Cndnsd Vrsn: 5:15PM Thursday 10/26 — Linux at 20,000 Meters Above the Sea
The next meeting of the Front Range UNIX Users
Group (FRUUG) will be at 5:15 P.M. on Thursday, October 26
at the CU Engineering Center, room ECCR-245. Thanks
to Dirk Grunwald of the CU Computer Science Department for
co-hosting this meeting.
Why the new time? Metered parking on the north and south sides of the
Engineering Center becomes available to the public at 5:00. With
the late starting time, we'll begin the meeting promptly.
More details are in Meeting Location (below).
Test launch of the driftsonde in Wyoming, summer of
2006. Photo by JoeVanAndel, courtesy of and copyright by UCAR.
The eastern tropical Atlantic ocean is the breeding ground for the
hurricanes that hit the U.S. Gulf coast and the eastern seaboard, and
we don't know nearly enough about it. The area is out of range for our
hurricane-monitoring aircraft, and forecasters don't have enough data
to predict which disturbances will turn into hurricanes.
That's where the driftsonde project comes in. Joe VanAndel, long-time
FRUUG Executive Committee member and programmer at the National Center
for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) was involved in a collaboration
between NCAR, the French Space Agency (CNES) and the French National
Center for Scientific Research (CNRS) to develop and field
driftsondes. This team of scientists and engineers launched weather
balloons from Niger, Africa. The weather balloons drifted west
towards the Caribbean and released dropsondes to measure atmospheric
Joe will give an overview of the driftsonde project, including how
NCAR used a tiny Linux computer to control and monitor the driftsonde,
consisting of a stratospheric balloon, a gondola, and an instrument
package. He'll describe how NCAR monitored and controlled the gondola
using an Iridium satellite link. In addition, he'll present a case
study of how he used Python on the gondola computer to reprogram the
equipment — in the middle of a flight.
Some of the challenges: each sonde had to have its own heater, wrapped
around its battery. The gondola supplied power to the sonde heater,
until the sonde's battery was warm enough to produce enough voltage to
power the sonde. It was almost like "jump starting" the sonde at
20,000 meters at temperatures of -70C.
For more information, refer to:
If this isn't interesting enough, Joe will be bringing
a gondola, an Iridium modum, the electronics stack, and
some sondes (including the much larger ones that are currently
dropped from aircraft).
Joe VanAndel is a programmer in the Earth Observing Laboratory of
NCAR. He typically writes software to process and display data from
weather radars, and he enjoys programming in Python. Joe is a member
of the FRUUG Executive Committee. In his spare time, he enjoys
bicycling, digital photography, and working with Flatirons Habitat for
As you probably know by now, the CU Academic Computing center
seminar room that we used for more than a decade is no longer
available to us, so we've been checking out some potential
new meeting places, the CU Engineering Center being one of them.
We've changed the meeting time to accommodate traffic and
parking on campus, and hopefully it will allow more people
to attend. We'll also be announcing these meetings through
the CU Computer Science department, and we'll hopefully
gain some synergy with the university as a result.
Let us know what you think via the alias "feedback"
at the domain fruug.org.
This meeting will be held the Engineering Center Class Room
wing, room 245, or ECCR-245. This wing is on the southwest
corner of the CU Engineering Center, located at the corner
of Colorado Boulevard and Regent Drive (see map below).
There is parking available on the north and the south sides
of the building. Last we checked it becomes free at 5:00, hence the
5:15 meeting start time. (Please double check the meters
before you park).
For more details on getting to the Engineering Center,
http://www.cs.colorado.edu/department/gettinghere/, and for
a detailed map of the building itself, visit:
An Open Web Application Security Project (OWASP) chapter
is being started in Denver. OWASP's goal is to provide education
to developers and security professionals on security issues in
Web-based applications. Their first meeting is scheduled
for November 15. For more information please refer to:
At our last meeting, a joint one with the Front Range
OpenSolaris User Group (FROSUG), Stu Maybee of Sun Microsystems presented
the current state of Xen, virtualization technology that
Sun is integrating with OpenSolaris.
Announcements, presentation slides, and
writeups for past meetings are available in the FRUUG Meeting Archive.
Until we find a permanent home, we'll only be bringing
our new FRUUG library titles to each meeting. In fact,
given the volume of new books, we might not bring them
all to this one, so if you want to check one out in
particular, feel free to send a message to the user
at fruug.org . There
are quite a few members with books currently checked
out; please feel free to return your FRUUG library
books at any meeting. New titles this meeting include:
- Ajax, from Prentice Hall
- ATL Internals, Second Edition, from Addison Wesley
- Extrusion Detection, from Addison Wesley
- How to Break Web Softare, from Addison Wesley
- IPsec Virtual Private Network Fundamentals, from Cisco Press
- Linux Phrasebook, from Developer's LIbrary
- Linux Starter Kit, from SAMS
- Moving to Ubuntu Linux, from Addison Wesley
- The Official Ubuntu Book, from Prentice Hall
- A Practical Guide to Red Hat Linux, from Prentice Hall
- Preventing Web Attacks with Apache, from Addison Wesley
- Real Digital Forensics, from Addison Wesley
- Red Hat Fedora 5, from SAMS
- SELinux by Example, from Prentice Hall
- Software Security, from Addison Wesley
- The Tao of Network Security Monitoring, from Addison Wesley
- Ubuntu Unleashed, from SAMS
- Understanding AJAX, from Prentice Hall
You may check out books using your business card as your
library card; you must be on the membership list to check books out. Books
are due at the meeting following the one in which they are checked out.
Remember that your FRUUG membership entitles you to
on your book orders from
Addison Wesley/Prentice Hall,
O'Reilly & Associates,
refer to the FRUUG Web site library page for details.