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Note: For the current Computer Lounge page, see ComputerLounge.

The Computer Lounge at Penguicon 4.0 is being run by members of the GLLUG. Our intent is provide Linux and open-source-based computers that anyone can sit down and use as well as show off the quality and utility of open source software.

Check out the requested lounge layout. FIXME

Computer Lounge Meetings

At a recent GLLUG meeting, Stan made the suggestion that we work on Penguicon computer lounge activities seperate from regular GLLUG meetings. After some discussion, we decided that this made sense because the social coffee shop atmosphere has never really worked well for actually getting things done. Thus, we'll be holding meetings in DeWitt where we volunteers can assemble to get the lounge ready for Penguicon 4.0. You don't necessarily have to attend the Penguicon or GLLUG meetings in order to contribute to our effort, but it might make it easier.

The first Penguicon meeting will be held at the Ideal Solution office at 615 W Main St in DeWitt on Tuesday, February 28. If you're coming from Bridge St, look for the white mailbox on the left-hand side of the road. These meetings will likely be held weekly until either everything is done or until the con begins. If you want to help in any way, simply drop by sometime around 6PM and stay as long as you like. No RSVP is required.

Lounge Features

Terminal Server

Think back to days of yore when a “computer” was a big beefy mainframe which many users accessed simultaneously on remote serial terminals. Now apply that same idea to a modern multimedia desktop and replace the serial cable with ethernet. That's a terminal server. We'll have a powerful server that runs the desktop environment and applications and sends the output to many terminals. The terminals themselves are essentially dumb X terminals. They'll boot off the network and will run no programs locally except for a stripped-down Linux kernel and an X server. Because the server does all the muscle work, the terminals can be old Pentium II's with just ethernet and video cards. Machines that most people these days literally throw out with the garbage.

We're looking at around 13 thin clients total. (We were angling towards 20, but reduced the number for space and power considerations.) The OS will be Gentoo with terminal services installed as well as multiple desktop environments and a plethora of common applications. Some stations may have sound.

The Burn Unit

The Burn Unit will be a Free/Open Source and Linux distribution burning station. We'll have a number of blank CDRs sitting next to the machine and visitors to the lounge can simply pop a CDR in and choose the image that they would like to burn via a simple pointy-clicky interface. The blank CDRs will be free, but we'll encourage a $0.25 donation for each disc in case we have to run out and get more. Matt Graham wrote an excellet first rendition of the interface in Perl/GTK practically overnight. It was functional, but Matt didn't quite have the time to continue maintaining it or add features. Clay Dowling is currently busy working on a second iteration of the interface.

Disc List

MythTV Demo(s)

Stan Mortel has offered us the use of his MythTV box as a demo machine for the lounge. He's working on the TV output right now, but expects to have it working by the con so it can be hooked up to a TV. Eduardo Cesconetto works for a satellite company and is particularly keen on figuring out a way to get a satellite signal into the room for use with the MythTV demo.

Asterisk Demo

Michael George has volunteered to set up a quick and easy asterisk demo. It will be comprised of an Asterisk server, a business VoIP phone, a digium phone card, and a POTS phone. It'll basically be like two tin cans and a piece of string. With voicemail. (Unless we can come up with some other cool things to do with it.)

Computer Gaming

Tom Skelton will be organizing a computer gaming network in the lounge. We haven't yet discussed how many machines will be involved, so it's a little unclear exactly how much space will be needed. He is putting together a schedule of featured games.


- Signs warning about lost/stolen personal items

- Signs denoting the “laptop tables” (with possible brief explanation)

- GLLUG fliers

- Terminal server folder contents:

- terminal server intro (plus diagram?)

- GLLUG flier

- tutorials

- other propaganda?

- volunteer procedures/rules

- large-format GLLUG banner

About Donations

Starting now, I'm soliciting donations for the use of hardware over the weekend of Penguicon. We'll take any hardware, old and new, with the exception of monitors. For monitors, we're going to start off by asking for 17“ or higher CRTs? or any size LCD panels. If we can't get enough of those as the con approaches, this requirement will be loosened. If you're attending the con and would like to donate the use of your hardware for the weekend, please drop me an email stating what you can provide and I'll contact you for verification a week or two before the con swings into action. I might be able to arrange a pick-up of hardware if you're not attending the con but would still like to let us use it. (No guarantees on that, though.)

What We Have

- Terminal Server (Jeff Lawton)

- 13 terminals (Jeff Lawton, Lee Putnam)

- 15 monitors, plus a possible 5 more (8 from Jeff Lawton, Jeremy Grandsen, plus a possible Bill Putt)

- Burn Unit hardware and interface programmer (Clay Dowling)

- MythTV Demo (Stan Mortel)

- Asterisk Demo (Michael George)

- Satellite TV(!), wifi AP (Eduardo)

- 1 hand-cart (Jeff Lawton)

- A WYSE terminal (Jeremy Grandsen)

- 200 Ubuntu “Breeze Badger” CDs!

- 10 PS/2 Keyboards & 1 AT Keyboard

- 20 2-button Mice & 12 scroll Mice

- 20 6' Cat5 cables

- 50 Power Cords

- 13 Power Strips

- 1 Long Extension cord & 6 Short ones

What We Need

- Another cart

What is Done

- Terminal server started (nearly done)

- Room layout (submitted to BrendanDurrett)

- Ubuntu CDs ordered

- Burn Unit 1.0

- Equipment gathered in Ideal Solution office

What Needs to be Done

- Finish terminal server

- Draft a short list of rules/procedures for Lounge Volunteers

- Write tutorials/signs/pamphlets

- Get a volunteer schedule drawn up

Who is helping

- StevenCampbell

- Providing and managing the upstream network connection

- Eduardo Cesconetto

- Lounge Volunteer

- Caleb Cushing (

- Lounge volunteer

- Provided a working CD burner for the burning station

- Installing/configuring Linux gaming demo machine

- Adam Davis

- Lounge Volunteer (setup/teardown and security only)

- Clay Dowling (

- Revamping/Rewriting the interface for the Burn Unit

- Lounge Volunteer

- Matt Graham (

- Wrote first revision of Burn Unit interface

- Jeremy Grandsen (

- Lounge Volunteer

- Providing 3 monitors (2 17”, 1 15“), 3Com NIC, 1 terminal

- Jason Green (

- Providing Linux Gaming Demo machine

- JohnGuest (

- Suggested “The Burn Unit” for CD burn box name

- Brian Hefferan (

- Lounge Volunteer

- Jeff Lawton (

- Providng hardware for terminal server, terminal server clients

- Lounge Volunteer

- Eric Miller

- Ordered 200 Ubuntu CDs

- Stan Mortel (

- Providing a MythTV demo machine.

- Lounge volunteer

- Rebekah Neely (

- Lounge Volunteer (no graveyard shifts, probably not setup)

- Proofreader of all things

- Supplying some blank CDs for Burn Unit

- Donation box for Burn Unit

- Marshal Newrock (

- Lounge Volunteer (tentative?)

- Lee Putnam

- Lounge Volunteer

- Providing some hardware (5 terminals)

- Bill Putt

- Providing a few monitors (“5-ish”)

- Karl Schuttler (

- Lounge Volunteer

- AaronThul

- Color Laser Printer

- Chick Tower (

- Lounge Volunteer

- Volunteer Schedule

- CharlesUlrich (

- Head of the computer lounge

- Lounge Volunteer

Potential Leads

- Meridian Township (via Jeff)

- might let us borrow a bunch of machines for terminal servers and other uses.

- Affordable Computers (in Ann Arbor)

- Might be persuaded to let us borrow some equipment in exchange for some pamphlets or fliers or something. Probably a last-resort, last-minute option.

Misc Stuff to Bring

- mousepads

- cleaner and rags

- printer paper

- spare hardware (network cards, keyboards, mice, etc)

- a few tools

- diagnostic software (ultimate boot CD, knoppix, etc)

- masking, scotch tape

- pens, pencils, markers

- clipboards

- post-it notes

- masking tape

- velcro (cable managment)

- lounge volunteer badges


Chick Tower has offered to maintain the manning schedule for those who can volunteer their time in the lounge during the con. As soon as you have a clear idea of which 1/2-hour blocks of time you can give us, send them to Chick at Be generous if you can, because it's going to be tough to keep the lounge manned at all times and we want everyone to be able to have fun at this convention.

Basically, we'll need three classes of Lounge Volunteers:

Setup Volunteers: Assist with the setup/teardown of lounge. We'll aim for setting up the lounge starting at 9AM to 10AM on Friday and hopefully be done by noon. Teardown will begin at 3PM on Sunday.

Technical Volunteers: Troubleshoot equipment, help users, answer questions, and so on. We probably won't need a tech volunteer in the room at all times, but we should probably have one or two in there all day friday in case there are any last-minute or surprise issues. If everything's relatively stable and few problems are encountered, we can cut back on techs. Should have basic knowledge of Linux and networking.

Security Volunteers: Keep an eye on the lounge to make sure nothing grows legs. Security volunteers can't also be techs during the same shift because they need to stay alert and aware of everything going on in the room. We'll need at least one security volunteer in the lounge at ALL times.

As you send your times to Chick, let him know whether you can be there for setup or teardown and whether you want specific blocks of time or if you want him to just schedule everything for you. The more time you can volunteer, the better we'll be able to balance the schedule to make sure that everyone gets to enjoy the con to their maximum ability. The schedule will not be set in stone. So as long as everyone pulls their share, volunteers will likely get a lot more free time than what the schedule implies. Trading and bartering time with someone else is not forbidden, just please make sure we know about it so that there isn't any confusion.

Security Plan

Currently, we do not plan to implement any elaborate system for security. Previous Penguicons had (to my knowledge) no problem with theft or damage to lounge computers, so any system that might cause of bunch of extra work for us or would inconvenience patrons of the lounge does not seem necessary at this point.

If a security problem of any sort arises, one of the lounge volunteers can stroll across the hallway and call Ops or whoever is appropriate (hotel security?). There is only one entrance to the lounge, so it will certainly not be easy for someone to walk out with something of value unnoticed.

There will be separate tables for Lounge equipment and patron equipment (laptops, generally). Nobody but the Lounge Volunteers will be permitted to add, remove, or tinker with the hardware itself on the lounge equipment tables. The patron tables will be clearly marked and there will be prominently-placed signs warning patrons that they alone are responsible for the security of their computers and peripherals.

Any unwarranted intrusion, malicious use of a lounge computer, social engineering, or intentional disruption of the network will result in immediate expulsion from the convention.

Program Book Blurb

This year's computer lounge is brought to you by the Greater Lansing Linux User Group ( Feel free to drop on by to check your mail, browse the web, and perhaps find out a little bit more about open source software. You can also check out some demos that help show off the real power of Linux and use our CD burning station to take home your very own copy of Linux to try on your computer at home. If you brought your gaming computer with you, you can plug it into the dedicated gaming network and frag (or cooperate with others in fragging) other convention-goers to your heart's content.

(If there's a already separate blurb for the computer gaming, remove the last sentence.)

penguicon4.0/computerlounge.txt · Last modified: 2017/01/14 11:24 (external edit)