June: Lightning talks


7pm, Wednesday, 12 June 2024


Last November (2023), we ran lightning talks, shorter technical talks of up to 10 minutes each in length, instead of the usual two longer talks. The feedback for this was really good, so we’re having another go this month. We have the following speakers and topics scheduled, probably in this order:

* Tom Ryder: Shell quotes
* Nick Skarott: Stuff the big three
* Joseph Calkin: What it takes to serve an endpoint
* Richard O’Donoghue: LinuxGSM
* Chris Winkworth: check_mk
* Josh Sunnex: Docker and Wireguard


Milson Community Centre


$2 gold coin donation

Coffee and biscuits will be provided, but please feel free to bring along your own snacks and drinks.

Agenda (rough)

  • 7:00pm: Welcome (Tom Ryder)
  • 7:10pm: Lightning talks begin
  • 7:50pm: Tea and coffee break
  • 8:10pm: General business (Nick Skarott)
  • 8:20pm: Resume lightning talks
  • 9:00pm: Doors close

May: PiSCSI and command-line tools


7pm, Wednesday, 8 May 2024

Topic 1/2: PiSCSI: Emulating a SCSI Hard Drive with a Raspberry Pi

Speaker: Adrian Hayes

Reliable and operational SCSI hard drives for vintage Macintosh computers are getting rarer and harder to find these days. Emulating SCSI hard drives can give your vintage Mac a new lease on life, with a number of modern upgrades available, one being the PiSCSI adapter.

Topic 2/2: GNU command-line tools

Speaker: Tom Ryder

The GNU core utilities is a suite of command-line tools that do basic file, shell, and text manipulation. A few of them, like ls(1) or cp(1), are among the first and most common commands a GNU/Linux user would use. But how about basename(1), to strip a filename’s path or extension? Or fmt(1), to format text to a given width? Or factor(1), to print the prime factors of a number? Tom will go through some of the lesser-known coreutils programs, and show a bit about what they do, along with a few other tools in the same vein that are usually packaged separately, including bc(1) and units(1).

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April: Plasma 6 and OpenBSD


7pm, Wednesday, 10 April 2024

Topic 1/2: Plasma 6

Speaker: Nick Skarott

KDE’s Plasma is a known and loved desktop environment for many Linux users. Being relatively clean while being fully featured without much system load, it’s long been a go-to for those who want a well supported environment that’s prettier than XFCE, but faster than GNOME (at least in the presenter’s opinion). Nick went to have a look at the new version of Plasma, while tackling an arch-nemesis head on to see if, once and for all, his most-feared distribution can be tamed.

Topic 2/2: Exploring OpenBSD

Speaker: Brendon Green

How hard can it possibly be to install and use OpenBSD in 2024? Let’s find out together. Inspired by xkcd #349.

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March: Headscale, DigiKam, and Meld


7pm, Wednesday, 13 March 2024

Topic 1/2: Headscale

Speaker: Richard Barlow

Headscale is a re-implemented version of the Tailscale VPN coordination server, developed independently and completely separately. It allows people to use the official Tailscale client with a self-hosted command and control server. It uses the WireGuard protocol.

Download slides (application/pdf, 956 KiB)

Topic 2/2: DigiKam, Meld and my favourite utilities

Speaker: Giovanni Moretti

Giovanni will show us a few more of his favourite tools:

  • DigiKam: Photo management
  • Meld: Visual diff and merge tool
  • …and perhaps others…

Download slides (application/pdf, 1.3 MiB)

Continue reading “March: Headscale, DigiKam, and Meld”

February: Raspberry Pi 5 and ArchiveBox


7pm, Wednesday, 14 February 2024

Topic 1/2: “Pi”wer Overwhelming

Speaker: Nick Skarott

The Raspberry Pi is the credit-card sized computer we all know and love. Nick has spent the Christmas break getting to grips with the latest iteration, and what makes the Pi 5 an even bigger upgrade than the previous generation was.

Topic 2/2: Web archiving with ArchiveBox

Speaker: Tom Ryder

Web pages staying online has never been very reliable, but over the past few years in particular, link rot has got a lot worse, especially as information centralises onto big proprietary platforms whose providers don’t have much of an interest in keeping things online. The Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine can often rescue a page for you, but it can’t capture everything, all the time. What if you could have your own archive of web pages, so you could easily save content exactly as it appears in case it gets taken down, trying multiple methods of saving to do so? This is what ArchiveBox allows. Tom will give a brief demonstration of ArchiveBox for day-to-day personal use.

Download slides (application/pdf, 768 KiB)

Continue reading “February: Raspberry Pi 5 and ArchiveBox”