Easy Planet 1.1 released

We lost a few features moving mhvlug.org from Drupal 6 to Drupal 7, as modules just didn’t exist. One of the ones I missed the most was the Planet function provided by UD Planet. This was an extremely simple to use module that let you have an attractive Planet (a collection of user blogs) on your Drupal site. The original authors of the module have long since gone inactive. So this past weekend I decided to just port it to D7 and be done with it. It took about 8 hours, and now we have Easy Planet!

Easy Planet 1.1 is now out. This is a straight port of UD Planet to D7. The only functionality which isn’t there is the disabling of aggregator menu items, which I’m not convinced was a good idea in the first place. It’s live on http://mhvlug.org/planet, for anyone that wants to see what it looks like.

One of the most important things to me was smooth transition from UD Planet installation. Because mhvlug.org was a D6 -> D7 migration, I still had udplanet tables and settings in my database. I wanted the experience of easyplanet to be: turn it on, all your stuff is back. I managed to get it there last night, so I’d be extremely interested in others that are moving from UD Planet -> Easy Planet to make sure it’s as seamless for them.

For more info, and to download the code, check out the project site.

Chromebook Experiment

Last week I bought myself one of the Samsung Arm Chromebooks. My theory is that when at conferences this is a nice form factor, light, with a good keyboard for taking notes (interactive etherpad is a key piece of OpenStack design summits), that’s going to last a conference day. It’s also super cheap, so if anything happens to it, I don’t care.

Unlike a phone/tablet, this still means I have sane ssh access, and possibly able to still do code through an ssh connection to a server somewhere. We’ll see how the experiment holds up over the next month or so.

Honestly, the thing that’s going to give me the biggest headache is the touchpad, which is actually pretty good. But I’m someone that has 10+ years of muscle memory on the Thinkpad track point, and I don’t think I’ll ever get more than tolerant of touchpads.

10 Years of MHVLUG

10 years ago today I was on a plane, back from Portland, Oregon, to experiment on something new. For the previous 3 months I’d been working towards a kickoff for a local Linux Users Group.

We had a venue: the Mid Hudson Library System Auditorium. We had a date and time:  Wed the 5th of March, 6pm. We had a speaker: Michael Kaegler talking on Linux Firewalling. We had a mailing list and a website, and could clearly see there was interest in the group. But we’d never had a meeting, so this was the moment of truth.

But I was on a plane, racing to get back for the meeting. A month prior my job had changed, I’d started working on OpenHPI, and I’d picked up some standards work, and that meant a trip out of Portland for a 2 day standards meeting with a lot of Intel folks. I managed to get a flight which “should” get me back in time, but I had a plan B to have a Mike Salerno kick off the meeting in my absence. I landed at 5:15, was in my car by 5:30. The meeting was at least 35 minutes away, and there was traffic. Plan B was going to have to be good enough.

When I walked in the door I was blown away. The room was packed! There were at least 35 folks when I arrived, and over the course of the meeting it grew to 50. Wow. I was hoping that it would be more than just me and a few coworkers, but never had I imagined this. I wondered how long this experiment would run, fully imagining that after two years we’d run out of steam and interest and move on.

It’s been 10 years, and MHVLUG is still running strong, better than ever.

For everyone that was part of our first decade, making MHVLUG successful: Thank You. This is a community first, and it’s the people that make this awesome.

For everyone that hasn’t checked us out yet, our 10th Anniversary meeting is tomorrow. We’re going to be talking about: Linux where you least expect it. There will be cake, coffee, and conversation. There will be time for socializing and mixing, to become part of this dynamic community. Join us as we start decade number two.