These are helpful blogs about technology, hope you enjoy them.

Table of Contents
Making your own VPS in the comfort of your own home

Websites And Webhosting For Beginners

Linux User Groups: How to join one


By Max Williams
videotechstuff.com
videotechstuff@gmail.com



So what is a VPS, the letters stand for Virtual Private Server, and in simple terms what it is, is a virtual machine of a Operating System (OS), that can be ran from basically any computer, whether you have a Windows, Mac, or Linux/Unix computer, or offered by a hosting company as a server to use either for private or public use.

Virtual Private Server

So a VPS is made of a virtual machine (VM) that runs as a guest OS (the server/VM you want to install) on the host OS --> (the operating system that is originally installed on your computer, such as windows, OS X, linux, etc ) environment, usually in a folder that is named whatever you named the VPS or the name of the VPS itself, example, LinuxServer, LAMP server, whatever.


Virtual Machine

So to summarize, a Virtual Private Server (which we will refer to as a VPS through out the rest of this article) in this case, is a virtual machine (VM) that can be installed on a computer that already has an existing OS (Operating System / host OS).

So how do you install a VM on to a OS that already exists on your computer you ask, simple you will need to install a hypervisor. A hypervisor is computer software program that creates and runs VMs.



There are basically 2 types of hypervisors:

Type 1 = native or bare-metal hypervisor, that you install on the computer AS your host OS (meaning instead of installing windows, Mac, or linux, you would install a hypervisor) examples would be Vmware, Citrix, MS hyper-v.

Type 2 = software hypervisor that is installed on to an existing OS. Examples of software hypervisors would be → VMware player, Vmware workstation, Oracle VirtualBox, and QEMU to name a few.

Hypervisor

First, lets go over some terms that you have already heard but may need to get the definitions straight on such as:


1-Host OS (operating system) = this is the OS that either came with the computer/laptop when you purchased it or installed at a earlier date on your computer.

2-Guest OS / VM (virtual machine) = this is the VPS/OS/VM that will be installed by your hypervisor.

3-OS = an Operating System, the master software that manages the rest of your hardware and software on your computer.

4-VM = Virtual Machine = a emulation of a computer system OR a more simple term = an operating system (Guest OS), you can run from within a operating system (Host OS).

5-VPS = Virtual Private Server = a VM that can be ran as a server either locally installed on your own computer for your own use OR publicly by leasing from a hosting company.



The uses of a VPS can be such as for private users that you allow access to, or even publicly to run for public use (such as for web servers, databases, search engines, membership web sites, testing environments (BOTH public and private), social media sites, forums, the possibilities are endless).

Next, you need to consider the existing hardware resources you have on your computer before installation of a Hypervisor, or VM on your system, and here is why – these VMs are basically VERY large folders that are saved on your computer for your use when you want to use them, they use your Host OSs memory, CPU, and hard drive space to function as a operating system WITHIN a operating system.


Example hardware:

So as an example, if you have a Windows machine with a dual core processor, and 4gigs of RAM, and a 100gig hdd (hard disk drive),

and as a Example - you allocate 3gigs of RAM, 75 gigs of hdd, and finally use 1 of the cores, all for your VM / guest OS, you are going to experience VERY slow performance from the VM and possibly cause your host OS to be VERY slow as well if not freeze up a lot of resources.

Naturally you dont want to suffer with the above example, so in general let me just suggest, NOT using more than 1 quarter to about 1 half of your host OSs resources (CPU, RAM, hard drive, network interface card) total to build your virtual environment. You guys should be able to do the math, but as an example again =



General Example:

for a VPS/VM running a Linux server, you should not need more than 1gig of RAM, 20gigs of hdd space and 1 of the cores (this is just MY opinion and you can easily adjust to your own requirements), there by leaving 3gigs of RAM, 80gigs of hdd, and the other core for your host OS (especially if you want to run both your Host OS & Guest OS at the same time, which is what I do a lot).

The above as stated is just an example, you run it as you see fit, but I think the above examples and suggestions are good safety parameters to start with.

As another example Im using a used HP EliteBook 8460p, that has the following specs =

HP EliteBook 8460p specs

Intel Core i5-2520M Processor (2.50 GHz, 3MB L3 cache, 2 cores/4 threads, 35 W) Up to 3.20 GHz with Intel Turbo Boost Technology

Linux Mint (18.2/sonya) see this as quad core / 4 cores, but after further research, I found out that each core has 2 threads each, which makes it be presented as 4 cores in all / I feel cheated but whatever lol

16gigs of RAM

500gig hdd

So with the above specs we should have more than enough resources to run both Host OS and Guest OS at the same time. You can review my videos of how to install virtual machines/VPSs on virtualbox, go to the links:

Centos 7 install

Ubuntu 16.04 install

For a List of Hypervisors:

Links to hypervisors:

Virtual Box.net

Virtual Box wiki

Pre built

VMware

vmware downloads

Mac Parallels

Qemu


So why install a VPS?

So why install a VPS or any VM on your private personal computer??? The reasons are many and varied, maybe your a I.T professional or hobbyist who wants to learn a new system to update your skills.

Maybe you want a test lab to test a new feature to see if it will break or disrupt anything, better to test in a virtual test lab, than to install something on a production server and cause a possible outage.

Or, maybe you have a small, medium, or large user base, and instead of spending a large amount of money buying a lot of servers, you buy one machine, and install multiple servers from it., a LOT of data centers (DCs) do exactly this.



So NOW what should you do????

So to summarize, after assessing your existing resources on your computer, which hypervisor should you install? To keep things simple, I humbly suggest for the average person (or anyone for that matter), use a type 2 hypervisor, they are usually easy to download and install. Once you choose a hypervisor, then you will want to install a VM (virtual machine) through the hypervisor, there are several ways to do this:

1-you can use pre-made VMs that are down-loadable from the hypervisor of your choice.

OR

2-Go to the web site of the operating system of your choice, and just download the operating systems ISO image file (a file of a operating system to install on a CD/DVD/USB) (the easiest way I think) and then install the ISO from the hypervisor of your choice.

ISO file

ISO definition

A list of free OSs

Centos

Ubuntu

Fedora

FreeBSD

And for a list of more Linux/Unix type OSs go to:

DistroWatch

Also, checkout Linux Tracker

Linux Tracker

A list of OSs that are NOT free (you gotta pay for them)

Microsoft Servers

Red Hat enterprise

Apple

I hope this article has helped you in understanding what a VPS is and the steps to build and create one, thanks and goodbye for now.


By Max Williams
videotechstuff.com
videotechstuff@gmail.com


Hello, and thank you for viewing this blog on websites and web-hosting for beginners. This as the title says is a basic break down for beginners to know what to do to host a website and how to publish it on the Internet for all to see (or whomever they choose to see it ).

To start, there are many ways to host your website, we will talk about a few of the following:
1 - hosting a website on your own server at home
2 - using a hosting company to publish your website
3 - using a VPS to host your website
4 - hiring someone to build and setup a website on a hosting service for you


Part 1 - hosting a website on your own server at home:

You could build your website yourself using a framework like bootstrap, or a GUI (Graphic User Interface) like bluefish (found in ubuntu repositories), dream weaver, coding it by hand, or even Microsoft word.

Any of the above will work, depending on your taste and style. So once you actually build the site, you could host it yourself on your own server at home.

First you will need to decide what type of hardware to put the web server on (I have heard of a few guys who ran web servers on laptops). Next you will need to decide what software/webserver to use, example;
Apache, Nginx, IIS, lighthttp, Jetty, mongoose, and the list goes on and on.

Then decide if you want a database to work in union with your web server, such as:
mysql, mariadb, mssql, sqlite, oracle, DB2, mongodb

You will also need a scripting language to communicate between the web server and database, like:
perl, php, python, ruby, node.js, asp


Next is the OS (operating system) you gonna run the web server, database, and scripting language on:
Windows, Linux, MacOS, Unix

And finally, you will need to decide what type of stack you want to mix all of the above in, let me explain in the next paragraph below.

In simple terms, when I say what stack you want to use, I am saying what type of combination you will build and configure your web server, database, scripting language, and OS into. I will break down a few of the more familiar stacks such as such:
Stacks -->>
LAMP (Linux, Apache, mySQL, and either --> php, perl, or python)

LEMP (Linux, Nginx, mySQL, and either --> php, perl, or python)

WAMP (Windows, Apache, mySQL, and either --> php, perl, or python)

A WAMP site

MEAN (MongoDB, Express.js, Angularjs, node.js)

MAMP (macOS, apache, mySQL, and either --> php, perl, or python)

XAMPP (X=cross plateform / any OS, apache, mariadb, php, perl)


Other lists of AMP packages:
List of Apache_MySQL_PHP packages

Next you will want to decide which method you will use to put your website out as such either with a static ip address assigned to you by your ISP (internet service provider), or using your dynamic ip address (your regular ip address assigned from your ISPs DHCP server --> DHCP --> Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol).

If you go with a static ip address, which is a ip address that never changes, you will get a ip address possibly with a router (both assigned to you from your ISP) usually through a business or commercial account (check with your ISP for prices).

Once you have been given you static ip and router from your ISP company, you will want to go to a Domain registar and find / create a domain name for your website OR get a domain name from your ISP if they offer that service.

A Domain registar (a company or organization that gives and registers
your domain name for you, example --> www.yoursite.com
usually at a cost).

Here is a list of Domain registars below, as of this writing the following offer their services


Google

GoDaddy

NameCheap

Blue host

HostGator

If you go through a dynamic ip address, usually through your already existing residential account (dynamic ip address is from your ISPs dhcp server, and changes ip addresses from time to time), you can use openDNS.

With openDNS

you go through a company that will provide you with client software usually to install in your compatible type router, there by allowing for when your dynamic ip address changes, your domain name (ex - www.yoursite.com) will not change and people can still access your site.

Video information regarding openDNS
OpenDNS for Network Security

OpenDNS Setup and Configuration

How to setup OpenDNS on Linux Mint

Part 2 - using a hosting company to publish your website:

Next you can use a hosting company (a company that will publish your website for you), to host your website for you.

First, lets start with the underlining technology you will be dealing with in most if not all hosting company.

To start with {and don't worry, we will keep this simple}, a hosting company will have a web server or several web servers. A web server is both the computer, and the software installed on that computer that just serves (or in our case, displays websites - public and or sometimes private), for any client = the person or anyone, who is requesting to look at the website on the hosting company server, from the clients browser.

You, as a potential customer of the hosting company, will need to sign-up with said hosting company, at which point, you will be provided with an account on the hosting companys web server and a username and password, to gain access to your account to build and serve your website for the internet to see.


With this way, you can do several things,
A - you can build your website and then just upload it to your hosting company root web server.
B - you can use the hosting company tools to build out your website and then publish on the internet.
C - you can have someone build your website, and then put it in your hosting company web server.

There are some hosting types you may want to consider when using a hosting company, such as:
1 - Shared hosting: this is the most common plan in my opinion and is made up of simply sharing space with other customer's on a hosting company server. Let me explain - When you sign up for a company to host your website, you will be given a username & password to login to their computers/servers into your assigned account (usually a folder that only you and whoever you choose has access to). There maybe other customer's with their own accounts (folders) being used on the same server.
Shared hosting is usually the least expensive plan to start with.

2 - Dedicated hosting: this option is when you are paying the hosting company to use the whole server and NO other customer or accounts but your own has access to this server. This plan/option can get very expensive but can be a great benefit to those who want a private server for their own use for things like, a database, media server, company internal webserver (intranet), etc.

As stated above, shared hosting is usually the simplist and best method or option to start with as it usually only requires a customer to sign up for a hosting plan and then just starting from there.

Some well known hosting companys

Mocha host

1and1 host

Wix host

Go daddy hosting

Bluehost

Most hosting company offer domain registration (example - www.yourwebsite.com) to include with your website if you wish, but as stated above when creating a home server, you can add your own domain name if you want to, depending upon your hosting plan and company.



Part 3 - using a VPS to host your websites:

VPS (Virtual Private Server), is a virtual server that you can get from a hosting company (hosting, cloud computing) and use to host multiple websites and/or services on-line. A vps is a virtual copy of a an operating system that you have super-user rights to and can be installed from the hosting company network. VPSs can either be shared (meaning multipe VPSs on one server, which is usually named shared), or dedicated (a VPS or physical server that is not shared, and is its own server).
VPS wiki

Companies that sell VPS hosting

Digital Ocean

1&1

check out this article (not an indorsement)
VPS Web Hosting Services of 2018

Part 4 - hiring someone to build and setup a website on a hosting service for you:

Maybe you do not want to deal with all of the options suggested above, maybe you want someone to do it for you.
In which case you will need to consider the following.

A - choose someone who has some longevity and has been around for awhile, you really dont want someone who has no proof of being around, and you dont know if they will be in business 6 months from now.

B - consider the price for building the website, how much will it be, is this a one-time fee, is there a separate charge for hosting the website & monthly fees, also how much for follow-up updates and add-ons. How much for a support contract (weekly, monthly, quarterly, yearly), and will he or she be hosting the website on their own server, or do you have to get your own hosting company to do it.

C - finally, where to find people who can build your website for you, try social media - facebook, youtube, twitter, etc.

Do a search on one of your favorite search engines for a web developer, search through the yellow pages --> Yellow pages
Go to your local LUG (Linux User Group) or computer user meetings, local meetups meetings.

I also happen to build and host websites, for more information, please visit my website for the shared hosting service special, pay $150 for the website build, and get 1 free year of hosting, contact me at the link below- Web services

I hope this article has helped you in deciding how and where to shop for hosting services for building and publishing your website, bye for now.



By Max Williams

my website: videotechstuff.com

my email address: videotechstuff@gmail.com


Hello everyone, I'd like to speak to you about a Linux User Group and why I think everyone should join one.

A Linux User Group to put in simple terms, is a group of people who get together to talk about the Linux operating system and the open source software that comes with Linux (even though Linux itself is open source software). As of this writing I have been in several Linux user groups for almost eight to nine years.


Linux User Groups wiki

Linux Meetups

Hacker Spaces

There are many advantages to joining a Linux User Group. One good example of why to join a Linux User Group would simply be to learn more about Linux. There are a lot of experienced Linux users that show up at the Linux User Group meetings (some are professional help desk, support desk technicians and engineers, field engineers/technicians, system administrators, database administrators, programmers, while others are just enthusiasts that don’t want to use Microsoft and or apple products). Also there are a lot of other people at these user groups that are there to learn (some may call these beginners → noobs or newbies, don’t be intimidated by that term as everyone started somewhere). going to a Linux User Group is also a good way to learn how to get that old computer you have fixed and running again with Linux software when its too old to run it’s original software/operating system anymore.

At the Linux User Group here in Central Florida there are many good people that can help you with your Linux questions. They also have open install Fest in order to help people install and configure Linux on your old computer and or laptop. as long as you provide the machine and the install software you should be able to get decent help at these install Fest.

There are many reasons why people join Linux user groups or form their own, some people join Linux user groups because they want to explore using open source software. Some people join Linux user groups as a free alternative to what is considered expensive software on the market today.

I joined a Linux User Group so that I could talk with people of the same like-minded subject regarding free and open-source alternatives. Whatever the reason you join a Linux User Group I'm pretty sure you'll get something out of it whether you're a beginner, intermediate, or Advanced Computer user. Going to a Linux User Group install Fest as we previously mentioned is a good way to get some free tech support regarding your computer equipment. You just want to make sure that you have everything with you when you go to include, the system box , the monitor, all install CDs, DVDs, USBs, and or microSD.

Joining a Linux User Group is also a good way to gain good experience if you decide to take up a career in the Technology field. The Linux user groups are made up of many volunteers, so you should be able to find several positions needed at these Linux user groups.

You will find in most Linux user groups if not all that there are many projects that you can participate in, from assisting with installing new software, to providing tutorials, to writing and videotaping documentation on how to use various pieces open source software, Linux User Groups may also help donate and install computers to a school, church, or local non-profit organization, another service would be building websites, and offering free technical support, and building a computer network. A Linux User Group can use help with other things such as building a website, documentation on Club rules, updates on important events, Etc.

There are many ways to join a Linux User Group, I first learned by doing a search in Google for local Linux groups in my area here in Central Florida. you may also find Linux user groups on Facebook, and even on Craigslist I believe I found some. you can also find user groups on-line at YouTube.

As of 2019 joining a  Linux User Group is very easy to research and gather information about before joining. when looking for a Linux User Group to join I usually look for several signs such as , a Linux User Group in my opinion should have at the very least a website to begin with (this is my humble opinion of course).

While having a website is not mandatory for a Linux User Group it does make it easier to learn things such as meeting times, special events, and a place to learn about the current event of that particular Linux User Group, also their website should provide information regarding there tutorials and User Group information as in group members and meeting locations.

I would also look for a user group that is active on-line with regards to YouTube videos open source and Linux tutorials and the like as well as documentation on group information and group needs.

You may also want to go to a Meetup website and fine other types of groups that  specialized in other types of Technology that can range from open source software, to Open Source Hardware, such as Raspberry Pi and other types of hardware. Also hacker spaces have become quite popular, this is where you can go and build things such as robots, different equipment, using 3D printers, and other very interesting types of things.

If you have a child or a future engineer who is interested in technology, a Linux User Group and or hacker space will get them off to a good start. If you are in Middle School or High School in a town that does not have a Linux User Group, it may be a good idea to start one at your school or at your house, starting a Linux User Group is a good way to learn about Linux and open source software.

I first learned about Linux at work, as tech support engineer at my local cable company. About once or twice a month we kept getting a call from someone who complained that they're Linux system was not working with our system (which at the time was a high-speed Internet network that my local cable company was selling in my area). So I decided to do some research on my own, this started by reading books on Linux, red hat in particular. I started with a red hat Version 9 book that I bought from Amazon, it came with the CD and with shipping and handling cost no more than $3, and a used computer system that I bought from ebay (this was around 2002 so I don’t remember how much I paid for the machine back then).

I next went through the book and read and followed the instructions for how to install the red hat version 9 that was on the CD, it went over things like obviously installation and configuring of different things, such as setting up a email client, and how to get your Network interface card (NIC) on-line, now the whole information can be found out for free on YouTube.

While searching YouTube but tutorials is an excellent way to learn, you can also benefit from someone more experienced than you with hands on application. that's why you want to go go join a Linux User Group, that way when you run into a snag hopefully you'll have somebody that can help you with that information.

At a Linux User Group even though I already had quite a bit of experience, I found that I was very interested not only in talking with other people about Linux, but also I was just glad to be around the technology and helping out other people.

So who joins a Linux User Group:
a beginner to Linux software, a beginner to computers, a experienced computer user not familiar with Linux and coming from the windows and or apple world, a intermediate to Advanced user who wants to help spread the word about Linux and open source software. The reasons are many and varied, maybe it's a college student who specializes in programming or another form of Technology and he or she wants to gain more experience by volunteering their skills.

No matter the reason everyone who joins a Linux user group will find some type of benefit from it, whether you help install a Linux operating system, or you help with the documentation of your Linux User Group Club, or you help out at the install Fest with receiving , fixing, and or the inventory of the parts you get at the install Fest. everyone can lend a hand at the install Fest even if you can't program or participate in the  technical aspects of the install Fest.

The Linux User Group is for anyone who wants to learn about Linux an open source, to include children, women, men, young, old, non-technical, someone from the windows background, someone from the Apple background. before joining a Linux User Group, you may want to do your own on line research first.

I would start with free tutorials on the history of Linux, and the use and application of Linux. it really depends on what you want to get out of Linux and or open source, if you just need software to use for sending and receiving email, or using a Word document, or using a spreadsheet, the list goes on and on, Linux has something for everyone no matter what your age,  gender, and or technical background or lack of.

History of Gnu, Linux, Free and Open Source Software (Revolution OS)

Tecmint

VideoTechStuff

You could start learning Linux as was previously stated on line I have a few tutorials that you can start with beginning with a distribution of Linux called Linux Mint, it's very easy to use very easy to install and has a very clear but simple interface to start with to start learning about it (also keep in mind that while there are newer version of Linux Mint since the writing of this article, the over-all installation is the same and won’t change between versions).

Linux Mint

Another Mint vid

Another good to use for learning Linux for beginner would be to maybe use a Linux distro that specializes in bringing older computers and PCs back to life. For using a Linux distro to run on an older machine maybe you should explore this link below.

Puppy Linux

If you want to learn how to build a web server or about databases Linux servers is the perfect place to start I have a few free videos for learning how to build web servers for servers in general using Linux please look at the links below for further research.

Ubuntu Linux Server

Centos Linux Server

I think another good place to start when you trying to learn Linux or trying to figure out what to do when researching for a lug group (LUG = Linux User Group), is to start by researching or finding a mentor to help you out with Linux. Now a mentor doesn't have to be somebody that you know, and they certainly don’t have to be someone that knows you, or that's a friend of yours (although that’s fine too) it can be an on line presence, like somebody with a YouTube channel who specializes in Linux information or open source information. It could be somebody who wrote books about Linux or the subject of Open Source, it really doesn't matter who you choose, technically the person does not even need to be alive, just someone who has written and or created content information about a subject that you're interested in as far as Linux and or open source is concerned.

In my humble opinion a good place to start as I said over and over again in this document would be to start on-line, here are a few mentions that have helped me in my research for Linux over the years, I hope they can help you as well. Like I said, these are some links of some awesome Linux / open source users on YouTube that have some really good content and information for you to go over, check them out when you get a chance:

Hak5

Jupiter Broadcasting

Joe Collins

Kris Occhipinti / metalx1000

Tutorialinux

Eli the computer guy

In my humble opinion if you go and visit each of the links mentioned above you should find some very good information especially if you go to each of their play list. I found that in doing my research on Linux the above-mentioned have some very good content and information videos on Linux and its use and applications.

That's not to mean that the mentioned links above are the only place where you should or can find information regarding Linux and open source but I think it's a good place to start, there's a wealth of information in each of the links mentioned and I'm sure you'll find more on your own.

Also since I started using YouTube I haven't started reading many books on the subject of open-source and linux in a while, I know that's bad to say but I use a lot of on line references and resources, that's not to say that there aren't any good books on Linux nowadays. I suggest doing some research at amazon.com for books and information regarding Linux and open-source . I can't mention any specific books so far due to the fact that a number of the books that I have read are either very old editions or possibly even out of print. However choose a distro that you're interested in whether it be on Ubuntu, Fedora, CentOS, or Red Hat Enterprise and you should find a book and subject at Amazon regarding it.

Also we should also mention some good websites regarding Linux and the information that they have, when you get a chance browse through the website links below for more resources regarding Linux and open source software. I have found them to be very informative and quite helpful in my research with Linux and open software.

Linux Mint

Distrowatch

Ubuntu

CenTOS

Fedora

Red Hat

Knoppix

Now most of Linux is free to download provided you have the bandwidth to download it, however even if you can't download it, if you go to the prospective websites of your choice of distribution usually you can buy a CD that can be shipped to you at your physical address if you prefer. Just go to whichever site you choose for whichever distribution you want to learn and research their information regarding shipping and sending the CD/DVDs.

Amazon is a good place to buy both books and CD/DVD/USBs that come with Linux. Also if you shop at your local brick and mortar stores in your local area you should be able to find both books and magazines regarding Linux that comes with the CD/DVD/USBs, that's how I did it when I first started out learning about Linux and open-source.

Now as we just stated getting the software will to be easy especially if it's free which most of it is, the next step is to get the hardware so that you can install and run Linux on it. so you have to make a decision, do you want to install Linux in a physical computer/laptop, in that case I suggest eBay or Amazon for buying a used laptop or desktop computer to install Linux on (which is a very good suggestion since you don’t want to start out with your experimental machine as your main machine, in case for what ever reason it stops working, make your Linux machine your second machine, so you can still have your other PC to work from just in case the Linux machine crashes on you).

If you decide to install Linux in a virtual environment, then what you will need to do is install a hypervisor which is just software that will allow you to install Linux in a virtual environment, as well as other operating systems software. Two of the most popular hypervisor software that I'm aware of is either Vmware and Virtualbox, they both come with free versions, just go to each perspective site (links listed below), and make your decision (just a my opinion, I use Virtual Box):

Virtual Box

VMware

If you would like instructions for how to setup your own personal VPS which stands for virtual private server with information and links provided go here:

Make your own VPS (virtual private server) in the comfort of your own home:

Also if you want to learn through online paid classes there are definitely some links and information that you can visit please look below.

Udemy

Tree house

Ed2go

Khan Academy (this one is free):

Online courses

Learning about Linux and other open source software can be a rewarding an exciting Journey, even if you're not going to be in the computer field, the knowledge you gained from learning Linux and open source will at least help you to build and maintain your own computer system in my humble opinion.

Since Linux can be found in almost every modern-day device from computers, tablets, smart-phones, Embedded systems, traffic lights, Etc, learning about Linux can help you stay ahead of the game.

You can also learn about Linux and other open source software by joining a open source project (actually most Linux User Groups have within them open-source projects that occur), there are many projects that could use a good volunteer. a volunteer to assist with maybe documentation, fixing devices, configuring devices, and or creating the software that controls the devices.

There are also Linux user groups that assist the community with free tech support, such as volunteering to put computers into schools, libraries, and communities that otherwise could not afford the technology and the labor to implement them.

I remember a volunteer project that I participated in to install some used and old computers into a church for the Sunday School of the children so that they would have games and Technology to learn. since the computers we're too  old to run Windows anymore, I was able to install Linux at the time for the children to play their games on. It was license-free and easy to install Linux and open source games on those older computers.

Not only did I install the computers for the Sunday School, I also taught a Saturday class on Linux to some of the church congregation. they also use the computers and some of the software to play music on, and finally they were able to auction off some of the computers so that their children can get an early start on learning technology.

Volunteering to install computers for a nonprofit organization is an excellent way to gain experience in the computer technology field, it gives you a hands-on experience so you can document your experience for when you go to put in an application to work on computers, or in a help desk, or field environment.

So along with the other reasons for joining a Linux User Group, I believe as I stated previously not only can you learn about technology, you can also gain some good experience if you decide to go into the computer field (or I.T as it is referred to today by some). I find that it's very rewarding and an interesting experience, provided you like helping people with their technical problems, and you are patience, you can learn how to build fix and configure just about anything with enough time and energy.

Two of the Linux user groups that I go to here in Central Florida help me a lot when learning about Linux and open source in general, I even helped to volunteer by creating three websites for one Linux User Group which is CFL-LEAP:

CFL-LEAP

Orlando Install Fest

CFL web people:

And then there is GoLug where I go for their once a month meetings (I didn't create the website for GoLug): golug

I even brought my thirteen-year-old to a Linux meeting at one time and as far as I know he enjoyed it very much. Children might like Linux user meetings most of all because it will allow them to touch the hardware build and configure a hardware and then at the same time it'll also help them to install and configure the software (provided adult supervisor is around at all times). So it will give them a very good idea of using their hands and their minds to build and create something.

Technology is something everyone can get excited about whether it's an individual, a single, or the whole family. joining a Linux group, or any type of User Group can be a very wonderful  experience to introduce a young person to technology for the first time and hopefully build skills that he and/or she can use for a lifetime.

So when deciding which type of Linux User Group to join if you're not sure, do your own personal research through the links above that have been provided in this document. It will help you to at least gather some background to see if you at least like open source and Linux, and can start you off to a very rewarding career if that's what you're looking for.

Linux and open source technology it's very beneficial to the modern world, it can help you for doing common everyday computer jobs, such as emails, Word documents, spreadsheets, and databases. you will fine that in today's modern world having at least a general knowledge of Linux can help you when using everyday devices.

The great part about joining a Linux User Group is learning about Linux obviously, it's a versatile, all purpose, and a very customizable piece of software. While there are licenses that come with open-source software (Linux being one of them), the license don’t prohibit you from installing the software on multiple machines, you can install it on as many machines as you want, and you can modify it as many different ways as you want.

Here is another incentive to investigate why someone would want to join a Linux User Group, case in point, computer prices and laptop prices as well as tablet prices have lowered in the past years as we all know, however software is still being priced at a premium.

You can take the Linux software and download it, study and repackage it and depending on which open source license you use you can even create a variation and resell it to users so long as you follow the open source licenses and documentation, Linux is a very versatile piece of software.

So it would be best for you even if you don't join a Linux User Group to take the information in this article and at least learn about the alternatives in open source software and in using the Linux operating system.

Here are some examples and links of some videos of free and open source software:

Open Source Utility Software

Best Free Software to Increase Your Productivity

Microsoft Office vs OpenOffice / LibreOffice

Open Office

Libre Office

GnuCash: free accounting software:

In this article I am also including some videos that I think gives a very good simple definition of what open source software is all about, when you get a chance please take a look at them.

What is Open Source software?

What is Open Source Software

I hope this article will give you a good start in your research to learn about open source, Linux, and Linux user groups in particular, I hope you have enough information in this article to make a good decision about joining a Linux User Group, and how to go about finding Linux, open-source software, installing them, and how to use them.

Thank you:
Max Williams Jr.