06-27-09 Meeting Notes

Those who missed the meeting Saturday morning (yawn!) missed a packed house and a rousing session! Well, okay, packed if we removed all but four chairs. It was still fun.

The really fun part was for me discovering that I couldn't get my Toshiba to switch over to an external display, but it came up on wireless without a hitch, and then discovering that my T30 wouldn't come up on wireless but I was able to set it up to display on the overhead with no problem. So, the Toshiba sat idle while I hooked up the T30 hard-wired to the wall jack so we could at least go over some Linux commands and applications.

First, I already had Yahoo Messenger installed on the T30 and that's the one I used to demonstrate how to kill a hung process with 'ps' and 'kill'. Going over just a few of the options of 'ps' was a bit more than uncomfortable for some, so I moved on to demonstrating how to access man pages with 'man' and the typical navigation one needs to know to get around the documentation and exit from 'man'.

Then a little bit about .bashrc and how it is the file that contains the preferred environment for the user. And of course we used 'vi' and 'gedit' for some simple stuff, like removing the '#' comment symbol from a few aliases and adding 'set -o vi' at the end to give the command line a little more functionality - like for recalling a previous command (example: esc, '/', ps, enter - to recall the previous 'ps' command).

After watching eyes glaze over for a few minutes, I moved on to applications and how to put an application icon on the desktop - instead of having to fumble through the Application menu to find it. I also demonstrated Skype and Pidgin - just a little. I think the session on Skype woke everyone up.

Next meeting - who knows? It won't be in the morning so I'm sure we'll get a bigger crowd and maybe there will be something more substantial, like how to turn your computer into a super video DVR. Someday. Someday.

-- John R. Carter, Sr
Prescott Valley, AZ