[opensource] The Future of Open Source Club & Spring Workshops

Bill Anderson bill at interhack.com
Fri Mar 30 17:49:56 EDT 2007

> > We can promote open source without even requiring a Linux install.  After

Live CDs are also a good idea.  Particularly if we can do custom live CDs
for particular events, i.e.  today we're demoing GIMP... Here are your
GIMP livecd's so you can follow along on your laptop...  Or here are your
Wolfenstein Enemy Territory livecds for our lanparty.

> but there are also things better about OpenOffice,
> > like auto-completion and export as PDF.

Openoffice also has some macro stuff... we wrote a macro that will let you
use openoffice to convert a file to PDF from the command line without even
firing up the GUI.

> > only Linux I have seen promoted by the club is Ubuntu, but I believe that

Ubuntu r00lz!!!!!!!!  ;)

> Finally, we could implement a mentor program where someone would borrow a
> > club member for an evening (or maybe a weekend in the case of Gentoo ;-))
> > to assist with an install and to be there to provide help later when
> > needed (by e-mail or phone).

I for one am generally happy to provide any assistance I can to newbies.
We just need some way of connecting the newbies to the experts.  I think
newbies are generally a bit hesitant about posting to a mailling list or
joining an IRC channel, particularly if they havn't done so before.

> > possible to manipulate a bunch of files through the use of xargs,

Personally, I know I'm doing something "hardcore" in unix when I use xargs
(usually in conjunction with find), and more than 4 of "|".  There are so
many tasks that are practically impossible on Windows, that you can do
with a one-liner in the shell.

What's the total size of my movie collection?
find . -name '*.mpg' | xargs du -ksc |tail -1

How many lines of code are in my program?
find . -name '*.c' -o -name '*.h' |wc -l

If you're crazy like me, you can even nest it so that your xargs output is
input to another shell with more pipes.

There are also some talks that I could probably give if prodded:

How we use Linux to do digital forensics (sleuthkit/tct, etc)  (with some
anecdotes about some of the strange and interesting things people do,
e.g.  Researching your crime with google on your home computer, or
using your office computer to threaten a public official)

How we use Linux to do information security work (nessus, nmap, ethereal,
kismet, ettercap).  Also have some interesting anecdotes about social
engineering, dumpster diving, dropping into a server room at night
from the ceiling, getting caught by a security guard.

The power of the pipe (find | xargs | sed | cut | ...)

You should also consider inviting other guest speakers.  How are unix
systems used in Chemistry or Physics or Linguistics or Musicology?

Have a lawyer come and talk about intellectual property or privacy issues.


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