The meeting began with a range of chit-chat. John H, commenting on a note about solution focused journalism, remarked that a very good journalist had told him that you always end a piece with something that left the reader thinking, not a neat solution. This led into a discussion of the principles of writing a good article and how, translated into radio, the principle that there should be a new point at least every 90 seconds was well worth following.
Darren reported that he had not been able to download a version of BlueJ which was compatible with the version used by the Open University.
Bernard began by demonstrating Stellarium, the open source planetarium.
John H then asked about created a looping video to run on a display probably using a Raspberry Pi.
Mike asked about getting a new computer on which to install Linux and John suggested he have a look at PCSpecialist in Wakefield from whom Brian had obtained a laptop which he was very happy with.
Brian shared a problem he had with KDE Activities; there was a Default activity on the desktop but, while it was possible to give the activity a blank name, it was not possible to remove the icon identifying it.
He also mentioned a problem with File Associations for which he had downloaded a separate program but John was able to show him System Settings->Applications->File Associations which allows full configuration of file associations.
Brian demonstrated Glances, a cross-platform system monitoring tool written in Python, running in
tmux on his server.
He then said that he had installed Nextcloud using a server running on a Raspberry Pi. This is relatively easy on a Raspberry Pi 2, less so on a Raspberry Pi 3. It involves downloading the server image onto a desktop computer, copying it onto an SD card, putting this in the Raspberry Pi, booting it and then updating the image.
Darrenshared his experiences at the June Leeds Code Dojo meeting when the programming challenge was to write a parser for Befunge whose code is written on a two dimensional grid and uses Reverse Polish Notation. Befunge was originally written to be as hard to compile as possible though compilers do exist for it. He showed the parser he had written in D.
Brian showed us his new laptop from PCSpecialist running Linux Mint with Cairo Dock and recalled that he had been looking for a replacement for Tomboy because it does not synchronise well and cannot show anything other than text. He had found Joplin which uses Markdown and, following a recent request, now has a search within notes feature.