June: Blender boardgame boxes and PCem


7pm, Wednesday, 14 June 2023

Topic 1/2: Boardgame Boxes in Blender

Speaker: John Flower

Wingspan meeples modelled in Blender

John has been exploring ways to organise boardgame tokens. Many boardgames supply them in plastic bags that are fiddly. Or worse, shrinkwrapped cards that are then left loose to scatter in a big box after unwrapping. A good organiser can reduce the time to set up a dramatically. He will demonstrate his trials using Blender, Inkscape, and FontForge on Linux to create designs for laser cutting, engraving, CNC routering, and printing to develop solutions.

Wingspan meeples in routered holders

Topic 2/2: PCem

Speaker: Nick Skarott

Over the last few years, Nick has presented many tools used in emulating various game console and personal computer plaftorms in the name of historical preservation. PCem is an open source emulation tool attempting to accurately emulate platforms AND peripheral hardware, supporting not just CPU platforms but also Graphics and sound cards in an attempt to enjoy not just DOS era games but Windows 9x era games without having to stress over old hardware that’s starting to flake out.

Download slides (application/pdf, 206 KiB)

Continue reading “June: Blender boardgame boxes and PCem”

CANCELLED: June: Inkscape and Adventures in Codeland

We have had to cancel this meeting due to the speakers, meeting chair, and Vice President all being unwell (!). Nothing serious for any of them (and negative rapid-antigen tests), but we understand that people are extra-cautious given the COVID-19 pandemic. We have asked the speakers to reschedule and hope to see you all next month.

July: Face Your Daemons

7pm, Wednesday, 14 July 2021

Topic 1/2: systemd: Heresy and Hearsay

Speaker: Tom Ryder

Of all the holy wars for GNU/Linux systems, the dominance of systemd is among the most controversial, with one suite of tightly-coupled software tools taking over so much of the system above the kernel. Being deeply unpopular in traditionalist Unix circles for his systemd apologia, Tom will attempt to explain himself for holding his more nuanced position.

Tom is a bearded chap, and hacks facing black screens with white writing for Inspire Net…a fan of Vim, and tappy-tappy over clicky-clicky.

PLUG Vice President John Flower’s succinct biography

Download slides (application/pdf, 428 KiB)

Topic 2/2: Docker and WSL in Windows

Speaker: John Eyres

John Eyres will demonstrate the use of Docker and WSL in Windows with VSCode, continuing on Nick’s WSL topic from last month.

Continue reading “July: Face Your Daemons”

November: Azuracast & AV1 Addendum

7pm, Wednesday, 11 November 2020

Topic 1/2: Azuracast

Speaker: Nick Skarott

Azuracast is an open source Internet radio automation solution deployable via Docker or Ansible. Nick will explain how he has used it to stream his own content over the Internet to enjoy on the run anywhere there is a mobile
data connection.

Topic 2/2: AV1 Part Deux – Developments and VMAF

Speaker: Nick Skarott

Just over one year ago Nick demonstrated at PLUG the beginnings of the next generation open source video codec, AV1. A lot has changed in that time in the AV1 space and it’s fitting to look at the developments, and in
particular, the work NetFlix has done (and then open sourced) with the University of Southern California and the Laboratory for Image and Video Engineering at University of Texas’ Austin campus, called VMAF.

Continue reading “November: Azuracast & AV1 Addendum”

October: A rocky outcrop.

Date: 7pm, Wednesday, 14 October 2020

As the internet grows into every corner of our lives, so too does pervasive surveillance within it. Your activity can be intercepted, analysed, and abused by many interested parties, from credit card thieves to abusive nation-states. The privacy implications of everything being networked in this way are enormous, and in most cases very poorly understood by the general public. Worse, unscrupulous and incompetent vendors take advantage of this confusion, and peddle white-labelled security snake-oil that gives users a false sense of security.

A better option for defending yourself from such surveillance is the use of the Tor network, which routes your internet traffic through multiple computers on the internet in such a way that your privacy is protected. Tom will explain the basics of how Tor works, and list some of the benefits and caveats in using it.

Continue reading “October: A rocky outcrop.”