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Allright! Jay Lee is back after several weeks spent off continent, meaning that we’re back at full force and that Dwight is no longer grue bait. At least for now… Friend of the show, KD5, is also freshly back from a lengthy trip from iPadding it down-unda. Both travelers will be making one more trek this Friday night to the Coffee Groundz for the October installment of the Geek Gathering. If you’re interested in travelling light while still carrying enough tech to stay connected across multiple countries, these are the people to talk to.

We’ll have *another* traveler joining us this Friday, this one fresh in from Italia. While we’ve had many members of the Arduino family make appearances at Geek Gatherings past – the venerable Diecimila, the younger, faster Duemilanove, the much more pronounceable LillyPad and the Mighty Mega – the newest member of the family will be making a Houston appearance this Friday. That’s right – The Arduino Uno made its debut this past weekend at the Maker Faire: New York. We’ll be unboxing one (yeah – they actually come in boxes now!) this Friday before promptly plunging it into a pumpkin in an effort to make something scary for Halloween. From scooping out pumpkin guts to wiring up motion sensors and LEDs, we’re going to try to go from unopened box to finished project in the course of an evening. Things kick off
around seven in the evening and won’t end until the last Light Emitting Diode is lit. The Coffee Groundz serves coffee, tea, beer and wine in addition to a light menu. Free WiFi and a few available AC outlets complement the evening, as does the promise of a breezy back patio. Hit www.geekradio.com for details and directions.

Oh! We’ll also have a visitor from China – in the form of Seeed Studio’s ‘Film’, a flexible band containing a microprocessor and some supporting electronics. They can be joined together to do some interesting things with wearable computing. Unfortunately, I’m one film shy of having enough to go all the way around my wrist, so if you’re thin wristed, relatively free of Cheetoh dust from the elbow down, and have ever considered becoming a forearm model, we may require your services Friday night. I want to be clear that I’m not discriminating against my orange fingered bretheren out there – it’s just that the Seeed Film is orange, too, and we really do want it to show up in pictures.

Now, if you know that you can wash off the Cheetoh dust, but you’re still worried that you don’t have the required fortitude of forearm for photos on Flickr, you’re probably not spending enough time in front of the command line. As with many things, it’s really about having the right equipment. So if the equipment in your DOS gym feels old and busted but you don’t want to ante up enough money for a new Mac Membership, you can always hit the free weights at the Linux gym to really pump up your pecks and hunts or to get those rock hard abs you’ve always wanted. That’s ABS as in the Arch Build System, the software package manager for Linux. That’s funny, because I bet you all thought I meant Advanced Bash Shell Scripting… Bazinga!

If you need a little help in getting motivated or you want to pick up enough Linux acronyms to make your own joke train wreck, you’ll want to attend the Linux 101 workshop at HAL-PC Headquarters Tuesday, October 5th at 7:00 PM. The Linux 101 special interest group at HAL-PC takes a look at Linux from the beginners point of view the first Tuesday of every month. And while there *is* a very powerful command line under the hood, if all your moves are mouse-centric, you’ll be just fine in Linux with KDE or Gnome. HAL-PC is located at 4543 Post Oak Place Drive, not too far from the West Loop and San Felipe. Linux 101 takes attendees through a three month progression before turning them out on their own or inviting them back to rinse and repeat. Actually, that’s the attendee’s choice, I don’t think you can actually flunk Linux. Well, SCO did, but that’s a different story. Hit www.haaug.org and then click on the SIG Calendar for a full description of the workshop.

And lastly, if all you do is stay at home, hanging out on FaceBook, maybe it’s time you get a life and go out to see a movie about FaceBook. The FaceBook movie, called The Social Network, opens this Friday and chronicles the founding of social media site. Depending on ticket availability after the Geek Gathering, there may be a late night trip to check our FaceBook status on the Big Screen… I’ve got my fingers crossed that they’ll play the Twitter short, but we’ll see how it goes…

That’s it for your forearm forewarning and that’s that for BarretTime.

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