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Topics - Jason Wallwork

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Meetings / Get-together at Chapters - Sunday, April 22 @ 2 PM
« on: April 17, 2018, 11:14:01 pm »
Mike, Bill and I are getting together at Chapters in Peterborough this coming Sunday at 2 pm to check out the Linux/computer magazines and books and probably to grab coffee afterward.

Starbucks is connected to Chapters if you want to grab a coffee or snack. I think you can take that into the Chapters store but you can't take books into the Starbucks section from what I understand.

Everyone is welcome. We'll be in the magazine section at the front of the store.

Hope to see you there!

This was an interesting article from Wired. Before you panic though, do read the response from Google near the bottom of the article. Also shows which manufacturers which seem to the best at keeping up with patches, which I've included as an attachment.

Website / Test of forums without Cleantalk plugin
« on: April 01, 2018, 10:59:45 am »
I'm going to be running a test on the forums in which I turn off the Cleantalk anti-spam service.

The service costs about $10 CAD a year and prevents most nuisance sign-ups and spam from bots. I also has the Anti-spam firewall you might have noticed. I want to see if we can do without it.

You guys likely won't notice anything as I have it set that posts from new users are moderated by me before they're shown to everyone. But just in case, I wanted you to be aware.

The test begins now and will last for one week (or cut short if the bots hit right back). You can report any spam you see directly to me using the red flag icon in the lower right of the post.

General Discussion / WIRED: Design Tech High School
« on: March 28, 2018, 06:01:00 am »
I can't describe this better than the article does and it sounds amazing!

Quote is a free public charter school and admits about 135 students a year via lottery. Each day, these Chromebook-­clutching teen techies wander into classes ranging from music theory to the future of VR and AR, plus seminars taught by Oracle employees and other working professionals. Then there’s the school’s two-story, 8,000-square-foot Design Realization Garage—picture Arduinos, 3-D printers, laser cutters, and soldering and sawing tools—where students can explore new tech and hack together prototypes.

I wish I had had something like this when I was going to high school though I was lucky enough to study electronics. We made a couple of things but we still used existing plans. This sounds a lot more creative.

What do you think?

One of the things that I found confusing was that when using the program called Backup Tool in Linux Mint (specifically 18.3), I kept getting error messages and it would never complete. I believe this program is specific to Mint and available across all the different desktop versions. Not sure if this applies to earlier versions of the Backup program.

Anyway, I kept trying to doing a backup of my personal files to a 32 GB flash drive but it kept kicking up an error message that the file was too big (repeatedly). Not sure if this USB drive came this way but it was formatted FAT32.

And that turned out to be the problem. The Backup Tool archives all the files into a single TAR archive file. And FAT32 doesn't allow a file to be larger than 4 GB, and this file was definitely larger.

I reformatted the flash drive as ext2 and changed the ownership to myself so I could write on it and now it works perfectly.

You could also change it to NTFS if you need Windows to be able to read the drive, too. I didn't use ext3 or ext4 because they're journaling file systems and as long as it's properly ejected, you don't really need to worry about that. Yes, NTFS is a journaling file sytem too, but you don't have any other choice on the Windows side.

By the way, it's always a good idea, especially in Linux, to properly eject your removable drives using whatever file manager you have or the storage icon in the task bar if you have one. Linux often caches writes until you run the eject command. Forget to do it, and you can lose data. Windows, it's less of an issue, but I'd still recommend doing it.

Incidentally, I use Google Drive as a backup as well, which is constantly being backed up to using Insync (thanks for telling us about that, Mike!). I do this extra backup occasionally because I live by the saying, "If your data doesn't exist in three places, it doesn't exist at all."

Meetings / April 2018 Presentation ideas
« on: March 22, 2018, 08:06:48 am »
Does anyone have anything they would like to present related to Open Source software or Linux software? Presentations don't have to be long affairs, even 15-20 minutes on your favorite Linux distro, technology, program or even some new gadget you have are welcomed. Android is based on Linux as well, so if you have a new Android phone or tablet you'd like to discuss, that'd be great.

I do have a couple of topics I'm bouncing around my head but I don't expect either to take up the full amount of time. So if somebody else has something else they'd like to do, let us know by this Sunday (March 25th) here or message Brian (cod3poet), Bill (ssfc72) or me.


This incident may set back driverless cars years (my guess is probably a decade) because it will awaken fears by people toward technology and legislators will react by putting more restrictions on testing and approval of them. That may not be a bad thing, though. Read the full article at WIRED magazine. And let us know what you think. Are driverless cars ready for the roads? Do they need more testing? Would you get in one as a passenger or driver?

Despite its name this workshop on web coding (specifically HTML/CSS) is open to everyone. The cost is $65 or pay-what-you-can. Open to adults and children. More info here.

General Discussion / Neil Rogers Obituary
« on: March 17, 2018, 08:48:15 pm »
I'd like to sadly inform PLUG that member Neil Rogers passed away two nights ago (March 15, 2018) and his son and also PLUG member Glenn asked me to share his obituary here. Both have been PLUG members for some years and have been very supportive. You can read the Obituary here and you can also post your memories of Neil and other condolences at that link.

I know Neil will be missed greatly by his friends in PLUG and in amateur radio.

Wired is running a cool promotion right now especially for the security-conscious among us. You can get Wired magazine for 3-months for free to try out (print and digital or digital only). At the end of the 3-month period your credit card will be billed for $31.50 USD ($20 + $10 shipping + $1.50 taxes) and you will get a free YubiKey 4 (about a $25 CAD value itself). For those that haven't hard of a YubiKey, this is a brief synopsis from their website:

Two-factor authentication (2FA)  adds an extra layer of security to your account that you, and only you, can access in order to prove your identity. Millions of people use YubiKeys fbecause they’re the easiest to use, super secure, and affordable. Plug in your YubiKey and tap it to log in to your computers, networks, and online services. Keep one on your keychain with the key to your house/car, and a second YubiKey in a safe place as a backup.

Personally, I love 2FA and have been using for years with my password manager, my Steam account, and my Google account. You still enter your password, but 2FA means even if somebody gets your password, they can't use the service without an authenticator device (or app) that generates a code that changes every minute. Then you enter that same code after you have entered your password to get into your account. And if they get your device but don't have your password, they're still stuck. I've been doing it via a phone app for years but this would make it so much easier. Just insert the device. And before you ask, yes, it works with Linux.

Here's the link to the trial for international customers. And more information about YubiKey here.

I've always wanted to get a YubiKey and though I haven't read Wired a lot, I've always enjoyed their articles. And this seemed like a great idea. I hope it's useful for some of you.


General Discussion / Looking for wireless router recommendations
« on: March 13, 2018, 08:26:46 pm »
Any router recommendations? My router's wireless radio seems to be dropping out a lot and it also can't be upgraded to fix the WPA2 handshake vulnerability so it's time for a new one anyway. Just wondered if anybody has bought one recently and have you confirmed that it's protected against the vulnerability?

General Discussion / Canada and the future of space
« on: February 25, 2018, 06:40:59 pm »
I found this article so inspiring but maybe it's just the amateur astronomer inside me. Space technology and research can be expensive but as SpaceX has shown us, costs are falling fast. Regardless, the dividends that can result from investments in space are tangible. We live in an exciting time. But we need government to lead the way in promoting investments and research. We're already falling behind.

Meetings / Weekly PLUG MUG: Monday, February 26, 2018: Sign-Up PLEASE!
« on: February 25, 2018, 05:12:01 am »
Once a week, members and non-members alike, are invited to hang out with other Pluggers for coffee and snacks. We call these nights PLUG MUGs. There will be free wireless internet but no agenda; just friends enjoying each other's company and showing off their latest gadgets. It's also a great place to get help with your technology problems. Everyone one is welcome and we all have fun so check it out!

The next one is being held at  7 pm on Monday, February 26, 2018 at:

Tim Horton's
898 Monaghan Road (near Lansdowne St. W.)
Peterborough, Ontario


For these weekly MUGs events to keep happening, we really need to know that people are coming and roughly when.
This is to avoid situations where only one person shows up. And it also helps early birds arrange sufficient seating. Signing up just means you intend to come; it's not an iron-clad commitment. Of course, you can still come if you haven't signed below but please do it anyway.

If you're unable to post, check this topic: Can't post? Here's why and how to fix it.

Check the day of the meeting to make sure it's still on. If nobody signs-up before the day of the MUG or only one person does, PLUG will post a cancellation notice here.

Otherwise, see you there!

Website / Website Maintenance - Friday February 23, 2018 @ 2 am
« on: February 22, 2018, 07:43:35 pm »
The club website will be inaccessible for a short time early Friday morning. You'll be able to get the main page possibly but will see a maintenance notice. Maintenance will be at 2 am and should only last an hour. The forums will still be accessible during this time. Thank you for your patience!

Jason Wallwork
PLUG Webmaster

Politics & Society / Ontario PC Leadership race
« on: February 21, 2018, 06:53:23 pm »
I don't know about you guys but I'm really enjoying watching the PC squabble. And now Patrick Brown is officially back in the race to get the job he resigned from. This is going to get nasty. And my best is that Premier Wynne is going to call a snap election as soon as they pick their leader at the end of March. Brand new leader, probably Ford, and the party's wounds from a divisive leadership race (and they're all divisive) still freshly exposed.

What's your thoughts? Who do you think will win the PC leadership? Did the PCs already lose the coming election? Will the party infighting lead to a collapse of their vote? Maybe the NDP will become the Official Opposition. Political fratricide can be so much fun.

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