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All right. We’re finally free of those awkward moments where you were either squirming around in your chair or stepping up to support KPFT. I, for one, am extremely glad its over. For those of you who are now helping keep KPFT on the air, we thank you. For the squirmers: There’s always a second chance. Assuming we keep meeting our goals.

So, not due to any shortcomings in listener support, but rather in order to take a bit of a breather before the big plunge, we will *not* be holding the monthly Geek Gathering this Friday in anticipation of the 15th Anniversary Party at the Foundation Room at the Houston House of Blues in July. This is going to be big. Given the potential light levels, I’m sure we’ll be doing something with a lot of LEDs and Arduinos. And if you’d like to get in on some of the action rather than being a casual bystander mesmerized by all the blinky lights, then you may want to make plans to attend the 2010 edition of Apollocon, Houston’s Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Conference. Aside from the usual goings-on, friend of KD5 and I will be putting on a presentation on Arduino and Open Source Hardware along with a workshop in which participants can build their own arduino and get some lights blinking in anticipation of the big 15. The weekend of June 26th is the one you’ll want to keep free. Details on the con can be found at www.apollocon.org, with details about the Arduino panel and workshop once they’re nailed down. But for now, back to being excited about our party.

I think we have the venue until 2:00 AM, so you may not be getting up very early the next morning. Which could be a problem, because it’s often been said that you have to wake up pretty early in the morning to get a jump on the crew of Technology Bytes in terms of pure troubleshooting prowess. Given, we were probably the ones saying it, but until now we have never mentioned an exact time. And the time is… Drum Roll… Huh. 9:30 AM. I really thought it would be earlier. Well, you may have to get up closer to 8:30, depending on traffic between you and the PC Upgrade and Troubleshooting SIG at the HAL-PC Headquarters, which is located at 4543 Post Oak Place Drive. That’s just off the West Loop and San Felipe, conveniently close to corporate coffee in case 9:30 AM really does come early for you. The SIG happens every Friday morning from 9:30 to 11:30, so, actually it’s: You have to get to work pretty late to get a jump on the crew of technology bytes. How’s that for a catch-phrase?

The PC Upgrade & Troubleshooting Workshop specializes in helping HAL-PC members get their misbehaving computers back in good working order. You’re free to come watch the HAL-PC members help others in distress, but you’ll have to be a member to get your computer looked at. Even then, you need to make an appointment with the HAL-PC Front Desk and most of the six available slots fill up by Tuesday. Suddenly our on-hold times don’t seem so bad. That would be the equivalent of Richard on LINE 2 having had to have called in last Sunday night. That’s not a dig at HAL-PC, just something for the squirmers to think about until next time.

Other opportunities to up your technical game exist at HAL-PC. This Saturday, June 5th, the Samba & Network Administration SIG meets at two in the afternoon at the HAL-PC Headquarters. Samba is the free software program that allows Linux and Unix based computers to join MS Workgroups and Domains and even host Windows file shares. Rick Archibald will be leading the group through Samba 3 by Example while also tackling hybrid and open source networking. And just like the Wednesday Linux Workshop, its always free to attend.

The Linux Workshop meets from six to eight every Wednesday night at the HAL-PC HQ, and, unlike the PC Upgrade and Troubleshooting Workshop, you don’t have to book anything in advance or even be a member, though membership is generally encouraged. Wether you’re looking to hone your existing Linux skills or if you’re a complete noob and you would like to have every detail of Linux’s history played out for your ears, the Linux workshop is for you. If you get this explanation unsolicited, you can always ask them a Windows question under the guise of running Win4Lin, WINE, or some other Linux emulation package. The cons are low on this one and the Pros include not having to get up early, probably not having to miss any work, and definitely not missing any Technology Bytes.

You can find more information on these and several other Special Interest Groups by surfing to www.hal-pc.org and checking out the SIG calendar.

That’s it for me for the next two weeks and that’s that for BarretTime.

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