Twentieth Anniversary

SGVLUG is turning 20 and the entire Southern California Linux community is invited to share in the celebration with fun, food, and prizes! Whether you're a new or a veteran user, there's something for everyone as we reflect on what we've accomplished together and envision where we're going -- all powered by our favorite operating system.

We welcome former members who may have lost touch and want to reconnect with us see and some familiar faces (and some new ones too). We also would love to meet others Linux users from other groups around SoCal and hear what other groups are up to. Food and drinks will be provided, graciously sponsored by our venue host OpenX.

We have some great things planned for a night of fun:

  • Community project demos
  • LAN gaming
  • Linux Jeopardy!

RSVP @ Eventbrite

20th Anniversary Poster

Automating Basic IT Functions with Puppet


We will cover how to set up and define your home IT services from code. Topics covered will range from installing the puppet master service, through setting up the agent service, to defining common service modules in a RedHat based environment. Cross platform topics, including writing modules to support Windows and Ubuntu, will be covered in as much detail as interest permits.


Matt Campbell has been active in technology and electronics since the late 80s in a variety of roles. His background spans technical expertise in Unix OS and kernel design, the marriage of art and technology in feature film special effects, and delivery of solutions on cloud, database, virtualized, and mobile platforms.

Matt's first company was founded on principles similar to modern dev-ops practices. Defining the data structures of DVD authoring by developing a language describing the desired layout and interaction allowed the studio to deliver products for a fraction of the cost of competitors while supporting interactivity unavailable to the major studios at the time.

Currently a corporate technology strategist, he is defining services for a post cloud world with a 200,000-employee organization facing billion dollar technology budgets and rapid growth.

Presentation Slides

Meetup Event Page


You and your family are cordially invited to the SGVLUG & SGVHAK potluck BBQ on Saturday, September 19th from 3:30pm to 10pm in the city of San Gabriel.

Please RSVP by September 17th by filling out this Google form.

You will receive directions to the venue after you submit the RSVP. You can revise your RSVP at any time. Some Google scripting magic automatically updates the RSVP with how many people are expected and what people say they are bringing. Obviously, the earlier you RSVP, the more accurately we can plan.

Hope to see you there!

Action-Movie Crypto

This month, long-time SGVLUG member Dustin Laurence reprises his SCALE 13x talk. We'll also be talking about the SGVLUG BBQ for September, the 20th anniversary party plans for November, and SCALE 14x.


The details of how cryptographic algorithms are designed, implemented, verified, and assembled into cryptosystems requires expert knowledge. Fortunately, the big picture of how the resulting cryptosystems are used does not. For most users and even most programmers, the underlying algorithms are black boxes that they do not and need not understand, while the language and conceptual framework of modern cryptography are very useful in putting those algorithms to practical use.

We will sketch out that conceptual framework at action-movie speed using the simplest of classical cryptographic algorithms to represent the modern black boxes for concreteness while studing everything but the algorithms themselves. After the presentation you should understand: elementary cryptographic language, security as a probabalistic rather than absolute guarantee, why the size of the keyspace matters, why practical security depends on choosing keys randomly, what side-channel attacks are, what public-key cryptography is, and what a digital signature is. You should also have the basic conceptual framework and vocabulary for further study or self-study. The presentation should be accessible to beginners of all ages.


Intending to become a programmer ("developer" hadn't been invented by the marketing department yet), Dustin got sidetracked and spent more time than he cares to admit doing theoretical physics, a background filled with continuous mathematics almost entirely irrelevant to computer science and cryptography. He eventually returned to his original love, and these days writes cryptographic and embedded software for Gem, Inc. He believes that every programmer and indeed every citizen must be cryptographically literate in the world he and many, many others are busy creating. He avoids social media for the same reason he doesn't do crack cocaine.

Meetup Event Page

Desknet: Computer Aided Math Drills for Children

Retired schoolteacher John "Juan" Slayton will share his cool hardware/software project, Desknet, which is aimed at allowing children to do computer-aided drills using one laptop and multiple wireless keyboards.

Behavioral Objectives:

  1. The learner will use the Logitech wireless keyboards, observing the eccentricities resulting from the Desknet decoding strategies.
  2. The learner will demonstrate proficiency in addition and multiplication by engaging in real-time competitive activies with his/her peers.
  3. The learner will recognize and appropriately place his/her fingers on the home row keys, and will gain speed and accuracy in reaching for non-home- row letters.
  4. The learner will use the Desknet system to check his/her written calculations derived from the 3rd grade math text.
  5. The learner will create and edit coherent text, using the Desknet word processor.
  6. The learner will anecdotally recount the development of the Desknet hardware and system code to peers as occasion demands.


John Slayton is a native of Kansas City (Missouri side), but mostly grew up in California. He received an MA from UCLA in Linguistics.

In the early 80's he became increasingly dissatisfied with his kids' experience in the public schools and went back to school (Cal Poly Pomona) to get a California teaching credential. He tried to get a job with El Monte City Schools, and wound up spending the next 21 years teaching bilingual classes at LeGore School. His class became his lab in which he could try new things, not all of which turned out well. But some worked. The Desknet project is one of these.

Meetup Event Page

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?


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.

Meetup Event Page