KWLUG Meeting: Monday, August 10 2009

Syslog servers and log parsing

Meeting Date

NOTE: This meeting is scheduled to be held at the Heuther Hotel in Waterloo. It will be held in the Heuther boardroom, which is on the third floor of the building (go up the second floor, through the bar and up one more flight of stairs).

Computers generate a lot of logs. Sometimes the logfiles contain useful information or warnings about your computers, routers, printers and other devices on your network. Reading and understanding all those logs can quickly get overwhelming, but a syslog server can help.

In this presentation Paul will discuss his experiences setting up a syslog server using rsyslog, tenshi and SysLogAgent:

  • rsyslog is an update to the syslog daemon that is packaged by default in Fedora, Debian and Ubuntu
  • tenshi is a log analysis and summarization program
  • SysLogAgent allows you to read logfiles and events from Windows machines and send them to a syslog server

The presentation will cover the principles of syslog servers, some tricks for configuring and debugging them, and some limitations and "future work".

UPDATE: Here are the slides (in PDF format) and slide sources (in LaTeX format) used for the presentation.

KWLUG Meeting: Monday, July 6 2009

LAMP Stack: Linux, Apache, MySQL, Python/Perl/PHP/Ruby(!)/...

Meeting Date

NOTE: The meeting location for this month has changed. This month's meeting will be held at the Heuther Hotel in Waterloo. We are meeting in the Boardroom beginning at 7:30.

Khalid will tell us about the LAMP stack, the basis of oodles and oodles of websites that distract and upset us.

Here is a proposed outline of the talk. Should be 1.5 hours or so.

- What is LAMP
- Why LAMP
- Some applications running LAMP (Drupal, Joomla, Zope/Plone, Django)
- Some sites running LAMP (Slashdot, Digg, ...etc.)
- The L we all know and love
- The A and alternates (lighttpd, ngnix)
- The M (MyISAM, InnoDB)
- The Ps (PHP, Perl, Python, Ruby [not a P!]) Focus more on PHP
- Installing LAMP
- Different ways of running PHP
- Performance considerations
- Security considerations

Note: The presentation slides are attached in PDF format below. Thanks to all who attended.
* * *

The host for this meeting was kbahey.

File Attachments

KWLUG Meeting: June 1 2009

OpenLayers

Meeting Date

OpenLayers makes it easy to put a dynamic map in any web page. It can display map tiles and markers loaded from any source. MetaCarta developed the initial version of OpenLayers and gave it to the public to further the use of geographic information of all kinds. OpenLayers is completely free, Open Source JavaScript, released under a BSD-style License.

File Attachments

KWLUG Meeting: Monday, May 4 2009

Where is my money going? Using Gnucash to track it

Meeting Date

GnuCash is personal and small-business financial-accounting software, freely licensed under the GNU GPL and available for GNU/Linux, BSD, Solaris, Mac OS X and Microsoft Windows.
... GnuCash allows you to track bank accounts, stocks, income and expenses.

I'll show you how to create accounts, how to import transactions from your bank, Do transfers and generate reports.

GnuCash has a special place for me as it was my epiphany to the value of Open source:

I bought Quicken in 1998 and used it until 2003 when I got a new computer. When I tried to reinstall Quicken it asked me to register. To my surprise the registration didn't work anymore. The URL no no longer existed. The only option was buying the newest version. Needless to say, 5 years of personal expenses records were locked and out of reach unless I forked up the money.

I had "played" with Linux on and off since the early days as a nice curiosity but not until then it did sink what Freedom really means.

Yes, Quicken still has nicer graphics and maybe some advanced features, but putting it on the balance against owning my own data, freedom certainly wins.
* * *

The host for this meeting was acant.

File Attachments

Attachment Size
GnuCash-Presentation-and-samplefiles.tgz 284.72 KB

Comments

Yes please!

May I request special emphasis upon setting up the chart of accounts right, the first time, for effective reports/ing. Particularly with an eye to employment / self-employed expense tracking. e.g. Business GST vs. personal GST vs. all business expenses - how to track / report / sum efficiently and effectively.

<code><br><br><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>

Law library and GNUcash

I have been using GNUcash at work to track the subscription expenses by vendor and publication.
I can give a brief overview of how I use it and why.

John Kerr | Guelph Ontario
jkerr0102@rogers.com
519.763.6489

KWLUG Meeting: Monday April 6 2009

iSCSI a new path to your data

Meeting Date

How much disk space do you have? And how much disk space do you need? If you're like me the answers are "not enough" and "more". Our digital age has lead to increasing use of disk space to hold media of all kinds. Our photo album is the computer, our video library is also there and our file cabinet is slowly creeping onto that disk as well. It's all precious data that just continues to grow and grow.

Managing data is becoming a common need for today's households and a burden for companies. It needs to be more simple and less expensive and more reliable than before.

iSCSI is a technology that shares disk devices over Ethernet. Disks shared using iSCSI appear as block devices to clients and can be treated as such. This flexibility in providing disk space to systems is what has been used for years in very expensive corporate data centres. iSCSI is bundled with Linux so this same technology is right at your fingertips.

iSCSI is not a file system, it's a device sharing protocol that has significant possibilities. Imagine all the computers in your house booting from a single disk, without any special O/S requirements.

The presentation starts with a discussion of what iSCSI is and where it can be useful. You'll see real-time demonstrations setting up iSCSI. And you'll be tempted with discussions of advanced configurations.
* * *

The host for this meeting was john.

File Attachments

Attachment Size
KWLUG iSCSI.odp 526.25 KB

KWLUG Meeting: Monday March 2 2009

Asterisk on Embedded Devices

Meeting Date


NOTE: We're back to the old location for this meeting. We are NOT meeting at 58 Queen.

Due to logistical problems we are holding March's meeting in the usual location, 43 Queen Street South.

Also note that the parking situation has changed. The back lot behind 43 Queen is closed, so you can't park there for free after 6pm any more.

Doors open at 6:30pm. Discussion and camaraderie will be had.

Presentation starts promptly at 7pm.

This much-anticipated, long-awaited presentation is certain to be standing room only. Arrive early!

* * *
The OpenWRT project provides the firmware to turn compatible devices including many WRT-series Linksys and Asus WL-series wireless routers into fully-programmable, GNU/Linux operating environments. We use this feature to convert an ASUS WL500g Premium (V.1) wireless router into a Voice over IP (VOIP) gateway using the Asterisk packages provided in the current OpenWRT distribution, Kamikaze.

After a brief overview of VOIP systems in general and setup of the hardware, details to be covered will include: Installing and configuring the Asterisk application to make and receive calls from the VOIP provider Unlimitel, configuring extensions with soft-phones, VOIP phones, ATA-connected telephones and WiFi VOIP clients and setting up voicemail with recorded prompts.

Additional topics to be covered as time allows may include: Voicemail to E-mail, call-forwarding, menu-driven multiple extensions, remote extensions, performance issues with simultaneous VOIP and data transfer, WAN connection options for the router and other unannounced surprises.

Talk details can be found on the crashcourse.ca wiki
* * *

The host for this meeting was LPaniak.

KWLUG Meeting: Monday February 2 2009

Nagios

Meeting Date


We're trying a new location for the February meeting.

Please note this as we don't want anybody to miss out, just because we've run across the street.

We have The Working Centre at 58 Queen booked for at least February and March. This is "across the street" from the usual location. No change to the time. Join us.

Doors open at 6:30pm. Discussion and camaraderie will be had.

Presentation starts promptly at 7pm.

* * *
Nagios is a well-established network monitoring system that tracks the health of network infrastructure and sends out alerts when things go wrong.

Andrew Cant will share his breathtaking story of implementing Nagios at his workplace, and will dazzle us with by explaining its features and capabilities.
* * *

The host for this meeting was acant.

File Attachments

KWLUG Meeting: Monday January 5 2009

Lightweight/Tiling Window Managers

Meeting Date

Window managers? Are those the folks who put the fancy clothes on the mannequins down ant the mall?

Not in this case. In computer terms a window manager provides a way for programs to appear on graphical desktops and share decorations for things like check boxes and select lists.

Kyle Spaans will introduce us to several tiling window managers, a subset of the overall window manager kingdom.

* * *
*Cough* Is X making your computer slow? Perhaps moving away from the the "desktop environment" is your solution.

This will be a presentation about tiling window mangers, particularly StumpWM, xmonad, and perhaps dwm if the presenter (our very own Kyle Spaans) can take some time to learn it.

This presentation will consist of quick and dirty demos on how to use and configure these kinds of window managers, and a discussion of their pros and cons. Honorable mention may be made of Fluxbox and FVWM.

KWLUG Meeting: Monday December 1 2008

OpenLaszlo

Meeting Date

These days users expect web content to be dynamic and responsive but at the same time development platforms for these applications seem to be either cumbersome, heavy and proprietary or both.

Not surprisingly the open source world has an alternative called
OpenLaszlo
.

According to the web site:
"OpenLaszlo is an open source platform for creating zero-install web applications with the user interface capabilities of desktop client software."

This platform allows to create rich dynamic web applications and deploy them as Flash or DHTML.

The architecture for the whole system is very sound, allowing it to integrate seamlessly with backend server applications.

I discovered this platform recently but I'm of the idea that the best way to learn something is by trying to explain it to someone else as it forces me to really understand it.

The proposed agenda would be:

  • Introduction
  • Description of the platform with examples (show case)
  • Setting up the environment
  • Hands on tutorial (Simple example)
  • Where to go for more

I've attached the demo material along with the impress presentation

File Attachments

Attachment Size
OpenLaszloPresentationAttachments.tgz 507.42 KB

KWLUG Meeting: Monday, 03 November 2008

pfsense

Meeting Date

KWLUG meeting are free to attend for any and all with an interest in Free and Open Source Software. Presentation starts at 7pm, doors open at six. Join us.

* * *
The mighty Kiwi returns! Perhaps our longest-absent regular, Kiwi makes his triumphant return in fine style by presenting pfsense in all of its fire-wally goodness. Do not miss this presentation.

KWLUG Meeting: Monday, 06 October 2008

What's that noise? A history of sound on *nix and Linux

Meeting Date

Ontario Linux Fest 2008 is coming up fast. And we have our regular monthly KWLUG meeting.

Doors open at 6pm, meeting starts at 7pm sharp. Join us!

* * *
From the era where the only sound a computer would make was the terminal beep character to modern sound server technology, I will touch on it all from a historical perspective in a short amount of time. Whenever I am talking about something that is still of relevance to the average Linux user I will pause and discuss the details of its function and the basics of configuration. The presentation will wrap up with a couple of complete examples of useful sound hardware/software configurations for typical (and at least one not so typical) home and business/educational uses.

KWLUG Meeting: Monday, 08 September 2008

Introduction to OpenStreetMap

Meeting Date

Shouldn't Labour Day be the beginning of the New Year? The kids are back to school. There is finally a break in the humidity. The leaves are about to turn.

Doors open at 6pm, presentation starts at 7pm, sharp! Join us.

* * *
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.

This topic was originally presented at HOSUG on 12 December 2006.
A modified and extended version of this topic was presented to Toronto Mapping Weekend attendees at Linuxcaffe 17 - 18 February 2007.

KWLUG Meeting: Monday, 11 August 2008

Search Engine Optimization & Search Engine Marketing

Meeting Date

Boy, is it hot in here or is it just the eight core server?

* * *
A slide show and talk about white hat Search Engine Optimization and Search Engine Marketing - how to bring more traffic to your site via online marketing through the search engines.

This will be a relatively non-technical presentation demonstrating techniques that will get you higher rankings and bring in more traffic. Suitable for technical folks, as well as site owners with less technical knowledge looking to bring in more traffic to their site.

Presenting on two areas:
1) Search Engine Marketing. Specifically how to run a successful Pay Per Click (PPC) Google adwords campaign. Adwords are the Sponsored Links shown in Google searches. I'll show you how to set up and manage a campaign, how technical people can write better ads than any advertising specialist and how to compete in competitive areas.

2) Search Engine Optimization. This section will discuss white hat ways to promote your site in the search engines. Specific techniques will be discussed. I'll break this presentation out into the following general areas:
- history of the search engine rankings. What used to work, still works, and what doesn't work anymore. This will provide the foundation of how to determine what search engines want and will provide some direction on the differences between white hat and black hat (where black hat means 'outside the search engine guidelines', not illegal or cracker techniques which is how black hat is used outside the search engine community). Also some background on pagerank and trustrank.
- how people search. This will show us how to target search terms and allow us to discover untapped, uncompetitive sources of converting traffic.
- On page optimization. This will be a brief discussion on specific things to change on your site that help your rankings. Technical level will be a rough understanding of HTML.
- off page optimization. Factors that affect your rankings that aren't actually on your website.
- step by step guidelines on how to make your website an authority. The premise is not to figure out Google's algorithm. Instead I'll outline how to create an authority site that the smart folks at Google will want to rank because it makes their search engine results better for the end user.

I optimized my first site about 5 year s ago. 5 years later, without any further work, the site is still ranking well. It's lasted through many algo changes intended to get spammy sites out of the search engine rankings. Using the right approach and by giving the search engines what they want you can build sustainable traffic through top rankings - on a website the search engines *want* to rank. And you can do it without resorting to technical loopholes or spammy techniques.

KWLUG Meeting: Monday, 07 July 2008

What does this button do? The Linux boot process.

Meeting Date

Long time KWLUGer John Van Ostrand will shed some light on the Linux Boot process for us this month.

* * *

Presentation request / proposal

This presentation covers the boot process. What happens after you press the power button to start your computer? We'll look very briefly at POST and BIOS, then concentrate on what happens once Linux is in control.

  • POST
  • BIOS
  • MBR
  • LILO / Grub
  • kernel
  • initrd
  • runlevels
  • login managers
    if we are lucky we'll hear about some new stuff in development for faster booting

  • Coreboot
  • initng
  • upstart

Make suggestions to improve / complete this presentation.

Volunteer to present this topic.

KWLUG Meeting: Monday, 02 June 2008

Drupal for fun and profit: How to make a career in Open Source

Meeting Date

Ah, summer time. What could be better than early evening with a Mint Julep on the dock, listening to the sweet ululations of the loons across the lake?

Well. The latest KWLUG meeting, of course!

* * *
Free/Open Source Software (FOSS) has seen steady growth for the last two decades. Yet, it is not obvious nor easy how one would go about making a career of out FOSS.

In this presentation, we present various avenues on how to do that, with stories from the trenches.

And we should not forget the fun part ...

About the presenter: Khalid is a full time free software developer and consultant. His company, 2bits.com focuses on open source web based technologies, mainly using the Drupal web application framework and the LAMP stack.

Photo Credit: Whatknot cc by-nc-nd.

KWLUG Meeting: Monday, 07 April 2008

Noobie night: What can I do with FLOSS? What can I do with linux?

Meeting Date

New User Night!

Bring a new or potential new GNU/Linux user to the meeting for a night of introductory computer fun.

Doors open at 6pm for casual conversation and networking. The formal presentation starts at 7:00pm sharp!

Some of you may choose to join us at a local restaurant for more discussion and refreshments after the meeting.

* * *
This is a presentation for the desktop home user.

This is not a technical presentation. No admin, no root, no command line.

Bring at least one guest that is new to FLOSS (family/friend/neighbor/co-worker). Promise them that they'll discover many possibilities on how to use their computer without having to spend a fortune on sofware, without running antivirus and without activelly maintaining the OS.

The presentation will have three segments

1. Show how the average home user can use FLOSS for common tasks (These are features that I really use but I'm open to sugestions from other KWLUG members)

  • Browsing the internet (email, youtube, facebook)
  • Chatting
  • Organizing pictures
  • Organizing and playing media
  • Doing some workd processing
  • Use the spreadsheet to run some numbers
  • Edit pictures
  • Manage home finances
  • Creating greeting cards
  • Contact management
  • Searching a "lost" document
  • Searching and installing software

2. Talk about the posibilities for niche uses without going into any details.
For example:

  • Ltsp for large families
  • Internet trafic blocking and monitoring
  • Personal web design
  • Multimedia content creation
  • Home media and automation
  • Portable linux distribution
  • etc...

3. With help of all the other KWLUG members answer "can I" kind of questions from the guests.
e.g. I currently do x and y, Can I do it with FLOSS/in linux?

Although not explicitly talking about eye candy I will bring a computer with it turned on showing that now it's normal to have a pleasantly looking Linux desktop.

Even if you think that you know all this, use the oportunity to bring someone else. This won't be a political lecture, It will be a very practical demonstration
* * *

The host for this meeting was Raul Suarez.

KWLUG Meeting: Monday, 03 March 2008

Subversion, git and Linux on a USB Key

Meeting Date

The meeting starts at 7pm, and the doors open for conversation and networking at 6pm.

* * *
We have three great presentations lined up for the March meeting:

  • Raul Suarez will demonstrate how to install Linux on a USB key. This installation can then be booted from any computer that supports USB booting.
  • Andrew Cant will demonstrate the Subversion version control system. He will include some background of version control management concepts.
  • Kyle Spaans will show off git, a distributed version control system initiated by Linus Torvalds to manage the Linux kernel source. Kyle will explain what git is, what makes it different from other source control systems, and what it's good for. He will finish off with a live demo.

KWLUG Meeting: Monday, 04 February 2008

How-To: A Flexible, Hands-on Software Demo Room

Meeting Date

The meeting starts at 7pm, and the doors open for conversation and networking at 6pm.

* * *
Imagine a live demonstration of a Content Management System (CMS) where each member of the audience can follow the presentation with their own copy of the software running on a laptop in front of them. Now, after a 10 minute break, each laptop is emulating an OLPC machine, complete with network ability. After another 10 minute break, each laptop is now running a different CMS for the audience to put through its paces.

Our own Lori Paniak will give a newbie-friendly tutorial on how to use VMware in Linux to accomplish this silicon sleight-of-hand.

The Demo Room at Ontario Linux Fest consisted of thirteen laptops each running a copy of VMware Server. Demos were VMware images which could be quickly (and remotely) switched from one presentation to the next. This presentation gives a tutorial on the preparation and installation of VMware Server on a Debian system, cloning the installation to the laptops and administering the final system.

Mondoarchive disaster recovery software, the VMware Server Console and cluster management tools such as clusterssh each play a role in the tutorial.

Several copies of the installation DVD will be given away. Each disk will install a (nearly) ready-to-go Debian Etch/2.6.22 kernel/VMware Server system on a target hard drive.

File Attachments

Attachment Size
KWLUG-Feb08.odp 279.25 KB

KWLUG Meeting: Monday, 07 January 2008

LinuxMCE

Meeting Date

Happy New Year! And welcome to the first 2008 meeting of keeping your Free Software Resolution. KWLUG meetings are open to everybody with an interest in Free Software, GNU/Linux and Open Source. Arrive when the doors open at 6pm for conversation and networking. Formal presentations start at 7pm. Often, many of us relocate to a restaurant for further discussion and sustenance after the meeting ends at 9pm.

* * *
LinuxMCE is a free, open source add-on to Kubuntu including a 10' UI, complete whole-house media solution with pvr + distributed media, and the most advanced smarthome solution available. It is stable, easy to use, and requires no knowledge of Linux and only basic computer skills.

With our history of "Standing Room Only" for MYTH-TV presentations, you'll want to be sure to arrive early for this Instant Classic as presented by our very own John Van Ostrand.