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Useful Things We Want To Share

  • 2009-07-20: Tim's DIY NAS (Network Attached Storage): By Tim S.
    In this presentation, Tim S. goes over the details of his ultra low power, DIY, Network Attached Storage system and how to build your own.
  • 2008-08-18: The Arduino Open Source μController Platform, and I/O Interfacing: By Tweeks
    This presentation was in preparation for a talk at the November IEEE SA meeting hosted at Rackspace on Nov 18th. It rolls several previous microcontroller/Arduino talks into one. But instead of focusing on the soldering iron or bit flipping, is looks more at the advantages of open source microcontroller development over more traditional proprietary hardware development models.
  • 2008-08-18: The Propeller chip, a multi core micro controller...: By Fredrik Safstrom
    This is two presentations in one. First Fredrik introduces the crowd to the Propeller Chip by Parallax, and then after that complete presentation and Demo, Fredrik shows off a project where he uses his Propeller dev board to turn a C=64 keyboard (just raw keyboard and empty case) into a dumb RS-232 terminal. :) As if this weren't enough, he then launches into another theory and demo presentation on the HYDRA Game Development Kit. Wow... what a guy! For all the web links, click on the presentation date above.
  • 2008-07-21: The MidiBox SID: By Tim Soderstrom
  • 2008-07-21: Interfacing uControllers to LCDs By Tweeks
  • 2008-06-23: Two (non-XCSSA) related microntroller presentations held at Rackspace as a part of the new "Racker Hardware Hacker" group that's forming up around microcontroller programming and hardware hacking. First was a more evolved presentation of Chris Snell's June XCSSA presentation on high alititude ballooning using microcontrollers titled, "Getting High on Microcontrollers". Cute. ;) Then an in depth look into PIC based microcontrollers called PIC Microcontrollers Intro & Overview, by Pete Vorenkamp. Both very good presentations. While these were not XCSSA presentations, the first two did first debut at XCSSA.
  • 2008-06-16: Presentation on Assembling a ZIFduino μ-controller Dev Board Kit (by Tweeks) from our June 2008 μ-controller meeting.
  • 2008-05-19: Presentation on The Arduino Microcontroller (by Scott Simpson) is a great entry level intro to the Arduino, ATmel/ATmega168 based microcontroller development platform. From our May 2008 μ-controller meeting.
  • 2008-03-22: Presentation on The State of The Linux Desktop, TCO, and IT Adoption Issues. This presentation for the 2008 OSFest at San Antonio College covers many of the business myths and drivers of the "Linux Desktop" that have now made the Linux desktop a real option in the business world. Great to share with execs and IT managers alike if looking to replace your MS-Windows infrastructure with more flexible, open, lower cost Linux solutions.
  • 2008-03-17: From the 2008 XCSSA GPG Keysigning Party, this is our GPG Keysigning Party Roster. It shows the format of the keysigning forms that we use, as well a highly condensed one page set of directions for doing the actual signatures from home after the party (other, more pliable formats available upon request).
  • 2007-10: Tweeks' "State of The Linux Desktop and Common Windows/Linux Equivalent Desktop Applications" presentation. This is an evolving presentaion that began at XCSSA a number of years ago but was updated and finalized for a Rackspace hosted meeting of local IEEE Computer Society in Oct 2007. Tweeks is now trying to keep it current with other relivant Windows/Linux TCO and migration related industry studies. Two popular slides are the Linux Desktop Growth Trends slide, as well as the Windows/Linux Equivalency Apps slide.
  • 2007-09: A two part presentation on "Running Secure & Reliable Web/Mail/other Services from Home". Part-I: was Tweeks' updated SOHO Firewall/DMZ Presentation that covers using Devil-Linux. For Part-II, Robert Taylor's presentation on Setting Up A SOHO Linux Web and Email Server. Both presented at the September 2007 Meeting
  • 2007-08: Travis H's presentation on The Dynamic Firewall Daemon from our August 2007 Meeting. Great presentation from just one of our experts.
  • 2006-02: From our February NetVista N2200 hacking meeting, here's the stock Flash firmware boot image (64B) that you can dd onto a flash disk to revive your NetVista if you've damaged the OS load that you have, or just want to go back to the stock config (configured for DHCP, root password=ibmncd).
  • 2005-10/11: Richard Davey's PGP presentation from our 2005-10-17 intro meeting on PGP/GPG and Tom's Example Key Signing Sheet from our 2005-11-21 key signing meeting.
  • 2005-09/11: Tweeks' presentation on "Building a Linux Based MythTV PVR" given at both XCSSA and SATLUG on the chapter he wrote from the new book, "Linux Toys II", Wiley 2005(C)., based on Jarod's Guide.
  • 2005-05: Tweeks' presentation at the 2005 Open Source Conference on Building Dedicated, High Availability, SOHO Firewall for Fun or Profit". Taken from his new book, "Linux Toys II" by Wiley Press/Extreme Tech.
  • 2005-05: John Baker's presentation at the 2005 Open Source Conference on "BSD From Source" notes. John steps you through how to install NetBSD (or other BSDs) from scratch source files.
  • 2005-04: Tweeks' presentation at the 2005 MySQL Users Conference on "Ensuring Effective MySQL Backups on Enterprise Production Systems".
  • 2005-02: Tweeks' Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4 Overview. General overview of RH-EL4. Went over features of Kernel, Storage, Security, Desktop, and other new features, with some drill down subject links.
  • 2003-10: Tweeks' Handspring Treo 300 Palm-PDA/PCS Phone Review. General overview with specific pros/cons, features, and recommended software info/links.
  • 2003-05: Tweeks' Sendmail Sys-Admin Cheat Sheet. A handy overview of Sendmail 8.1x running on RedHat Linux and the handout that Tweeks uses in his "Sys-Admin's Intro to Sendmail" Class.
  • 2003-05: XCSSA now has the 10 year searchable archive of Sys-Admin Magazine! An INVALUABLE resource for UN*X administrators. Also has archives of The Perl Journal also! Check out this valuable group resource soon!
  • 2003: Our own Nick Borko of Rackspace wrote a an article for O'Reilly entitled "Python is Rackspace’s CORE Technology", was included in the larger collection of articles here called Python Success Stories. Nick's article was printed by O'Reilly in 2003, and details how Rackspace (with Nick's help) leveraged the power of python to create their own home grown, production CRM/DB and provisioning system called CORE. A system to this day helps Rackspace manage thousands of their customers and millions of pieces of highly relational bits of customer data.
  • 2002-09: The overhead for Tweeks' GRUB boot loader class. Here is the HTML version of the class, and here is the Open-Office version of the slide show.
  • 2002-05: A more recent review of several floppy, CD, and hard drive based NAT (dual NIC) Linux firewall products (most of which are free). Very good information and reviews by various XCSSA members.
  • Our Local Download Mirror of the world famous Linuxc*re (now "LNX") Bootable Business Card. This ISO image (V1.618 golden) can be burned down to these way cool little 3.5" CD-R disks. Better than a Linux repair floppy, you can run a X11 desktop, a full network stack, emergency boot programs, or even do a full Linux install! Very cool... Tweeks uses it at work to save servers all the time (even Windows servers)!!!
  • 2001-12: A Security article written by Tweeks entitled, "Internet Server Security: The Best Things in Life Are Free, But There's No Silver Bullet", for on behalf of Rackspace Managed Hosting.
  • 2001-07: First Saturday Info from our last trip--in case you're thinking about going with us in the future.
  • 2001-06: Hardware Trouble Shooting Tools from the June 18th Meeting. Lists out specifics on what tools to use to t-shoot hardware problems from RAM, to CPU, to hard drive--and also lists a couple of great emergency recovery boot tools to fix hard drives, partitions, etc.!
  • 2001-03/05: From requests from the March meeting, a review of Norton Ghost and Partition Magic. Good technical info!
  • 2001-02: Our February meeting's RAID-101 Slide presentation (in HTML)--and also in its native Star Office .sdd format and (for you Windowz folks) in MS Power point .ppt format (may appear garbled).
  • 2001-??: Check out our own "Firewall & Broadband Research List". MUCH useful info.
  • 2000-10: Also, the ever popular "October-2000" DNS/Traceroute notes taken down by Daniel.

  • Mail List Highlights

  • 2002-01: John Baker comments on how to properly utilize a Sun Sparc's serial console option.
  • All the XCSSA Mail-List Archives.
  • The XCSSA Mail-List.

  • Old Meeting Archives

  • The XCSSA Archives: We have so much good stuff demo'd at our group, we've decided to start archiving the montly group pages. Check'em out! This is what we have from 2000-05 on and should give you a good idea about the type of stuff that we do on a regular basis...

  • Useful Links

  • The Operating System Technical Comparison describes itself as a "site [that] compares and contrasts operating systems" ranging from AIX to Windows XP. Very useful for both the lay person and the ub3rg33k.
  • Hacking Windows2000 Exposed" Links. Many good links... Especially be sure to check out the Win2k Sys-Admin's god send, the Linux boot floppy called chntpw that lets you change any WinNT/2k/XP password... INCLUDING the Administrator account password!
  • A Great Bash- Scripting guide called, "Advanced Bash-Scripting Guide, A complete guide to shell scripting". If you're wanting to get into shell scripting... Check out this great resource.
  • A great link to Linux Applications and Utilities. A very nice resource for people new to linux, and old timers alike!

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    Email The XCSSA "Reverse Dictatorially Elected Coordinator" Thomas Weeks:

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