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November 14 2023 Book publishing: LaTeX and Scribus

Posted by John R Hudson ( 2 minute read )

Transport problems prevented two members arriving and delayed the start of the first of our planned quarterly face-to-face meetings; we began with a couple of news items.

Bernie reported that there was a pop-up Raspberry Pi shop in the Victoria Centre in Leeds. Buying them from a shop was a bit different from ordering them online!

September 12 2023 Fifteenth birthday, Let’s encrypt, Home assistant, ESPHome

Posted by John R Hudson ( 1 minute read )

John started to present the Fifteenth Birthday presentation but did not notice when his notebook needed plugging into the mains and ended up describing it rather than presenting it! David S mentioned that David Carpenter is using Oracle Cloud Free Tier. He also mentioned a problem with the Let’s Encrypt challenge; having set up auto-renew for a domain, he set up a manual challenge for a sub-domain but, when he wanted to change it to auto-renew, he found that the Let’s Encrypt database had it down as a manual renew and would not let him set up auto-renew.

August 8 2023 Kmail, PIP, Secret genius

Posted by John R Hudson ( 7 minute read )

As no-one had anything prepared for this meeting, it was largely taken up with discussion of queries.

Brian mentioned that, on one laptop, the wi-fi was slow to recover from sleep; separately he had also been helping a friend whose wi-fi would not work. He had tried a USB dongle but this would only work if the laptop wi-fi was disabled. John said that, when he had been having problems with wi-fi on a friend’s laptop, it had been suggested that he use:

rfkill list

to find out whether it was a software or a hardware problem. He added that a friend who had been able to use a wi-fi hotspot on his smartphone to connect his laptop to the Internet had suddenly found that it would not work and later found that it would. John had gone on the Internet and found lots of reports of wi-fi problems and loads of solutions for them.

July 11 2023 3D printer, Aeon, cooperative multi-tasking

Posted by John R Hudson ( 6 minute read )

David had purchased a number of upgrades for his 3D printer: a new motherboard, an extruder which can cope with higher temperatures, a new display and a filament runout sensor. He commented that he had lots of wiring to do to add these upgrades!

John briefly summarised a presentation about SUSE’s Aeon:

June 13 2023 Le potato, AWK, dBASE

Posted by John R Hudson ( 8 minute read )

David unboxed and unwrapped the Libre Computer Board AML-S905X-CC, otherwise known as ‘Le potato’, which he had ordered. It had cost around £30, that is, rather less than a Raspberry Pi 3, and had come from Ali Express in about two weeks. He had also bought an Orange Pi 4 LTS for the same money but it did not work. On checking he had found that it draws 1/4amp. He would like to run both from the same power source. Brian suggested that he return the Orange Pi to Ali Express and tell them it did not work.

This led into an extended discussion about the merits of various versions of the Raspberry Pi, etc.

May 9 2023 Array programming, dBASEIII, initrd, CASE statements, outliners

Posted by John R Hudson ( 3 minute read )

Darren had asked a question on the mailing list about array based programming and there was a discussion about this, including a reference to its antiquity [see Array programming in Wikipedia]. This prompted John to mention key values which Bernie said are used in Python dictionaries; these were originally unordered and then a way of making them ordered was created until a change in the underlying code made them ordered by default.

Bernard had mentioned Nostr on the mailing list, a decentralised alternative to Twitter, but no-one had direct experience of it.

John mentioned at KDE has a Mastodon client called Tokodon.

April 11 2023 Ulanzi clock, HP 2710e, self-booting stack, XHTML5, hedgehogs, iAPX 432, Z80

Posted by John R Hudson ( 4 minute read )

Brian mentioned the Ulanzi clock which offers a range of functions beyond telling the time, including the weather and the number of social media followers you have as well as coming with the awtrix python script for Home Assistant and the option to install further programs.

February 14 2023 NixOS, Kdialog, ShellCheck, FSlint, Kdenlive, Xenix

Posted by John R Hudson ( 8 minute read )

Brian has been looking at NixOS, a Linux distribution built on top of the Nix package manager. There is a description of it in Linux Downtime Episode 65. In relation to using the Nix package manager with a different distribution, David anticipated that there might be problems with dependencies and consistency with another distribution.

Brian had also been looking at how many virtual managers you can nest as discussed in Linux After Dark Episode 36.

January 10 2023 Oracle Cloud Free Tier, Docker, Pipewire, Mastodon, books, darktable

Posted by John R Hudson ( 5 minute read )

Unfortunately, BCB was unexpectedly closed and so Bernard, Darren, David, Mike and John H resorted to Wetherspoons while Nick, Brian and John W joined us online. However, because of the noise and feedback in Wetherspoons it was only practical for one or two people to communicate online from Wetherspoons. So conversation was fragmented and became further fragmented when David and Mike went away to try and sort out the audio on Mike’s laptop.

December 12 2022 certbot, ‘Le potato,’ Docker, Open Refine

Posted by John R Hudson ( 9 minute read )

John reported on his successful installation of a Let’s Encrypt certificate using certbot in manual mode. He had first downloaded certbot to his computer; he had then gone to the webroot folder on the website, that is, the one containing index.html, and created the folder .well-known and then, inside that, another folder called acme-challenge so that he had /.well-known/acme-challenge/.