Removing spambot Users

Removing spambot Users

So, on our newer hosting, after we opened up registrations, but before we added simple Math Capatcha on registration, a lot of spambots registered as Users.  Mostly not a problem, as we’ve got good anti-spam – notably Akismet Anti-Spam.  But we want to clean that up – remove the spambot users.  But how do we tell the spambot Users from legitimate users?  That’s not super-easy, as there’s no simple way, based on just Username and Email Address – which is often all (or nearly all) we have to go by.  So, what can we/you do?  We’ll remove spambot accounts starting about a month from now.  Here’s where you come in:

User action needed / how do I avoid getting my User account removed along with the spambot accounts?:

  • Looks like the spambots can’t be bothered to set a First Name and/or Last Name on the profile of their account, so set a non-blank First Name and/or Last Name on your Profile Personal Options.
  • Be or become a subscriber to our BerkeleyLUG list (Google Groups).  For all email addresses subscribed to that list, for Users Registered on our BerkeleyLUG web site where we have a matched email address, we’ll presume that user isn’t a spambot and won’t remove that registered User account in our spambot purging efforts (be sure your email addresses match – do you need to change/update for them to match?).
  • Be grandfathered in (only applies to a very small number of Users) – if your account was already on the site before we migrated hosting (your account was created before 2019-08-30), we’ll consider you grandfathered in and not a spambot – that’s only these Username accounts:

One-off Pi Day and Search for new locale

(reposting, as this was posted earlier (2019-09-13) in a demoted location)

One-off Pi Day

BerkeleyLUG is having a one-off Pi Day this Sunday, 2019-09-15 from 12Noon to 3pm at Cafe Blue Door.  The regular BerkeleyLUG Pi Day is still the first Sunday of the month (next one is on October 6th.)

As regular BerkeleyLUG participant tomrlopes wrote on the mailing-list within the past two months :

Same place and time as the Berkeley LUG meetings:  Cafe Blue Door from noon till 3 pm.  Raspberry Pi, Arduino or any single board computer welcome.
Enable ssh (headless):  create empty file ssh in the boot volume
Preconfigure WIFI: mount rootfs partition and edit /etc/wpa_supplicant/wpa_supplicant.conf  so that it looks like this
: country=US
: ctrl_interface=DIR=/var/run/wpa_supplicant GROUP=netdev
: update_config=1
: network={
:       ssid=”Blue Door Cafe”
:       psk=”bluedoor2019″
: }

Search for a new locale

Cafe Blue Door has gotten quite crowded with students on the last couple of regular BerkeleyLUG meetups, what with Cal’s Fall Semester fully underway.

As regular BerkeleyLUG participant michaelpaoli wrote earlier this week in a Comment following the last post :

… meeting venue has been bit of an issue and there’ve been some changes on that. This past Sunday’s meeting (2019-09-08) didn’t work so well with venue … though still many of us did settle/”squeeze” in there after a while (and attempting some nearby alternatives).
We’re continuing to look at / research alternatives – both venue, and possibly adjusting timing (notably possibly starting earlier).

One alternative that may be worth exploring before/during/after the One-off Pi Day this Sunday is Wrecking Ball Coffee Roaster’s 1600 Shattuck Ave shop in North Berkeley, at the site of what used to be a Philz Coffee.
As its East Bay Express writeup Wrecking Ball Coffee Expands to the East Bay wrote :

The downstairs level of the two-story cafe is full of light. Upstairs, there’s a long communal table for studying, a couple of small tables, some armchairs, a couch, and a small outdoor area that’ll be turned into a kids’ play area.

Note from the respective Yelp pages and that both previous BerkeleyLUG meetup venues 85C Bakery Cafe and Algorithm Coffee shut down within the last half-year.
Please feel free to share your thoughts and suggestions on any or all of the above, in the below Comments.

Site “hosting” moved: (now on balug virtual machine)

Site “hosting” moved: (now on balug virtual machine).
The web site (main) URL is and domain is
On 2019-08-30 its “hosting” was migrated from hosting to
being “hosted” on balug ( virtual machine. (and that domain) is what remains of old content and site location,
essentially all content was migrated.
Expect (and domain
to be going away in the (not too horribly distant) future.