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John R Hudson
Articles by John

April 13 2021 Wireshark, adb, Cordova, MariaDB authentication

( 7 minute read )

Brian showed a device he had which measures particulates, in particular the PM2.5 particulates which are particularly dangerous. They had recently experienced sand being blown onshore from the Sahara but there had been none of usual cases of people being affected by the sand particles because people were wearing masks because of the pandemic. Bernard said that he had once experienced sand particles on snow when skiing; when snow later fell on the sand, it turned orange.

March 9 2021 Zigbee, Raspberry Pi Pico, VNC, Chrome sync, MariaDB authentication

( 8 minute read )

Brian finally managed to sort out John’s audio by clarifying that in PulseAudio the settings in the Playback and Recording tabs should be 100% and any volume adjustments made in the Output and Input tabs.

February 9 2021 UMLet, Data Points, git-stash, Pico, IPFS, mariadb, IERS

( 6 minute read )

As there were still problems with the sound on John’s new laptop, we started with a discussion of sound on chromium, whether it might worth trying Firefox, which did not recognise John’s external microphone, or whether it might be worth trying another microphone, without coming to any satisfactory conclusion.

January 12 2021 LXD, openstack, 3D printing

( 3 minute read )

Brian, John W, Bernard, David, Darren and John H joined the meeting this month. Brian began by describing some of the neighbour trouble he was having before

Bernard demonstrated how the content of the four projects contained in LXD containers on the Webparametrics website

December 8 2020 Picture of the day, Kdenlive, wave-share, Tasmota, B4RN

( 4 minute read )

As no-one had prepared anything specific for the meeting, the conversation wandered over a wide range of computing and non-computing topics.

November 10 2020 Nextcloud, Enhancer, ARIA, Agile, INDI and backup

( 5 minute read )

Brian has swapped from Digital Ocean to Amazon because he only needs a web server and not a website but he was puzzled by the output of free -m which suggested that he had very little free memory. David explained that the Linux kernel uses whatever memory there is for cache and so will reclaim memory from cache if it needs more than the free memory available.

October 13 2020 ssh, systemd, Codewars, Sphinx and LoRa

( 2 minute read )

Brian shared the problems he was having connecting over ssh behind carrier grade NAT. A number of possible solutions were discussed including using wireguard or socat or following the SSH Port Forwarding Example and the problem was eventually solved.

September 8 2020 12th birthday, browsers, MS and packaging

( 9 minute read )

David S is still looking for a decent Android text editor. This query led on to a discussion of Android Firefox problems. Bernard, Darren, Brian, David, John and, later, Nick joined the discussion.

August 11 2020 Microtik OS, Dlang, virtualisation and Anaconda cloud

( 2 minute read )

Brian shared a number of problems he was having configuring a VPN with the Microtik router OS; the only suggestion people could make was to use Wireguard instead for what he wants. Brian also mentioned that he had had a look at Boxee Smart DNS as a possible way forward.

July 14 2020 Python venv, Tasmotizer, Sonoff and INDI

( 2 minute read )

Unfortunately, there were problems with the audio in particular this time which meant that several people who joined us left the meeting. For those who remained

Darren demonstrated a simplified version of cat(1), written in Dlang. It had only one loop, two variables, and three function calls to the D standard library.

Bernard demonstrated using Python virtual environments.

June 9 2020 Linux on Lenovo and the Hedgehog diner

( 2 minute read )

Darren drew attention to the announcement that Lenovo will be supporting Linux across its range with Ubuntu and RedHat and providing full web support. John mentioned that the number of Linux desktops connected to the Internet had now overtaken the number of XP desktops and was approaching the number of Windows 7 desktops; however, there was a long way to go to overtaking the number of Windows 8 desktops.

May 12 2020 Odroid, Debian 10, openSUSE, Home assistant, Advanced Research Computing, Remscope

( 5 minute read )

Ten people, three cats and a hamster participated at various times and in various ways in our second online meeting.

David reported that he had managed to install the Ubuntu 20.4 Mate image on his Odroid but had encountered various problems and was now awaiting the Arch ARM image.

April 14 2020 Paperwork, websites and 3D printing

( 2 minute read )

Brian, John, David, Shi, Kriss and Yoghurt took part in a Jitsi meet.

Brian demonstrated the Paperwork which allows you to store documents in any format, including image formats, and then search (for) them using the inbuilt OCR which gives it an advantage over purely text based search engines.

March 18 2020 Meetings and Covid-19

( 1 minute read )

The absence of any reports on the meetings in February 2020 and March 2020 did not mean that the meetings did not go ahead but that those attending pursued individual projects and there were no presentations.

The Covid-19 pandemic means that we are unlikely to meet face to face in the near future but we are exploring the possibilities of virtual meetings.

Keep in touch through our mailing list.

January 14 2020 PineTime, watch, computer games and 3D printing Meet

( 4 minute read )

Mike had had problems applying a patch to dhcpcd and so David S talked him through the process while the rest of us got on with the meeting.

December 10 2019 Inkscape, xfig and Scribus Meet

( 3 minute read )

David had been demonstrating shaders in GIMP and Mike sharing his experiences with broadband and servers when John arrived rather late with a demonstration of using free and open source software to do something which had originally been done in proprietary software.

November 12 2019 Thought Bubble, Astronomy Project and IT Management Meet

( 5 minute read )

After an exchange of various news items, Bernard mentioned his visit to the Thought Bubble Festival in Harrogate the previous week where a wide range of novel and comic book authors had appeared; Bernard had attended a panel on web comics which had looked at the artistic issues and the technical ones — specifically that web comics do not pay, though it is possible to raise money through patrons or kickstarter funding.

October 08 2019 DNS, Freedombone, Minetest, CSS containers and Mastodon Meet

( 5 minute read )

Mike raised a problem he was having with DNS and Rob, joining us once again after a long absence, explained that the big players and the Content delivery networks were effectively operating a new version of DNS. The only answer was to get a domain hosted by one of the majors like GoDaddy. He went on to say that, notwithstanding the objections from state actors to encryption, end to end encryption would become the default with IPv6 and IoT because it was the only way to make IoT viable. Whatever happens, it will involve changes to hardware, firmware and the Linux kernel. Interestingly, the US Navy which uses Windows is using Linux containers for security.

September 10 2019 Postfix, Raspberry Pi, Chromebooks, Wuthering Bytes and Gramps Meet

( 4 minute read )

Mike had encountered a problem with Postfix in that it didn’t start after it had been stopped for a reboot. A quick search revealed that a similar problem had been around in 2016 in both the RedHat and Debian versions of Postfix when it had been traced to a file being left in the wrong place. After discussion, it was suggested that Mike write a script which periodically checked that Postfix was running and then started it if it was not.

August 13 2019 Magic-Wormhole, Yandex Disk, vole.wtf quiz, backups and ssltest Meet

( 2 minute read )

Brian had hoped to demonstrate Magic-Wormhole which allows command line communication between two computers where the sender enters:

wormhole send <filename>

which generates a code which the receiver can use when prompted by

wormhole receive

to receive the file. However, Internet access was down.

July 09 2019 Infra-red photography and WordPress Meet

( 1 minute read )

Bernard showed us the results of his infra-red photography kit, powered by his Raspberry Pi. We saw, after some image enhancement in VLC media player, a hedgehog wandering past his hide, a crate in his garden [there was some dispute later as to whether the creature was a hedgehog or a rat].

June 11 2019 darktable and Spreadsheets Meet

( 2 minute read )

Mike left the explanation of how to configure a server to allow a single IP address to serve four domains, each configured as a subdomain on the server, until next month when Brian will be back and gave a presentation on darktable. He illustrated a variety of effects, how you can organise the right hand pane to reflect your personal workflow and how easy it is to access and work with the history feature.

May 14 2019 Sub-domains, LXD and Jekyll Meet

( 4 minute read )

Mike tried to explain to Brian how he configured his server to allow a single IP address to serve four domains, each configured as a subdomain on his server. It was suggested that Mike prepare a piece on this for a later meeting.

It was noted in passing that the Windows Subsystem for Linux is getting a Linux kernel.

April 9 2019 PyPi, DigiKam, GIMP, pdfjam and LyX Meet

( 6 minute read )

Bernard demonstrated the Python Package Index for which anyone can write packages. He showed how you could set it up and then how you could download a package to a virtual environment with:

python3 -m venv ~/v5

where v5 is a virtual environment in userspace. To activate that virtual environment, you enter

source ~/5/bin/activate

March 12 2019 System rescue, SpamAssassin, server hosting, curve plotting, plated Meet

( 4 minute read )

John noted that Maplin is back as an online store. In response to Mike’s account of the problems he had had trying to install Arch on his computer, John suggested that he could delete all the existing partitions on the hard drive except the very first (very small) one by using System Rescue and then start the installation process afresh.

John managed to demonstrate System Rescue on his own computer by turning off UEFI, using Legacy to load it — though it would only work with the VESA drivers on his computer — and then reverting to UEFI. He said that the documentation is excellent but that they have their own way of creating a bootable USB which John had found you could get round by creating the CD version and then copying it to a USB.

February 12 2019 Journalism, CSS containers, Three funerals and a wedding, Docker containers, REMSCOPE, mysql_secure_installation Meet

( 5 minute read )

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.

January 8 2019 BlueJ, chargers, Python scripts and Wireguard Meet

( 3 minute read )

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.

December 11 2018 Stellarium, looping videos and the ‘Mother of all demos’ Meet

( 1 minute read )

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.

November 13 2018 systemd, Vokoscreen, ITStuff Meet

( 2 minute read )

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.

October 9 2018 Zim, PulseAudio, Review and Vivaldi Meet

( 2 minute read )

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.

September 11 2018 JACK, Ogg Camp and LXD Meet

( 2 minute read )

David C joined us briefly to share progress on open sourcing BCB; he has been able to set up JACK using Rotter as the audio logger.

August 14 2018 Glances, Nextcloud, Handshake and Brian Kernighan Meet

( 2 minute read )

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.

July 10 2018 Wayland, postmarketOS, browsers, cheating, IT Stuff and Press Reader Meet

( 5 minute read )

Brian asked about Wayland which did not seem to work well with Cairo Dock; John said that Wayland with KDE Plasma was an option in openSUSE Leap 15.0 but it did not work well yet.

June 12 2018 Befunge, Python, Code Swarm, Uptime Robot and vulnerabilities Meet

( 3 minute read )

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.

May 8 2018 Joplin, Reaper, Yandex and Tiny Tiny RSS Meet

( 4 minute read )

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.

April 10 2018 i3, Vimium, qutebrowser, Vivaldi and Wireguard Meet

( 1 minute read )

Oliver shared his recent experiences of the i3 tiling window manager. It is very easy to flip between tiles and between tiles in different workspaces which makes it easy to move between different terminals. i3 has a lot of add-ons but mostly they add bling.

March 13 2018 CSS Containers and Skipole Project Meet

( 5 minute read )

Darren brought a problem he had had with some wi-fi headphones but, after various attempts to find a solution, we concluded that there was a hardware compatibility problem.

John thanked members for their contributions at the previous meeting to the GDPR presentation which had been well-accepted by non-geeks. He went on to highlight a number of changes to HTML and CSS. Ostensibly there had been very few changes to HTML — such as the removal of the <keygen> and <menuitem> elements — but the apparently superfluous <main> element which had been added four or five years earlier had been revealed as the foundation for some far reaching developments.

February 13 2018 GDPR, codewars, Meltdown and Spectre Meet

( 2 minute read )

John shared a presentation he was developing on GDPR for small voluntary organisations. David S commented that the test for organisations would be ‘have you made a bona fide attempt to meet the regulations?’ He also commented on the three different uses of ‘loss’:

  • loss of data by deletion
  • loss of data by theft, and
  • loss (harm) to someone as a result of either of the first two.

January 8 2018 LineageOS, Classic Programmer Paintings and Let’s Encrypt Meet

( 2 minute read )

Brian described how he had reflashed his smartphone and his tablet. With the demise of CyanogenMod, LineageOS has taken taken over this space. First go to the Wiki and find the codename for your device; then click on that for the instructions for your device. Note that these are overcomplicated and many steps can be ignored.

Go to OpenGApps where you need to locate your Android version and your processor. You can also choose the level of Google service you want from minimal to maximum. Download the relevant zip file to your computer.

December 11 2017 Advent of Code, Skype for Linux and Wireguard Meet

( 1 minute read )
Darren suggested that we look at Advent of Code, a series of increasingly difficult programming puzzles, which he did while Alice decided to apply Test Driven Development to solving the puzzles which resulted in a solution to the first of the puzzles before he had to leave to catch his train.

November 13 2017 Krack, Algoraves and maths software Meet

( 4 minute read )

Darren had brought some cakes for us to celebrate his birthday and mentioned the Krack vulnerability in WPA2. David S referred to the part of this press release which refers to the early release of a patch by OpenBSD and the exclusion of OpenBSD from early notification of future vulnerabilities.

October 9 2017 MQTT, MODX and CiviCRM Meet

( 7 minute read )

Bernard demonstrated the software he is developing for the Todmorden Astronomy Centre to enable members remotely to control the Remscope, a robotic telescope currently being constructed at the site.

September 11 2017 WebAssembly, Node-RED, asciinema, Review of the Year and Magicbane Meet

( 5 minute read )

Shi brought some cakes, including a beautiful chocolate cake, to celebrate our ninth birthday.

Kriss and Shi introduced WebAssembly on which all the browser manufacturers have agreed to work. WebAssembly provides a virtual CPU which maps to the actual CPU in the device on which you can run C programs compiled to run on the virtual CPU. It operates at a lower level than the Java VM and the code, which runs closer to bare metal than anything else, will run in any browser — as long as the browser manufacturers are not lying. Because it runs in a sandbox, it is as secure as Javascript.

August 14 2017:VirtualBox, Node-RED, LyX, P versus NP and Firefox Meet

( 5 minute read )

As a result of questions by Ash at the previous meeting and John W at this one,

John H demonstrated VirtualBox with FreeDOS running inside it. He has yet to install any DOS programs to run in it!

July 10 2017:AppImage, Slackbuilds and StarPlot Meet

( 6 minute read )

Brian introduced AppImage which provides a way of installing packages directly from the maintainer without going through a distro.

June 12 2017:Guacamole, test-driven development, Ansible and Wireguard Meet

( 3 minute read )

As no-one had prepared anything,

Brian mentioned that his search for a replacement for Tomboy had led him to Apache Guacamole which is currently an Apache Incubator project.

May 8 2017: Intel AMT, EdgeXFactory, Shodan and CiviCRM Meet

( 3 minute read )
Notes from the May meeting

April 10 2017: Creating a Git Repository Meet

( 2 minute read )

We welcomed Ben, a Python programmer from Cambridge, who was on a working trip to West Yorkshire.

Brian asked about notetaking apps because Tomboy was no longer synchronising properly. He would prefer a web-based app and had looked at Minimatch which uses NPM.

This provoked a discussion about developers dropping features.

Then, while David S led a private discussion at one end of the room,

March 13 2017: Farewell to Stephane Meet

( 2 minute read )

Only Stéphane had announced something to share; so

John W asked about freezing rows and columns in LibreOffice Calc. This has changed recently but involves placing the cursor in the highest cell on the left hand side which you do not want to freeze and then selecting Windows->Freeze in older versions and View->Freeze cells in the newer versions.

February 13 2017: American Fuzzy Lop, SlackBuilds, LowEndSpirit, GPL violations and Jitsi Meet

( 4 minute read )

As only David had come with anything to share, we rambled round a wide range of topics.

Nick, who was with us for the first time since 2015, showed us the ThinkPad he had bought for £80 on eBay and told us that he had moved on from SkyBet to Leeds University Department of Engineering where there is a lot of Linux, mostly CentOS and using Puppet, and a wide range of computing resources up to an HPC cluster which is used by, among others, the European Space Agency.

January 9 2017: TU100, automatic static website creation and Slackbuilds

( 3 minute read )

Darren shared some of the problems which had appeared on the Open University TU100 My digital life forums relating to the SenseSense programming language which the Open University have developed from Scratch for use with mature students. Darren himself had had a problem because his 64-bit OS was just that; it had no 32-bit libraries.

December 12 2016: PIC micro-controller, Ham radio logging and LXQt

( 9 minute read )

Roger who hails from South Yorkshire and had stopped by on a return journey from Sutton Bank shared his experiences of using Linux with the PICkit and PIC microcontroller.

November 14 2016: Configuration management

( 3 minute read )

David S did a presentation on configuration management or how to make sure that everything you need is set up as you want it to be whether on one or on a thousand devices.

October 10 2016: Manchester BarCamp and tracking intrusions on uWSGI

( 2 minute read )

As no-one had prepared anything specially for the meeting and David S was occupied trying to get Adobe Flash to work on John W’s computer, we chatted among ourselves with Brian and Ash sharing their experiences of Manchester BarCamp. The arrangements had been better this year with half a dozen lecture rooms available. Brian had given his IoT talk which he had tried out on us the previous month and they had enjoyed sessions on Hacker Packet Radio and Git.

September 12 2016: MQTT, Node-RED, micro-benchmarks and review of the year

( 3 minute read )

Brian gave a demonstration of live messaging between ‘things’ using MQTT in which members were encouraged to participate; this involved installing Mosquitto, a message ‘broker’ for MQTT, and then connecting to the temporary wi-fi network which Brian had set up.

August 8 2016: Intel Compute Stick, Jekyll, Slackbuilds, reveal.js and Instant Messaging

( 5 minute read )

John H announced that David C was moving back to the area after his wife had obtained a job in Leeds.

John showed his Intel Compute Stick; unfortunately, we did not have a female HDMI connector to enable it to be demonstrated.

Darren described the on-going saga of trying to get Slackware 14.2 running with LVM where he had made progress but not found a complete solution.

July 11 2016: Prototyping, VHS to DVD, Huginn, booting to LVM and UPS

( 5 minute read )

John H shared a video he had made of a student presentation on prototyping in 1987; students had been divided into groups of four to research a topic and his group had decided to present their results by way of a series of sketches. At the time development mostly involved COBOL and programming only started after the requirements had been fully specified which normally meant that, by the time the program was delivered, things had moved on and the program no longer met the needs of the organisation. The proposed solution was prototyping of a model of the program to get user feedback before embarking on the programming or building the entire application by prototyping through a series of iterations in much the same way as free and open source software is now developed.

June 13 2016: Raspberry Pi Router, Swanky Paint, code compilation and amateur radio

( 4 minute read )

Brian demonstrated in this presentation how he set up a Raspberry Pi 2 as a router essentially by setting up a static IP during configuration and then handing over to a DNS server.

May 9 2016: Claude Shannon, BASH for Windows and USB WiFi dongle

( 6 minute read )

John W asked the best way to link together a number of computers and NFS or Samba were suggested.

John H talked about the background to and the work of Claude Shannon, the centenary of whose birth fell on 30 April 2016.

April 11 2016: BASH for Windows, Linus Torvalds and other matters

( 2 minute read )

David S had hoped to be able to demonstrate BASH for Windows though he had found that he had to sign away all his rights to register on the Windows Insider Program and, when he had done that, found that the relevant option had not being installed on his tablet. So all he could do was point to the BASH on Ubuntu on Windows site.

March 14 2016: dBASE II, Scribus and Raspberry Pi 3 vs Odroid C2

( 9 minute read )

John H picked up on a discussion at the previous meeting to give a presentation on dBASE II. He had never upgraded to dBASE III because it was not backwards compatible with dBASE II (other programs of that era like WordStar and Supercalc had maintained backwards compatibility; so it was possible to use them on both CP/M and DOS machines) and because dBASE II had an operator similar to LIKE "%<substring>%" in SQL which had not been implemented in dBASE III. As he had made extensive use of this operator in his programs, an upgrade to dBASE III would have involved an extensive rewrite of all his programs.

February 8 2016: Parquet, Impala, Internet connections, Linuxone and snooping

( 4 minute read )

Alice started us off with Optimising Impala Queries, or a ‘Distributed Lego Community’, a demonstration of the principles behind Parquet, a columnar storage format, and Impala, an analytic database, for the Hadoop ecosystem. Columnar storage formats overcome the burden of reading every row of a table based database such as SQL.

January 11 2016: Erlang, Ian Murdock, FPGAs and openSPARC

( 2 minute read )

With no presentations prepared, we talked about this and that, from Elixir, a concurrent programming language that runs on Erlang, to openSPARC.

2015 Christmas Quiz Answers

( 2 minute read )
  1. From which operating system did Linus Torvalds draw inspiration for Linux? Minix
  2. Which was the first recognisable Linux Distribution? Softlanding Linux System [the Manchester distribution is an alternative answer]

December 14 2015: Pine64, ARM GPUs, Cassandra, GPIO and GPG

( 6 minute read )

Brian introduced us to the Pine 64, an expandable single board computer starting at $15 for 512MB. Though a 2GB version was advertised, it appeared that only the 512MB and 1GB versions are currently available.

Stephane then recommended the Charbax videos and in particular the interview with Bernhard Rosenkränzer on the Android team at Linaro and Rob Clark of Red Hat who works on the open source GPU driver called Freedreno for Qualcomm’s ARM processors’ Adreno GPU. He noted that ARM GPUs are all bound to specific implementations of the GPU which makes producing common code very difficult.

November 9 2015: openSUSE LEAP, Realtime trains, GPIO, Libreboot and browser fingerprinting

( 1 minute read )

John H began with a presentation on the background to the recent release of openSUSE LEAP 42.1.

Alice then demonstrated using the Realtime Trains API to download and analyse information about train movements on Train workings; the source code is on GitHub.

October 12 2015: Websites, Windows 10, Frutiger and backups

( 5 minute read )

John H described the work he was doing on the Heath Old Boys Association website; this was a 2003 vintage frame based website which did not play well with modern devices; after he had explored various options, he had decided that the best option was to build a new HTML5 website on the lines described by Dave Fisher in his 2010 talk to BradLUG in front of the old website so that people could continue to access the old website while the new one was under construction.

September 14 2015 Seventh birthday review and Git

( 1 minute read )

A select group of members gathered to celebrate the seventh birthday of BradLUG; there was cake and then John H presented a review of our seventh year which provoked a lot of discussion ...

August 10 2015 youtube-dl, get_iplayer and Stephen Bourne on sh

( 1 minute read )

For the first time ever, no-one had come prepared with anything. So we welcomed Brian from Spain, talked about youtube-dl and get_iplayer and watched the Stephen Bourne lecture about the Early days of Unix and the design of sh.

July 13 2015 Cybersecurity, mesh networking, tools and snooping

( 5 minute read )

John drew attention to the recent change in the MariaDB 10 .mysql_history file format which means that any old .mysql_history file is overwritten [he later found the following thread in the RedHat Bugzilla which suggests that the issue has been around for a while but is only cropping up as distros update to MariaDB 10].

Thinking of a website

( 10 minute read )

There comes a time when small charities begin to think about a website. You need four things for a website:

  • a team of maintainers;
  • a domain name;
  • a hosting provider;
  • a webpage generator.

Cybersecurity futures

( 6 minute read )

The first annual Cantor Lecture, funded by the Vice-Chancellor of Bradford University, Brian Cantor, on similar lines to the series he had funded when he was Vice-Chancellor of York University, was given on 30 June 2015 by Prof. Sadie Creese, Professor of Cybersecurity at the Department of Computer Science, Oxford University where she has been since 2011; she was Professor and Director of e-Security at the University of Warwick’s International Digital Laboratory from 2007 and previously at QinetiQ. She is currently on a sabbatical.

June 8 2015: QGIS, snooping, SSD data retention and System rescue

( 3 minute read )

Paul outlined the proposed development of the Bradford CVS websites and Alice and John offered to look at ways of supporting these developments.

David described how he had dealt with the arrival of an Excel file containing images dotted about among the data about the proposed location for a dig. The first step had been to create a proper spreadsheet of the data and identify, using GPS, the latitude and longitude of two points which could then be used as reference points for the remaining data.

Disk drives: knowledge is power

( 4 minute read )

There’s one thing that should frighten everybody who uses a desktop or laptop computer or server, and that is disk failure. Your storage should be the only part of the computer that you really care about. If not backed up, the information on your disk can be irreplaceable: when it’s gone, it’s very probably gone for good. Yet your precious information is entrusted to one of the few components in a computer that can break down completely, without warning, or literally wear out.

May 11 2015: Apache Spark, Dremelling hard drives, mixed mode UEFI and OwnCloud

( 5 minute read )

Alice began by demonstrating using Apache Spark, an alternative to MapReduce with Hadoop, to analyse Leeds Road Traffic Accidents. Using the Scala shell, she read in the text file, created a Scala class, created an RDD (Resilient Distributed Dataset), cached it and then queried it to find the Pearson (linear) correlation between, for example, accidents with more than one casualty and the type of vehicle. It works faster because the data is held in memory and it is scalable. It can also query data held in other types of database including SQL. Since the latest version of Excel will link with Hadoop, it can be used to query Excel data.

LibreOffice: the successor to OpenOffice

( 1 minute read )

Just over four years ago, a group of developers who had become fed up with the slow pace of development of OpenOffice started an alternative project now managed by a German charitable foundation, the Document Foundation, to create a modern, and superior, alternative to Microsoft Office. They were gratified to receive support from major computer companies and many other developers who had become disillusioned with the slow pace of development of OpenOffice.

April 13 2015: emscripten vs Native client and other things

( 2 minute read )

Alice sent their apologies via Twitter as she was still in Kazakhstan time.

Brian asked about Swanky Paint and asked for help with hostapd which was no longer working as he expected.

March 9 2015: Audacity, LyX, Pirate Box, Dead drops and snooping

( 2 minute read )

John H began with a short demonstration of cleaning up digital transfers of LPs using the noise removal and repair effects of Audacity to remove noise and eliminate clicks from the transfer. He then did a presentation arguing that LyX outforms any other software in document production though there are a few uses cases for which it is not suitable.

System rescue

( 9 minute read )

Windows refused to boot? Hard drive failing? Got a ransom virus that won't let you use Windows? Then System Rescue may be what you need.

System rescue is a suite of utilities developed primarily by a team of French developers which will allow you to overcome most problems you may encounter in these and many areas. You can download it and burn it to a CD or, using isohydrid first, to a USB stick.

February 9 2015: Raspberry Pi 2, APL and more snooping

( 3 minute read )

Kriss and Shi demonstrated the Raspberry Pi 2. It is faster and more stable, the power issues have been fixed and it has four USB sockets. However, the separate composite socket has gone and it is obvious that more work needs to be done on the video drivers.

January 12 2015: SWAPI, Beyond PNR and Blender

( 2 minute read )

Alice first introduced the Star Wars API which claims to have ‘All the Star Wars data you've ever wanted’ and gives you a chance to try out with claim and then the Beyond PNR presentation which takes you through the ways in which data is handled by the airline industry and the governments who want to know who is travelling where. (Click to advance the slideshow.)

December 15 2014: Haptic compass, BIOS flashing, Google calendar and the Regin malware

( 5 minute read )

Alice brought in a North Paw haptic compass which he passed round. Worn on the ankle, it contains eight mobile vibrators each of which is turned on when it is the nearest one to north enabling the wearer gradually to learn the direction of north.

November 17 2014: CouchDB, CAP Theorem, passwordless proxy service, capacitor plague and MPD

( 4 minute read )

Alice talked about the past three years working for a company which supplies a lot of entertainment. Every evening they get a spike for ‘Game of thrones’ as people log in and a double spike for football matches where people leave during the interval.

The state of free and open source software

( 9 minute read )

It is over 25 years since Richard Stallman set up the Free Software Foundation and Intel commissioned Michael Tiemann to write the first open source software and less than 25 years since Linus Torvalds issued the first version of Linux and Berkeley Systems Department issued the first version of Unix to run on PCs. Yet today, these operating systems dominate computing in super computers, space exploration, scientific computing, digital televisions, smartphones and Internet services and are gradually being taken up by motor vehicle manufacturers and the creators of household equipment and gadgets. Only on the desktop and in medical devices has free and open source software not made significant inroads.

October 20 2014: BarCamp Manchester, GPIO, GIMP and permissions

( 2 minute read )

After a period of general chat Brian talked about his visit to the BarCamp Manchester where he had given two talks and heard an interesting talk about building a house with straw bales; it needs to be rendered with lime and have stakes to support it.

September 15 2014: Sixth Birthday, HTML and CSS and British Science Festival

( 3 minute read )

After we had cut the cake John did a review of 2013–2014 suggesting, among other things, that people who had not already done so should take a look at the IT Stuff website.

This led into a discussion of security, passwords and the iCloud breach.

CiviCRM: managing volunteers and much more

( 7 minute read )

Businesses have lots of Customer Relations Management software to choose from; the voluntary sector has one, tailored for the needs of voluntary organisations from the outset. Unlike most similar software, it is not a free-standing program but runs as an extension to Drupal (for which it was originally designed), Joomla or Wordpress. Moreover, you can select the components of CiviCRM that you need. So you don’t have to burden yourself installing features that you are never likely to need.

August 18 2014: Introduction to Linux, A computer called LEO and snooping

( 2 minute read )

John H summarised his experiences of the Linux Foundation LFSx101: Introduction to Linux course.

David C reminded people not to forget that the function keys on their devices sometimes control whether hardware is or is not available for use.

Brian warned people that the permissions relating to SD cards have changed in KitKat.

IT Stuff website

( 1 minute read )

IT Stuff now has its own dedicated website where you can find full details of recent programmes.

July 21 2014 Slackware at 21 and snooping (again)

( 1 minute read )

David S celebrated Slackware’s 21st birthday with a slide presentation in which he pointed out that, among other things, it:

  • has maintained more of BSD’s traditions
  • continues to flourish without a major backer
  • is simple to install — all dependencies in the core distro have been satisfied
  • is compiled for reliability
  • has a Core Team, mostly of volunteers
  • has support provided by LinuxQuestions.org
  • has community repositories hosted on SlackBuilds.org
  • has a documentation project.

May 19th 2014 CLI discoveries and No place to hide

( 3 minute read )

Brian presented a number of recent discoveries:

  • powertop which marks as ‘bad’ processes where power consumption can be reduced
  • reptyr which allows you to transfer a running process from one parent to another
  • screen which, after you have run it, allows you to do what you want, log out and, when you log in, restore the screen with screen -r

March 17th 2014 Manchester Space Programme, Pi Nest, G-BJVT and the strange tale of systemd

( 5 minute read )

Shi brought in the first edition of Linux Voice.

John H did a brief history of MIME Types in response to a question at an earlier session and then

David B introduced the Manchester Space Programme using the slides which had been used at the 27 February 2014 launch. MADLAB has considerably expanded and Makerspace has moved to new premises.

Web enabled PDFs

( 8 minute read )

When Adobe created the PDF (Portable Document Format) in 1993, it was aimed at large companies who wanted to distribute documents without having to bother about whether those who received them had particular fonts on their computers. While the software to create a PDF was fairly complicated — and expensive, the software to read it was simple. In 2000 this software began to be given away free and in 2008 all the software became an open standard.

February 17th 2014 Desktop, NSA (again), BCB, AWK and Haiku

( 3 minute read )

Brian used recordMyDesktop to demonstrate his Gnome desktop with the Cairo Dock desktop interface, BitTorrent sync syncing all his devices, Gigolo, a GUI for remote servers, to demonstrate how fast the Raspberry Pi is accessing a 2TB drive, and creating and applying a password in KeyPassX.

Life after XP: notes

( 6 minute read )


To continue to use an old XP computer, it really needs at least 1Gb of RAM and a 20Gb hard drive. Linux doesn't need 1Gb; it can happily run in less than half that but, for Internet browsing, 1Gb is the recommended minimum if you want to avoid some websites slowing your machine to a crawl.

January 20th 2014 Tor, TrueCrypt, BGP and gaming

( 3 minute read )

Alice demonstrated how to download Tor; it is better to download it directly into your own user rather than from repos because the direct download gives you everything you need and is likely to be more up-to-date than the versions in repos. The download comes with a start-tor-browser script to run. The Vidalia graphical controller is included in the package and acts as a control panel.

December 16th 2013 Answers to the Quiz

( 1 minute read )

Here are the answers to the quiz:

Which database? MariaDB or MySQL?

( 5 minute read )

The MySQL database was one of the most successful free software projects of the 1990s; it became an indispensable part of many websites as the Internet grew not least because it became cross-platform over fifteen years ago. Today it provides the storage for many content management systems such as WordPress, Joomla and Drupal.

December 16th 2013 FOSS, IP, IXLeeds and much more

( 4 minute read )
Without a programme for the evening but with plenty of cakes, we started with some questions from Will about MS Office.

November 18th 2013 logstash, money and SlackBuilds

( 2 minute read )

Alice introduced logstash, a tool for managing logs, parsing them and storing the results for later use, in their case to produce graphs using graphite; logstash has good documentation. In response to a question, she also mentioned using splunk to find errors in logs.

Life after XP

( 7 minute read )

After twelve and a half years, most of them as the most popular operating system in the world, Microsoft will be pulling the plug on Windows XP on 8 April 2014. There will be no more security updates, leaving those users who choose to connect to the Internet vulnerable. Though anti-virus programs will continue to work, they will not protect users from any security holes that cybercriminals discover and which Microsoft will no longer close through their monthly security updates.

Stanbury Hill Project

( 4 minute read )

Back when the world was younger, there used to be a saying: ‘A Yorkshireman is a Scotsman with the generosity taken away.’ Offensive sayings like that are thankfully rarer these days, but that one may have had a grain of truth. There's still a cultural reluctance, here in the West Riding, to spend hard-won cash on overheads like IT that benefit far-away corporations, particularly when one is volunteering one's own services for free to a community project.


( 6 minute read )

If they use software for their accounts, many voluntary organisations will start off with a spreadsheet. These are perfectly adequate for many small organisations; my sister in law manages their church accounts entirely in a spreadsheet.

October 21st 2013 Ogg Camp, Libertree and snooping (again)

( 8 minute read )

Brian described his experiences at the Liverpool Ogg Camp from which he had just returned. His choice of accommodation in the Youth Hostel had not proved entirely satisfactory. Open Street Map had worked well and got him to the University Arts Building; most of the arranged speakers were not very interesting but reps from Canonical and Mozilla were there to show off Ubuntu Touch and Mozilla OS. He had met Graham Morrison from LinuxFormat and Ben Nuttall who organises the Manchester Raspberry Jam.

September 16th 2013 Fifth Birthday, snooping and wearable technology

( 1 minute read )

After we had cut the cake John H did a quick resumé of the events of the past year.

August 19th 2013 Pi PBX, Turing's curse and HTML5 update

( 2 minute read )

Brian told us ‘the things that don't go into the guides’ as far as using FreePBX on the Raspberry Pi is concerned, including:

July 15th 2013 Vector graphics programs and Audacity

( 1 minute read )

John H demonstrated the very different approaches taken by two very different vector graphics programs, Inkscape and Xfig, by tackling the first two exercises in Inkscape: Guide to a Vector Drawing Program (Third Edition) in both programs.

Samba: for Windows shares

( 5 minute read )

A major headache for organisations that use Windows Active Directory but want to use certain non-Windows devices on their networks has been the limitations on integrating those devices into Active Directory. The arrival of Samba 4 removes these problems. However, getting here has been a long haul.

May 20th 2013 Oculus Rift, GRAMPS, 100 top sites and ‘snooper's charter’

( 1 minute read )

Shi and Kriss demonstrated the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset with a number of brave souls taking up the challenge; their recording of the session is at copy.com.

April 15th 2013 UEFI, JavaScript 1K demos and vector animation

( 1 minute read )

We had a general discussion around installing UEFI secure boot and then looked at a couple of April Fool RFCs: RFC 1149 and RFC 1925.

Coding Freedom review

( 1 minute read )
A review of Gabriella Coleman's book Coding Freedom is available in PDF format.

March 18th 2013 Show and tell

( 2 minute read )

We had an impromptu Show and Tell this month. Alice explained how the classical approach to scaling websites was no longer appropriate for websites serving many pages. The time taken to generate material from a database, render it and despatch it was typically 6-800ms. You could reduce the load where many of the requests were for the same data by adding a cache or squid proxy. But this could create further problems keeping the cache or proxy up-to-date.

Raspberry Pi

( 2 minute read )

The Raspberry Pi was the unexpected success story of 2012. Designed by a team led by Eben Upton, who as a tutor at Cambridge had become concerned about the poor computing skills of university applicants, and including David Braben, a veteran computer game designer, this credit card sized computer aims to put the fun back into computing.

Mobile web strategy

( 3 minute read )

With mobile becoming more and more important in internet-based outreach, it's good to think about your mobile web strategy. You are recommended to build websites capable of display on desktop, tablet and mobile devices; we call this responsive design, a design which responds to the size and capabilities of the screen being used.

February 18th 2013 memtest86+, FabLab, BCB and SUSE

( 2 minute read )
David S introduced memtest86+ which can diagnose faulty RAM which may cause random crashes, the storage of faulty data, incorrect checksums and a range of inconsistent errors.

GIMP: the FOSS Photoshop

( 3 minute read )
GIMP, or the GNU Image Manipulation Program, is the FOSS alternative to Photoshop.

LyX: the document processor

( 7 minute read )
Most voluntary organisations do not need to produce high quality reports, papers or even books but, for those who do, the best software for the past twenty years has been the free software LaTeX, particularly if their reports or papers need to have references, indexes, formulae or high quality images.

Web developments: time to update?

( 6 minute read )
The arrival of Windows 8 RT in tablets and on mobile ’phones on October 26th and the announcement that Orange and T-Mobile have been given the go-ahead to offer 4G mobile ’phones raises the premium on HTML5.

The cost of cybercrime

( 4 minute read )
A new report on the cost of cybercrime commissioned by the MoD suggests that we should spend a lot less on prevention and a lot more on detection.

January 21st 2013 Raspberry Pi Winners, LMMS and CLI

( 2 minute read )
Kriss and Shi introduced the co-operative Spies vs Ghosts game they had devised for the Raspberry PiRaspberry Pi Hack Day.

November 28th 2012 FabLab, Centos and CLI

( 1 minute read )
David C gave us a photographic tour of Airedale Fab Lab and suggested that we should organise a trip there one Saturday.

October 31st 2012 CLI, GIMP and more

( 1 minute read )
Andy kicked us off with a look at GIMP 2.8 and some of the new features. We also got a demo on using the GIMP to produce simple web graphics and for photo enhancement. There was some interesting discussion about how this versions allows GIMP to look and feel more like Photoshop, but also about how the integration of Photoshop into the Adobe suite of tools means that, while GIMP can easily create print ready artwork, hard core Photoshopers are still not likely ot make the switch. Gimp 2.8 is not available in some distros, so the PPA for Ubuntu 12.04 (also works on Mint 13 (Maya) is: http://www.ubuntugeek.com/how-to-install-gimp-2-8-2-in-ubuntu-12-04-precise.html David gave us the 4th instalment in his series on the introduction to the command line. Alice pre-empted much of his talk as becoming customary, and as usual, 'we all learned something' Downloads:

August 29th 2012 Commandline, HTML and CSS

( 1 minute read )
David pointed out that in Unix everything is either an operation or something being operated on. The things being operated on are files in the filesystem which he pointed out resembles the humble potato.

Pros and cons of FOSS

( 5 minute read )
Pros: No need for virus software It is more difficult to write viruses and easier to spot them with FOSS. However, most malware now comes through web browsers; so the main advantage is not having to wait for virus software to do its thing.

July 25th 2012: Commandline and Ada

( 1 minute read )
The first instalment of David's introdution to the command line and the latest adventures with Raspberry-Pi followed by a look at Ada Lovelace's contribution to computing are among items on the agenda.

February 29th 2012: SqueezePlayer, BubbleUPnP, Raspberry Pi, Scratch and WPS

( 1 minute read )

Brian demonstrated SqueezePlayer, the Logitech version and BubbleUPnP running on a mobile ’phone to play/control a media centre.

Databases and storage

( 4 minute read )
At the start of the PC era, computers had so little memory or storage that programmers had to use all sorts of tricks to fit the data in.

Five free software favourites

( 3 minute read )
I first used a computer to produce documentation over thirty years ago but my first experience of free software was just over ten years ago ...

Websites and HTML5

( 4 minute read )
Any voluntary organisation trying to maintain a website has two main problems: making sure it will work on any browser and keeping the content up-to-date. The arrival of HTML5 makes both these tasks easier.

After the top ten

( 2 minute read )
Following the publication of the top ten free and open source software programs last issue, we had a request for 11-40.

August 25th 2010: HTML 5: The Hype and Some Alternative Realities

( 4 minute read )

David Fisher and Jeff introduced HTML5, saying that it was estimated that HTML5 will only receive full approval in 2022 because W3C standards now require full compliance from two browsers.

March 24th 2010 Privacy and the Web

( 3 minute read )

Alice told the story of privacy and the Web. In the beginning, ownership was confined to a few with most people in serfdom; then mortgages allowed people to begin to own things. In computing, one started with the mainframe where you didn’t own anything; then people got PCs which allowed them to own the hardware but not the code; Linux allowed people to own the hardware, the code and the data. With Web 2.0 you once again don’t own the hardware or the code or even your data; with the cloud you don’t own the hardware. In future IPv6 will be able to be used as ID numbers.

September 30th 2009 Show and tell

( 1 minute read )

John demonstrated Xfig which provoked some interest but also dislike of the interface.

Mike talked about FreeSWITCH, a rewrite of the Asterisk code which, when combined with a billing package, can provide an alternative. Currently people are restricted to Skype and Gizmo [no longer available] as there aren’t many subscribers to open systems or gateways between the different providers.

May 27th 2009 Digital photography

( 7 minute read )

David S gave a full length presentation on Digital photography: the free software perspective.

He started by pointing out that:

  • images are data: the marginal cost of an image is zero
  • optical physics is maths: post-processing is open to anyone with a computer
  • information wants to be free: there has been a net-powered explosion of both ‘customers’ and ‘publishers’.

November 26th 2008 Cycle of change, desktops and a meeting place

( 1 minute read )

David C welcomed people to the meeting and shared the The Cycle of Change.

October 29th 2008 A meeting place and what we should do

( 2 minute read )

David C welcomed people to the meeting noting that people continue to sign up; there are now about 30 people on the list. The monthly meeting on a Wednesday had ten people at its last meeting; the Friday pub meeting had six.

Dave Carpenter
Articles by Dave

IT Stuff: 16th January 2014 - Angry Birds

( 1 minute read )
Broadcast on: 16th January 2014 18:00 and 17th January 2014 13:30 BCB 106.6FM Tune in to hear us twitter on about:
  • The NHS sharing of your personal data and how to opt out
  • How Google are 'helping' you reach more people than you know
  • The Government's cyberstreetwise initiative
  • The gagging, erm we mean lobbying bill
...and the speaking computer failing to maintain control or order on the show

IT Stuff: 21st November 2013

( 1 minute read )
Broadcast on: 21st November 2013 18:00 and 22nd November 2013 13:30 BCB 106.6FM The show includes:
  • Console Wars - discussion about the PS4, XBone, and Steam OS
  • Passwords - big companies have been hacked again and passwords exposed. What do the IT Stuff presenters think about all this password nonesense?
  • News, including, YouTube, selfies, quantum computing, and does your laptop smell of cat wee - it may not be your cat's fault.
If you have any feedback, we'd love to hear it.

IT Stuff: 29th August 2013

( 1 minute read )

Broadcast on: 29th August 2013 18:00 and 30th August 2013 13:30 BCB 106.6FM

IT Stuff: 27th June 2013

( 1 minute read )
Broadcast on: 27th June 2013 18:00 and 28th June 2013 13:30 BCB 106.6FM The show includes:
  • News about Bitcoin, Phones, Data Protection, and more.
  • Goodbye to Google reader
  • Launch of PS4 vs Xbox One
  • Spookathon/Big Brother is watching - a discussion of recent revelations about privacy.
If you have any feedback, we'd love to hear it.

IT Stuff: 30th May 2013

( 1 minute read )
Broadcast on: 30th May 2013 18:00 and 31st May 2013 13:30 BCB 106.6FM The show includes: Worth tuning in for:
  • the BradLUGers reactions to virtual reality
  • the technical cock up in the middle (I don't think anyone will notice)
If you have any feedback, we'd love to hear it.  

IT Stuff: 2nd May 2013

( 1 minute read )
Broadcast on: 2nd May 2013 18:00 and 3rd May 2013 13:30 BCB 106.6FM The show includes:
  • An interview with Fab Lab (by Brian)
  • Shi's début behind the scenes 'driving the desk'
  • Studio guests - John H and Kriss
  • Book reviews, news, and general tech chatter.
It's our first show that we have managed to create produce entirely on our own, so that's a bit of a milestone, and credit to everyone that has put their time and effort in so far! If you have any feedback, we'd love to hear it.  

IT Stuff: 4th April 2013

( 1 minute read )
The bulk of the show is based around an interview Brian did at a RepRap workshop in Hebden Bridge recently. Links from the feature: The rest is news, and a couple of articles about on-line security, 'cyber' this and that, fake sites and the such like.

IT Stuff: 7th March 2013

( 1 minute read )
In the March 2013 edition of IT Stuff: David C talks briefly about technology and some projects he is involved in. http://cyclebradford.org.uk/ http://www.recordclub.org.uk/ News City Wifi in City Park http://www.thetelegraphandargus.co.uk/news/local/localbrad/10266125.Free_Wi_Fi_is_launched_in_Bradford/ EU fines Microsoft again over Browser Ballot http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-21684329 Office 2013 locked to a single PC? Since the recording they have climbed down! Damn them! http://www.engadget.com/2013/03/06/microsoft-office-2013-license-transferable/ Credit: Brian Apple developers afflicted by malware http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/02/19/us-apple-hackers-idUSBRE91I10920130219 Credit: Brian

IT Stuff: 7th February 2013

( 1 minute read )
This month's show covers: Going Linux: http://distrowatch.com http://www.ubuntu.com Spoof Web Site  http://mens-life-health.co.uk/muscle/testo.html www.tineye.com Keyboards  News  Ubuntu rolling release? Ubuntu Phone http://www.ubuntu.com

September 26th 2012: Testing Testing

( 1 minute read )
Alice showed us how to use Selenium to record actions on a webpage and turn them into tests. These are the links you need: Some talk about Cuttlefish: https://apps.ubuntu.com/cat/applications/cuttlefish/  - which will adapt your environment to your changing circumstances. Dave continued his command line talk which was NOT called the Human Centipede, but had a lot to do with pipes. Also it was our Birthday. Thanks to Richard for the Cake (it was not a lie!).


( 3 minute read )
I spend a lot of time helping people get their information onto the web, and Wordpress is a great tool for doing just that.

June 27th 2012: Windows 8

( 1 minute read )
Richard gave us a guided tour of a pre-release version of Windows 8. There was a lot to be said about what Microsoft is trying to achieve, and how that relates to the rest of the IT world, devices and operating systems. Mike gave us a culture quiz - to help keep us all well rounded human beings, as well as geeks! Well done to Andy for winning and taking the prizes, and thanks to Mike for organising. Dave S suggested a monthly set of short 'How the Command Line can be your friend' talks, which everyone seemed to welcome.

May 30th 2012: Pi anyone?

( 1 minute read )
Nigel demonstrated Raspberry Pi running a variety of programs. John demonstrated LXDE and Parted Magic and Brian demonstrated Cinnamon. Thanks to Nigel for letting people play with/explore/use his new toy/gadget/computer.

April 25th 2012: Show and Tell

( 1 minute read )
This month we had a general show and tell session. John showed us how to convert a bitmap to a vector, Dave S showed us around XFCE and some crazy patents, Darren showed us KDE, Nigel demoed Linux Mint, and Dave C showed his Ubuntu 10.04 desktop. We also had an interesting presentation on Maser (Microwave Laser) from Brian.

March 28th 2012: Go search

( 1 minute read )
Graham introduced Munzee, a 21st century scavenger hunt; it is similar to geocaching except that one uses a QR code; placing Munzees can overlap with Geocache as long as you get the geocacher's permission. Munzee can be played individually or in a group. It requires an Android or iPhone with 3G reception. Graham has planted 22 Bradford Monopoly Munzees if you fancy finding them! David C demonstrated how he had...

February 29th 2012

( 1 minute read )
On the day the Rapberry Pi people made a big announcement, BradLUGers met up to discuss: Media servers,cheap android tablets, the Raspberry Pi, Scratch, Big Buck Bunny, WPA security, the Epson hx-20, and much, much, more.

Festive Food Fight 2011

( 1 minute read )
Dec. 16th, 7:30pm. We're going for the same idea as last year. 2 meals to choose from at separate places. Then all meet up afterwards at the Corndolly pub. Your choice is the Sir Titus Salt (Wetherspoons) or Omar Khans. Please fill in the doodle to help us get something booked: http://www.doodle.com/rywupdthb3ya52vq See you there.

November 26th 2011

( 1 minute read )
In the last meeting of 2011... Dave S showed us some of the documents in the Barnes & Noble dispute with Microsoft over infringement claims. Interesting stuff. There was then a bit of discussion about the Apple v's Samsung dispute in Australia.

October 26th 2011

( 1 minute read )
Nigel showed the video of RepRap, the 3D self-replicating printer: http://reprap.org/wiki/Main_Page Alice demonstrated Munin, which provides updates every ten minutes of the performance of a server: http://munin-monitoring.org/ and also Damn Vulnerable Web App (DVWA), a php/mysql tool for testing website vulnerabilities. http://www.dvwa.co.uk/

3rd Birthday Meeting, Sept 2011

( 1 minute read )
BradLUG Third birthday cakes

Happy Birthday to us, and thanks (once again) to Andrea for the baking. Yum!

September 28th 2011 - 3rd Birthday Meeting

( 1 minute read )
Doesn't time fly? BradLUG (BradGNU/LUG?) is now 3 years old. It's one of those "queen's birthday" things as September has been chosen as the official marker of the years. John has produced this graphic to try to illustrate the different things that have happened in that time. You can download a higher pdf version if you'd like to give a closer inspection. Three years of Bradlug As for September's meeting. We're just discussing that. As ever, your biggest conundrum is to work out whether or no the talk of cake is a lie! Download: Third year of Bradlug

31st August 2011 - Darktable, buses, desktops and HTML5

( 1 minute read )
David Spencer presented Darktable, which does similar things to DigiKam, Shotwell and F-Spot but generally does them better. Its key feature is that the original photos remain untouched; instead Darktable manipulates a history stack of changes, including changes to the metadata, which can then be exported elsewhere....

July 27th 2011 - Distros, Raspberries, and Microsoft

( 1 minute read )
A select group discussed distributions, including Galpon Minino, a Debian based Spanish distribution which will run on old computers and their version for children ( http://gruvi.galpon.org/minino/miscelanea/PicarOS.avi) and the Turkish produced Pardus distro (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=viEQ-DWxX50), progress with Raspberry Pi (http://www.raspberrypi.org/), due out in November, and setting up Myth TV.


( 6 minute read )
Tomboy can be used for multiple note taking and then all the separate notes are available, in a list, for you to consult.

Images and photographs

( 4 minute read )
Images, whether graphics, figures or photographs, can be included in almost anything a voluntary organisation produces from newsletters and manuals to a website.

May 25th 2011 - Open source, intellectual property and all that jazz – the MIT licence

( 1 minute read )
Robert concluded his presentation on IP law by looking at US, European and UK law and taking a detailed look at the structure and content of the MIT licence. Members digested the news that Linus is thinking of starting kernel 3.0.0, John summarised where we are with the FOSS articles for Bradford CVS and invited contributions and Nick introduced the Raspberry Pi computer: http://www.raspberrypi.org/

April 27th 2011 - Open source, intellectual property and all that jazz

( 1 minute read )
Robert took us through the first part of his presentation on the legal fiction of IP covering copyright, patents and trademarks pointing out that IP law is framed by lawyers for publishers to maximise investor returns and imposed on consumers, producers and distributors. John then introduced the Cabinet Office survey on open source standards which is very much aimed at integrators rather than individual users and David demonstrated Quantum GIS.

Desktop publishing

( 3 minute read )
Most voluntary organisations need to advertise themselves, publish information or produce newsletters. Often using an Office suite or Microsoft Publisher is enough. But what if these don't give quite the polished finish you want? Enter Scribus.

March 30th 2011 - KDE 2000

( 1 minute read )
John demonstrated KDE 1.2 from 2000 comparing applications as they were in 2000 with what they look like today. Download: KDE 2000 Presentation (.odp 0.8MB) There were some other things we did at that meeting, can you remember what?

Document Freedom Day

( 4 minute read )
Document Freedom Day on March 30th is a celebration of the progress towards a permanent open standard for documents.

February 2011 - IPV6, BGP and BAS

( 1 minute read )
[BAS = Bursting At the Seams] 36 people packed out the meeting last night to hear a really good talk about 'how your mother will never notice' as the internet infrastructure makes the switch from IPV4 to IPV6. Andy Davidson of Hurricane Electric gave the talk, and a demo of their IPV6 Tunnel Broker that people can use to try the IPV6 net. Anyone got any plans to do something locally on World IPV6 Day, 8th June 2011?

Publicise the LUG

( 1 minute read )
BradLUG Poster If you fancy, you could publicise the next meetings of BradLUG with this handy pdf poster. Created by our very own Wayne, please feel to download and distribute. I guess if you'd like to get a copy of the file that made it, you should mail him - I reckon he'd be happy to share.

January 26th 2011

( 2 minute read )
Nice to see everyone again in the new year. Last night's meeting was a bit of a mish mash of news and new ideas. So: Dates for your diary: First Saturday of March, June, September, December 2011 will be days when we can spend some more time looking in depth at things of interest (yes it's a vague as that). We'd like people to suggest topics, offer their services, etc and then the group will offer help and support to make it happen. We'll get these dates on our calendar, it's looking like Arduino might be the first day (March 5th) Nige agreed to draw together a calendar of big events and to get those on the calendar as well (this after Martin informed us that UKLUG is going to be in Leeds this year, 22nd-24th March) Bradford Jelly - next meeting 11th Feb, Bradford Uni.

Chrome Web Browser

( 3 minute read )
Much like Firefox, Chrome is an open source web browser that let's you do everything that you are accustomed to while online.

Christmas Meal

( 1 minute read )
Ok - we've finally bit the bullet on this one.. There are 2 options: Wetherspoons http://bradlugmealwether.eventbrite.com/, or Omar Kahn's http://bradlugmealomar.eventbrite.com/

November 24th 2010

( 2 minute read )
Firstly, wow - 28 people crammed into the room for last night's meeting. Lovely to see you all. We had half a dozen or so new faces, so I hope you all felt welcome and enjoyed what was on offer. If you have any feedback for us please let us know via a comment here, a message via the contact form or on the mailing list. Secondly, wow - and thanks to Thomas Mangin (Non-Executive Director at LINX and Technical Director at Exa Networks), and David Farrar, (head of R&D at Exa Networks), ...

October 27th 2010

( 2 minute read )
Yesterday's meeting saw presentations about the history of Free and Open Source Software (FOSS), Macbuntu, and (even more) on the Cycle of Change.

September 29th 2010: Happy Birthday

( 3 minute read )
The meeting on the 29th gave a chance to look to both the past and the future. See Andrea's post for the pre-meeting agenda. Quite a lot of things came out of the meeting, and if thought's suggestions and ideas are to be taken forward then people are welcome to get cracking on them. Attached we have John's presentation that was ammended as the meeting progressed and a PDF of the post-it comments that people made. (svg file also available - please contact us if you want it.).

Top ten free and open source programs

( 2 minute read )
Asked to choose the ten top free and open source (FOSS) programs, Bradlug members suggested over forty; so this list has been whittled down and is in alphabetical order because we probably couldn't agree on an order for those that made it to the top ten.

Mailmerge in Open Office

( 2 minute read )
Both MS Word and OpenOffice have built in mailmerge and also ways of using external files for mailmerge.

July 28th 2010: Show and Tell

( 2 minute read )
No formal speaker this month, so those with something to show, got up and told us about:
  • Command Line Animation
  • Router Question
  • The forum
  • Out and about in Bradford
  • SCO update...
  • Picture Competition
  • European PyCon
  • Top 10 Open Source/FOSS applications 

Open Office Writer

( 2 minute read )
Writer, the Word equivalent, looks more like Word 2003 but is right up-to-date. It even has some features you won't find in Word, like support for discontinued Word formats and for WordPerfect, handy for accessing archived files,

Open Office

( 2 minute read )
OpenOffice offers the most commonly used features of Microsoft Office; it looks more like Office 2003 but will read Office 2007 files.

Firefox Continued

( 2 minute read )
When you start Firefox, you will find all your Favourites under Bookmarks and you can simply carry on selecting them as before.


( 2 minute read )
Firefox is a very popular alternative to Internet Explorer that is not only cross platform (so it works on Mac and Linux computers too) but standards compliant and far more secure.

May 2010: Law, Open-Source, Linux

( 1 minute read )
No. Attending: 19 We had David Forbes giving us the main talk of the evening: Law, Open-Source, Linux. In (very) brief: David put technology into sides -the Force and the Darkside The Force covered much on bringing technology to all people. He spent some time talking about making the web accessible - with reference to a case study of a blind person. The Dark side focused on licences, copyright, and how people fall foul of these legal instruments. He covered the SCO claims around Linux needing to be licensed to them. Summed up by "Establishing provenance is a about documentation"

Bradford LUG

( 1 minute read )
Bradford GNU/Linux User Group (Bradford LUG) is a self-help group for GNU/Linux, Open Source and Free Software users in the Bradford District. You could...
Articles by Wayne

Feb meeting

( 1 minute read )

This months meeting we will be welcoming Andy Davidson Of Hurricane Electric to the LUG to give us all a primer on IPv6 and also for those of us that want to a practical example of what its all about. This kind of goes without saying but if you want to get the most out of it you might want to bring a laptop!

July Meeting this week!

( 3 minute read )

Hey folks,

June 30th: Creative Applications

( 2 minute read )
Tonight we were joined by Huw Davies, creator of the Bunny web comic to talk to us about using open source products in the creative space, with a focus on images for the web and for print. He spoke about GIMP, Inkscape, and Scribus and a few useful command line tools. He gave a run down of the pro's and con's of each from his perspective, but demonstrated his enthusiasm for each of the products in the phrase 'It just works!".

April 2010 – Show and Tell

( 1 minute read )
Among other things....
  • David S – How to build your own Geographical Information System
  • John Demoed – Marble Desktop for KDE
  • Bernie’s Python Animation
  • Wayne’s Ubuntu Netbook Edition

January 2010: 40 years of Unix

( 1 minute read )

History is a useful tool for helping us find out why we do what we do today. If it we’ren’t for Unix, there’d be no GNU/Linux.

November 2009: Show and tell and Group Business

( 4 minute read )

We started with a demo of Google’s ChromeOS, (built from the recently released source), by both Dick and Wayne. we saw a  machine boot up to a login screen that uses your googlemail details to get straight into a familiar Google Chrome browser. And that’s about it – for people that live on line.

October 2009: Introduction to Web Services

( 1 minute read )

Lorna Mitchell gave us a introduction to ‘web services’, and some idea about how to go about consuming them using PHP as your language of choice. This was run through of the talk she’s due to give at the PHP Barcelona Conference on the 30th/31st October. She can describe it better than I can….

August 2009: Introduction to Python

( 1 minute read )

This month Bernard Czenkusz, of Skipole Networks gave us an introduction to the popular programming language Python

July 2009 : Show and Tell

( 1 minute read )

With the abscence of a speaker/presentation we went for a ’show and tell’ session with people spending roughly 5-10 mins showing the rest of us something good!

June 2009: Media Creation using Linux (Video)

( 2 minute read )

Martyn Ranyard talked about video in Linux.

March 2009: Open Source Gaming

( 1 minute read )

As part of the talk on Open Source Gaming, Richard used the presentation below to tell us about Oolite, a space sim game, inspired by Elite (http://oolite.org/).

February 2009: LyX and LaTeX

( 1 minute read )

John gave a fascinating talk. If you missed it, check out the handout: Updated 26th Aug 2010

Alice K
Articles by Alice

June 16th 2014 Art, Encryption and Aviation

( 1 minute read )

Without our regular note taker present, the minutes from June’s meeting is a little lacking.  We spoke about Leeds Art Crawl, Flight Radar, Truecrypt, and secure VoIP whilst attempting to install Android on an EePC (and getting slightly further in doing so than WYLUG).

June 17th 2013 Big Data and Development Environments

( 1 minute read )
Alice spoke about how it can be slow and painful setting up development environments, and gave a brief demo of her Hadoop development environment which lets anybody deploy a virtual machine with all the necessary tools in minutes.

Five favourites - Alice Kaerast

( 3 minute read )
I’m an open source/free software developer who strongly believes in sharing as much of my code and data as possible.

June 29th 2011 - Open VPN, Truecrypt, Bitcoin...

( 2 minute read )

At last night's meeting we discussed OpenVPN, Truecrypt, Bitcoin and Tomboy Notes.

The slides from the talk on OpenVPN are available from Github, but probably don't make any sense on their own.. We covered the use-cases for OpenVPN, along with discussion on problems setting it up people had encountered and tricks and tips. We also quickly installed a server on the night, so hopefully people feel more comfortable setting it up now.

Articles by Andrea

September 29th 2010 - Our 2nd Birthday!

( 1 minute read )
It seems that, like certain members of British royalty, we have 2 birthdays, and it was agreed that our 'official' celebrations would take place in September! There are rumours of a birthday cake. It is not yet confirmed whether the cake is a lie. The topic for the meeting this month is, erm, the meetings: - What do members like? - What don't we like? - Would members like to have more meetings? - Or perhaps tutorials/workshop sessions?
Nick Rhodes
Articles by Nick

August 25th: HTML5

( 1 minute read )

The Hype and Some Alternative Realities - Dave Fisher

What's Actually New in HTML and What Isn't in it at all

Unsurprisingly, they often got the wrong end of the stick; misled by corporate PR hyping browser and platform capabilities with only indirect relationships to HTML5.

As a consequence, both end-users and coders may be forgiven for conflating clever graphical tricks in CSS3 and JavaScript with HTML5. As may the multimedia professionals who mistakenly believe that HTML5 is some kind of H.264-based Flash-killer.

This talk attempts to clarify what HTML5 actually aims to do, what browsers can currently do with it, and what a wider range of software could potentially do with it.

The talk will identify the evolutionary and revolutionary differences between HTML5 and the current standards for HTML and XHTML. In so doing, it should enable both web developers and open source advocates to get a better grasp of the decisions and conflicts that lie before them.