Nov 8, 2020 – SIG-Computing: Home Automation – An Introduction; SIG-Linux: eBPF (a Linux kernel tool)

Sharan Kalwani, president of SEMCO, will start the meeting and make general announcements.

This link will be active on day of meeting

When: Sunday, Nov 8, 2020, at 1:15 P.M.
Where: Meetings will be on line until further notice.

Click here to be connected to the meeting. Please join the meeting about 1:00 PM or later.

We will be using zoom for this meeting.

Members will also receive an e mail on the day of the meeting, with the link and any further details and instructions about how to log on to the meeting.

SIG-Computing Topic:  Home Automation – An Introduction

Presented by Bill James

This presentation shows how Home Automation technology allows us to control our connected devices and appliances from a central hub using our Smartphone or Tablet. The presentation will explain how we can set up a system using widely available home automation devices. Are you worried about home automation devices listening in on your conversations? Wonder if your devices can be hacked and don’t know how to keep them from being hacked? Bill will answer these questions and more in this presentation, maybe making it a little bit easier to take the first step to automate your home and get a better price for it when you sell. 

Bill James is Vice President of the Computer Club Of Oklahoma City.

Also: Questions and Answers following the presentation.

When: Sunday, Nov 8, 2020 at 1:30 P.M.

Where: Meetings will be on line until further notice. Click on link shown above.

SIG-Linux Topic: eBPF (Extended Berkeley Packet Filter)

Presented by Sharan Kalwani

In all of the previous editions of SIG-Linux, only once have we briefly spoken about the Linux kernel itself and in another episode about the vast suite of performance/monitoring tools.
In the November 2020 brief session, I will introduce you to a new software tool for the Linux kernel called eBPF (Extended Berkeley Packet Filter) , which started life as bpf (now called “classic” or cBPF), which has now excited developers, and spawned a movement of its own. It will be brief but fun. In 2021 we can dive more into it, and also expect more Linux kernel stuff (ver 5.xxx  onwards) as well.

Also: Questions and Answers following the presentation.

Where: Meetings will be on line until further notice. Click on link shown above.

When: Sunday, Nov 8, 2020, at 3:00 P.M.

Recordings of Past SEMCO Meetings

The SEMCO meetings (except for SIG-Programming) since May 2020 have been recorded. To access the recordings, go to the bottom of each meeting notice and click on “Comment” and the links to the recordings will be displayed. Click on the links to play the recordings.

Oct 11, 2020 – SIG-Computing: Code Rush Movie with Special Guest: Wolf; SIG-Linux: Open Source hardware

Sharan Kalwani, president of SEMCO, will start the meeting and make general announcements.

When: Sunday, Oct 11, 2020, at 1:15 P.M.
Where: Meetings will be on line until further notice.

We will be using webex for this meeting. Prior to the meeting, please go to webex.com and download the webex client onto your device.

Click here to be connected to the meeting. Please join the meeting about 1:00 PM or later. Let it install Webex.exe if this is your first time using Webex. You will have to enter your name and email address.

Members will also receive an e mail on the day of the meeting, with the link and any further details and instructions about how to log on to the meeting.

SIG-Computing Topic:  Code Rush Movie 

Presented by Wolf 

The Mozilla web browser was released as an open source project on March 31, 1998. To celebrate 22 years of the Mozilla project we’ll be showing the movie ‘Code Rush’ which documents the last-minute rush to get the source code ready for release by the promised deadline.

The movie follows several Netscape engineers as they battle all kinds of problems getting everything ready for release.

As an extra special feature, we’ll have with us one of the prominently featured Netscape engineers who lived through the adventure.  Wolf (formerly known as Scott Collins) will be on hand to offer his comments and answers to your questions about the movie, and what it was like to work on what would become such an important project.

Also: Questions and Answers following the presentation.

When: Sunday, Oct 11, 2020 at 1:30 P.M.

Where: Meetings will be on line until further notice. Click on link shown above.

SIG-Linux Topic: Open source hardware

Presented by Sharan Kalwani

This month we will kick things up a notch and talk about Open Source Hardware! For many years we have heard about open source software, but you may be pleased to hear that there is a growing open source hardware movement afoot. While not all visible as Linux and friends, it deserves to be known and shared with all. We will spend the hour drinking from a fire hose and wealth of information on this topic.

Also: Questions and Answers following the presentation.

When: Sunday, Oct 11, 2020, at 3:00 P.M.

Where: Meetings will be on line until further notice. Click on link shown above.

Sept 13, 2020 – SIG-Computing: PowerShell: An Overview ; SIG-Linux: Linux shell roundup

Sharan Kalwani, president of SEMCO, will start the meeting and make general announcements.

When: Sunday, Sept 13, 2020, at 1:15 P.M.
Where: Meetings will be on line until further notice.

We will be using an open source software jitsi.org. Click here to be connected to the meeting. Please join the meeting about 1:00 PM or later.

Members will also receive an e mail on the day of the meeting, with the link and any further details and instructions about how to log on to the meeting.

SIG-Computing Topic:  Powershell: An Overview

Presented by Ryan Berry  

Ryan will present a brief overview on how to use PowerShell to automate the administration and management of both Windows and Linux machines. 

Ryan has over 20 years of application development experience working in technical leadership, architecture, development and support delivery roles helping customers, partners and ISVs envision and progress innovative ideas into functioning applications solving real world business and engineering challenges.  From line of business applications running mission critical Enterprise workloads to time sensitive real-time software running robots and lasers on the plant floor, Ryan’s background in development has spanned across many verticals, technologies and platforms.

Ryan has been at Microsoft over 13 years in many different roles in Microsoft services, consulting, support and most recently helping Enterprise customers across the US understand how to leverage cloud computing effectively as a Cloud Solution architect. 

Ryan has a BS in Computer Science from the University of Michigan and currently resides in Grand Blanc, MI with his wife Sara, daughter Ellie (15) and son Jack (18).  In his free time, he swims for US Masters swimming, competing in meets around the state. He is also a software mentor at Grand Blanc school’s FIRST robotics team and speaks occasionally at Microsoft user groups and high school career fairs in the community.  

Also: Questions and Answers following the presentation.

When: Sunday, Sept 13, 2020 at 1:30 P.M.

Where: Meetings will be on line until further notice. Click on link shown above.

SIG-Linux Topic: Linux shell roundup

Presented by Sharan Kalwani

Following right on the heels of the Power Shell presentation in SIG-Computing, we will quickly make folks aware of the huge variety of shells available in the Linux/Open Source world. Shells have been around since the earliest UNIX kernel and several inspired creations since then. We will briefly shine a little light on: bash, tcsh, zsh, and fish. While it is hard to do comprehensive coverage in 40 minutes or so, we will try to answer the question – which Linux shell is the best, how many types of shells are there, etc.

Also: Questions and Answers following the presentation.

When: Sunday, Sept 13, 2020, at 3:00 P.M.

Where: Meetings will be on line until further notice. Click on link shown above.

Aug 15, 2020 – SIG-Programming: Python

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Rick Fink, one of our members will introduce us to a free book on Python called “Python Programming for Beginners. No BS Beginners guide to Python Programming.” There is a $7.99 shipping and handling charge.

Rick will also talk about the latest version of his game program. All are welcome to attend.

Where: Richard Jackson’s home. Call Richard Jackson at 248-546-3694 for directions.

When: Saturday, Aug 15, 2020 at 2 PM.

Aug 9, 2020 – SIG-Computing: Mesh Wireless Networking ; SIG-Linux: What is new in the world of Linux

Sharan Kalwani, president of SEMCO, will start the meeting and make general announcements.

When: Sunday, Aug 9, 2020, at 1:15 P.M.
Where: Meetings will be on line until further notice.

We will be using an open source software jitsi.org. Please click here to join the meeting. Please join the meeting about 1:00 PM or later.

Members will receive an e mail on the day of the meeting, with the link and any further details and instructions about how to log on to the meeting.

SIG-Computing Topic:  Mesh Wireless Networking

Presented by Jeff Marraccini  

Previously limited to expensive commercial installations, over the past five years, mesh network technologies are now mainstream. Capabilities, pricing, ease of use, and longevity will be discussed along with a sampling of the current offerings, including some that are very open source friendly!

With the growing number of Internet of Things, home automation, shelter in place device growth, and other wireless usage needs, the time has come for mesh networking!  

We will also cover differences between “range extenders” and true mesh network deployments, and unfortunately, the current vendor lock-in with mesh networks. 

Jeff Marraccini is Senior Vice President, Global IT Systems at Altair Engineering, Inc. in Troy, Michigan.  He works with a very talented global team to support VPN services and remote work technologies for 75 sites around the world.  He has been with Altair for 23 years in various IT roles.  He lives in SE Michigan and may be emailed at marraccinijd@semco.org

Also: Questions and Answers following the presentation.

When: Sunday, Aug 9, 2020 at 1:30 P.M.

Where: Meetings will be on line until further notice. Click on link shown above.

SIG-Linux Topic: What is new in the world of Linux

Presented by Sharan Kalwani

This will be a round up of major news events in the Linux world (and a bit on the open source frontlines as well) which have taken place in the last 6 months.

Also: Questions and Answers following the presentation.

When: Sunday, Aug 9, 2020, at 3:00 P.M.

Where: Meetings will be on line until further notice. Click on link shown above.

Jul 12, 2020 – SIG-Computing: File Management in the Terabyte Age Part 2; SIG-Linux: Introduction to IoT

Sharan Kalwani, president of SEMCO, will start the meeting and make general announcements.

When: Sunday, Jul 12, 2020, at 1:15 P.M.
Where: Meetings will be on line until further notice.

We will be using an open source software jitsi.org. Click on this link to be connected to the meeting .

Please join the meeting about 1:00 PM or later.

To join by phone instead, tap this: +1.512.647.1431,,3549237316#

Looking for a different dial-in number?
See meeting dial-in numbers: https://meet.jit.si/static/dialInInfo.html?room=semco20200712

If also dialing-in through a room phone, join without connecting to audio: https://meet.jit.si/semco20200712#config.startSilent=true

Members will receive an e mail on the day of the meeting, with and any further details and instructions about how to log on to the meeting.

SIG-Computing Topic: File Management in the Terabyte Age Part 2 (with recap)

Presented by Mike Rudas

This presentation will integrate a recap of an earlier presentation on file manager software and move into some tips on organizing and backing up your data.

Michael Rudas is a long-time electronic and computer technician with experience with a broad variety of hardware and software. He is a free-software advocate and both a Linux and Microsoft Windows user. He is a member-at-large of the SEMCO board.

Also: Questions and Answers following the presentation.

When: Sunday, Jul 12, 2020 at 1:30 P.M.

Where: Meetings will be on line until further notice. Click on link shown above.

SIG-Linux Topic: Introduction to IoT

Presented by Sharan Kalwani

The IoT has infiltrated homes all around the country in the form of smart thermostats, smart speakers, and more. There are also a number of innovative IoT applications doing more than just making people’s lives easier or helping them play their favorite songs. In this session, the thrust will be intended to serve as an introduction to IoT, in order to help open up this new field of applications to a wider audience. Of course, Linux is one of the driving factors behind all IoT devices.

Also: Questions and Answers following the presentation.

When: Sunday, Jul 12, 2020, at 3:00 P.M.

Where: Meetings will be on line until further notice. Click on link shown above.

Jun 14, 2020 – SIG-Computing: VPN’s – Virtual Private Networks; SIG-Linux: Open Source Tech battles COVID-19

Sharan Kalwani, president of SEMCO, will start the meeting and make general announcements.

When: Sunday, Jun 14, 2020, at 1:15 P.M.
Where: Meetings will be on line until further notice.

We will be using an open source software jitsi.org. Click on this link to be connected to the meeting . The Password is 43$627%& . Please join the meeting about 1:00 PM or later.

Members will receive an e mail on the day of the meeting, with the password and any further details and instructions about how to log on to the meeting.

SIG-Computing Topic:  VPN’s – Virtual Private Networks

Presented by Jeff Marraccini  

Governments, businesses, and other organizations have used VPN clients for years to work remotely, remote control computers, and provide security over public networks like coffee-houses or even competitors. 
For the last few years, the safety and power of these solutions are now available to us as consumers!  There are many options, so we will discuss navigating the paid and free services, risks they have, and some family-friendly options.

Recently, a new VPN technology, WireGuard, has emerged and is now a native part of Linux!  WireGuard is easy to set up and use and will be discussed. We will also cover options to protect you on computers, smartphones, and tablets.

Jeff Marraccini is Senior Vice President, Global IT Systems at Altair Engineering, Inc. in Troy, Michigan.  He works with a very talented global team to support VPN services and remote work technologies for 75 sites around the world.  He has been with Altair for 23 years in various IT roles.  He lives in SE Michigan and may be emailed at marraccinijd@semco.org

Also: Questions and Answers following the presentation.

When: Sunday, Jun 14, 2020 at 1:30 P.M.

Where: Meetings will be on line until further notice. Click on link shown above.

SIG-Linux Topic: Open Source Technology battles COVID-19

Presented by Sharan Kalwani

This talk will highlight two major areas, out of many fronts, which are being used to help fight the virus:

  •     Open Source Low cost ventilator Design
  •     Use of Linux based HPC and open source Machine Learning/AI to figure out, track and learn about this new virus

From health professionals and protective equipment to tests and ventilators, the COVID-19 pandemic is stretching our finite healthcare resources dangerously thin. As a result, this unprecedented test of our healthcare system is forcing us to be agile and adaptable. One of the weapons we have in our arsenal is open source technology.

Other growing areas of technology will also be briefly discussed, time permitting.

Also: Questions and Answers following the presentation.

When: Sunday, Jun 14, 2020, at 3:00 P.M.

Where: Meetings will be on line until further notice. Click on link shown above.