The Computer Lounge at Penguicon 5.0 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.
Previous Computer Lounge pages:
Last year we had 12 thin clients all served by a 2.4GHz machine with 1GB of RAM. A couple of times, we had all seats taken and things got a little slow but not unusable.
This year, we aim to have 20 thin clients total. A couple more if space/hardware allow. We'll have a beefier server and the distribution will be Ubuntu rather than Gentoo. If we can swing it, it would be nice to have half the stations logged into GNOME and half logged into KDE. (With the option to log out and select Enlightenment, fluxbox, XFCE, etc.)
According to sources, we'll be able to get a map of the hotel as the desktop wallpaper from Dan DeSloover.
There will be one media workstation available for people to use for areas where the terminal server won't quite cut it. Examples include mounting USB drives, mounting CDs and DVDs, and burning custom CD-ROMs. By default, this will be the only machine allowed to send jobs to the printer, but we may keep the printer info handy so that tech volunteers can allow other machines to print as well.
The Burn Unit will be a Free/Open Source and Linux distribution burning station. We'll have a number of blank CDs and DVDs sitting next to the machine. 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 CDs and DVDs will be free, but we may opt to charge a small amount if demand outstrips supply too quickly. in case we have to run out and get more. Clay Dowling is currently working on a second iteration of the Burn Unit's interface.
Stan Mortel has offered us the use of his MythTV box as a demo machine for the lounge.
Ideal Solution 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.) Guests will be able to play around with the Trixbox web interface.
Caleb Cushing (email@example.com) is organizing this year's computer gaming network with the help of Jason Green and Richard Houser. At present, the plan is to have 5 computers running various forms of Linux-native, virtualized, and perhaps even emulated video games. If time and space permit, a 6th machine will be devoted to showing off 3D-enhanced Linux desktops. (XGL and so forth.)
Rough specs of the machines we're looking for:
* Athlon64 3000+ * Nvidia GeForce 6000+ (PCI-Express cards preferred) * 1GB DDR RAM * Linux-compatible motherboard
Identical machines would be nice and we are also interested in entertaining commercial sponsorships for hardware and games.
We plan to have a variety of free and legally-licensed commercial games available for lounge visitors to play, so we're also requesting loans of games. Product or CD keys will be hidden from casual viewing as much as possible.
Transgaming (http://www.transgaming.com) has graciously provided us with licenses for Cedega (their modified edition of Wine) so that we can run many modern Windows games on the Linux gaming machines.
|New Tally||needed licenses (0 means we have enough)|
|HL2 & CS:S||3|
|Quake3||? (someone remind me the licensing)|
|Freespace 1&2||? (2 is open source??)|
|AvP||? (will check licensing)|
|Doom Collector's edition||? (should work? source available)|
At this point, it's just a brainstorming idea, but the possibility was brought up at a GLLUG meeting that we could have a two-way “window” between the computer lounge and the virtual world Second Life. We would have a projector displaying the window on the wall or a screen and a webcam next to it to send the video into a virtual wall in Second Life so that the inhabitants of one world could see and interact with those of the other. Eduardo Cesconetto is following up on this idea.
This year, GLLUG is hosting an installfest in the computer lounge with all the extra space we'll have this year. It will run on Saturday from 12PM to 5:30PM. We'll be offering free one-on-one help for much of the day for anyone who wants to get Linux or FreeBSD on their machine. We need around 3 volunteers available for the installfest at any given time.
* Events whiteboard, with gaming events * Signs advertising lounge - penguin footprints (Eduardo) * Signs warning about lost/stolen personal items (done) * GLLUG fliers (done) * Terminal server folder contents:
* volunteer procedures/rules * large-format GLLUG banner (Jordan) * Demo signs and fliers
* Acceptable Use Policy * Gaming banner * Installfest signs (done)
We're currently accepting loans of computer hardware over the course of the weekend of Penguicon. For terminals, we need systems in the Pentium-II class or higher with 17“ or larger monitors. For the gaming systems, we're looking for more modern machines. LCDs GREATLY appreciated. If you're attending the con and would like to loan us your hardware for the weekend, please send an email to the GLLUG mailing list or firstname.lastname@example.org. We 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.
* Terminal server (Jeff Lawton, Ideal Solution)
* Burn Unit machine + KVM (Charles Ulrich
* MythTV demo (Stan Mortel) * Asterisk demo (Jordan Robison, Ideal Solution) * Box of patch cables (Jim Fick, Stan Mortel) * Ubuntu giveaway CDs (Jordan Robison) (Next year, Kubuntu and Edubuntu as well) * 3 “Computer Lounge Staff” badges (Charles Ulrich) * Tux buttons to sell (Chick Tower) * Network Router (Charles Ulrich) * Color laser printer (Aaron Thul) * 4 24-port 10/100 switches (Jim Fick) * 2 reams of paper, 5 surge protectors (Jim Fick) * 19 power strips (Jeremy Grandsen) * 11 extension cords (Jeremy Grandsen) * 1 12-port switch, 1 24-port switch with gigabit uplink (Jeremy Grandsen) * 1 spool of cat5 (Bill Putt)
* 6 monitors * Power cords * Extension cords * Hardware for gaming machines * Games for gaming machines * Make sure we have a phone available for the security/tech people * A media workstation * A ream or two of paper (just in case)
* Finish terminal server * Signage * Get demos together * Tagging system for marking loaned hardware * Get with Program Book person for lounge and activities
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 email@example.com. 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 need three classes of Lounge Volunteers:
Technical Volunteers: Troubleshoot equipment, help users, answer questions, and so on. Based on last year's experience, there's not always a lot to do as a tech volunteer if the terminal server is stable. This year, we'll experiment with offering the tech volunteers the option of being out of the room during their shift as long as they can be reached by cell phone. Techs need basic Linux and networking experience. We'll need at least one tech volunteer on call from 12PM - 10PM on Friday and 10AM - 10PM on Saturday.
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 between setup and teardown.
Installfest Volunteers: Help new Linux/BSD users get Linux/BSD on their machines. Willingness to answer basic Linux questions required, ability to carefully explain complex technical subjects a major plus. Installfest volunteers don't necessarily have to sign up in order to help out, but it would be nice to know how much help we can expect.
As you send your times to Chick, let him know 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 Chick knows about it so that there isn't any confusion.
Currently, we do not plan to implement any elaborate system for security. Previous Penguicons have had absolutely no problem with theft or damage, so any system that might cause a bunch of extra work for us or would inconvenience patrons of the lounge does not seem necessary at this point. Nevertheless, if we want to continue to keep this record of perfect security, there are a few points that should always be observed:
* There should be only one entrance and exit point to the lounge. This creates a kind of check-point that makes it difficult for a person to escape with something valuable unnoticed.
* There should be at least one security volunteer in the lounge at all times.
* Security volunteers should not allow themselves to get distracted by the goings-on of the lounge. If someone has a computer question, try to refer them to the tech volunteer on call if there is one.
* Walking around a bit is fine, as long as attention is not diverted from the entrance for too long.
* If a security problem arises, volunteers should call hotel security (if there is any) or the front desk. Volunteers may verbally confront a person suspected of theft, but they may NOT apprehend or detain anybody.
* Nobody but the lounge volunteers will be permitted to add, remove, or tinker with the hardware itself on the lounge equipment tables.
* 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. (This goes on the AUP and possibly terminal server login.)
This year's 24-hour computer lounge is brought to you by the Greater Lansing Linux User Group (http://www.gllug.org). Feel free to drop in to check your mail, browse the web, and perhaps learn a little bit more about open source software. You can also check out some demos that showcase the real power of Linux or use our CD burning station to take home your very own copy of Linux. See some of the games you can play on Linux at the Computer Gaming and Fragfest tables. Our volunteers can help you put Linux on your machine during the InstallFest on Saturday afternoon.
Bring your laptop or desktop machine to the computer lounge and let us help you put it to good use. Experienced Linux users will be providing CDs and technical assistance to help you install Linux or BSD on your computer. Be sure to stop by to share knowledge, pick up a few tips and tricks, or make your own free copy of Linux from The Burn Unit, our open source CD/DVD burning station.