Comments - Let's try that again.

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For most users, moderation isn't required. But for Ward it is. Ward is a figment of your imagination.


Request vouch'ing please?

<br><br><code><FONT COLOR="#997e33"><FONT SIZE=2><FONT FACE="Arial">&copy; B. Switzer - ALL rights reserved. No duplication, in whole or in part, permitted.</FONT></code>

In reply to by Bill

Vouch'ed - gotta like it.

Now let's see if this just goes through. Speell checking even!

<hr><code><br><br><code><FONT COLOR="#997e33"><FONT SIZE=2><FONT FACE="Arial">&copy; B. Switzer - ALL rights reserved. No duplication, in whole or in part, permitted.</FONT></code></code>

In reply to by Bill

Mind you, for reasons unknown ... formatting changed.

Look at the 'signature' line of the prior 2 comments and you'll see both a font colour and font size change. For some reason the 2nd last paid attention, but the last didn't. Same code.


<code><br><br><code><FONT COLOR="#997e33"><FONT SIZE=2><FONT FACE="Arial">&copy; B. Switzer - ALL rights reserved. No duplication, in whole or in part, permitted.</FONT></code></code>

Cheap (or Free) RISC Hardware
SGI Octane and SUN Ultrasparc 5 to highest bidder. Proceeds to ON Linux Fest.
Both working well. To express interest email me

Comment update

I've disabled all comments for now. Please use the mailing list for discussions. Comments will be back in a month or so.

Different kind of "game" to try if you have a better video card

If you are looking for a slightly different gaming experience and have
a decent computer with good video card, I would suggest looking into if you haven't already. It is a huge 3D virtual
world where the users get to make the scenery, buildings, etc...
There is a 3D object editor built-in and each object can be scripted.
If you create a unique and innovative item, you can then sell it to
others and make linden dollars. Linden dollars can be converted to
real US dollars!! It is great fun if you like that sort of thing. It
is free to play, but costs if you want to purchase and maintain land.
But anybody can go to a public sandbox and create things. There is
even a SLLUG which meets in-game every Thursday.

They recently released the client software as open source and it is
available for Linux, Mac and Windows. The Linux version is still
"alpha", meaning some of the frilly features don't work yet, like
in-game video... but it runs great on my archlinux box. I've actually
been having more problems with the Windows version in my

I've been trying this out for the past week or so and it is just too
addictive. If you will be trying it out and would like to give me
referral credit, use the following URL when signing up...

Response to kermit: old KWLUG site

First of all, why can't I post responses to forum entries? This is so broken.

To answer your question:

We should probably make that site read-only, though...


Ah - thanks Paul. I was able to search the old site and find just what I was looking for.

I would agree that things are a little difficult when it comes to responding. I had spent a lot of this time wondering if I had done something wrong when I posted, thereby not allowing anyone to reply. As it is, I inadvertently stumbled across this post while poking around on the site.


FLOSS Fund Nominee Schedule

This is the list of FLOSS Fund Nominees in the approximate order in which they will be presented to the group:


Meeting: May 2014
Nominated by: Darcy Casselman


Meeting: Dec 2012
Nominated by: Chamunks Arkturus
Donation: $26.00 USD = $26.30CAD
Meeting: Nov 2012
Nominated by: Andrew Cant
Meeting: Oct 2012
Nominated by: Andrew Cant
Donation: $25USD = $25.01CAD
Meeting: Sept 2012
Nominated by: Andrew Cant
No FF (Social night)
Meeting: Aug 2012
Meeting: May 2012
Nominated by: John Kerr
Meeting: July 2012
Nominated by: Andrew Cant
Donation: $35USD = $36.42CAD
Meeting: June 2012
Nominated by: Paul Nijjar
Donation: $25.00USD = $26.02 CAD
TestDisk and PhotoRec
Meeting: April 2012
Nominated by: Chris Irwin
Donation: $36.37 CAD = 27.00EUR
curl and libcurl
Meeting: March 2012
Nominated by: Andrew Cant
Donation: $44.38CAD = $44.25USD
Electronic Frontier Foundation
Meeting: February 2012
Nominated by: Paul Nijjar
Donation: $75.38CAD
Meeting: January 2012
Nominated by: Andrew Cant
Meeting: December 2011
Nominated by: Raul Suarez
Donation: $20.97CAD = $20USD
Meeting: November 2011
Nominated by: Andrew Cant
Donation: $64.64CAD = $60.00USD
Meeting: September 2011
Nominated by: Jonathan Lapsley
Donation: $42.33CAD = $40.30USD
Zim Desktop Wiki
Meeting: August 2011
Nominated by: Raul Suarez
Donation: $61.00CAD = 42.00EUR
Meeting: July 2011
Nominated by: John Kerr
Donation: $76.85USD
Meeting: June 2011
Nominated by: John van Ostrand
Donation: $30CAD
Meeting: May 2011 (waiting for donation to be made)
Nominated by: Brian Nickle
Donation: $42.75 CAD = $45.00 USD
Meeting: April 2011
Nominated by: John van Ostrand
Donation: $49.39CAD=$50.68USD
Meeting: March 2011
Nominated by: Chris Bruner
Meeting: February 2011
Nominated by: Chris Frey
Donation: $54.48CAD=$54.50USD
Meeting: January 2011
Nominated by: Paul Nijjar
Donation: $72.30CAD = $71USD
Meeting: December 2010
Nominated by: Adam Glauser
Donation: $45.00
Meeting: November 2010
Nominated by: Pete Dixon
Donation: $50.00
Meeting: October 2010
Nominated by: Ilgiz Lapitov
Donation: $200 USD = $205.16 CAD
Meeting: September 2010
Nominated by: Bill Switzer
Donation: $109 USD = $111.81 CAD
OSU OSL Open Source Lab at Oregon State University
Meeting: August 2010
Nominated by: Richard Weait
Donation: $103 USD = $110.17 CAD
VLC multimedia player
Meeting: July 2010
Nominated by: Adam Glauser
Donation: 55 EUR = 75.21 CAD
Meeting: June 2010
Nominated by: Andrew Cant
Donation: 43 EUR = 57.44 CAD
Meeting: May 2010
Nominated by: Paul Nijjar (for Stephen Palmateer)
Donation: $168.25 CAD
Meeting: April 2010
Nominated by: Andrew Cant
Donation: $37.20USD = $40.00 CAD
Meeting: March 2010
Nominated by: Paul Nijjar
Donation: $65.00CAD
Linux Mint
Meeting: February 2010
Nominated by: Raul Suarez
Donation: $59.90USD = $65.81CAD
Project Gutenberg
Meeting: January 2010
Nominated by: Chris Frey
Donation: $180USD = $190.26CAD
flameeyes (FLOSS developer)
Meeting: December 2009
Nominated by: Chris Bruner

Donation: 24.00EUR = $36.96CAD

Meeting: November 2009
Nominated by: Paul Nijjar

Donation: $$75.00USD = $81ish CAD

Meeting: October 2009
Nominated by: Khalid Baheyeldin
Donation: $110
Meeting: September 2009
Nominated by: Andrew Sullivan Cant
Meeting: August 2009
Nominated by Richard Weait
44GBP=$77.65 CAD
Meeting: July 2009
Nominated by Adam Glauser
$31.22 CAD = $22 USD
The Mozilla Foundation
Meeting: June 2009
Nominated by Adam Glauser
$50.96CAD = $43.71USD
VIM text editor
Meeting: May 2009
Nominated by William Park
Donation: $76.00 CAD -> €48.00
Puppy Linux
Meeting: April 2009
Nominated by Raul Suarez
Donation: $87.01CAD = $71.77USD
Ogg Vorbis Theora
Meeting: March 2009
Nominated by John Kerr
Donation: $85.75 CAD
W3C Validator
Meeting: February 2009
Nominated by Bob Jonkman
Donation: $62.25
Meeting: January 2009
Nominated by Lori Paniak (aka 4Pi_Guy)
Donation: $71.76
Meeting: December 2008
Nominated by: Richard Weait
Donation: $58.74CAD
Webcam Support (Michel and Sylvie Xhaard)
Meeting: November 2008
Nominated by: Chris Bruner
Donation: $80.59CAD = 50EUR
Internet Archive
Meeting: October 2008
Nominated by: Andrew Cant
Donation: $57.27 CAD = $46.00 USD
Apache Software Foundation
Meeting: September 2008
Nominated by: Adam Glauser
Donation: $63.68
Quanta Plus
Meeting: August 2008
Nominated by: Richard Weait
Donation: $51.00
Drupal Association
Meeting: July 2008
Nominated by: kbahey
Donation: EUR30.00 = $66.00 CAD
Meeting: June 2008
Nominated by: Richard Weait
Donation: USD$65.00
Meeting: May 2008
Nominated by: Richard Weait
Donation: $71.00
Wikimedia Foundation
Meeting: March 2008
Nominated by: Chris Bruner
Donation: $74.00
Meeting: February 2008
Nominated by: Richard Weait
Donation: $200.00
Meeting: January 2008
Nominated by: Chris Bruner
Donation: $78.00=$78.30USD
Meeting: December 2007
Nominated by: bswitzer
Donation: $37.01=$36.00USD
Vim text editor
Meeting: November 2007
Nominated by: Paul Nijjar
Donation: $94.05 = 64.26EURO
The LaTeX3 Project
Meeting: October 2007
Nominated by: Adam Glauser
Donation: $55.91
Public Patent Foundation
Meeting: September 2007
Nominated by: Richard Weait
Donation: $157.27 CAD = $153.10 USD
Software in the Public Interest
Meeting: August 2007
Nominated by: Lori Paniak
Donation: $46.00
Meeting: July 2007
Nominated by: Richard Weait
Dontation: $56.70CAD = $52.69USD
Meeting: June 2007
Nominated by: Kevin Norwood
Donation: $87.57
Free Software Foundation
Meeting: May 2007
Nominated by: Chris Bruner
Donation: $165.75 ($157.27 USD)
Meeting: April 2007
Nominated by: B. Switzer AKA Unsolicited
Contribution: $160
Open Source Labs
Meeting: March 2007
Nominated by: Paul Nijjar
Contribution: $155
Meeting: Feburary 2007
Nominated by: Richard Weait
Donation: $177.28

CD and DVD availability at meetings.

The Distribution Library & Burning CDs & DVDs at Meetings

With more new members showing up to meetings it seems prudent to provide some sort of CD/DVD Linux-distribution burning facility. It would be nice to provide something like the Freedom Toaster, and in fact I've been working on putting together a low-end (Pentium III 1GHz) version of the Toaster for The Working Centre's Computer Recycling Project, which is now in the basement of 66 Queen Street (door on Charles Street - hey, I'm Charles on Charles now). But in the meeting space we have to have something mobile. I propose to bring my notebook which has a DVD/CD Burner. If other members are also willing to burn CDs and DVDs at meetings please feel free to offer to do so at meetings.

I've kept an odd collection of Linux distributions, including some old versions. Why get an old version when there are so many security flaws? Here's a few reasons I can think of:

  • Compatibility with old commercial Linux titles such as Loki's Eric's Ultimate Solitaire and Heroes of Might and Magic III.
  • System requirements - run on lower hardware resources than many modern distributions.
  • History - some distributions like Corel's CorelLinux no longer exist as they originally were (yes Xandros took CorelLinux over).

Anyway, here's a short list of DVDs I plan to bring to the next meeting:

  • SimplyMepis 6.0-1 [DVD] i386
  • BinToo 2007.1 [DVD]
  • Xandros Desktop 3.0 [DVD]
  • Mandriva 2007 [DVD]
  • SuSE Linux Enterprise Server 10 Eval [DVD]
  • SuSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 10 Eval [DVD]
  • Ubuntu 6.10 [DVD]
  • Ubuntu 6.06 [DVD]
  • Fedora Core 5 [DVD]
  • Fedora Core 4 [DVD]

Here's the short list of CD's:

  • Fedora Core 6 release [5 CDs]
  • Fedora Core 5 release [5 CDs]
  • Red Hat Linux 7.3 [3 CDs]
  • Freespire [1 CD]
  • Ubuntu 6.10 [1 CD]
  • Ubuntu 6.06 LTS [1 CD]
  • Kubuntu 6.06 LTS [1 CD]
  • Ubuntu 6.06 SPARC server [1 CD]
  • Blag 5000 [1 CD]
  • Dynebolic 2.0 [1 CD]
  • Demudi Live 1.2.1 [1 CD]
  • Slackware 10.1 [2 CDs]
  • Vector Linux 5.0.1 SOHO [1 CD]
  • KnoppMyth R5D1 [1 CD]
  • FreeBSD 6.1 [2 CDs]
  • Booth Kiosk [1 CD]
  • NetBSD SPARC [1 CD]
  • Debian SPARC [1 CD] - May 2006
  • Aurora Linux SPARC beta 2 [8 CDs]
  • Corel Linux OS Open Circulation CD-ROM [1 CD]
  • Knoppix 4.0.2 [1 CD]
  • WCLP 0.8.1 [1 CD]
  • Ubuntu 5.10 PPC [2 CDs]
  • NetBSD PPC [1 CD]
  • g4u [1 CD]
  • Ubuntu 5.10 install [1 CD]

I have some other CDs and DVDs which I can hopefully dig up before the meeting. Please note that I won't be bringing any blank CDs or DVDs with me. For longer sets (i.e. 8CD Aurora we'll either have to employ several machines or make the burned CDs available the following month). We also still have 7 DVDs of Fedora Core 4 to give away.

I'm open to better ideas of course.




The freedom toaster is awesome.

<a href="">Linuxcaffe</a&gt; in Toronto burns distros in-house. Perhaps you can contact them and find out how they have implemented it. *thinks to self* <em>I bet that would be a cool presentation</em>

Jobs at PeaceWorks

PeaceWorks is an computer consulting company that caters to nonprofits and charities. They have been doing good work in KW andsurrounding areas for something like 11 years, and they are looking for qualified people who have good technical skills and share their values.

There are two job openings: one for a Linux/Windows Client Network Administrator, and one for a Software Consultant. Full job descriptions are posted at

Both jobs are mixed proprietary/FLOSS environments, so this could bea transition job for people who know a lot about Windows and something about Linux, and want to move in a more open-source direction.

- Paul

New version of LinuxBIOS

New release of LinuxBIOS 2-2536.

The LinuxBIOS team has released a new version of LinuxBIOS 2-2536. The team has listed a number of compelling reasons to use the BIOS:

  • 100% Free Software BIOS (GPL)
  • No royalties or license fees!
  • Fast boot times (3 seconds from power-on to Linux console)
  • Avoids the need for a slow, buggy, proprietary BIOS
  • Runs in 32-Bit protected mode almost from the start
  • Written in C, contains virtually no assembly code
  • Supports a wide variety of hardware and payloads
  • Further features: netboot, serial console, remote flashing

Of course with 64-bit technology all the rage the team has some catching up to do. But it looks like there are quite a few LinuxBIOS deployments already in clusters, servers, embedded solutions, and notebooks (the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC)). It might be interesting to play around with the LinuxBIOS on a couple of machines. Presentation?


[Gotta like RSS.]

Have you any experience with running this yourself? e.g. Does one order a PROM, flash one's own BIOS, or ???

(Sounds like a presentation topic to me! (-:)

<code>[color=#997e33]© B. Switzer - ALL rights reserved. No duplication in whole, or in part, permitted.[/color]</code>

More allegations against Microsoft

Comes v. MS: Plaintiffs Get Right to Inform US DOJ of Alleged MS Noncompliance on APIs
It seems that Microsoft is in hot water again for not properly documenting APIs in accordance with a 2002 ruling against them. The complete story is on Groklaw.

One person, tiger99, commented that "I have had to use some of the documentation that he [Bill Gates] wrote, many years ago, which was undescribably awful. It was only a manual for Basic, which other suppliers invariably were able to produce to a decent standard." This reminds me of how little value you get when you buy Windows. The manuals that come with Windows are thinner than some of the magazines I subscribe to. There's no comparison (weight-wise) between a Microsoft Windows manual and the SuSE 9.2 manuals I got when I bought SuSE 9.2 a couple of years ago. Even better, the SuSE manuals were very well written.

Another person, OmniGeek, cynically pointed out that it isn't likely anything would come of the new allegations given the current administration in place:

"Given the current administration's less-than-stellar record regarding political
interference with science, and their evident willingness to subvert the due
process of law for their own convenience, I think it rather likely that this
request will be binned with the rest as "not containing responsive
information," and will be ignored." I'm apt to agree with OmniGeek. Before George W. Bush was sworn into office it looked like Microsoft was in for a devastating time. As soon as Bush got the situation practically reversed itself.

My first LUG experience was at KWLUG and this is how I found it

I discovered the kwlug when I came across a post by Rarsa on the puppy linux forums in my search for a simple distro capable of running on legacy hardware.

He mentioned that he uploaded an XDG-Menu presentation he did for his local Linux users group and his profile said he was from Kitchener, Ontario. I was surprised to see someone so close to home because most of the puppy users and forum contributors were from overseas. I checked out and had been planning on switching from vonage to a VSP/asterisk solution for a while so the next meeting topic was right up my alley. Thanks to John for his presentation and the nice gift.

I was astonished just by the number of people that were present and on top of that, the fact that it wasn't a complete sausagefest. It's a nice change to see both genders taking an interest in technology.

I'm looking forward to playing with trixbox and openstreetmap in the near future. I heard someone mention a Nominee for the FLOSS fund which I'm very interesting in learning more about. It was an organization devoted to educating the Canadian government about the benefits of OSS on a federal, provincial and municipal level. I've taken more of an interest in government OSS usage since I read time management for system administrators and the puppy research was actually for a system I'm donating to a first time computer user on town council who just needs web browsing, email and word processing.

It was a great evening (excluding the bad weather driving from Orangeville) and thank you to all the people who make the meeting possible.

HOWTO Pay for Free Software

We stand on the shoulders of giants.

HOWTO Pay for Free Software

This document is a guide to how to pay for your Free Software. A lot of people have put in a lot of time to make your high quality Free Software. They chose to licence it so that you can modify and redistribute it. They often, although not always, gave you the program without requiring that you pay any money for it.

Despite being cheap to obtain the development, testing, and maintenance of the Free Software you use is not negligible in cost, far from it. But unlike proprietary, commercial software, there are ways you can pay for Free Software that aren't money.

KWLUG online library

Lots of folks look at the library during our meetings. Does anybody use it on the web site? Any problems with it?


The Working Centre's Computer Recycling Project is moving to 66 Queen Street (door on Charles Street), which means the LUG Library will come with us. One of the things I had planned for the new location was a couple of walls of books, like what exists in the Cafe.

I've been using Tellico to manage my own book collection. Tellico's a gem because all you have to do to enter a new book is enter the ISBN number, save the record, then update it from online sources. Tellico also has a Checkout feature with a due date. It can also create reminders that a book is due (but only on the Tellico box - it doesn't email out reminders).

Since we'll probably end up with extended hours (and open more often) the library will be available to anyone regular days (I'm thinking hours like 10:30-6 to allow for those who get off work at 5).

Hi Richard! Sorry to have to post like this, but I seem to be unable to access the reply message you sent me, I get an "unauthorized" message even though I'm logged in and authorized for almost everything under the sun.

This also brings up the subject of user to user mail on the system, it isn't as apparent as it was on the old system. There is no mail tab, nor link under the username section on the right of the screen (below Upcoming events) where I'd expect mail to be. Even under my account there seems to be no mail sub-system. Of course one can click on a user name to send mail, but I think mail might need a bit more prominence on the web site.

More pre-meeting ideas/rambling

Earlier in the year I started an hour long session with volunteers at The Working Centre to get them used to using Linux. I did some open office presentations. If people are interested, I could also show them during the pre-meeting.

In an unrelated note... I've also started putting the LUG books into Tellico.


From the web site:

<cite><a href="">Tellico</a&gt; is a KDE application for organizing your collections. It provides default templates for books, bibliographies, videos, music, video games, coins, stamps, trading cards, comic books, and wines.</cite>

Tellico uses XML to store data rather than an sql data base.

In reply to by richard

Thanks for pointing those details out Richard. It's a great little program. All you have to do to record a book is enter the ISBN number and do a lookup on the book, makes book entry a snap.

So I have 2 thoughts about Tellico. One thought involves bringing a small computer with it to LUG meetings so people can just sign the books out on the computer. The other is just continuing to use the sign out forms and I spend one hour updating the database a month. It's not a big job to do, and I'm in a better position to do it now than I was six months ago.

January Pre-meeting notes...

Next meeting at the pre-meeting we'll be showing a 17 minute video about getting "Dad" to switch to Linux. Dad, of course could be anyone with an interest in computers. This should leave lots of time for new Linux user questions and casual conversation.

Computers for a school in El Salvador

Raul S. mention at the last meeting that he has a friend who was sending computers to El Salvador. Coincidentally, The Working Centre is currently working on sending 15 computers to Meanguera del Golfo in El Salvador. I have 15 Pentium III's, but I'm short on hard drives above 6GB.

At first I thought I might install the K12 Linux Terminal Server Project and make the boxes diskless. But I think I'll just make 1 Samba file server and put 3-4GB hard drives in the rest with The Working Centre Linux Project on the client computers.

I already have a Pentium III 800MHz with 512MB RAM (which I'm upgrading to 1GB) ready to act as the Samba server. If anyone from the LUG is interested in helping build the client machines please give me a shout at work (519)749-9177 x. 255, or contact me through the list.

Intro to

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."

An introduction to the Who, What, Where, Why of OSM will be followed by a demo of the steps in collecting, categorizing and contributing data to OSM.


Intro to was presented Tuesday 12 December 2006 at <a href="">the Hamilton Open Source User Group</a>.

Comment spammers

There have been several comment spammers recently. KWLUG members have been helping to delete these comments. Thank you.

We'll have a new web site circa February with more automated spam-control. Until then keep removing spam where you see it, and deactivate those accounts by choosing "blocked" in the user account. If this is more maintenance than we want to do then we can switch comments back off.

Organizing Cambridge LUG

There are already LUG in Cambridge, Massachusetts and Cambridge, England. Why not Cambridge, Ontario? Well, now there is a LUG in Cambridge, Ontario. Or there will be, shortly.

CambridgeLUG Will hold pre-meetings, in December 2006 and January 2007 before the official grand Opening in February 2007.

The December, Organizational Meeting invites the participation and input of those interested in helping to form and mold Cambridge LUG.

The January 2007 Founders Meeting will embrace and extend the work of the first meeting. We'll discuss upcoming meeting schedules, topics for presentations and other matters of the LUG. We'll have our first presentation too.

The Grand Opening in February 2007 will feature clowns, dancing bears, an air show, and an audience give-away that will make Oprah look like a skinflint the wonderful embodient of our plans from the previous meetings. You might recognize some of the features of KWLUG meetings in Cambridge, and you might recognize some of the faces.

Come on out and be part of Cambridge LUG, as a complement to your participation in KWLUG.

Public Patent Foundation

The Public Patent Foundation is a US-based non-profit. They fight bad patents and bad patent policy. They argue that software patents are particularly bad and they use the legal system to have bad patents overturned, surrendered or rejected.

The Public Patent Foundation (“PUBPAT”) is a not-for-profit legal services organization that represents the public's interests against the harms caused by the patent system, particularly the harms caused by wrongly issued patents and unsound patent policy. PUBPAT provides the general public and specific persons or entities otherwise deprived of access to the system governing patents with representation, education and advocacy.-- from PubPat web site.

You can support this excellent and important advocacy by donating money, or time as a legal or technical expert.


From their page,

> Many patents granted by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office are wrongly issued.

As far as I know, U.S. patents don't apply to Canada. Beyond the point that a U.S. producer wants a patent, and if they don't get it they stop. If they do get it they then go for matching patents in other countries. [Is there not an international patent body?]

Is there a Canadian organization, or equivalent, to support?

For example, clicking support, then partners, reveals, and, for example, the E.F.F.

<code>[color=#997e33]© B. Switzer - ALL rights reserved. No duplication in whole, or in part, permitted.[/color]</code>