MHVLUG December Meeting Notes

Debugging Hardware/Software on Linux

Joe Appuzo presented the topic. There was an initial discussion about wants vs. needs when it came to a Linux system, followed by a lot of discussion on partitioning a system for success when it comes to system updates and upgrades. One of Joe’s themes when it came to debugging hardware solutions was “value your time”. If a piece of hardware costs $100 to get a Linux friendly version, and you spend weeks trying to get the non Linux friendly version working, you’ve come out behind in your wasted time.

Ed brought up the fact that Turbo Tax is a must have application, which still doesn’t run on Linux. We discussed solutions around that, including using VMWare Server for that class of Windows Apps that you need from time to time. Many people in the room have a single machine on their home network whose job is to run windows, often headless with VNC. The benefits of virtualization here is power savings.

On the hardware point, there was much discussion on old hardware, and about when it’s power costs exceed it’s usefulness. Many folks in the room end up in that “collector camp” and do still have 486s running at home (as a router or such).

On the software debugging front, Joe didn’t get quite as deep in that as I was hoping. Some very basic tips were provided including where to start looking by looking in /var/log, and dmesg output, as well as thinking logically about isolation. “Did this ever work?” “What changed?”

All in all people had a pretty good time, the crowd was chuckling quite often.

At the end of the meeting I gave away 4 books for review, and announced the fact that meetings are moving to first Wednesdays starting in January.


Vital Stats
Attendees: 29
Start Time: 6:10
End Time: 7:55
Dinner Crew: 14

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