Computer retailng... from a consumers' point of view

Computer retailng... from a consumers' point of view

First of all, I do understand that the computer reseller
business is a very tough segment of the retail business
to be in. Not many folks understand this. This includes
people who have been in computing for some time. Many
consumers do not realise the low markup there is on new
equipment. I know, because I loooked into it. You do not
have to, trust me on this one: profit margins are slim on
equipment. Factor in the the big box stores like Best Buy,
Staples etc and the small computer store has an uphill battle.
There are many items that the small store cannot buy at the

Site Map vs. Site Menu

The discerning reader will see that there is both a site map and a sitemenu link at the top. Their functionalities overlap. But neither one of them seems ideal: * Sitemenu expands categories and shows some of the sub articles, but doesn't give RSS feeds and doesn't list blogs, books, etc. * Site map has RSS feeds, but doesn't expand categories. * Neither one of them include static pages in the map, which is unfortunate because I would like to link to things like the pages in the "Resources" section. One of these maps should go, and maybe we should keep a different one. Which should go?

MarkSmarty plugin

MarkSmarty ======= This is my attempt to make *yet another input format* + Why do this? + I have no idea! * But maybe it's a reasonable idea? + We shouldn't do things without a good reason. I wonder how you end bullet lists? System.out.println("This is code."); System.out.println("Isn't it pretty?"); I guess that Markdown is the "cool thing" to use these days. If you are curious about the syntax, check out Here is the [Markdown page]( I am also experimentizing with different site maps.

Password hacking

So I have this Norstar Startalk Mini that I have to get going, but we've lost all the Windows software (a real shame), and no one knows the administrator password. I connected the serial cable from the Startalk box to one of the Linux boxes under my desk, launched minicom on /dev/ttyS0 with 300 7N1 and voila: I got to see the box doing system startup tests.

At this point I tried sending some break signals, hoping to stop the box before it loaded the system software... but no luck.

I looked into minicom's internal scripting language, runscript. If you have minicom installed you should be able to just type man runscript to see the commands runscript will take.

new to KWLUG


I got to KWLUG via the WWITPRO web site. Didn't know that you gals and guys existed .
Richard, can you please contact me? I provide support to WWITPRO, and it occurred to me that KWLUG is equally deserving of support.

Hi All,

As mentioned at KWLUG, I'm enjoying the project. If you have an interest in Maps, GPS, geocaching, GIS or other location related activities you will find this project interesting.


"OpenStreetMap is a project aimed squarely at creating and providing free geographic data such as street maps to anyone who wants them. The project was started because most maps you think of as free actually have legal or technical restrictions on their use, holding back people from using them in creative, productive or unexpected ways."

Linux in Education

From CRN: Linux adopted in Indiana Schools.

Mike Huffman, special assistant for technology at the Indiana Department of Education, said schools in the state have added Linux workstations for 22,000 students over the past year under the Affordable Classroom Computers for Every Secondary Student (ACCESS) program. And that could expand quickly with several new updated Linux distributions, such as Novell SUSE, Red Hat and Ubuntu.

This year, Huffman expects Linux desktop deployments to grow from 24 high schools to 80 high schools, driven by lower costs, higher functionality and early successes.

What to do with the library...

As many of you know our LUG library has grown pretty large. At one point I was carting down 8 boxes of books, plus the projector, DVD, and speakers (often with the help of LUG members - thank you all). I've managed to reduce what I cart down to 4 boxes because I have quite a few on shelves around Computer Recycling -- but this limits what people see at each meeting. I'd like to make everything available to everyone, but it's a lot of work carting everything up and down, and I like to get out in time to join everyone for the after meeting meeting at Zekes.

I think what I'm going to do is bring down a couple of boxes with a good selection of titles. The library is on the web site. If people email me a couple of days ahead of each meeting I can confirm or deny whether a book is in or out. I think I'll work on managing and updating the library if no one minds.

Multi-site Drupal configuration

Are you using the Drupal content management system?

Want to run more than one Drupal site from your server? This should get you started. I'm presuming that you have root access to your Drupal box and it is called sandbox.local .

0. Set up a single site Drupal installation

Start a default, single site installation working by following the excellent instructions. Make sure that you can browse it by hostname. You do have local DNS , or a hosts file, right? You have it right when you can browse the site at sandbox.local .

New project

A few months back I did a presentation on how easy it is to create Family Guy's Stewie using Inkscape. Well, I've started using those skills to reinvent the graphics for a video game. I'm not sure if the game is GPL or not - it is available for Linux. Until I figure out whether it is or not I'm holding back the graphics... all I'll say is that my graphics kick the current graphics' butt!

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