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MUUG Monthly Meetings for 2013-14


Please note our new meeting location: 1L08 Lockhart Hall, University of Winnipeg, entrance on Ellice Ave. between Spence and Balmoral St. (Check out the UofW's maps for nearby parking locations.)

September 10, 2013: Cross-Platform GUI Programming

Cross-platform GUI programming is a reality today, not the pipe dream many imagine it to still be. Doing so effectively requires using cross-platform tools, however, which programmers may not have even heard of. Adam Thompson demonstrated the Lazarus programming environment for Windows and Linux, showing how easy it is to build, debug and run the same program under either or both operating systems.

For the RTFM, Kevin McGregor presented a pseudo-randomly chosen item from CLIMagic's Twitter feed!

October 8, 2013: Xataface

This month Brad Vokey gave a demonstration of Xataface: an open-source, full-featured, web application framework for building front-ends to MySQL databases. Xataface auto-magically generates web forms, lists, menus, and more, so that non-technical end users can interact with MySQL databases safely and effectively using an easy to build custom web application.

For this month's RTFM, Gilbert Detillieux talked about the trap(1p) command, used for signal handling in Bourne shell scripts. Proper use of "trap" is important in coding scripts that clean up after themselves.

Gilbert has made his presentation slides, in PPT and PDF format, available online.

November 12, 2013: Visualization

This month was the MUUG annual general meeting, where we elected our new board for the year, by acclamation. After the break, Robert Keizer presented a generic visualization framework, and some applications thereof. This framework was written by Robert, using CoffeeScript, a "little language that compiles into JavaScript." Data was collected in, and accessed from, a Couchbase NoSQL database.

For this month's RTFM, Adam Thompson talked about the dstat(1) command, a versatile tool for generating system resource statistics, and a replacement for vmstat, iostat and ifstat.

November 15, 2013: Theo de Raadt on OpenBSD

Theo de Raadt, founder of the OpenBSD project, gave an informal talk about... well, whatever he was comfortable talking about. We expected to hear something about OpenBSD, and weren't disappointed there, but some of the details were a surprise for everyone (including some interesting and scary details about possible remote exploits found in some servers' BIOS code)!

December 10, 2013: Round-table, Mingling and Munchies

As the year drew to a close, we decided to continue our not-quite-yet-tradition of turning the December meeting into more of a social event. We had the usual round-table session, which ran much longer than average since there's no pressure to fit the presentation in, followed by time for mingling and eating and drinking instead of the usual short coffee break. This was a "pot-luck" event, like we've done in the past. Some food and drink was provided by MUUG, but members also brought a variety of snack food to sample.

Winnipeg Harvest Food Drive

Also as in previous years, we combined this with a food drive for Winnipeg Harvest. Members brought various non-perishable food item for donation to the food bank.

Winnipeg Harvest has apparently been running a shortfall all year, and needs your donations, particularly at this time of year! They have information about what they're looking for on their website.

January 14, 2014: Wireshark

Katherine Scrupa presented Wireshark as the main topic.

"Wireshark is the world's foremost network protocol analyzer. It lets you see what's happening on your network at a microscopic level. It is the de facto (and often de jure) standard across many industries and educational institutions."

Kevin McGregor presented an RTFM from the depths of CLI Magic; @climagic on Twitter.

February 11, 2014: Raspberry Pi Real Time Clock

Wyatt Zacharias presented the Raspberry Pi along with a Real Time Clock circuit.

"A real-time clock is a computer clock that keeps track of the current time. Although the term often refers to the devices in personal computers, servers and embedded systems, RTCs are present in almost any electronic device which needs to keep accurate time."

Wyatt demoed the Python code he wrote to fetch the RTC data using I2C operations.

For this month's RTFM topic, Trevor Cordes presented the history command, as found in (for example) bash(1) or tcsh(1).

March 11, 2014: FreeNAS

FreeNAS enables users to build network-attached-storage (NAS) on nearly any hardware platform. The FreeNAS project and software were founded in 2005 on the principle that network storage be made available to the world at no cost and unencumbered by license restrictions.

FreeNAS provides a solid service platform based on FreeBSD and includes such features as replication, data protection, backups, encryption, snapshots, file sharing and a plug-in architecture.

Kevin McGregor presented an overview of these features and his experiences with implementing some of them.

For this month's RTFM topic, Adam Thompson talked about quoting special characters in shell input, for example in bash(1) or tcsh(1).

April 8, 2014: OpenCart

Want to sell something on the net? This month Brad Vokey presented on OpenCart - a powerful open source shopping cart system that is feature rich and user friendly.

OpenCart is a robust e-commerce solution for internet merchants to create their own online business and participate in e-commerce at minimal cost. It includes an intuitive admin interface that allows you to have complete control over your store. It also has thousands of high end themes available and integrates with hundreds of payment gateways and shipping integrations.

There is also a thriving OpenCart extension market with over 12,000 extensions currently written for it (and more being added all the time). If there is something you need your store to do, there is probably an extension already written for it. If there isn't, or if you don't like the price someone is charging for their extension, you can simply add the code yourself, add it to the OpenCart store, and maybe make a little money selling your extension to others.

For this month's RTFM, Michael Doob talked about PDFtk - A handy tool for manipulating PDF.

May 13, 2014: Raspberry Pi Camera

Wyatt Zacharias once again presented on an application of the Raspberry Pi, this time using a camera with that hardware.

Gilbert Detillieux presented an RTFM on the ImageMagick suite of graphic tools, focusing on the convert(1) command. Gilbert has made his presentation slides, in PPT and PDF format, available online.

June 10, 2014: Firefox Screen Scraping

This month, Trevor Cordes demonstrated how to screen scrape web pages and programatically control Firefox with Perl. He tackled the scraping of even complicated, anti-scrape websites that require JavaScript logins. Now no site is unscrapable!

Trevor has made his presentation slides, in ODP and PDF format, available online. He's also provided a tarball of the sample script files.

Adam Thompson covered the netcat nc(1) utility for the RTFM section this time.

July 2014: No meeting this month

August 2014: No meeting this month

Please note our new meeting location: 1L08 Lockhart Hall, University of Winnipeg, entrance on Ellice Ave. between Spence and Balmoral St. (Check out the UofW's maps for nearby parking locations.)

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