May 10, 2015 – Windows 10 Insider Preview Update & Linux Distributions and Desktop Environments

Special Interest Groups (SIGs)

Topic: Microsoft Windows 10:

SIG_Computing Chairman Jeff Marraccini will discuss Microsoft’s upcoming Windows 10 and demonstrate the Windows 10 Technical Preview. Windows 10 is coming later this summer! SEMCO Members and guests will have an opportunity to see the most recent Technical Preview releases at our May 10, 2015 meeting and to discuss the pre-upgrade backup process, when, and how to upgrade. We will also discuss when it is best to just backup files and start over, particularly if you would like to jump from a hard drive to a solid state disk (SSD) at the time of the upgrade.

Microsoft is providing the Windows 10 upgrade for free for most users for the first year, as long as you have a valid Windows 7 or higher license!

Once Windows 10 is released in a few months we will revisit this and have a clinic to help with upgrade specifics. Stay in touch with SEMCO and become a member!

Jeff has been with Altair Engineering for 18 years in various IT roles, and currently manages a world-wide team taking care of computing, network, and related services for 2,200 staff across more than 40 sites. His team manages many computing clusters based on Linux distributions and Windows Server along with several storage back-ends. Jeff resides in Troy, Michigan and his LinkedIn site is

Also: Questions and Answers.
When: Sunday, May 10, 2015 at 1:30 P.M.
Where: Map to meetings at Altair Engineering

Topic: Linux Distributions and Desktop Environments:

Members of the group will discuss and demonstrate their favorite Linux distributions and desktop environments. All are welcome to come and/or bring in their computers and participate.

When: Sunday, May 10, 2015 at 4:00 P.M.
Where: Map to meetings at Altair Engineering

Free Wi-Fi available.


April 12, 2015 – LibreOffice & The GIMP

Special Interest Groups (SIGs)

Topic: LibreOffice Calc:

Kevin O’Brien will present LibreOffice Calc which is the spreadsheet program in the LibreOffice suite. Spreadsheets are the essential tool in business, and are credited with the rise of the personal computer when VisiCalc and Lotus 1-2-3 made a desktop PC nearly universal in companies. LibreOffice offers a very good spreadsheet component called Calc. As the name implies, it is primarily a tool for performing calculations, but it can do even more, and we will show you how to use the program effectively to build models, do “what-if ” analysis, and even more! Come and learn the techniques that will make you more productive with this program.

Kevin O’Brien is a Project Manager for Ford, and a LibreOffice fan. He is recording a series of tutorials on LibreOffice for Hacker Public Radio, and has presented on this topic at Ohio LinuxFest, Penguicon, Indiana LinuxFest, and local Linux user groups. He always prefers to use free software.

Also: Questions and Answers.

When: Sunday, April 12, 2015 at 1:30 P.M.
Where: Map to meetings at Altair Engineering

Topic: GIMP:

SIG-Linux Chairman Brian Brodsky will lead the fourth in a set of presentations on GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program). GIMP is an open source and freely distributed raster graphics editor used for many tasks including photo retouching and image creation. It is available on many platforms including Linux, BSD, Windows and Mac OS X. All are welcome.

When: Sunday, April 12, 2015 at 4:00 P.M.
Where: Map to meetings at Altair Engineering

Topic: Python:

We are learning Python using the book “Learning Python” by Mark Lutz. It is an O’Reilly book, but can also be purchased at Amazon

We are to read Chapter 6, “The Dynamic Typing Interlude” for the next meeting. If you have any questions contact Richard Jackson (see below). All are welcome to come.

Where: Richard Jackson’s home. Call Richard Jackson at 248-546-3694 for directions.
When: Saturday, March 21, 2015 at 2:00 P.M.

March 8, 2015 – Virtualization and Sandboxing using VirtualBox

Sway link:

Remember those adventure games with “save game” before something dangerous (or dinnertime!) and “restore game”?

Virtual Machines and sandboxes give you that capability for entire computers or applications! As long as you “take a snapshot” after you have the basics set up, you may instantly revert a virtual machine back to a safe state!

Oracle VirtualBox Manager - Snapshots browser
Oracle VirtualBox Manager – Snapshots browser

Read more