||*--------           At Tonight's Meeting...             ------*|| 
||*--------      Bozeman Linux User Group Meeting         ------*|| 
||*--------              August 29, 2002                  ------*|| 
||*--------                                               ------*|| 
||*--------             Ken Dyke, editor                  ------*|| 
||*--------                                               ------*|| 

Howdy folks, and welcome to another edition of "At Tonight's Meeting..."

It is taking time as all things do but slowly the BozemanLUG is growing 
and gaining the kind of energy that makes for a great community.

||*--------           At Tonight's Meeting...             ------*|| 
||*--------              by Sheri Hall                    ------*||

Many Thanks to the following BozemanLUG  members attending and 
participating in tonight's meeting; Tom Kalarchik,  Kyle  Cunningham, 
Dan Wilson, Mike Stone, Ryan Gantt, Sheri Hall, Joe Haynes,  Ken Dyke 
and Kevin. Special Thanks to Warren Sanders from the Yellowstone 
Valley LUG and MontanaLinux.org in Billings for making the trip over 
to meet with us.   If I missed anyone, my apologies!

A very Special Thanks also goes out to Joe Haynes who recently moved 
to Helena, and not only drove to Bozeman for our meeting, but also 
gave a great presentation on VPN.  Joe, we hope that you will continue 
to meet with us and if necessary, we can always send out the Saint 
Bernard Rescue Team when those winter snows arrive!

||*--------                The Meeting...                 ------*||

Ken Dyke opened the meeting.  He announced a "Business and Open Source 
Software (OSS)" initiative.  The basic idea is to develop/gather
material that illustrates various business models that leverage Open
Source Software. 

The most touted OSS business model is to sell services not code.  In
this model the customer pays nothing for the software but pays for hand
holding.  That is, the customer pays for what they really need in the
first place.  Help with setting things up, training to learn how to use
the system, maintence, operations, etc.  On the other hand, they do not
have to pay for what they do not need.  Additionally, because the
customer is not paying stupid amounts of money for the code if is sucks
they can toss it without loss of face and find something better.  Or
they can hire a programmer to modify it so that it is acceptable. 

Within the "code is the product" model quality is not a driving factor. 
Selling upgrades, crufty features, product lock-in, and other such
factors drive this model.  Service is seen as an expense that cuts into
the profit margin.  The customer buys some software and expects the
software to work as it was advertised.  Of course, there is always some
use that is not provided for so some other piece of software must be
purchased to do that one thing that needs to be done yet this leads to
something else and sure enough there is another hand out wanting money
for code.

As the founding model of OSS, this has been an idea that is now gaining
a great deal of popularity.  However, with big players such as IBM, et
al, posturing as OSS mavens, new niches and an increased diversity of
operation methods needs to be found by small businesses if they wish to

This then is the crux of the idea behind the initiative.

One aspect of this initiative is to reach out to the local business 
community and raise their awareness of the BozemanLUG as a computing 
resource and Linux as a superior computing solution for business. 
Whether OSS is used strictly for internal use or is leveraged to provide
services to customers.

When I started the BozemanLUG a year an a half ago my thought was a laid
back meeting where everyone was on a first name basis and we just talked
bits and bytes.  But in light of what is happening on the bigger stage
i.e. the national and global scales I think a more practical view is

One of the services the LUG can provide is a venue for recognition. 
That is, the BozemanLUG can provide a platform for individuals and small
business to establish their credentials as being geeks of known repute.

Perhaps it is just the need for sleep but reading back over this section
I feel the need for a final disclaimer.  We are geeks first.  As such we
like to play with the inner gears that make "das blinkenlichten".  But
the reality is that in today's world we need to make money to pay for
things like, um, hardware.  Thus, the ideal is to do something you love
to do.

So, with the proceding in mind and to improve the quality of the
BozemanLUG, the first email address has been given to Ryan Gantt.  You
can now contact him at php BozemanLUG dot org.

If you have an area of expertise that you would like to share e.g. java,
c, apache, bash, whatever that might be of value to the community you
can get an appropriate email handle on the LUG server, some webpage
space for related materials, and your own section in "At Tonight's
Meeting...".  As always speakers are needed for presentations at
meetings.  Suit up and show up.  This is your chance to get your name
and the company you represent (even if you are the only employee) in
day-glo html.

And with that Ken introduced Joe Haynes of Terra Firma Solutions.

Joe's presentation was on virtual private networking with FreeSwan.
Freeswan is an implementation of the IPSEC set of protocols.

Joe did a great presentation and I will not be able to do it justice. 
Joe had a five page handout that went with his talk.  Look for an html
version in the presentations section of the BozemanLUG website in the
near future.

Here are a few terms I managed to jot down during the presentation:
AH - authentication header
esp - encrypted security packet
IKE - requests for setting up a VPN session
RSA signature keys
Road Warriors

After the presentation and question and answer period Ryan brought in a 
computer on which a Slackware 8.1 install have puked.  Kyle gave Ryan a
hand and the machine was successfully booted before we went home.

Good night.

||*------                  Tool Tip                      -------*|| 
||*------                by Ken Dyke                     -------*|| 

I admit it, I miss my Webster's Unabridged Electronic Dictionary.  In 
its place I have recently been using GDict which is part of the Gnome 
Desktop on my RedHat 7.2 install.  If it has documentation on how to 
get the most out of it I am unaware of it.  Frankly, I have not had 
time to look.  Well, I can usually spell a word close enough that it 
will find what I am looking for.  But sometimes I would have to break 
out my dead tree dictionary.  Then I had a Homer Simpson moment the 
other day when I thought to use regular expression metacharacters. 
Doh!  Yeah, well, one of my common spelling errors is getting the wrong 
vowel.  Now, I throw a ? in there or even several ??? for those "I 
don't know what happens in the middle" times.  Then this morning the 
first four letters of an nine letter word was the best I could do.  
Well, I just put a * for the rest of it and lo, and behold, it returned 
the word I was looking for. 

||*------                  PHP News                      -------*|| 
||*------                by Ryan Gantt                   -------*|| 

Hi, it's just ken_i_m.  I am filling in for Ryan this month as things 
are still getting sorted out.  Ryan is a student at Bozeman High School.
Ryan has been given the php email address on the BozemanLUG website.  He
is in the process of fixing the PHP presentation from last year and 
making additional modifications as needed for installation onto the 
BozemanLUG server.  For those of you who recall Damien and Mohammed's 
great introductory presentation to PHP you will remember that
interfacing with a MySQL database back-end was one of the key features. 
This will be replicated on the LUG website.  It is felt that laying this
piece in place will make an excellent cornerstone for building a PHP
resource for the LUG community.

||*------                  Doghouse                      -------*|| 

Last month a question was asked about the .hqx file format.  Someone 
said that this is a compressed file and to use the StuffIt tool by 
Aladdin Systems to unpack it. aladdinsys.com/stuffit/linux/index.html 
(all other links e.g. to expander are redirected to this page) offers 
only 1 binary for the Linux platform.  The download page cliams 
compatibility with RedHat 6.2.  For this they want $29.95  There is some
marketroid-ese next to the product's specifications that says in part, 
"Eliminate cross-platform hassles" - which is exactly the problem with 
their single binary-only offering. 

Let us be frank about this.  A proprietary software vendor releasing one
lame binary does not constitute support for the Linux platform. 

||*-----                  Book Reviews                    ------*|| 

OK, here is a three minute to write rough draft of a book review.

A History of pi by Petr Beckmann

It is a thin volume at 200 pages about the history of the mathematical 
number pi.  In it he traces the advance and retreat of pi from the time 
of the Greeks to the first 10000 places.  One of the themes is how
politics has played a large role in the science and lack of science in
determining the value of pi.  Notably the state of pi suffered most when
politicians asserted their authority.  The history was fun as it is not
the usual crud found in many texts.

I enjoyed reading it.  It was recommended to me by the founding member
of the first LUG I ever attended.  Now I am recommending it to you.

||*-----           Books Available for Review              -----*|| 

Due to the great response/demand for this feature I have been working
with publishers to increase the selection of books available.  I have
succeeded in establishing a couple of relationships for keeping book
reviewers busy.  The guidelines given to me by these publishers vary
somewhat but the the following outline encompasses behavior that will
avoid feelings of abuse and exploitation all around.

Please read and follow these guidelines in ordering review copies of

1) Limit one book per month. 
2) Publish a review before ordering another book. 
3) When selecting a book for review choose one that has been 
   published within the past year or so. 
4) We are a Linux User Group.  Please keep this in mind when 
   selecting titles.  (For example, Photoshop does not run on 
   Linux so it would be inappropriate to ask for "Photoshop 7: 
   The Complete Reference") 
5) If there were a fifth item it would go here. 

We have not developed a guide for the review itself so until then you
might give Slashdot's book review guide a look see: 

Send reviews to Ken to be published in the next issue of "At Tonight's 
Meeting...".  Please make the files ascii text only with lines wrapped
at 76 characters (to fit an 80 character wide screen). 

The following books are available for review: 
The book from New Riders Press has already been spoken for. 

||*-----                     EOF                           -----*|| 
I think, therefore, ken_i_m
Chief Gadgeteer,
Elegant Innovations

July 2002 :: "At Tonight's Meeting..." index page :: September 2002