January VAGUE meeting

The January VAGUE meeting on Thursday January 19th was a nice event, thanks to all who attended.

We started off with a nice presentation from Nada O’Neal about basic SQL query syntax in the context of MySQL. Nada had prepared paper copies of the presentation, and in the absence of a projector a crisis was averted. The presentation covered basic selects and the details of left and multi-way joins, the union operator, text and numeric functions and tricks about sorting result-sets

Anthony Carrico then presented an overview of a OpenPGP key-signing party, to occur as the primary event of the February VAGUE meeting. Participation is wide-open and strongly encouraged. Interested participants should review the instructions. There is an addition over what was presented at the meeting, in that participants MUST bring a hard copy of their OWN key fingerprint with them to the meeting. This is in order to verify that the key available on the keyserver, to be signed by the group, is the same as the one the user actually generated. Anthony is quite happy to help resolve and questions you may have before the event. I’ve volunteered to present a quick overview of application-level software and extensions that supports message signature and encryption, particularly email and IM software.

Rion D’Luz proposed a larger installfest than the previous ones this group has undertaken, specifically a weekend, multi-hour event at a location like Radio Bean. Leveraging the open wifi, and hopefully having some pre-tested machines available to demonstrate the wide variety of application-level software that awaits potential users. A take-away from this event should be a post-card sized sheet detailing an already-scheduled follow-on install-fest, providing an opportunity for parties who’s interest is piqued by the first event to come to the second. The utility of live-cds and installing into a VMWare instance was also discussed. Rion will start the coordination of this in the second half of the February meeting…

A tentative next-meeting date of February 16th, being the 3rd Thursday of the month, was proposed.

Afterwards, most of the group trekked down to Vermont Pub and Brewery for some extended discussion and excellent beer. We ate and drank over talk of compensation models for open-source software, the utter screwed-ness of SCO, and the trials and tribulations of hardware support under free operating systems. It seemed like a good time was had by all, though unfortunately we seemed to lose a couple of people in the UVM → VPB transition.