KLUG Weekly Meeting Notes

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

 

ISM, Open Source, and the GRPL

Presented by William Ott

Bill Ott is the Information Systems Manager for the
Grand Rapids Public Libraries. He has been using
Linux and free Unix variants since 1994. He used
his Dell laptop running Red Hat Fedora Core 3 with
OpenOffice.org Impress & KLUG’s SVGA projector
to make his presentation. Part of the presentation
was done with the actual ISM v4.0 software. He told
us what the GRPL needed, what tools were used, how
they did it, how it evolved, and what is ahead.


GRPL uses The Internet Station Manager v4.0 to
control 99 personal computers in 8 buildings on
their network that are used by the public for
internet access. Not only does it provide user
authentication and access control, it manages the
user session time rules too. The software handles

16,000 to 20,000 user sessions per month. The
ISM server runs on the FreeBSD operating system.

The tools used in The Internet Station Manager v4.0
are the Apache web server & mod_perl, MySQL database,
and the operating system’s firewall control ability.

How does it work? ISM forwards HTTP traffic to
the local server via the forwarding firewall rules.
Authorizes client and authenticates user. Opens the
firewall to gateway traffic. Re-inserts the forwarding
firewall rule upon session conclusion. There was an
even more detailed technical explanation given in
addition. ISM includes wireless access too.

Bill showed us the program including both the user
and the administration interface with functions. His
hopes for ISM in the future include full desktop
control, more contributed code, CVS, and even CPAN.


The Development Page - The Internet Station Manager
http://www.grpl.org/ism
There are other uses for this software in addition to
managing public internet PC's at a library. Check
ISM out and see if you can think of a few possible
network control applications. Open Source software
for public libraries is a super idea. Released under
the general public license (GPL), of course. Public
demonstrations of this Open Source software are added
proof that the non-proprietary tool set will deliver
solid secure solutions.

(14 Linux Enthusiasts Attending)

 

Bill Presents Internet Station Manager v4.0 Posted by Hello

 

William Ott - GRPL Info Systems Manager Posted by Hello

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

 

Intro to Open Object Rexx & Computing That Just Plain Works!

Intro to Open Object Rexx &
Preview of LDS's plans to open source technology
that delivers Computing That Just Plain Works!
Presented by Michael Lueck

Michael used his Dell laptop to display slides about Rexx with
the KLUG SVGA InFocus projector. He also had an Envision desktop
to demonstrate Electronic Software Distribution software. We heard
about the Object Oriented programming language called Rexx. An
interpreted language using human-oriented syntax. A full featured
OO programming language.

http://www.rexx.org/
http://www.rexxla.org/
http://www-306.ibm.com/software/awdtools/rexx/

Features of Rexx:
* It supports a large number of REXX utilities applicable to the
Unix-type system environment already known from Object REXX for
OS/2 Warp or Object REXX for Windows.
* A Security Manager facility provides control over, for example, calls
on external functions, use of host commands, and access to the local
and environment directories.
* Support of TCP/IP sockets via the RxSocket interface allowing to
do network programming using TCP/IP facilities.
* Support of FTP services via the RxFtp interface enabling you to
transfer large amounts of files across the network using FTP facilities.
* Support of mathematical functions via the RxMath interface
enabling you to solve scientific mathematical problems.
* Support of regular expressions via the RxRegExp interface allowing
you to search for patterns.


Part 2 –
Electronic Software Distribution
MichaelDist v3.0 http://www.lueckdatasystems.com

Michael is developing an automated IT administration system that
makes sense. He showed a financial slide that calculated that an
average 100 workstation business could save $100,000 a year in
consulting and administration expenses. We heard about what is
coming in the near future with versions 3.5 and 4.0 of the
Electronic Software Distribution system development!

Traditional methods of administering computers utilize a 1:1 basis of
highly skilled and paid engineers to perform the necessary tasks. Our
solution to this problem is to utilize automation technology to carry
out the many aspects of managing computers. This creates economies of
scale for those performing the administration and a superior ROI from
computing technology.

Electronic Software Distribution is the necessary facility to accurately
and efficiently replicate world class IT administration across countless
computers. It is the single most important component of achieving
Computing That Just Plain Works as it can be made responsible for
managing the operating system, application software, configurations,
policies, security, and data protection on countless computers.

Part 3 –
During the presentation tonight, Michael had the desktop PC off to
the side performing a system installation using MichaelDist v3.0.
The monitor was facing the attendees so they could see what was
taking place on the screen. It churned and flashed and rebooted
occasionally, even played a little tune. The ESD system configured
a Windows 2000 Pro workstation with applications and everything
already loaded. Looked like v3.0 JUST PLAIN WORKED!

(16 Linux Enthusiasts Attending)


 

Michael Describes Open Object Rexx Posted by Hello

 

Rexx and Electronic Software Distribution Posted by Hello

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

 

MySQL PRESENTATION & DEMONSTRATION

Presented by Jamie McCarthy

Jamie McCarthy presented those at tonight’s KLUG meeting with
a good understanding of MySQL’s evolution and enhancements.


He was just back from a recent trip to California and THE MySQL
experience. The MySQL Users Conference was held April 18-21,
2005 at the Santa Clara Convention Center. The MySQL Users
Conference 2005 was the largest gathering of MySQL developers
and users. The 2005 Conference hosted leading industry keynote
speakers, the latest MySQL Open Source technologies, in-depth
sessions and tutorials, and an exhibit hall showcasing the latest
open source technologies.
http://www.mysqluc.com/

Jamie used his IBM ThinkPad T30 and KLUG’s LTSP client box
to show us how MySQL works and what is new with it since the
v3.x days. We heard about v4.0, v4.1, and v5.0 . When you
install MySQL it is recommended that you use an RPM. You can
find out more details about MySQL on their developer’s web site.
http://dev.mysql.com/doc/

Jamie showed us MySQL operating on the example database demo

"World." We heard about the different "engines" that can be
employed. InnoDB and MyISAM were the two we heard about.
http://dev.mysql.com/doc/mysql/en/InnoDB.html
http://dev.mysql.com/doc/mysql/en/MyISAM.html

He talked about the MySQL Cluster.
http://dev.mysql.com/doc/mysql/en/ndbcluster.html

He described the MySQL GUI Tools: MySQL Administrator and
MySQL Query Browser. MySQL Migration Toolkit allows DB’s
to migrate from Microsoft Access, Oracle, and others. THIS IS

A BIG DEAL! Check out MySQL for yourself on a Linux or MS
Windows client. The software is GPL’d or you can license it.

All night there were many technical questions and discussions.
Jamie had a question from the audience about the use of stored
procedures. He asked for an example and then demonstrated
how you would write the code for this DB function. He showed
us how the "explain" command is used to display operations.


(22 Linux Enthusiasts Attending)

 

Jamie McCarthy: MySQL Demonstration Posted by Hello

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

 

LDAP 107: BUILDING A FEDERATED DIRECTORY

Presented by Adam Williams

For details of Adam's presentation see:
ftp://ftp.kalamazoolinux.org/pub/pdf/LDAP107.pdf

OpenLDAP Software is an open source implementation of the Lightweight
Directory Access Protocol (LDAP). In a continuing series of technical
presentations focused at Linux network service administration, Adam
used his Toshiba laptop running SuSE Pro v9.3 and OpenOffice.org's
Impress software with the KLUG InFocus SVGA projector to give us an
outstanding lesson in building a federated LDAP directory service.
Adam fielded questions during and after the presentation with plenty
of pragmatism and humor.

Adam explained and demonstrated the flexibility of ODBC compatible
relational datasources being incorporated in the LDAP directory service.
Grabbing data from your RDB accounting application, Customer Relationship
Management(CRM) application, Contact Management System (CRS), and other
available LDAP directory datasources appears to be a very powerful
business-to-business communication implementation. If businesses made
their LDAP directories publicly available they could be more easily
accessed by customers and vendors. Why be afraid of spammers getting
the addresses? Your primary objective is to be accessible. Let your
mail server filter the spammers.

During the presentation, Adam showed us how to construct a multiple
datasource LDAP server using OpenGroupware.org software with the
PostgreSQL database. We saw that LDAP uses the back-sql interface
to access the SQL database. Adam also detailed the structures and
hierarchies the five configuration tables he constructed to define
the parameters. We saw the configuration of slapd.conf. A brief
description of Proxy Cache was made with more to come later. We were
shown that the configuration for Global Federation can be done so
public LDAP directory services can be accessed as needed or proxied.

LDAP 108 will cover the new OpenLDAP version 2.3 release.
LDAP 109 will cover the use of Proxy Cache in more detail.

(14 Linux Enthusiasts Attending)

 

LDAP 107 OpenOffice.org Impress Slide Posted by Hello

 

Adam Williams Listening to Questions Posted by Hello

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

 

MAY KLUG GENERAL ASSISTANCE MEETING

Tonight was KLUG’s May General Assistance Meeting.
John opened the meeting with the standard introduction.
We broke into the mayhem phase and everyone began
multitasking and multiprocessing.

Installmaster Andrew Thompson helped Paul who was
trying to get a Winmodem working in Mandrake Linux
v10.2 2005 - Special Edition. Paul had a custom PC

with a K7 S5A Elite motherboard – 800 MHz AMD CPU –
10 Gb hard drive – 196 Mb RAM – and a pesky Winmodem.
Andrew's patient and dutiful attempts to coax the modem
to function were thwarted. Paul vowed to do the right
thing and acquire an external modem (a real hardware
modem with UART serial chips onboard).

Linux curious attendees Rob and Tim were welcomed
and given reference tips on KLUG and Linux. Several
members engaged them in discussion and their contact
information was recorded by the KLUG secretary.

Brock brought in a Compaq laptop with an AMD Athlon
64-bit processor running SuSE Pro v9.2. Ximian
Evolution was not configured right somehow and he
wanted someone to look things over. He was also
having trouble after an update of Firefox. Electrical
problems had the KLUG network hub down for the night
and prevented Brock from getting a web connection.


Kevin was seen over in the corner downloading and also
installing a program called Inkscapes. This is an open
source scalable vector graphics editor similar to Adobe
Illustrator, Freehand, and Corel Draw. It looked like
everything went well. Kevin is planning to make a KLUG
presentation in the near future.

One member was asking for help getting a PCMCIA card
driver working on his laptop. He kept getting a message
about the driver not being compatible with the currently
installed kernel version. Dirk jumped in and explained why
this was happening and what it would take to make it work.

The most amazing observation of the evening was when
Adam, John, and Brian were seen configuring Microsoft
Internet Explorer v6 on their laptops... and the Windows
Media Player v7 running in Gnome on SuSE Pro v9.3!!!
WHAT??? You better believe it. SuSE activates WINE in
the install process and it allows you to run Windows
programs right on your Linux desktop. Remember that
WINE stands for WINE IS NOT AN EMULATOR. Even those
Microsoft Office programs run too. Macromedia Flash
was being installed too!!! WHAT IS COMING NEXT???
There was even a big MY COMPUTER icon seen on John’s
desktop. A great new age has dawned in the Open Source
Software world. Bill Gates and his crashing code crew

in Redmond must be in a cold sweat over all this.

(16 Linux Enthusiasts Attending)

 

A Winmodem stumps Andrew and Paul! Posted by Hello

 

Multitasking... Multiprocessing KLUG! Posted by Hello

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