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

Posted on January 13, 2023
( 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.

Nick shared news of the Leeds University Open Research Statement. The official launch event will take place at .

Bernard spoke about his experiences using Oracle Cloud Free Tier which has no time limits and offers up to 200GB of storage; the only ‘gotcha’ had been that there is a graphic firewall but you need to configure the command line firewall on the Linux instance as well.

In response to a query, Bernard clarified that there are three options for storage volumes with Docker: basic which is part of the Docker instance, file system which is shared between Docker and the file system and memory which is restricted to memory; they are all read/write volumes.

Darren has followed with his family an advert for cheap computers and they are waiting to see what they will get. He has an upcoming assignment on locating information about a database and its tables.

Brian asked about Pipewire which is intended to go beyond the device handling of PulseAudio to make it easier to add other sources such as streaming audio.

Brian also asked about people’s use of Mastodon; he uses Fosstodon, which is aimed at anyone who is interested in technology; particularly free and open source software, and Nick said he had looked at Mastodon.social, which is the original server operated by Mastodon. Brian also mentioned the item on the Today programme about Mastodon and that Donald Trump’s social media platform, Truth Social, uses the Mastodon software.

Nick shared his Christmas book list along with two he had found discarded in a skip at the University: Cleaveland and Wilkes [Cleaveland cost £55 to buy in 1977!]:

[NB: There are multiple editions of some of these books.]

David commented in a response to a query from Mike that the underlying code in digiKam came from darktable but was written in C++. It was also much bigger. John said that was probably because KDE used to require a lot of libraries but about ten years ago they reorganised the libraries so that programs did not have to load as many. Also the philosophy at KDE had been user choice and so users were offered choices which 99% of users would never use.

John added that that digiKam provided a standard set of tools with the option if you knew what you were doing to do more. For example, when going through some old papers for a book fifteen years ago he had found that he could bring up faded and unreadable typescript by scanning the pages in and then increasing the contrast in digiKam so that they could be read.