over a dozen current designations available, someone must be taking these courses and writing those tests -- training course development is expensive!

Adam Thompson was our presenter for this topic, which covered what's available, why it might matter to you, and what difference it makes to employers. Adam has made his presentation slides, in ODP and PDF format, available online.

Also up, Gilbert Detillieux presented an RTFM on sudo(8), one of the most used (or abused) commands in a sysadmin's toolkit. Gilbert has made his presentation slides, in ODP and PDF format, available online.

Roundtable audio | RTFM: sudo audio | UNIX Cert. presentation audio

May 10, 2011: Topic Duo -- Linux mdadm and LDAP

In this day of 3 TB disk drives, it might have occurred to you that not having to restore the whole disk from backup if it fails would be wonderful. RAID can help you with that eventuality! Just buy another $140 3 TB drive and then, um... what? Kevin McGregor covered the basics of RAID and the practice of creating and managing software RAID arrays in Linux, using mdadm(8).

Kevin has made his (very brief) presentation slides, in Quicktime Movie format, available online. There are also a couple MPEG4 movie clips of the screen capture, showing the processes of creating the RAID array and breaking and fixing it.

Rob Keizer also provided a mini-topic for tonight's meeting: The basics of LDAP. Rob gave an overview of what LDAP is, what it does, and why it is used. Emphasis was on applications of LDAP, and included a basic demo of setting up and using LDAP with PAM.

Before the break, Mike Pfaiffer presented an RTFM topic on navigating directories with the cd, pushd and popd commands, which are built in to the bash(1) and tcsh(1) shells.

Roundtable audio | RTFM: cd/pushd/popd audio | mdadm presentation audio | LDAP presentation audio

June 14, 2011: Practical Security

For our last meeting of the season, Sean Cody spoke on Practical Security. The term "security" is thrown around quite readily and its meaning has been diluted to being a product adjective as opposed to a process or mind set. This presentation went over the basic theory of computer security and attempted to equip you with the knowledge to properly evaluate computer security, products and mitigation strategies.

Sean has made his presentation slides, in PDF format, available online.

Before the break, Michael Doob presented an RTFM topic on using top(1) to browse and manage running processes.

Roundtable audio | RTFM: top audio | Practical Security presentation audio

July 2011: No meeting this month

August 2011: No meeting this month

Please note our meeting location: The IBM offices, at 400 Ellice Ave. (between Edmonton and Kennedy). When you arrive, you will have to sign in at the reception desk, and then wait for someone to take you (in groups) to the meeting room. Please try to arrive by about 7:15pm, so the meeting can start promptly at 7:30pm. Don't be late, or you may not get in. (But don't come too early either, since security may not be there to let you in before 7:15 or so.) Non-members are welcome, but may be required to show photo ID at the security desk.

Limited parking is available for free on the street, either on Ellice Ave. or on some of the intersecting streets. Indoor parking is also available nearby, at Portage Place, for $5.00 for the evening. Bicycle parking is available in a bike rack under video surveillance located behind the building on Webb Place.