Writing and Publishing Books with Free Software

The old saying goes that "everyone has a book inside of them", and advances in technology have made publishing more accessible than ever. The opportunities in traditional and independent publishing are wide open. But writing a book remains a daunting task, and new authors will encounter many steps along the way.

What does it take to publish information in the digital age? Hybrid author Nathan Haines discusses working with traditional publishers that use proprietary software and formats, and describes the self-publishing process from start to finish. From ebooks to print, is Free and Open Source Software up to the task?

Biography:

Nathan Haines is an author, instructor, and computer consultant who fell in love with Ubuntu in 2005, and helped found the Ubuntu California Local Community Team to share that excitement with others. As a current leader of the California team and a member of the Ubuntu Local Community Council, he works to help others support and share Ubuntu worldwide.

His mission to educate and excite people about Free Software and Ubuntu continues with his upcoming book, Beginning Ubuntu Linux for Windows and Mac Users.

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Docker

TOPIC

Docker is a hot trend in today's tech community, making it easier than ever to containerize and deploy modern, and legacy software applications. While often mistaken for virtualization, containers take a new, lightweight approach to abstracting and isolating the runtime environment, dependencies and networking required by modern software.

This talk will cover how to get started with Docker, best practices for containers and example workflows for developing and deploying containers locally and in cloud environments. After this talk you should have the essential building blocks for building a containerized environment and application stack.

BIO

Dan is an IT Data Scientist in the Office of Chief Technology and Innovation at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory where he is using the latest software and open hardware technology to bring new ways of working with big data and computing infrastructure to space missions. In the past, Dan has worked for a handful of startups and has been an avid Linux user for many years.

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Ansible

The wonderful folks at OpenX are hosting this meeting and providing pizza and drinks. Consequently, we require RSVPs 48 hours in advance. RSVPs are currently capped at 35. We may open it up if there is demand. Please keep RSVPs up-to-date.

We will socialize and eat around 6pm, and the talk will start at 7pm. Big thanks to Bobby at OpenX for making the arrangements.

TOPIC

Andrew Hamilton will go over the basics of Ansible and discuss why it's a great tool for running simple commands, complex tasks and workflows across a group of systems.

Ansible is a powerful but simple automation tool. Ansible is simple enough that most developers and administrators will be able to understand the scripts without much trouble. With this simplicity, Ansible is great for organizations looking for a tool that both dev and ops can use together. The YAML based syntax of Ansible is also much easier to understand than the DSL that some other tools use.

BIO

Andrew is currently a Systems Architect at Prevoty where he focuses on automation and infrastructure. Previously he was an SRE for Search @Twitter and a system administrator for Eucalyptus. Andrew is passionate about cloud computing and automation.

DIRECTIONS

OpenX is located in the One West Bank building @ 888 E Walnut St. Pasadena CA, 91101. Entrances to the building are eastbound on Walnut, right hand side before the Lake St. intersection or southbound on Lake St. right hand side after the Walnut St. intersection. Once through the driveway, please park in the 888 Lot that has the OpenX logo displayed out front. Pull a ticket and bring it with you to the Meet-Up, we will validate your parking.

MORE ON ANSIBLE:

Ansible has many features common to configuration management systems such as Puppet and Chef. Ansible uses a simple execution model compared to Puppet and Chef that is much easier for new users to understand. The majority of the modules it provides are indepotent so a playbook can be run multiple times without causing problems by running a change multiple times if it isn't needed. The use of YAML to describe your playbooks also makes creating and editing Ansible playbooks much easier.

Interacting directly with services such as AWS, GCE, Azure or OpenStack is easy through a set of provided modules. Ansible allows you to create an entire deployment framework with one tool that can provision hosts, configure and install software, add and remove servers from a load balancer and finally terminate the old instances. Ansible can also use dynamically generated lists of hosts making it easy to work in highly dynamic environments.

One of the most powerful features of Ansible is that hosts are accessed over SSH. There is no need to install additional daemons or to open up additional ports. You can simply write a playbook, give it a set of hosts to run against, provide a set of credentials and watch Ansible do what you've told it to do.

You also don't need to give Ansible access to root unless it is required for the playbook. Ansible can use either sudo or su to escalate privileges for single tasks or entire playbooks.

Ansible core is written in Python so it's easy to run and extend. If Python is your language of choice, Ansible provides you with a set of modules that make writing your own modules easy. If you're not a Python developer, Ansible allows modules to be written in any language that can accept JSON through STDIN and then return JSON back to through STDOUT. Ansible can also be used as a library in Python that allows you to easily take advantage of some of its features in custom scripts. Ansible is a flexible tool that allows users to easily perform both adhoc remote command execution and configuration management across a group of hosts. Getting started with Ansible is easy and has relatively low overhead. Ansible playbooks are simple enough that they can be compared with shell scripts. We'll go over the basics of Ansible and discuss why it's a great tool for running simple commands, complex tasks and workflows across a group of systems.

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Getting Stared With Linux: A Non-Nerd's Guide

Dan Buthusiem will help you get an idea of what Linux is, and how to get started with it in a totally non-committal way. Learn how to use Linux the same way you would use your computer of choice to do non-nerd things, like email, along with a few potentially nerdy things along the way.

Recommended Materials:

  • 1 laptop

  • 1 empty USB drive of at least 4 GB (8 or more preferred)

Speaker: Dan Buthusiem

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OpenSCAD

OpenSCAD is a free software program for 3D CAD modelling. Instead of an interactive environment it uses a descriptive description language to build objects. Dave Flynn will explain this and more:

  1. What is Open SCAD?

  2. What type of project is Open SCAD and 3D printing good for?

  3. Organizing the part so it will be printable.

  4. What is manifold anyway?

  5. Building a complex part from simple objects.

  6. In a demo of the process I will recreate a wheel from my Tank project.

Speaker: Dave Flynn

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Streaming-OODT: An Open-Source Platform for Big-Data Processing

Streaming-OODT was originally conceived to overcome the limitations of traditional big-data processing and management systems. It is based on an open source data processing framework called OODT (Object Oriented Data Technology) and was funded by NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory's Big Data Research & Technology Development initiative "Archiving, Processing and Dissemination for the Big Data Era". The vision behind the project is to combine state-of-the- art technologies into an easy-to-use big-data processing system prepackaged to allow users to quickly process big-data without the need to patch together individual technologies.

Streaming-OODT provides both traditional batch processing as well as in-memory MapReduce processing for use on general computing clusters. Cluster management and multi-tenancy is provided via Apache Mesos, which manages batch processing as well as the Streaming-OODT's underlying technologies. This ensures that multi-tenancy is applied to both the system and the user's processing.

Apache Spark provides in-memory MapReduce processing enabling processing at speeds hundreds of times faster than Hadoop MapReduce. This system is augmented by Apache Kafka used to manage streaming data. This enables the user to process streaming data alongside traditional data in Apache Spark and thus tackle data-sets too large to persist en-masse to disk, while not losing the ability to process data sets that already exist on disk.

Tachyon, an in-memory distributed file system, provides lightning-fast distributed access to data files and streams on all nodes of the cluster. Persistence is provided by Hadoop Distributed File System (HDFS) thus allowing the user both fast data access and persistence to disk.

The purpose of this talk is to demonstrate Streaming-OODT, which will enable the audience to use Streaming-OODT and supporting technologies to quickly tackle their own big-data problems. The talk will introduce Streaming-OODT, show how to quickly install and configure the system, explain the value added by the underlying technologies, and walk through a working example of big-data processing. Finally, benchmarks will be presented so that the audience can see the benefit of these technologies and their combination.

Speaker: Michael Starch

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