07-25-09 Meeting Notes

Hi, folks.

You missed a good meeting (but I'm biased). I did the presentation. We covered a few more basics of Linux commands and the login environment (the shell). Besides myself, there were three in attendance. For the novice users, this would have been a good launch pad for getting familiar with Linux. For the advanced users, it would be nice not to have to hold down the entire two hours on my own. But since I'm an amateur actor (a ham), being in the limelight really doesn't bother me.

Some of the stuff covered: terminal, the login environment and an explanation and demonstration of $PATH, aliases, an introduction to shell scripts using .bashrc, an introduction and demonstration of a few commands (ls, pwd, cd, ps, kill, su, sudo, grep, chmod, touch, mkdir, man, more, less, cat, sh, and '.'), showing some differences between editors (vi, vim, gvim, gedit, nano, ed, sed), an overview of a directory listing, and the equivalent GUI for ls using the browser (under 'places').

David brought in two "OLPC" computers for show and tell. What would have been nice is if one of our networking gurus was there to show us how to connect up the laptops using VNC. The surprising thing to note is that when we tested the upload/download times while connected wireless to the PPL server, the times were between 4-5Mbps for BOTH upload and download. So the next time you need to do some serious work on the Internet, go the Prescott Public Library and get connected!

At the end of the meeting, we tore apart (literally) a "dead" HP laptop just to see how it was put together. The owner of the laptop was thrilled to do the honors. We were amazed at how many layers of plastic were in the display.

The only technical difficulty experienced is that I could not get "Preferences->display" to work at all. I came up and only showed a blank window and would not even close. So I demonstrated how to kill a process.

The people from the meeting before us left a couple of batches of cookies behind, so we didn't go hungry at break time.

Next Friday morning (July 31) from 10-12, I will be giving a two hour presentation on OpenOffice for the Mac Users Group (a SIG function) at the Prescott Library in the Founders Suite. Anyone may attend, but keep in mind that even though it is all about the Mac, everything concerning OpenOffice applies to Windows, Linux, and Unix.

-- John Carter