Ottawa Valley SAGE

Providing a forum since 1998

May 19, 2012 - 4 minute read - Comments

Post May Meeting update

First thing, it was great to have a few more people at this meeting. Seven people is a step up our low numbers and hopefully we will attract a few more people. As we discussed, we will meet at The Second Cup in Bell’s Corners next month. They close at 21:00 now, so those who are in danger of pumpkin mode need not worry. I’ll drop the entry in the event calendar with a TBD for the topic.

One of the things I mentioned during the various discussions was a documentation system that used a simple markup language and could produce output in a variety of formats. It’s called asciidoc and the website is located at Another individual is maintaining a cheat sheet for this at He has a few ideas on maintaining project documentation and provides a vim file for asciidoc on that page as well as a few items for installing and a cgi file to browse documentation from the web. One source, many outputs - I’m in favour of this approach but haven’t tried it yet. Once I get a version in place, I’ll try it out and post a note on the site.

In other news, I’ve finally tracked down all of the old content from the three previous incarnations of the site and all of the original mailing list posts that were used to communicate before blogging engines existed. After a bit of fun in massaging data and doing some truly hideous scripting, it’s all been imported and the info goes back to Dec 16, 1998. I also found the original website backup and converted it into a PDF which I’ll post here as well, just for hysterical/historical information. It was created in MS FrontPage and has a large collection of sysadmin links, many of which are no longer valid. It was quite a chuckle to view. Of course, a number of the posts do not have their original authors listed. I’ll have to fix that up over time. I may have been able to automate it, but there were only a small number that posted, so a manual fix is not that difficult. Lots of resources consulted, lots of trial and error, excessive tweaking, and sheer cussedness round out the recipe.

If anyone wants to know the various steps I went through to get everything in here, I’ll be more than happy to detail the processes and hoops to manage it. It may even make for a good talk. I still have the original databases and web engines archived, so I can show the process. Maybe even a talk on the joys of managing a CMS/blog engine on your own server as opposed to hosting elsewhere.

Now for something completely different. For those of you who have one of the “nomad” computers, don’t try to do anything that requires high quality graphics through the onboard chipset. I was going to donate one of those to a friend and decided to install a user friendly distro on it ( Linux Mint). The install was quite slow - USB DVD drive and the GUI was abysmal. In a fit of inspiration, I located a 1GB DIMM to use instead of the 512MB stick that was in the box to see if that would help a bit. It didn’t. The system booted, came up and after a few minutes, the display froze. The box had overheated. After a few attempts to do things with it, I decided it wasn’t worth it. It’s a fine machine if you want a command line box or an OK Windows XP unit, but don’t try to do anything that taxes the graphics chip. It still makes a great asterisk box.

I’ll be uploading some pictures from BSDCan 2012 as a separate post over the weekend. Primarily just for those who are interested in seeing if there was a crowd, possibly recognizing people, etc. I also want to see how bad viewing photos from my aDSL connection really is. If it continues to be bad, I’ll move the site to an external hosting provider. It might make the site a little more enjoyable if it becomes more responsive.