SIG-Computing and SIG-Linux Meeting notes from 8-May-2016

Thank you for the great meeting today!  Please keep the discussion going!

SIG-Computing:  Windows Subsystem for Linux, and intro to Google Apps

Windows 10 pricing will be $119 for Home edition after July 29, 2016.  Install fest recommended in late June 2016 – email

May “Patch Tuesday” patches expose the ”Get Windows 10” program again in Windows 7 and 8.1!  If you wish to prevent upgrades, check out Steve Gibson’s website:

Mike recommended

Web site maintainers, please patch OpenSSL and ImageMagick

Summer is a great time to get outdoors and away from computers, to interact with people more.  Great time to take more pictures.  Protect electronics from very hot temperatures and direct sunlight.

Ubuntu 16.04 LTS is out and will be covered at SIG-Linux today (4PM).  Please be careful upgrading.  Kevin O’Brien and some others have had trouble with the initial release.  I suggest waiting for the 16.04.01 release in a few days.

New Nvidia Pascal GPU’s released. AMD Polaris coming end of May.

Windows 10 – Windows Subsystem for Linux

Windows NT heritage

A real subsystem with its own process tree

Limitations – as a subsystem there are barriers.  Currently at least, file exchange may be awkward due to Linux v Windows carriage control, difference on allowed file names, and strong Windows file locking (Linux processes can access files while they are in use, in Windows that is more challenging), but Canonical and Microsoft have worked hard on these issues so far!

sudo apt-get install emacs     — It works!  Native Linux Emacs working on Windows!

ssh myusername@myhostname     — very good, some terminal emulation glitches in the preview, but promising!

sftp mysername@myhostname:myfile /home/jeff/stuff/        — wow!  Had to install PuTTY to do this in the past, and it was a bit slow.  WSL version is fast and can handle huge files!

rsync    — yay!  Works on Windows paths under /mnt/c  !

SEMCO’s Google Apps for NonProfits

Transitioning our email service to it

No advertisements

Data protection serivce level agreement is stronger than the consumer service

YouTube, Google Drive (Sheets/Docs/Keep, etc.)

The No-No of

  • None of us may use for any commercial use!
  • Do not run a home business using Google Apps for NonProfits!
  • Do not use it for consulting!
  • With this said, though, it is no problem to apply what you learn using to your own site!

Groups may help us if Yahoo! Groups declines with the sale of Yahoo!

Having a email address is a lot better than!

Excellent collaboration facilities allow us to work together to create presentations, documentations, and yes, A SEMCO NEWSLETTER!

SIG-Linux: Ubuntu 16.04 LTS

ZFS – controversial licensing, but great to have stability in a scalable file system for Linux!  The other alternatives are still very limited, but ZFS is very mature.

ZFS has awareness of solid state disks, may use them for caching or regular storage, with or without regular hard drives.

Improvements in the GUI

Updated packages

5 YEAR support lifetime!

Upgrade will be supported soon, but please do not upgrade right away.  Please wait for the upcoming sub-release.

ZFS Demo in Ubuntu 16.04 LTS:

sudo zpool create testpool sdb sdc sdd –f    # this will wipe disks, no redundancy!

sudo zpool list

RAIDz data redundancy (can handle loss of 1 drive, z2=2 lost, z3=3)

sudo zpool create testpool raidz sdb sdc sdd –f

sudo zpool status; sudo zpool list

sudo zpool add testpool spare sde  # add spare drive

sudo zpool autoreplace=on testpool  # allow auto use of spare drive

sudo zfs create testpool/jeff1  # Look, no partitioning needed!

sudo zfs list

sudo zfs set quota=5g testpool/jeff1  # you may resize this later!

sudo zfs set mountpoint=/home/jeff/jeff1 testpool/jeff1

# automatically mounts the file system, check ”mount”!

Other ZFS commands are available to export file systems via NFS, add/remove drives from pools, export and import, and do snapshots!


This is a promising release!  Please visit for other new features and to download it!




May 8, 2016 – SIG-Computing: Windows 10 Subsystem for Linux and Google Apps, SIG-Linux: Ubuntu 16.04 LTS

General Announcements

Mike Bader, president of SEMCO, will start the meeting and make general announcements.

When: Sunday, May 8, 2016 at 1:30 P.M.
Where: Map to meetings at Altair Engineering


Topic: Windows 10 Subsystem for Linux and Google Apps:

SIG-Computing Chairman Jeff Marraccini will present Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) in Windows 10: a look at the bash shell and the utilities available in the recent Insider Preview builds of Microsoft Windows 10. We will examine the WSL and discuss Canonical’s contribution to the upcoming Windows 10 Redstone release. Impacts of what bash and its related utilities in Windows 10 bring to the marketplace and our individual usage of Windows will also be discussed. Canonical and Microsoft have worked hard on this: what are they seeking to accomplish?

We will also take a quick look at SEMCO’s Google Apps for NonProfits site. SEMCO members may take advantage of this new service to gain an email address, work on documents with other SEMCO members, family, and friends, and take advantage of an advertisement-free Google environment with strong data privacy protections.

Also: Questions and Answers following the presentation and during the social period before the SIG-Linux meeting. Snacks available during the social period.
When: Sunday, May 8, 2016 at 1:45 P.M.
Where: Map to meetings at Altair Engineering


Topic: Ubuntu 16.04 LTS:

SIG-Computing Chairman Jeff Marraccini will perform a brief demonstration of the recent Ubuntu 16.04 LTS Linux distribution.

Ubuntu 16.04 LTS and related distributions (KUbuntu, LUbuntu, etc.) have been released in April 2016. This release includes the Zettabyte File System (ZFS) with the controversial license conflicts. Some have called for Canonical to be sanctioned, others hail ZFS as the definitive throwing down of the gauntlet between the various open source distribution licenses. We look at Ubuntu 16.04 LTS from both home and server viewpoints. Please do not upgrade just yet, though, there are some issues with this initial release on some hardware.

All are welcome.

When: Sunday, May 8, 2016 at 4:00 P.M.
Where: Map to meetings at Altair Engineering
Free Wi-Fi available.

APCUG Virtual Technology Conference Saturday 7-May-2016 @ 1PM EDT!

[ This message was forwarded by — Jeff ]


FREE 2016 Spring Virtual Technology Conference (VTC)
Saturday, May 7
1:00 pm – 5:00 pm Eastern time

Attend the FREE conference from the convenience of your own home! All you need is your computer, tablet, etc. and Internet access. The sessions are 50 minutes in length and offer attendees the opportunity to ask questions via Q&A; the questions are answered by the presenter at the end of the presentation or via e-mail if there isn’t enough time after the presentation.

Read more

Ask Leo! articles now available via Creative Commons license

Leo A. Notenboom of the Ask Leo! site has kindly released his articles via the Creative Commons license.  Leo publishes frequently, and as of this posting, has 594 free articles of useful computer tips over several years of publication.

His current newsletter is available at:

It is possible to subscribe to his mailing list to receive updates of new content automatically.

Leo’s kindness in using the Creative Commons license for his work allows re-use of the materials to help others.  Please see his site for more details.

Thank you to Bob Clyne for finding this resource!  Enjoy!


James A. Fortune’s PowerShell notes – SIG-Computing – March 2016 meeting –

Our thanks to James A. Fortune for his March 2016 presentation!

James has provided a copy of this presentation file at:

The supplemental notes and documents are at:



[ Updated 26-Mar-2016 ] SEMCO’s 40th Anniversary celebration – Sunday, 10-Apr-2016 at 1:30PM

birthday_cakeSEMCO, the SouthEastern Michigan Computer Organization, is celebrating its 40th Anniversary on Sunday, 10-Apr-2016, at its general meeting!

SEMCO has been serving local computer and technology enthusiasts since the early days of personal computing and holds regular monthly discussions on interesting technology topics, including cyber security, leveraging open source software, strengths of Linux, Windows, and tablet operating systems, and more!

Our members are passionate on sharing their knowledge of what is possible now and what the future brings.

We will be serving light refreshments.  Please see below for the meeting topics and presenters.

Members will be bringing in several vintage computer systems and demonstrating access to some platforms that were in use in the early days of our group.  If you are interested in bringing hardware to the meeting, please let us know at

Please join us in our celebration!

Meeting location:
Altair Engineering, Inc.
1820 E. Big Beaver Rd.
Troy, MI 48083
Please park and enter the Auditorium through the West entry door by the SEMCO signs.

We are featuring three outstanding speakers:

Mike Bader SEMCO President will talk about when he first joined SEMCO, his first computer, the technology changes, Bulletin Board Systems and FidoNet.

Jim Rarus, SEMCO’s second president, will provide a retrospective look at the beginning of the personal computer revolution.

Jim is the manager of Network and Security Services for the Wayne Regional Educational Service Agency. Jim oversees Internet and technology services for school districts in Wayne County, Michigan.

Sharan Kalwani, a super computing expert, will present “Gazing into the Digital Crystal Ball: Trying to imagine the next 40 years would look like!”

The world of computing has now come to change all of our lives, in many ways no one could have imagined. Given the rapid pace of the last 40+ years, many techniques (and technologies) pioneered in this space have become a de facto way of life. For example, automation of many routine tasks, the way movies are made, logistics, travel, commerce, making the globe just another big village, big brother, “big data”, etc.,etc.

So taking cue from the past, I will attempt at imagining what kind of new boundaries we will be pushing aside in the never ending thirst for bigger and faster. There are a myriad of frontiers such as energy consumption, energy efficiency, turning the classical computer architecture as we know it, on its head, the growing use of weird computers of all kinds, some oddball forays in shaping silicon and a few innovative, maybe wild twists with existing models of digital life as we know it.

One thing is for certain, the next 40 years will most likely look totally different that the past! Or will it not?

Sharan Kalwani is currently the Director at the High Performance Computing Center, which is part of the Institute for Cyber-Enabled Research, Michigan State University.

SIG-Computing Meeting Notes from 13-Mar-2016 meeting

Thank you for the great meeting! Notes are below.  Please see the very bottom for items we talked about during the meeting.

SEMCO Members:  you should have received your account information via email.  If not, please see an officer.  Thank you!

Android N preview is out!

RemixOS for PC beta (Windows or dual boot):

Watch out for some new malware spreading from Microsoft!  *sigh*  Some SEMCO members have reported that their Windows 7 systems started installing Windows 10 because they did not cancel the dialog in time.  See to block if needed.

Reminder to disconnect backup drives when not in active use.  Leaving them connected may result in them being damaged if you get malware or worse, ”ransomware”.  If possible, rotate backup media (2-3 hard drives).  Had report of that happening to a local Windows 7 user early this month!

Windows 10 Upgrade and “phone home lock down” clinic in April, May, or June before free upgrades end?  Would involve bringing your systems, AFTER you back them up.  Evening or weekend, and we could do it a couple times. Interested?

Apple’s next event is March 21.  New iPhone, iPads?  Day after that is their next time in front of court with the FBI v. Apple iPhone unlock case.  March will be an interesting month!

Ditto tool discussed today (very nice clipboard manager for Windows, might come in handy during tax time):

Windows 10 install clinic April, May, or June, any preferences?  We can run it 2-3 times before Microsoft withdraws the free upgrades in July 2016 if useful.  Please discuss at

Before attending the Windows 10 install clinic:

Must backup your computer first, and keep the backup at home

Backup possibilities:


Acorns TrueImage

Windows 7 built-in Backup utility (Start -> All Programs -> Accessories -> System)

Windows 8.1 – Settings -> Backup, then very small at the bottom of the window, choose Windows 7 Image Backup

Contact SEMCO via if you need help with backup.

Bring your Windows 7, 8.1, or Windows 10 product key.

Getting product keys from an existing Windows 7/8.1/10 system:

PowerShell demonstration from James A. Fortune has a nice PowerShell example called “get-windows-product-key”

System Information Wizard (SIW) – thanks Ed Zaremba!

Belarc Advisor

Product Key

Magic Jellybean


APCUG PUSH Articles and Reviews – February 2016

Thanks to APCUG, APCUG-member organizations and their newsletter editors, and Bob Clyne, there are several very interesting articles available to us as SEMCO members.

Due to content restrictions from the author/publisher, the linked posts below are not available to the public. Please join SEMCO as a paid member to view the contents of these posts. Our members have full access to APCUG PUSH General Articles and Reviews.

If you are a SEMCO member, please log in for full access.

Read more

SIG-Computing News from 14-Feb-2016 meeting

SEMCO Members:  you should have received your account information via email.  If not, please see an officer.  Thank you!

APCUG Virtual Technology Conference is next weekend!

Debian 6 LTS maintenance ends 29-Feb-2016!  If you are using a Linux distribution based on it, please check their web site for updates.  No more security patches as of the end of the month!

Penguicon is coming up April 29-May 1, 2016.  Registration ends April 1, 2016!

Interested in learning more about BSD / Unix?  Semibug meets at Altair Tuesday 16-Feb-2016 at 7PM (recommend arriving around 6:30PM).

Visit The Internet Archive to re-live the Windows 3.1 days 🙂

Linux Mint 17.3 Long Term Support released thru 2019!

Microsoft releases new Windows 10 ring “Release Preview” – previews production branch of Windows 10, not the development releases.  Good choice if you need high stability but want to test upcoming general builds a few days before they go to everyone

AT&T and Verizon have both announced “5G” wireless testing is underway.  New devices may appear in 2017, 10-100X faster than current LTE!  Battery life?  Dunno yet!

The “Internet of Things” or IoT – More Common But Hackable by Ira Wilsker

A few years at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, I was intrigued by the numbers of both prototype and production items that were evolving into what is now known as “the “Internet of Things”, or “IoT”.  For the majority of us, when we think of the internet, we think of our internet connected computers, tablets, and smart phones.  What many of us are not well aware of is that the Internet of Things is beginning to be much more common, and the IoT is already around us in a big way.

Read more