[NCLUG] Tuesday May 8th, 2018 NCLUG Meeting

Bob Proulx bob at proulx.com
Tue May 8 19:44:25 MDT 2018

jdewitt at verinet.com wrote:
> What: Tuesday May 8th, 2018 NCLUG Meeting
> When: Tuesday May 8th, 2018, 6pm
> Where: Fort Collins Creator Hub,
>   1304 Duff Dr Unit 15, Fort Collins, CO; map:

Everyone is enjoying the new classroom area.  By comparison to the
workshop area it is almost clean. :-)

With some new people present tonight we opened by discussing the
mailing lists (this one and the announce list), the web site, and the
meeting space wifi access, which is listed on the wall.  Things were
pretty organized until James arrived when things broke into general

Hugh came with various show-n-tell ESP8266 with the on-board display.
Stephen matched with a similar model without.  Good show-n-tell.

James welcomed us all to the meeting.  Opening remarks.

* Stephen describes his current project.  Being active in mid-evil
recreations but meeting in today's meeting spaces, as you can imagine
real torches and flames are discouraged.  In the goal to set a period
location but without any flame to avoid fire hazards he is building up
a DIY LED candle type of lighting system.  Set the dinner mood with no
flame LED candles that look very close to the real thing.

Inexpensive is a main goal to keep cost down so that many non-flame
LED candles can be created.  Things are still in the early stages but
Stephen had a demonstration prototype on a breadboard with a half
dozen LEDs running an Arduino with software to simulate flame
flickering.  Pretty cool!  I am sure the mid-evil feast will have the
right ambiance.

* Aaron then spoke of one of his projects from his HP computer museum.
He demonstrated his PA-RISC HP A500 with 2-cores 750MHz and 3.5G ram
booting up Debian GNU/Linux.  Booting through the ISL bootloader
really brought back the memories for those of us who used to work on
these systems all of the time.

Aaron then talked about some of the problems installing GNU/Linux on
PA-RISC these days.  Such as /boot must be ext2 only since the
bootloader does not load ext3 or beyond.  RAID must be particular
versions so that the raid header is at the end and not the beginning.
The smallest of details can be quite problematic!

Not being satisfied with easy Aaron is using encrypted file systems
too.  He is using 'mandos' to manage encryption of partitions for
managing encrypted root file systems over the network.  He talked a
little bit more about setting up mandos on the his systems.  Then we
saw the tty console buffering bug that required a character in so that
it would send characters out.  Which means hitting Enter every few
seconds during the boot or it will block.  If it wasn't a challenge it
wouldn't be fun.  But we did get to the login prompt of the system
using the hostname "billanddave"!

* Hugh then grabbed another of his show-n-tells and demonstrated his
PyCom LoPi.  https://pycom.io/ This is a low bandwidth radio device
for long range data communication.  This is part of the IoT world
where one can track everything from long haul trucks to racoons.

For another change of pace the group decided on The Lost Cajun
restaurant for dinner.

More information about the NCLUG mailing list