Laptops with known Linux support

From: Unkmar 
I'm planning to purchase a few identical laptops with a few minimal

1. Everything works on Linux, preferably Debian.  My arm can be twisted to
allow Ughbuntu.
2. Dual boot.  I need Windows to be on these systems, whether I like it or
not.  The end users will need it.
3. $300-$600.  Clearly the lower number is preferable. Yet..
4. Intel CPU.  As close to i7 as possible.
5. Not Lenovo.  Last I knew, those guys still whitelist their WiFi cards
and I strongly disagree with any form of lock-in.

Well, I guess that covers it.  Obviously more memory is better.  Anything
over 2Gb should be fine.  I'm hoping for 4Gb to 8Gb.

Honestly, drive size and type just doesn't matter much to me.  SSD or Not.
Sure, they boot amazingly fast.  Just not a deal maker either way.   And I
haven't really out grown storage in years unless I horde loads of junk I
don't use anyway.

I'm asking for you help because some of you may have already successfully
done the research. I've looked around and just get frustrated from the
prices jumping around a grand any time I get comfortable with the
specifications.  I'm trying to settle for less and having a hard time
finding anything *NEW* in desired price range.  New is not really the
requirement.  Identical laptops fully supporting Linux and Legal copies of
Windows 7 or higher.  (Identical !!!)

Thanks in advance.
Lucius L. Hilley III

PS: Help me provide a great late X-mas/Birthdary present for a few kids.

[OT] 3D Printing Carbon3D

From: Jason Brown 
Very cool! The oxygen component is interesting, I wonder if it really does
speed up the print that much.  Otherwise this appears no different than
standard SLA printing. There are many others on the market such as the
popular Form1.>>

They produce beautiful prints, but the resins are fragile. FDM printers
like a RepRap, MakerBot etc print in the final material and are strong
enough for actual use (for certain values of use). Resin prints are good
for visualization, making a mold, or other uses that don't require much in
the way of mechanical strength.

Resin prints can also be bit unstable, most companies don't mention it but
place a resin print on a shelf and it degrades over time, discoloring,
becoming sticky, or actually melting and deforming. Thi can happen in just
a couple of months. I hear this is getting better.

None of those are as big a barrier for me as material costs though. Resin
formulas are usually closely guarded and extremely expensive. $149 per
Liter for the Form1. Compared to two years ago, that is super cheap.  I was
happy to hear recently that a big player, Autodesk, has opened up their
resin formula for everyone:>>.

Despite the drawbacks to SLA resin printers, I still want one!  Or perhaps
for Electron Beam Melting:

New Bipartisan H1B bill could kill American Tech Jobs!

From: Rod-Lists 
New legislation being pushed by Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) to hike the H-1B visa cap is drawing criticism and warnings that it will lead to an increase in offshoring of tech jobs.

IEEE-USA said the legislation, introduced by a bipartisan group of lawmakers on Tuesday, will "help destroy" the U.S. tech workforce with guest workers.

Other critics, including Ron Hira, a professor of public policy at Howard University and a leading researcher on the issue, said the bill gives the tech industry "a huge increase in the supply of lower-cost foreign guest workers so they can undercut and replace American workers."

Hira said this bill "will result in an exponential rise of American jobs being shipped overseas."

Invent to Learn book free on Monday (Kindle format)

From: Phil Shapiro 
If you're interested in the maker movement in education, this new 
book is recommended. 


Phil Shapiro, 

"Wisdom begins with wonder." - Socrates 
"Learning happens thru gentleness." 

Library 4th Floor hiring a part timer

From: Nate Hill 

The Chattanooga Public Library is looking for special people with that rare
combination of superb customer service skills and electronic wizardry to
help us transform the library.

As one of our "Smart People," you will be an expert who troubleshoots
gadgets and answers questions to help our customers make full use of our
resources.  Your problem-solving and people skills will ensure swift
resolution to technical problems.  You also educate team members about
products, while independently keeping your own technical know-how up to

You will begin your work on the Library's 4th Floor, our public makerspace,
civic laboratory, and GigLab, but your services may be needed in other
library departments as well.  While your primary responsibility will be
providing excellent customer service to 4th Floor visitors, you are also
expected to engage, contribute, and participate in the development of new
ideas and new services.  You will assist the public with tools you may not
be familiar with yet, including but not limited to 3D printers, vinyl
cutters, and more, so curiosity and an interest in experimentation is

You will provide insightful advice and friendly, hands-on support to our
customers in need.  Difficult situations are no problem, as you explain
situations with patience and empathy.  You offer solutions quickly to help
our customers use their devices and our resources.  Juggling customer
needs, you keep aware of their time demands as well as your own.  You
fulfill our service commitment with speed, skill and grace.


   - Strong people skills, with a knack for problem-solving
   - Ability to maintain composure and customer focus while troubleshooting
   and solving technical issues
   - Ability to juggle appointments for assistance with unceasing demands
   for your time
   - Both an eagerness and an aptitude for acquiring skills in technical
   - Ability to make decisions quickly
   - Ability to work a flexible schedule - work hours will be based on
   library needs

This is a part-time position, twenty (20) hours per week (including weekend
hours) and is based at the downtown library.  Be advised, however, that you
may be scheduled to work at any library location. The pay is $15.00 per
hour, with no benefits.  All library employees must be Tennessee
residents.  For further information, contact Jim Cooper at

Anyone Going to PhreakNIC in Nashville?

From: Jon Nyx 
On Tue, Aug 26, 2014 at 1:53 PM, Wil Wade  wrote:

> Just found out about in Nashville (via KLUG) October
> 30 - November 2, 2014.
> Anyone going?

(raises hand)

I am.

Guess I should introduce myself:


I'm Dru Myers (aka jonnyX). I started PhreakNIC in 1997 with several
like-minded friends, ran it until 2001 when I moved to Atlanta, and
now that I'm back in Nashville I'm running it again. I believe we're
the oldest & longest-running non-profit hacker (in the original
non-criminal/white-hat sense of the word) convention in the US, if not
the world. Technically, we're an infosec, maker, linux/foss conference
these days, with a bit of aerospace, engineering, general science &
experimental music (we're in Nashville, after all, music has to be
involved somehow) thrown in for good measure.

PhreakNIC had been struggling the last several years, which is why I
stepped back into the organizer's position, with the goal of growing
it and the parent non-profit so they'll both be relevant and useful
once more, not just the local tech scene but the community at large.
Basically, we're rebooting this year.

Currently, we're working very closely with the Nashville Linux User's
Group, the Atlanta Linux Enthusiasts, DefCon 404 (an Atlanta infosec
group), Freeside Atlanta (a huge hackerspace), Maker's Local 256
(another large & well-organized hackerspace in Huntsville) - you get
the idea. Many of the leaders and admins of the above groups are also
involved in PhreakNIC's reboot. We'd love to have more people onboard,
especially if they have something to contribute to the success of the

We're also working with TVIW - - which is the week
after PhreakNIC (and in Oak Ridge), and the TVIW folks will have a
presence at PhreakNIC, doing some talks and promoting *their* con..

Info I sent to the Atlanta Linux Enthusiasts list last week can be
found here (I don't want to retype it all):

Coffee Country Recycling Industrial

From: Phil Shapiro 
Hi chugalug community, 

I was browsing thru the followers of Red Hat's Twitter account and came across this interesting 
industrial equipment recycling company in Tullahoma, TN. 

Someone over there is very smart because that Twitter account follows a bunch of Linux-related Twitter accounts. Some of the used equipment they sell might be useful for our makerspace. If anyone from Chugalug drives by Tullahoma from time to time, you might want to stop by and say hi to these folks. 



Phil Shapiro, 

"Wisdom begins with wonder." - Socrates 
"Learning happens thru gentleness." 

National Day of Making - presidential proclamation

From: Phil Shapiro 

For those of you on Twitter, the very busy and interesting hashtag today is #nationofmakers 

Do post some tweets about how making, explaining how making and open source are connected. 

Also, check out Rather fascinating. 


Phil Shapiro, 

"Wisdom begins with wonder." - Socrates 
"Learning happens thru gentleness." 

Chattanooga maker faire Oct 11

From: "Daniel L. Appleget" 
10 a.m. =96 6 p.m. Oct. 11 at the First Tennessee Pavilion.

-- =

Daniel Appleget
Chattanooga Computer Service

Tu ne cede malis, sed contra audentior ito

New blog post - Thinking about a maker conference center

From: Phil Shapiro 

Hi chugalug community, 

Here is a new blog post I wrote for MAKE magazine today explaining what a potential maker designed conference 
center could look like. This blog post has a screencast which includes an animated SketchUp visualization of the 
conference center. 

Kindly share the link with folks you know who'd be interested in this. 


Yup, it makes sense to locate a maker conference center near Chatt. I include that observation in the text of the blog post. 


Phil Shapiro, 

"Wisdom begins with wonder." - Socrates 
"Learning happens thru gentleness." 

Makerspaces and Libraries

From: Dan Lyke 
Nate? Someone else? This is about school libraries, but...

RT Heather Moorefield ‏@actinginthelib

   Are you a public school librarian w/3d printers and/or a maker space
   in your library? If you would be willing to be interviewed, DM me.

What would a maker conference center look like?

From: Phil Shapiro 
Hi Chugalug community, 

I'm preparing a blog post for MAKE on the topic of what a maker conference center might look like. Here's a screencast I made that will accompany this blog post.

An interview with Bob Coggeshall of Small Batch Assembly (in Reston, VA)

From: Phil Shapiro 

Here is a MAKE magazine blog post I wrote today. 

Inside Small Batch Assembly : http:// (Featuring an interview with Bob Coggeshall of @ SmallBatchA ) # makermovement 

Kindly share with any electronics hobbyists you know who might be interested. 



Phil Shapiro, 

"Wisdom begins with wonder." - Socrates 
"Learning happens thru gentleness." 

One of the best videos about makerspaces

From: Phil Shapiro 
This newly posted TEDx video is one of the most convincing demonstrations about the value of makerspaces. 

Please share within any youth or adults you know who are new to the idea of makerspaces. And then take a moment to explain how open source is deeply ingrained in the maker movement. 



Phil Shapiro, 

"Wisdom begins with wonder." - Socrates 
"Learning happens thru gentleness." 

3d printer for sale..

From: Mike Harrison 

Saw this, thought I would spread the word:


3D Printer MakerFarm 8" i3

The world of 3d printing, being able to print almost anything you can 
think of, with tons of free support, information through blogs. This is a 
personal 3d printer that is well reviewed.

Technical information:
Configured with .40mm Magma hothead for 3mm ABS filament, Greg's extruder, 
heat bed, LED lighting, LCD display (for printing without PC), 8"x8"x7.25" 
build envelope, RAMPS 1.4 electronics, 50 micron later height. Open source 
software can be used (such as Pronterface and Sli3r) to operate printer.

Willing to deliver depending on distance for an extra fee. Call 
256/302-1378 Stephen

Open Data Specialist position at the Chattanooga Public Library

From: Nate Hill 
Don't hesitate to ask me any questions.

Open Data Specialist (ODS)

The Chattanooga Public Library (CPL) is seeking a qualified candidate for a
newly created Open Data Specialist (ODS) position.  The successful
applicant will join our fantastic digital projects team on The 4th Floor, a
14,000 sq ft public maker/hackerspace in Chattanooga=92s city center.  This
is a unique library job that combines the diverse talents of a seasoned
collection development specialist, a web developer, a data scientist, and a
community outreach specialist. The ODS position is a year-long grant funded
position awarded to the CPL as one partner in the Open Chattanooga
collaborative. With demonstrated success, we intend to extend the position
beyond the duration of the grant indefinitely.

The ideal candidate for the ODS position is an open data evangelist and an
expert who can work with representatives from city government as well as
citizen groups like Open Chattanooga to coordinate contributions of data to
a public platform or portal. This portal will be hosted by the library and
accessed alongside our other digital collections. The portal=92s exceptiona=
construction, performance, and maintenance are all the responsibility of
the ODS.  The ODS will coordinate with partners to ensure that all data
added to the portal is useful, useable, and accessible like all of our
other public library collections. While this position does not require the
candidate to be a degreed librarian, it is important that the candidate
demonstrates an understanding of professional collection development
principles, since this government-produced data will be treated as a
library collection.

The first and most important task the ODS faces is the buildout of the
platform itself, as well as the creation of a sustainability plan and
documentation of the open data portal as a library collection.  Currently,
the library has a beta version of a data portal available at; this was created using DKAN.  The ODS will
either continue work using this platform, or will present a case for the
adoption of another open source platform, such as CKAN.

Chattanooga Public Library considers this data portal a key piece of our
digital infrastructure as we develop more online library services and
migrate some of our traditional library services into a networked
environment.  The ideal candidate will bring innovative and creative
thought and workflows to our already robust digital services team.
 Eventually, the CPL anticipates serving more than just open government
data from this platform.  A candidate with a passion for developing cutting
edge services, skills to build and deliver applications and products, and a
desire to have fun working collaboratively with the rest of us will find
CPL to be a satisfying work environment.

Other qualifications, requirements, and preferences:

   - Undergraduate degree or equivalent experience in CS or related field
   - Demonstrated understanding of data structures and APIs
   - Familiarity with the Drupal CMS and DKAN or with CKAN
   - Familiarity with the LAMP stack; demonstrated PHP development
   - A strong history of contributions and commitments to open source
   - Please provide a link to your github account or another online
   - Bonus points for the applicant with UI / UX / design experience

This is a full-time position with benefits.  Sorry, this is not a remote
work opportunity, you will have to work in the library.

The salary for this job is $55,000/year.

Email application, resume, and portfolio to cooper

Funding idea for Chatt*Lab

From: Phil Shapiro 

Makerspace are about ingenuity, so it would be sure interesting to use that ingenuity to help in funding the space. 

For example, check out this nice dog pet bed made from an older television cabinet. 

(scroll down) 

This kind of thing could sell for $75 or more. True, it takes some real labor to remove and dispose of 
the television guts -- not to mention picking up the cabinets from donors. 

Just wanted to share the idea, though. This kind of thing makes for an easy newspaper 
article topic -- and the newspaper article exposure could boost the makerspace, too. 


btw, there's a neat open source subtheme to these kinds of conversions. People might 
ask, "What else can I convert to new uses?" -- and the obvious answer is -- Windows and Intel Mac computers to Linux. 


Phil Shapiro, 

"Wisdom begins with wonder." - Socrates 
"Learning happens thru gentleness." 

First Church of FOSS.

From: Mike Harrison 
On Thu, 24 Oct 2013, Stephen Kraus wrote:
> He's a warlock.

Flushy was a Warlock grade Wizard 20 years ago... but focused (as far as I 
know) on the nobler more sociably responsible uses of his powers.
I don't even think his constant use of Java has turned him to the dark 
side. (Yet).

I have no idea what secret powerful incantations he can muster nowadays, 
in what arcane languages. But I hope for the sake of humanity, he uses 
those powers for good.


As a community: Hackers/Makers/Doers/Wizards/Geeks/Builders/Etc.. 
inclusively; if we develop a new vernacular and verbage for ourselves, our 
wonderful clueless government will just create a new category for our 
potentially subversive and dangerous group.

It all depends on how they spin it.

Perhaps, we need to assume identies within a different sub-culture and 
subvert it? Anyone want to admit that they are a Brony?

But I really think forming a religion might be the answer, we have some 
prophets: Torvalds, Stallman, Cox.. and sacrements should include 
encryption, compiling code, and creating divine objects as inspired by 
God (3d printer optional, but required for certain observances of the 
gospel. Same for machine shops, soldering irons and voyages of discovery 
(taking things apart to see how they work).

The First Church of FOSS anyone? I think Gary has experience being a 
Cardinal and looks good in red (especially with heels on: there are 
pictures) and I already have some white robes (ala Burning Man) and would love to be Bishop..
I like the pointy hats (sans mask). But as a pudgy bald guy, I let off 
Buddha vibes.

First prayer:

Let us Configure.
Make Clean.  (chant; Our souls are clean)
Make         (chant: Compile as commanded, Lord..)
Make Test.   (chant: We have been tested and found pure) 
Make Install. (chant: Place us along the righteous paths you have given us)
Let us pray while invoking the commands the lord has given us.
(chant: Life is given, It lives. Amen.)

I'm in Guyana S. America rigt now, I feel the urge to build a compound.. .
Kool Aid anyone ?  --Mike--

Atlanta Mini Maker Faire is tomorrow!

From: Jason Brown 
Tomorrow is the Atlanta Mini Maker Faire!!

I'm going, anyone else from the list?

--Jason Brown

Chatt*lab kickoff and my new project (linux webtop on smartphone with killer dock)

From: Phil Sieg 
Tim and Jason and the rest of the Chatt*labers did a hell of a job on Saturday. Not only that the space is fantastic. Just wish I could have stayed all day :-(

If you are interested in, or believe deeply in the value inherent in the "Maker" movement, PLEASE find a way to be a part of Chatt*lab. It truly takes a village with these sorts of things...

No on to some *NIX geekery.

At the Chatt*lab there was a Motorola Lapdock (netbook like dock for about 10 different motorola android phones) that was hooked up to a little ARM board (think Pi) and was doing a heroic job of running Lubuntu.

These Lapdocks sell for $40-75 on eBay and are very high quality doohickeys. I have been searching for a way to use one (so I can buy one) and after seeing it in action, I just had to have one. I googled around and found out with $20 of connectors and no soldering it can be turned into a battery powered console/KVM for headless systems (of which i have a few). I have ALWAYS wanted a super portable KVM solution for my "kit" and this is the best option I have seen yet, so I ordered one, and all the connectors.

Then I started googling the "other uses" that people had found and struck gold.

Both Ubuntu, and Gentoo running on the Motorola phone as a full desktop when it is connected to the Lapdock. These are fairly advanced hacks. A far easier solution is to use one of the  "chroot" linux installs on the Play store and launch it from the "webtop" screen. These essentially run *nix virtualized and allow you to VNC into it for desktop access. Prolly a bit slower, but a lot easier to install on the front end without the fear of bricking the phone.

The coolest thing is that last generation Motorola smart phones with very good specs are Dirt Cheap, especially if they are Verizon/CDMA units. For $50-100 you can have a dual core with 16gb and a 4.3 inch screen that is a very capable device. Buy one of these and a Dock and you have an Android laptop/tablet for less than HALF the going rate.

Further coolness: MOST of the Verizon Motorola phones (if they are 4G) have GSM (think ATT & TMobile) compatibility if you hack the cellular radio. This is a fairly easy hack and means you could have $45 a month unlimited Talk/Text/Internet (through StraightTalk) with 4g speeds for next to nothing (comparatively). Since the Lapdock is a "dumb" accessory you can turn your phone into a 4g laptop for no extra monthly charge or tethering hassle.

If anybody is interested in collaborating on this let me know. I have already ordered the "bionic" lapdock, and a Verizon "Droid Bionic" as my test bed. 

A word of warning: There are at least 3 different Lapdocks, and a dozen different phones that can "dock" but they do not all work together ;-) So a little research is required. It is probable that I will order a couple of more sets of these as presents for my nieces and nephews overseas. at $150 or less "all in" plus some hacking, they make kick ass Christmas gifts for teenagers.

Phil Sieg
SeniorTech LLC / snapfōn®

Phone: 423.535.9968
Fax: 423.265.9820
Mobile: 423.331.0725

"The computer is the most remarkable tool that we've ever come up with. It's the equivalent of a bicycle for our minds."

Steve Jobs, 1955-2011