CUUG Meetings: 2007-2008
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Annual General Meeting and Elections

The Calgary UNIX Users' Group is holding its Annual General Meeting and election of the 2008/2009 Board of Directors. Nominees so far include the following:

Nominees' biographies are now available. We still need people who would be willing to serve on the Board, so if you can spare one evening a month (usually following the General Meeting), please contact cuugboard or any of the current directors.

W.R. Castell Central Library

616 Macleod Trail S.E.
Basement meeting room

6:00 PM, Tuesday, June 24, 2008

June General Meeting

A Linux Only Enterprise -- 8 years and counting

Speakers: Ron Visser (Founder and CEO) and Shane Denovan (CTO), Beyond Compliance Inc.

Overview of Beyond Compliance Inc.

  • What led to insisting on Linux? Linux / FreeBSD background
  • BCI the early years - Surviving the .com bust
  • BCI today - Software used and lessons learned

Rationale behind distro decisions.

  • Software benchmarks / comparisons
  • Performance, stability and scaling discussions

Development experiences and converting Windows developers to Linux developers.

  • "Selling Linux" - experiences from boardrooms and sales calls.
  • General Electric Venture Capital financing - how Linux factored into the decision

(Time permitting)
Security (IDS, NIDS, Firewall, Backups, Encrypted Filesystems)

Shane joined Beyond Compliance as the Chief Systems Architect in 2000. As CTO, Shane is responsible for establishing and executing Beyond Compliance's technology architecture strategy. He has over 15 years of Information Technology experience and brings a diverse skill-set to Beyond Compliance that includes expertise in such areas as programming, security, networking, databases, operating systems, PDA devices, and internet-based server software. Shane holds multiple degrees from the University of Calgary including: a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science, a Bachelor of Science in Psychology, and a Bachelor of Science in Zoology.

Shane was first exposed to Linux in 1997 and later used Linux and FreeBSD on a major project for medical software. The stability, performance and power of Linux made a significant impression. In late 2000 Shane was hired at Beyond Compliance Inc. and insisted on exclusively using Linux for the company's server platforms.

W.R. Castell Central Library

616 Macleod Trail S.E.
Basement meeting room

5:30 PM, Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Free admission for the general public.
Door prizes.

May General Meeting

Software Development and the Law

Speaker: George Wowk, Lawyer, Burnet, Duckworth & Palmer

George will provide an overview of intellectual property and its importance in software development, including avoiding infringing third party rights and obtaining value from your own intellectual property. George will also discuss software development in an open source environment.

George A. Wowk has been a lawyer since 1996. His practice is restricted to intellectual property, technology law, privacy and franchise law. Prior to becoming a lawyer, he spent three years as a computer programmer working in AIX on the RS/6000. As well, George is the Chief Editor of the Intellectual Property Law Server. The Server is the largest intellectual property portal on the Internet and can be found at www.intelproplaw.com. The Server runs on OpenBSD.

W.R. Castell Central Library

616 Macleod Trail S.E.
Basement meeting room

5:30 PM, Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Free admission for the general public.
Door prizes.

April General Meeting

IBM POWER Technology: Past, Present, and Future

Speaker: Ray Williams, IBM

Ray will present a flashback on POWER and AIX progress over the last two decades, and the road to Unix system leadership.

Ray Williams (IBM career: 1976 - present) is a member of a worldwide IBM team that shares responsibility for server comparative positioning. This involves positioning across IBM's Systems portfolio (System z - S390; Power Systems (Systemi/p, AS400, RS6000); System x - X86 Intel/Opteron; IBM BladeCenter - x86 Intel/Opteron, POWER6 and Cell processor blades) as well as across historic Unix alternatives. Ray's current role is as a POWER advocate for Canada. His responsibilities include provision of POWER Systems education for IBMers and Business Partners as well as POWER strategy and capabilities presentations for customers.

W.R. Castell Central Library

616 Macleod Trail S.E.
Basement meeting room

5:30 PM, Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Door prizes.

March General Meeting

High Performance Computing and Linux

Speaker: Peter Madden, IBM

From the traditional Big Blue Box to clusters and now supercomputers on a chip, High Performance Computing has grown from its government and research roots to be a common sight in many commercial and academic sites. Once the exclusive domain of Government funded super secret programs, HPC has proven to be a useful tool for research and business insight as well. While these organizations still represent the majority of applications, the core components of parallelism and scaling are impacting our use of personal computers, gaming and of course the Web.

Central to this is the requirement for a flexible and reliable operating system. Linux has proven itself to be the de facto choice for the vast majority of HPC systems today commanding greater than 85% share. From the kernel through the management and scheduling tools and even visualization, Linux continues to grow, mature and be key to the pervasive expansion of higher performance computing to a wider audience.

Peter will walk the group through the growth of Supercomputers from the early days through its current form, while highlighting the contributions Linux has made to enabling access to an ever wider audience. From there, we will discuss the future of Supercomputing, its relevance to everyday PC's and its impact on society through advances in research, business and even gaming.

Peter Madden is the IBM HPC Manager for Western Canada. Based in Vancouver, Peter has been with IBM for the last 9 years, working in the hardware side of the company in both the Intel based and UNIX server groups as well as IBM's Digital Media team. He currently manages the High Performance Computing (aka Supercomputing) portfolio of products for IBM in Western Canada.

W.R. Castell Central Library

616 Macleod Trail S.E.
Basement meeting room

5:30 PM, Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Door prizes.

February General Meeting

CUUG Open House

This month is the Calgary UNIX Users' Group's annual Open House. Whether you're new to CUUG or a long-time member, drop by the University of Calgary on Tuesday, February 26, for an opportunity to meet with representatives of CUUG and other user groups, as well as such major vendors as IBM and Sun. In addition to checking out the exhibits, you'll be able to take in interesting talks on a wide range of subjects.

Speakers

Exhibitors

Location

University of Calgary
2500 University Dr. N.W.
Science B, rooms SB144 and SB148
map from University Station to Science B

6:00 PM, Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Admission is free to the general public.
Door prizes and light snacks will be available.

Open House Presentations

Thin Clients in a Heterogeneous World

Speaker: Roland Davis, Sun

Roland will discuss Thin Clients Technologies and interoperability of these thin clients with Windows and UNIX desktop and server environments. Roland will also have a portable thin client demo with him for his presentation and for viewing and testing at the Sun exhibition booth.

Roland Davis is a Sun Microsystems Software Solutions Architect.

Proactive Security Features

Speaker: Bob Beck, OpenBSD

The raison d'être of the OpenBSD project, started by Calgary's own Theo de Raadt, is to provide the most secure UNIX-like operating system, available to anyone for any purpose, with no restrictions. The related OpenSSH project has become the world's de facto standard for secure shell communication. Bob will discuss the philosophical underpinnings of OpenBSD, as well as the current focus for its upcoming 4.3 release in May.

Bob Beck is an active OpenBSD developer, residing in Edmonton.

POWER and AIX progress

Speaker: Ray Williams, IBM

Ray will present a flashback on POWER and AIX progress over the last two decades, and the road to Unix system leadership.

Ray Williams (IBM career: 1976 - present) is a member of a worldwide IBM team that shares responsibility for server comparative positioning. This involves positioning across IBM's Systems portfolio (System z - S390; System i - AS400; System p - RS6000; System x - X86 Intel/Opteron; IBM BladeCenter - x86 Intel/Opteron, POWER6 and Cell processor blades) as well as across historic Unix alternatives. Ray's current role is as a POWER advocate for Canada. His responsibilities include provision of POWER Systems education for IBMers and Business Partners as well as POWER strategy and capabilities presentations for customers.

Using UNIX for 3D Visualization in the Faculty of Medicine

Speaker: Ariane Mather, University of Calgary

Ariane will discuss how the UNIX team in the UofC's Faculty of Medicine uses UNIX for 3D Visualization, their use of Solaris Zones, Sun Rays and their unique storage infrastructure design.

Ariane Mather is a UNIX Systems Administrator with the University of Calgary's Faculty of Medicine.

What is Agile?

Speaker: Kris Read, CAMUG

CAMUG will present a short talk on the history, philosophy, and practices of agile software development. This presentation will deliver a brief overview of what agile methods are and why they are popular, but will also attempt to dispel common myths and fit agile methods into the "real world" beyond University. The goal will be emphasizing how agile methods and the Calgary agile community work, and why students might be interested in becoming involved. The audience may be surprised to learn that Calgary is famous for being one of North America's most "agile cities", and that CAMUG attracts a very diverse group of people, from students to testers, researchers, software developers, managers and even CEOs.

Kris Read is Moderator of the Calgary Agile Methods User Group (CAMUG), which is in its sixth successful season and draws an audience of 50+ to monthly talks and presentations. Kris is also a Sr. Software Developer at Calgary-based Call Genie, the leader in voice-enabled localized search technology. Call Genie competes with services like Google 411, but works directly with major telco companies such as Telus or Verizon on cutting edge voice recognition and search products. Kris holds a thesis-based M.Sc. in Computer Science from the University of Calgary, where his thesis centered on acceptance test driven design, and was titled "Supporting Distributed Teams via TDD". His professional interests include software process improvement and building effective teams; he has been involved in the global and local agile communities since 2001.

January General Meeting

Linux4Kids

Speaker: Kin Wong, Calgary Linux Users Group

Details TBA

Kin Wong is President of the Calgary Linux Users Group.

W.R. Castell Central Library

616 Macleod Trail S.E.
Basement meeting room

5:30 PM, Tuesday, January 22, 2008

CUUG Life Member: Roy Brander

The Calgary UNIX Users' Group is pleased to announce the investment of Roy Brander as a CUUG Life Member.

Roy Brander

Roy's involvement with CUUG dates back to its early days, when he wrote and edited CUUG's newsletter, the CUUGer. Roy also spearheaded the BSDWall OpenBSD-based firewall project, which enabled CUUG members to transform obsolete 486 PCs into fully-functioning hardware firewalls for home use. He served on CUUG's Board of Directors for a number of years, including as President from 2005 to 2006.

Roy has given a number of presentations to CUUG on a wide variety of subjects, including the BSDWall project, the MEPIS Linux distribution, the Titanic (the ship, not the movie), management of Calgary's water mains, and, most recently, the ASUS Eee PC and Moore's Law. Anyone who has had a chance to hear Roy speak knows what a dynamic and entertaining speaker he can be.

Thank you, Roy, for your past and on-going contributions to the Calgary UNIX Users' Group!

December General Meeting

Moore's Law Said It Backwards: Why Microsoft is Doomed

Speaker: Roy Brander

The usual statement of Moore's Law implies that the price paid for technology always remains the same while the payback expands exponentially. At a slower rate, however - about a halving per decade - the amount of the typical "useful" purchase has been going down. It is now reaching the low hundreds - the same classic "inflection point" where appliances gain massive market share. In this realm, expensive software is an untenable business model.

The presentation will be given using a $400 ASUS Eee PC.

Roy Brander, P.Eng. is the Sr. Infrastructure Engineer for Water Resources, The City of Calgary. He also has a degree in computer science and began programming on punch cards in 1971. He has owned a VIC-20, C64, Atari 1040ST, and a forgettable series of i386 boxes, the last eight years running Linux. He used to rescue old 486 machines to become OpenBSD firewalls, but now rescues cats.

Please note that this meeting takes place on the 2nd Tuesday of the month, rather than the usual 4th Tuesday.

W.R. Castell Central Library

616 Macleod Trail S.E.
Basement meeting room

5:30 PM, Tuesday, December 11, 2007 (2nd Tuesday)

In the spirit of the season, attendance at this meeting is free! You need not be a CUUG member to attend (although you are, of course, welcome to join).
Door prizes.

November General Meeting

Military UNIX simulation

Speaker: Lyle Bateman

The AWES software allows soldiers to replicate combat conditions almost completely without using live ammo. In the past, such exercises were of limited value, mostly due to the lack of situational awareness for those running the exercises. It's pretty easy for a company commander to track his men, and point out on the spot when someone in his group of 10 does something that needs correcting, but from the point of view of the battalion commander, looking at 1000+ soldiers, in the days before electronic tracking that commander had almost no awareness of what was happening on the ground during exercises.

AWES allows us to track all soldiers and vehicles across the battlefield, and record their movement and combat activity. It shows the locations of all soldiers and vehicles, as well as showing when they fire, what kind of ammo, who they were shooting at, and accuracy data. Further, commanders can simulate real-world conditions like nuclear and biological attacks, mortar fire, air support, and missile attacks, among other things. Newly added capability for the Afghan mission includes a special suicide vest and roadside bomb setup.

Lyle Bateman has been in systems for about 20 years now, including oil, media, and military applications. He spent 5 years overseas managing a seismic processing centre in Lagos, Nigeria in the 90's, and for the past 5 years has been the senior UNIX system consultant for Cubic/AWES BATUS ... which essentially means the Cubic Area Weapons Effects System at the British Army Training Unit, Suffield.

W.R. Castell Central Library

616 Macleod Trail S.E.
Basement meeting room

5:30 PM, Tuesday, November 27, 2007

$10 attendance fee, free for CUUG members.
Door prizes.

October General Meeting

New Developments at MySQL

Speaker: Peter Gulutzan

The talk will be about how the company works, how the company's DBMS product works, the new "Falcon" back end, what's in the latest version, what's coming in the next version, and ... well, whatever happens to be the most exciting topic within the company on October 23, 2007.

Peter Gulutzan is a Senior Software Architect for MySQL AB. He lives in Edmonton.

W.R. Castell Central Library

616 Macleod Trail S.E.
Basement meeting room

5:30 PM, Tuesday, October 23, 2007

$10 attendance fee, free for CUUG members.
Door prizes.

COSSFEST 07

COSSFEST 07 (Calgary Open Source Systems Festival) will bring together professionals, students and enthusiasts who share a common interest in Open Source software. This one-day conference and expo will be made up of speakers and hourly workshops. Booths featuring hardware vendors, software companies, services companies, and (of course) user groups will be on hand. This event is the largest free technology event in Calgary!

COSSFEST 07 will publicize open source systems and educate the community at large on how open source systems can satisfy their software needs. This is a great opportunity for visionaries, developers, technologists, entrepreneurs, programmers, CIOs, CTOs, educators, not-for-profit leaders, hackers and average users to meet, network and learn.

COSSFEST 07
4-Nines Dining Centre, John Ware Building
SAIT Polytechnic
1301 - 16th Avenue NW, Calgary, AB T2M 0L4
Saturday, October 27, 2007
9:30 am to 5:30 pm.
This is a FREE event
(Registration for attendance is required at www.cossfest.ca)
For more information, please visit: www.cossfest.ca
Contact: Kin Wong at 403.617.9316 or e-mail: info@cossfest.ca
Everyone interested in Linux, Unix, Open Source and Free Software is welcome.

As in past years, CUUG is pleased to be a sponsor of this event.

September General Meeting

Monitoring Heterogeneous IT Environments with Open Source Tools

Speaker: Greg King

In today's "always on" IT environments, monitoring network devices and servers to ensure continuous availability of applications is becoming more important to businesses of all sizes. The choices for monitoring are large and growing every day. This presentation will review the options available and the selection process that was followed to create a very functional enterprise class monitoring environment using only freely available open source tools. It will briefly delve into the internals of these tools to demonstrate advanced functionality. If time and facilities permit there will be a live demo.

Greg King has over 25 years of experience in the management of operational IT systems from mainframes to PCs and UNIX. Formerly, he has held senior technical positions with oil and gas companies and an IT vendor.

Greg's current activities revolve around WAN acceleration using leading edge Riverbed appliances, and enterprise management systems such as HP OpenView and some of the leading open source solutions in this area. His in-depth knowledge of these systems enables him to position them for maximum customer benefit.

Greg King is the Director Technical Services at One Network Inc., a Calgary based network solutions company.

W.R. Castell Central Library

616 Macleod Trail S.E.
Basement meeting room

5:30 PM, Tuesday, September 25, 2007

$10 attendance fee, free for CUUG members.
Door prizes.

Con-Version 23 Discount for CUUG members

The Calgary UNIX Users' Group (CUUG) and the Calgary Science Fiction and Fantasy Society (CSFFS) are pleased to offer a $5 discount on attendance at Con-Version 23, Calgary's annual science fiction convention. To take advantage of this, send e-mail to office at cuug.ab.ca with "Con-Version" as the subject, then register as usual for the convention, but noting a $5 CUUG discount; we'll verify your CUUG membership directly to Con-Version registration.

Also, non-CUUG members who attend Con-Version may attend one CUUG meeting within the next year for free, by showing their Con-Version name badge.

Con-Version takes place on the weekend of August 17-19, 2007, at the Calgary Radisson Hotel. For more details, check the Con-Version web site.

Welcome to the 2007/2008 CUUG Year!

Thank you to everyone who has renewed their CUUG membership for 2007/2008. For those of you who are still getting around to it, it's not too late! Membership fees remain at $50.00 (no GST), and cheques can be made payable to Calgary UNIX Users' Group. Our mailing address is still the same:
Calgary Unix Users' Group
Box 878, Station M
Calgary, Alberta, Canada, T2P 2J3

For those of you who are not yet members, please consider joining us!


At the June meeting, the following people were elected to the CUUG Board of Directors:

  • Christopher Aziz (President)
  • Dick Miller (Vice President)
  • Alan Dewar (Chairman)
  • Kent Drager (Secretary)
  • Peter Cromer (Treasurer)
  • Mike Babulic
  • Glenn Gunn
  • Mark Hewitt
  • Jeff Meidinger
  • Brian Richardson
  • Anthony Roberts
Read all about them.