We met on September 4 (a week earlier than usual due to a room schedule conflict). Amy Daniels from Airport High School was kind enough to visit us and give a talk about OpenOffice. She has been using this program for about four years, ever since the LUG helped her set up a Linux Lab at the school.

Amy showed us that much of the functionality of commercial packages (such as Microsoft Office) is included in OpenOffice. The suite of free applications is ideal for schools and new companies that will not object to some re-training. There are great advantages in compatibility that even surpass Microsoft products. For example, you can open a Microsoft Works wordprocessing document in OpenOffice but not in Word. Amy offered a variety of advantages we shoudl consider:

  • It is free -- a significant benefit to schools with limited funds and to students whose families cannot afford other products.
  • It offers the same features as commercial products and it may be more intuitive to use.
  • It is compatible with other products as long as documents are saved in the appropriate format.
  • It can be used in different platforms (Mac, Linux, Windows).

After the presentation the LUG offered the following comments:

  • Although OpenOffice is free, using it in a mixed environment having Microsoft Office and OpenOffice can be very difficult. The time spent cleaning up documents very quickly eliminates any monetary savings for most companies.

  • OpenOffice is a great way to create PDF files. It has the advantage of preserving clickable URLs inside the PDFs.

  • Adoption of the OpenDocument standard will help minimize document incompatibilies amongst different applications.


After the educational session the meeting was focused on attendance. This week we ended up with only six members showing up. Tom suggested that we need to contact other groups, such as the JAVA User's Group, and invite them to attend our meetings.

The group pointed out that we are looking for different types of users:

  • Novice: the person that has never tried Linux and wants to learn more about it.
  • Desktop users: someone that has used Linux and wants to learn more about it or has specific, basic problems that need resolving.
  • Advanced users: system administrators, webmasters, developers, DBAs

It was mentioned that we need to do a better job of advertising our meetings and to have well defined topics of discussion for each meeting. The group entertained a motion of changing the frequency of our meetings but decided to continue meeting monthly.

For October, there will be two presentations:

  • Doug Griswold will be talking about the Linux filesystem
    • He has ten years Linux/UNIX experience
    • Doug holds RHCE and LPIC certifications
    • He is the Lead UNIX/Linux sys. admin @ The State Data Center.
    • His topic details:
      • What is a filesystem?
      • Overview FHS what? where? and why? How to make sense of the filesystem layout.
      • Filesystem creation
      • Filesystem options and why you would use them
      • Types of filesystems and their benefits
      • Simple filesystem demo and tricks
  • Tom Sightler will cover "Implementing OpenVPN"
    • 10+ years Linux experience
    • Network Manager, Zeus Industrial Products
    • Tom's topic will cover:
      • What is OpenVPN
      • SSL VPN vs. IPSEC
      • Basic OpenVPN Concepts
      • Installing OpenVPN
      • Choosing Routed or Bridged Mode
      • Setting up your own Certificate Authority
      • Configuring the OpenVPN server
      • Configuring the OpenVPN client
      • Using Linux QoS with OpenVPN
      • Using TCP or UDP with OpenVPN
      • Time permitting:
        • Demonstration using Linux QoS to support VoIP with OpenVPN
        • Discussion of advanced OpenVPN topics like failover configuation and routing integration using quagga.

Please promote the next meeting in every possible way: word of mouth, bulletin boards, free newsletters, message boards, etc.