Tuesday March 12th, 2024 NCLUG Meeting

Bob Proulx bob at proulx.com
Wed Mar 13 02:04:33 UTC 2024

j dewitt wrote:
> What: Tuesday March 12th, 2024 NCLUG Meeting

Today I was in a scramble with everything that was happening and I
knew I would not be able to make it to NCLUG at the start of it.  I
sent word ahead that I would be late to arrive.

Which means I don't know what happened for the first half hour of the
meeting tonight.  Maybe someone else will post what happened.  Or not.
Because sometimes you just need to be NCLUG to experience it. :-)

When I arrived we were talking about AI.  What a surprising topic,
right?  :-)  But then things moved to microprobing of VLSI chips.
Which was actually a topic I have done professionally so a fun topic
for me.  Phil and I gave some fun stories of micro probing gone bad.

We had new people again tonight.  Always good to see new faces.  And
for some reason a round robin of introductions happened in the middle
of the meeting.  We usually say to indroduce yourself and then say
anything you want to say.  It's also always fun to hear about the new
stuff people are doing.

Jeff jumped in with both feet and talked about their favorite free
software tools.  Which could be summarized as htop.  But then talked
about GWT web tools and expressed frustration with trying to correctly
parse CSV files without perl, python, ruby, lua or some other huge out
of the box framework.  (Out of the box?  Perl is in the box for me!
Python for almost every else.)

James was goaded into talking about his automated plant watering
system.  I've seen it.  It's pretty cool.  It starts with a 5 gallon
carboy as a water source.  Then a USB powered water pump and
controller hooked to a bunch of plumbing to water the plants.  It's a
pretty cool system.  And the plants all look very healthy.

Stephen talked about his adventure of getting the Dell iDrac on one of
the spare FCCH creator space server computers going.  It required
upgrading the Dell BIOS iDrac firmware in order to get newer TLS so
that current machines could even talk to the firmware since the older
firmware used obsolete ciphers.  And dealing with the need to have a
web browser client that would tolerate the older Java console of the
Dell iDrac.

But wait!  The iDrac supports the IPMI console.  Stephen demonstrated
using the ipmitool to connect to the service processor to be able to
admin the machine out-of-band using the admin network.  The main
machine can be power cycled.  The networking can be controlled.
Allows a complete lights-out admin of the system.  It's a very
enterprise looking server for the Creator Hub!

Stephen then gave a demonstration of Node RED.  A visual programming
tool for hardware devices.  It's used for some of the equipment around
the Creator Hub.  People asked if he could turn the lights off and
Stephen then toggled the lights for us.  Super cool!


Stephen was on a roll saving nothing for a future meeting and then
talked about the ancient TrueNAS box (FreeBSD based turnkey system)
and the adventure of creating a current Debian 12 NAS box replacement.
Installing Samba.  Configuring all of the machines.  This was a very
long list of dependencies that this was needed in order to do the next
thing that is a dependency.  It sounded like a very long adventure and
Stephen said something about 2am in the morning working on it at one

In the continuing theme of mentioning your favorite command Bill said,
"info".  I was shocked by hearing that since I have heard so many
people disparage the GNU Project documentation.  But I like info
documentation too!

Mory then gave another AI demonstration.  This one was a Wow!  The
tool looks at the meta data for a stream of data.  Just a tcpdump
wireshark dump of the data.  Without decrypting the data itself and
looking only at the meta data, the timing, the public data of ports
and such, the tool will identify the type of data.  FTP, Gmail,
Facebook, Hangougs, ICQ, Netflix, and so on and on.  Think that
because it is encrypted that something is hidden?  Nope!  Think again.
The metadata gives it away.

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