Please note our meeting location: IBM Canada's offices in the TD Centre, at the corner of Portage and Main. We gather in the lobby on the main floor - please try to be there by about 7:15 PM. Steve Moffat will then take us up to the meeting room just before the meeting starts at 7:30. Don't be late, or you may not get in.
Parking is available either in the parkade behind the TD building, off Albert Street, or in the ground level lot just north of the TD building. Entrance to the lot is from Albert Street, behind the parkade. Either way, parking is a $1.25 flat rate for the evening. You purchase your ticket from a dispenser, so make sure you've got exact change - a loonie and a quarter, or 5 quarters.
Want to try a new Linux distribution or just a different kernel version? Or check out that Beta copy of Windows 2000 without trashing your hard drive? This is the product for you! (The preceding announcement was brought to you by Kevin, who is not in any way employed by, or affiliated with, VMware Inc.)
Kevin described the main features of VMware, some of its strengths and its limitations. He then demonstrated multiple VMware sessions running simultaneously on a Linux box, each one running a different system (Linux, DOS, Win98, WinNT Workstation and Server), and all communicating with each other using SMB-based protocols over TCP/IP on a virtual LAN.
Bill Reid presented Gnome, and covered a brief history of the Gnome project, features of the Gnome environment, a demo of Gnome applications and utilities, and the configuration of the Enlightenment Window Manager. Harry Lakser presented KDE, covering a brief history of the KDE project and Qt, features of the KDE environment, and a demo of some KDE applications and utilities, especially kppp.
In the discussion that followed, a member mentioned another MP3 encoder, called LAME, which can do variable bit-rate encoding. There's also one called not-lame, a further refinement of LAME, and GoGo, which is based on LAME but runs much faster. Additional discussion dealt with topics like CD-R formats, and quality of different brands. Someone mentioned the CD-R FAQ as a good place to get information about this, as well as a study on CD-R quality available at CD Media World.
Amanda (the Advanced Maryland Automatic Network Disk Archiver) is not only one of the world's most contrived acronyms, it's also a very powerful, flexible, and (best of all) free piece of software which implements a client/server architecture for backing up your networked UNIX systems. In this presentation, Gilbert Detillieux described Amanda's features and architecture, shared some of his experiences with setting it up in a production environment, and demonstrated it in operation by dialing in to a site that uses Amanda for its daily backups.
One of Amanda's greatest shortcomings, its lack of good documentation (particularly a good overview and/or tutorial), is being addressed. Amanda is covered in reasonable detail in Chapter 4 of the book Unix Backup & Recovery, by O'Reilly & Associates, Inc.
Caché is a post-relational database that gives you both an Object and Relational view of your data, which is hence accessible through Java, COM, ODBC, C++, Corba etc. Steve described Caché from both the developer's and system manager's perspectives, as well discussing InterSystems Corporation in general and how they deal with customers. More detailed information about Caché is available at their web site.
This event was not affiliated in any way with MUUG, but we thought it would be of interest to the Manitoba UNIX/Linux community. For more information, check out the Linux Demo Day web site, or contact the event coordinators.
After the break, Gilbert Detillieux took us on a quick tour at Maximum RPM! Specifically, we looked at using the RPM (Red Hat Package Manager) utility. This program is well documented in the book Maximum RPM, which is available online at the RPM web site, in both PostScript and LaTeX source form, and in printed form from SAMS Publishing (although it may now be out of print). A site in Germany also has the text in HTML form.
In this presentation, Gilbert took us through the main features of RPM,
as described in the book, starting with using the
to effectively manage installed software on your Linux system,
using query and verify options to check what's installed,
and ending off with using
rpm to build packages from scratch,
including setting up a
He also covered some of the new features in version 3.0, which aren't
mentioned in the book. This included a look at custom
--queryformat option arguments, and some
you could add to your
It also included the
%_topdir RPM macro
.rpmmacros), and the
Prefix: tags (in
files), to allow non-root installs of source RPM's,
builds into temporary install directories,
and relocation of the binary package when installed, respectively.
(Many of these new features are documented in text files in the
/usr/doc/rpm-* directory on a Red Hat Linux system.)
Why would anyone want to run an operating system from a floppy? And how much functionality can you fit on one of those, anyway? We're not talking even a Zip disk here! Kevin's presentation hopefully answered these questions and more, by showing some of the features and benefits of the various distributions.
For more information on the distributions covered at the meeting, see kernelnotes under the Small distributions category, and Linux Weekly News' Distributions page (or go to LWN's home page and click on Distributions in the Sections column on the left). Also, information on the FireBox router with Linux in Flash-ROM (which Adam Thompson mentioned) can be found at WatchGuard's web site.
Michael has provided some online notes for this presentation.
Steve's presentation covered the following topics: the VisualAge development environment, the repository (the database used for revision control), the debugger, Enterprise Java Beans, WebSphere and Servlets, and Installation on Linux and Windows.