Sept 21, 2016

stuff our members are exploring:

egroupware-svgEGroupware Community Edition contains the largest variety of the groupware applications, functions and features available – free of charge. Calendar, Addressbook, E-mail, InfoLog – Task Management and File Manager.

sweethome3dlogoSweet Home 3D is a free interior design application that helps you draw the plan of your house, arrange furniture on it and visit the results in 3D.

fingAndroid/iOS: Fing – Network Tools. The top ranking, completely free and super-fast network scanner, that’s used by millions of homes and professionals around the world. Discover which devices are connected to any Wi-Fi network, map devices, detect intruders, assess network security risks, troubleshoot network problems and achieve best network performance, with the world’s most popular network toolkit. With more than a dozen free network tools including; Wi-Fi scanner, port scanner, DNS lookup, ping and service monitoring – Fing is a must-have network utility.

haskell-logo-svgHaskell: An advanced, purely functional programming language. Declarative, statically typed code.

primes = filterPrime [2..]
where filterPrime (p:xs) =
p : filterPrime [x | x <- xs, x `mod` p /= 0]

autodesk_logo_140x23Autodesk Fusion 360–3D CAD reinvented. Fusion 360 is the first 3D CAD, CAM, and CAE tool of its kind. It connects your entire product development process in a single cloud-based platform that works on both Mac and PC. Free for students, enthusiasts, hobbyists, and startups–Full use of Fusion 360 for as long as you need it.

adafruitAdafruit Feather HUZZAH ESP8266 – our take on an ‘all-in-one’ ESP8266 WiFi development board with built in USB and battery charging. Its an ESP8266 WiFi module with all the extras you need, ready to rock! Price: $15.95


lulzbot-tazThe LulzBot TAZ is a robust desktop 3D printer for industrial users engineered with industry-leading specifications and capabilities, including tool head upgrades and a large print area.

Next meetings on October 19th at Sharis restaurant on Sullivan.

Discovering Modern C++: An Intensive Course for Scientists, Engineers, and Programmers (C++ In-Depth)

As scientific and engineering projects grow larger and more complex, it is increasingly likely that those projects will be written in C++. With embedded hardware growing more powerful, much of its software is moving to C++, too. Mastering C++ gives you strong skills for programming at nearly every level, from “close to the hardware” to the highest-level abstractions. In short, C++ is a language that scientific and technical practitioners need to know. Continue reading “Discovering Modern C++: An Intensive Course for Scientists, Engineers, and Programmers (C++ In-Depth)”

Aug 17, 2016

Member Topics this month

Ubuntu Snap Packages give you updated, isolated apps when you need a package that is newer than what’s available in your current version. I can see this being useful in certain situations: while doing desktop publishing in LibreOffice, I’ve needed some of the new features but didn’t want to wait six months or a year for them to appear in a later version of Ubuntu. The full isolation means developers can control the environment and don’t have to worry about missing or out-dated dependencies. Adding your own PPAs is another way to keep up with newly released versions of your software.

MPEG-7: Another standard from the Moving Picture Experts Group which defines data structures to ride along with audio and video data to provide tags and other textual information and descriptions for the media files.
ZoneMinder: “A full-featured, open source, state-of-the-art video surveillance software system.” Looks like an interesting project–if anyone has some recent experience with this, or surveillance systems in general, this would be a good topic to discuss at a meeting.
OTRS: “one of the most flexible web-based ticketing systems used for Customer Service, Help Desk, IT Service Management.” I recently installed this app via Turnkey Linux by downloading a VM-ready image for VirtualBox. This is a quick way to test out server apps you might be interested in deploying. While a ticket response system may be overkill for a small business with just a couple employees, I found it to be well designed, flexible, and thought of many other areas where it could be useful as a sophisticated to-do list, reminder system, or problem solver. Ticket response is basically the art of gathering many incoming requests from customers and distributing them to the correct people and departments to handle them. Tickets can be monitored on their progress, prioritized, and can trigger timed events.

June 15, 2016

SCLogo_Main_20interesting member projects this month

check out Spokane’s own maker scene: Spokane Create!
The short story:
We are Spokane’s makerspace/hackerspace.  We get together and build cool stuff! Come join us!
The long story: Our Mission: Spokane CREATE! is organized to provide for the greater Spokane area a supportive & collaborative environment, materials, and physical space necessary to foster learning and understanding in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, & Mathematics (STEM); To encourage ingenuity and creativity in these fields through open exchange of knowledge & information, and; To promote STEM education in the community through active creation & hands-on experience
Open hours:
Wednesdays 5:30pm-8:30pm (Group Chat at 6:00pm)
Saturdays 10:00am-4:00pm
840 E Spokane Falls Blvd
Bay #1
Spokane, WA 99202

Linux Mint 17.3 Rosa
Our latest release is Linux Mint 17.3, codename “Rosa”.
The purpose of Linux Mint is to produce a modern, elegant and comfortable operating system which is both powerful and easy to use.
Linux Mint is the most popular desktop Linux distribution and the 3rd most widely used home operating system behind Microsoft Windows and Apple Mac OS.
Some of the reasons for the success of Linux Mint are:
It works out of the box, with full multimedia support and is extremely easy to use.
It’s both free of cost and open source.
It’s community-driven. Users are encouraged to send feedback to the project so that their ideas can be used to improve Linux Mint.
Based on Debian and Ubuntu, it provides about 30,000 packages and one of the best software managers.
It’s safe and reliable. Thanks to a conservative approach to software updates, a unique Update Manager and the robustness of its Linux architecture, Linux Mint requires very little maintenance (no regressions, no antivirus, no anti-spyware…etc).

Kodi (formerly known as XBMC) is an award-winning free and open source (GPL) software media center for playing videos, music, pictures, games, and more. Kodi runs on Linux, OS X, Windows, iOS, and Android, featuring a 10-foot user interface for use with televisions and remote controls. It allows users to play and view most videos, music, podcasts, and other digital media files from local and network storage media and the internet. Our forums and Wiki are bursting with knowledge and help for the new user right up to the application developer. We also have helpful , Google+, Twitter and Youtube pages.

Docker Containers: Build and Deploy with Kubernetes, Flannel, Cockpit, and Atomic

The Practical Guide to Running Docker on Linux Systems or Cloud Environments

Whether on your laptop or a remote cloud, Docker can transform how you create, test, deploy, and manage your most critical applications. In Docker Containers , Christopher Negus helps you master Docker containerization from the ground up. Continue reading “Docker Containers: Build and Deploy with Kubernetes, Flannel, Cockpit, and Atomic”

May 18, 2016


Some of our members have been asking about the Let’s Encrypt project that allows your web server to have an easy, validated SSL certificate for their web site. Having encryption is nice, but the ease of getting a certificate causes some concern about a site’s identity. For more information:

A rep from Lewis and Clark High School’s CyberPatriots team attended the meeting to talk about their program and perhaps recruit a speaker for their meeting. The CyberPatriots meet after school to practice defending and securing computers and servers from attack.

vagrantRandom projects dept. Vagrant: Create and configure lightweight, reproducible, and portable development environments.

Ruby: “a programmer’s best friend” A dynamic, open source programming language with a focus on simplicity and productivity. It has an elegant syntax that is natural to read and easy to write. Our members say: “Ruby—slow but great language”. Visit for more info.

Distros we are testing out: Xubuntu is an elegant and easy to use operating system. Xubuntu comes with Xfce, which is a stable, light and configurable desktop environment. Xubuntu is perfect for those who want the most out of their desktops, laptops and netbooks with a modern look and enough features for efficient, daily usage. It works well on older hardware too. Linux Mint wins the poll for which distro would be easiest for new Linux users to try out. I’m spending some time with Debian 8.4 with the Gnome 3 option and I’m very impressed. The Super Key is active by default for quickly locating apps and files—a faster way to navigate than hunting through menus. Check out the “The Universal Operating System” for yourself at:

onionWhat is Tor? Tor is free software and an open network that helps you defend against traffic analysis, a form of network surveillance that threatens personal freedom and privacy, confidential business activities and relationships, and state security. Fun project to test out; our members caution that it can be very slow however, so it is not for high-bandwidth applications.

xournalIf you need to annotate a pdf file give Xournal a try. Xournal is an application for note taking, sketching, or keeping a journal using a stylus. It is free software (GNU GPL) and runs on Linux (recent distributions) and other GTK+/Gnome platforms. It is similar to Microsoft Windows Journal or to other alternatives such as Jarnal, Gournal, and NoteLab. I recently tested it for adding some quick notes to a pdf file and found it easy to use.

Basic Information

Linux-penguin-smallThe Spokane Linux User’s Group has been meeting for over 15 years, discussing technology, Linux troubles, and advice. All are welcome to join us for festive Linux discussion over food and beer at Shari’s Restaurant, from the grizzled Unix long-beard to the timid newbie. There are no dues or registration—just drop by!
Meeting Times: held the third Wednesday of each month, at 7:00 PM. They generally run 1½ to 2 hours long.
Location: Find us at Shari’s Restaurant, in the Spokane Valley, on N. Sullivan just south of Valleyway. 320 N Sullivan Rd. Spokane Valley, WA 99037 MAP