Boise Linux Group June 20th Meeting Notes

Boise Linux User Group June 20th Meeting Notes
Tonights meeting was pretty much an open session with 7 in attendance and we had some great conversations.

We started off with a conversation about cloud storage for “off site storage” of our computer files, some thing we are all at risk of losing given our computers get stolen or the house burns!  Various options were discussed such as crashplan but no real solution for when we need to store more than 100 Gigs.  Clint recommended rsync as an archival tool becuase while it will take sometime to create a huge archive of 100 Gigs, file additions/changes are quickly done.

Then we had a conversation about the history of computers from the 80’s, and 90’s as we reminised about all the clones, the lisa, and 486, 586, WinChip, 686 and the Pentium along with hard drive storage.  Clint mentioned that in the late 90’s we were still building IBM Novell Servers in the schools which only had 100 MB drives.  Along with that conversation came memory starting with the 16 pin chips and going forward.  We also talked about the cost of both those old computers like the Compaq 386/16 at $8000 with minimal memory and a 20 Megabyte Hard drive as well as memory costs for systems that would not even run Linux today.  Related converstations included the SCO law suite in 1992 against “Unix” and IBM and was still alive today even though a judge has “closed” the case.  Clint reminised about the Novell/Caldera Linux relationship that was quickly replace by Novell buying SuSE.

Next up, we discused Clint’s Favorite distribution which is Fedora 28 Workstation which he is running on his laptop at the meeting.  Clint is a Red Hat Certified instructor and works for Red Hat.  Fedora is the preferred distribution as supporting Red Hat connectivity options such as VPN, instructor downloads, and the BlueJeans conferencing environment. But beyond that, Fedora 28 Workstation is a very stable distribution and supports a variety of environments including flatpak and Python Development and most applications available in the Linux space, can be installed on Fedora.  Clint also uses Red Hat’s KVM environment for virtual machines which took us to the next item of conversation, LinuxMint 19 Cinamon.

Clint showed a 6 minute video of the new features of LinuxMint 19 Cinamon, done by the FOSS group. Really neat is the “Timeshifter” utility which is a system backup utility which does a rsync backup of the complete operating system before doing system or application installs, which can be very handy if something “breaks”, you can go back to the previous state of your operating system, sans whatever broke it!  And even running in a KVM, LinuxMint 19 Beta was not only very stable with no installation issues and is very fast!  Can’t wait for the final release which is suppose to be in a couple weeks.  Getting back to video, Clint had noticed a PDF entitled The Ulimate Linux Newbie Guide from  A very well done book for someone started on Linux, 154 pages and free for the downloading.

Final item of conversation was Wireless download speeds.  Clint had recently bought and installed a LinkSys Velop Mesh whole house system and had found that even though his Asus Router Wireless provided higher signal strength thougout the house, the Mesh system provided higher bandwidth as measured by the download speeds and unlike a conventional “wirless” single Access point such as his Asus router where the further you move away from the router, signal strength and speed degrade (weaker and slower), with the Mesh system, signal strength and speed are consistent throughout the house.  Clint also mentioned that setting up the Velop system was not easy, he had to call Linksys and over the period of more than an hour which included having to “hardwire” to the Velop “node 1” to access the router/wireless setup.  You are suppose to be able to easily do all this via a Android or iPhone app but that was not Clint’s experience.  But now, the Mesh system provides whole house coverage, both 2.4GHz and ac 5.GHz bands (seemlessly) using a single connection ssid which makes it great for roaming throughout the house.  Clint’s prior experience with a “mesh” network was setting up a “whole golf course system” for the Albertsons BoiseOpen where they covered the entire golf course with a wireless network for the golf audience as well as feeding the “leader display boards”, again under a common ssid.  Mesh really does have it advantages when properly implemented (minimum distance between nodes).  Insteresting sidelight, we found that the library wireless network had equal download and upload speeds, a very fast 40 Mbps, each way!

Finally, we have our meeting schedule for the reset of the year, mostly on Wednesdays, but one Tuesday thrown in for good measure.  The dates are: July 18, Aug. 15, Sept. 19, Oct. 17, Nov. 20, and December 19.

Thanks to those whose joined us at this meeting but if you were not there, you were missed!

The July 18th meeting is still an open meeting as nothing is planned.

The meeting closed at 8:30 PM….


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