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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/.

November 8 2022 Tim Berners-Lee, certbot, OpenWrt and Home Assistant

Posted by John R Hudson ( 4 minute read )

John said he had been at a hybrid meeting with Tim Berners-Lee the previous day when Tim Berners-Lee had explained what he meant by Web 1, Web 2 and Web 3. Web 1 was the era of static websites based on Netscape, though the original design of the web had included the possibility of editing it. Web 2 was the era of server based websites developed by programmers though his intention had been that the web should be WYSIWYG. The problem with server based websites was that the data was held on a server which was a long way from the user and had to be retrieved every time and which was not under the control of the user. Web 3 is about giving back to users control of their data by creating decentralised storage over which the user has control; so, for example, you would control your health records and give permission to your doctor to use them. Web 3 is being developed by the Solid Project which he invited developers to join.

October 11 2022 VeraCrypt, MongoDB, GIMP, Inkscape

Posted by John R Hudson ( 4 minute read )

Brian shared the collaborative tool Figma which Adobe have acquired; it is aimed at improving the user interface and user experience.

He also shared Cloudflare Turnstile which is intended as a free replacement for CAPTCHA.

September 13 2022 Home Assistant, Nextcloud, cross-platform programs, kdialog

Posted by John R Hudson ( 4 minute read )

Brian said that, though he had used Node_RED to control the automation of thermostats (see November 2021 BradLUG meeting), this had proved unreliable because Node-RED kept rebooting at random times; he had discovered that this was probably linked to unreliable dependencies.

August 9 2022 Conda, alias Anaconda, VPN, HD TODAY

Posted by John R Hudson ( 3 minute read )

As BCB was closed, Bernard, David and John gathered at Wetherspoons where, by combining battery resources, they were able to hold an online meeting with Brian, Nick and John W.

Nick gave a presentation on Conda which was originally known as Anaconda and developed for use with Python/R but is now in more general scientific computing use. It is essentially a configuration manager; it does not replace anything else but allows you to manage different packages and versions of software in different environments without conflicts. It ensures reproducibility which is important for researchers when they wish to share findings.

July 12 2022 Asterisk, audio input, black and lint, editors

Posted by John R Hudson ( 4 minute read )

Brian had been able to set up Asterisk and knew that he could make outgoing calls. He demonstrated that his mobile showed up under ‘mobile shell devices,’ he was successful in calling Nick’s ’phone and the quality was all right at Brian’s end. However, when Nick tried to call him, he got Brian’s mobile voicemail. John mentioned that, in setting up some new cordless ’phones at home, he had found his provider began its answerphone message after four rings. He suggested the problem might be his provider’s settings.

June 14 2022 ESP32-Cam, Asterisk and Raspberry Pi

Posted by John R Hudson ( 1 minute read )

David showed how far he had got using his 3D printer to create the ESP32-Cam Pan&Tilt as described in the Random Nerd Tutorials which he had first mentioned at the January meeting. He demonstrated the USB plug he had made working as intended.