Preparing for Craft Council open day

Mike spent the morning re-siting the laser cutter to a shelf underneath one of the work benches, freeing up some more work area on the bench.

Heavy duty rails have been used to allow the cutter to slide out from underneath the bench for setup and use. Flexible hose connects the cutter to the extractor unit and ducting.

Cutter pulled out from under bench:-

20160903_101526

 

Extractor ducting with inline fan:-

20160903_122405

Cutter pushed back under bench:-

20160903_101506

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Home made solar (thermal) panel

In January 2015, I posted an update of my attempts to make my home more energy efficient. So far, I have concentrated on insulation, and monitoring the effects. This link describes the progress.

https://blackpoolmakerspace.wordpress.com/2015/01/04/temperature-monitoring-display-using-old-android-tablet/

This summer (2016), I decided to try out an idea mention by another member, Donald. The idea was that you could make a solar thermal panel by painting a central heating radiator black, and putting it in a double glazed, insulated box.  That is what I have done using a 20 year old central heating panel left over from when I removed my central heating several years ago.

This is a graph of the temperature produced by the panel from the end of July to the end of August (2016). The graph mid-line is 50 degrees Celsius. Continuous live temperatures from the panel can be seen here:- https://personal.xively.com/feeds/940955947

Screenshot from 2016-08-28 10:28:30

The panel is connected to a towel rail in the bathroom, and heats the rail by thermo-cycling, no pump would be required, except……

The towel rail cannot dissipate all the heat produced by the panel on hot days, and eventually, when the temperature passes 70, stagnation occurs, thermo-cycling stops and the towel rail cools down. To combat this effect on hot days, there is an Arduino sensing the panel temperature. When the temperature hits 70, the Arduino sends a signal to turn the pump on, which restarts the circulation.

What I am mostly interested in, is how the panel will perform during the autumn, winter and spring periods. When the results are in, I will be able to decide if it is worth adding additional panels to heat my hot water cylinder.

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Make-Shift-Do, October 2016

Most of 2015 was taken up preparing our new space at Tyldesley Road. October  2015 was especially busy as we hurried towards our opening deadline, timed to coincide with the Craft Council sponsored Make-Shift-Do event. http://www.craftscouncil.org.uk/what-we-do/makeshiftdo/

Membership declined in 2015 as we concentrated on building work rather than making. From October onward, we concentrated on meeting every Saturday in an attempt to rebuild the membership numbers, and so the finishing touches to the space did not happen.

With October and the next Make-Shift-Do event approaching, we have decided that a similar approach to last year is required, and additional work is now being undertaken to prepare the space for the event.

 

 

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Saturday June 4th

Only 4 of us today, Mike Hull, Richard, Tony and Geoff.

Geoff brought a laptop that he wanted to restore a windows 7 install on. The problem was while the key was readable the version of W7 it was had rubbed off the COA sticker. After a false start with windows 7 home basic which would not take the key, we were successful in installing W7 home premium. All drivers installed out of the box, and we activated the installation with no problem, but due to time constraints we left the full update untill Geoff was at home.

On the whole a successful mornings work.

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Hacker Public Radio

HPR is a podcast community for those that want to have a go at podcasting but don’t have the resources or skills to be able to go it alone from the start (although some of the regular contributors do also have their own independent podcasts). Setting up and managing a podcast site is quite a commitment if your not sure if you want to do more than the occasional show, and as it already has regular listeners you’re sure to have someone listen to what you record.
HPR releases a new show every day Monday to Friday but these are all from shows made by the community members, and can be of any topic of interest to the contributors. As the title suggests many of the shows are technology related, but they don’t have to be. Recent shows have covered, Repairing a Truck, brewing beer and recording a band. So for example if your into making Jam and want to share how to do this on a podcast you can.
A few weeks ago one of the Volunteers who manage the Web site, posted a podcast explaining that there were only a few shows left in the queue for publication and if things didn’t improve there was a danger that without any future content the site would have to close. This was the rallying cry I needed to get off my backside and record something for HPR.
It’s not my first go at podcsting as I was a member of the fullcirclemagazine.org podcast for a few months with some other members of this Makerspace/LUG, and had also done a one off podcast with, Dan lynch (Linux outlaws), Pete Cannon (The Dick Turpin Road show), Les Pounder (fullcircle podcast) and Heeed, which was released as HPR episode 0844 called ‘The Flying Handbag’. We recorded this show during Blackpool Barcamp in 2011. It’s quite funny although slightly adult content, so if you want to listen its in the HPR archive.
However as far as recording myself alone talking (or rambling) about something I wanted to share with an audience, was something I’d not done before.
The biggest fear I had was the perceived difficulty getting it in a format to broadcast but it’s all taken care of by the community volunteers, all I had to do was record my show, (I chose to share about how I started to use Linux, as my first show) and then choose when I wanted it to be aired, follow the instructions on the upload page, and the rest is done for you.
So if you’ve ever been tempted to have a go at a podcast but didn’t know how to go about it give it a go via the HPR podcast community
Watch out Blackpool Makerspace attendees I’ll be bringing the Zoom H2 to meetings and trying to encourage people to do interviews for future HPR shows.
This is an edited version of a post on my occasional blog at:
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Linux Presentation Day at Blackpool LUG -April 2016

Nine people attended during the course of the day, and  Linux was discussed in detail.

Multiple Linux distributions were on display: Slackware, Debian, Suse, Fedora, Ubuntu, Lubuntu and one of the highlights, Linux Mint running on a quad core Raspberry Pi.

We had four computers to give away with Linux Mint installed (available free of charge), but there were no takers. We will have to try harder at the next LPD in October.

 

2016-04-30 14.52.46

Pizza fueled Linux presentation day.

2016-04-30 14.53.08

Biscuits and project boxes

2016-04-30 14.53.18

Apple pie cookies and boxes of Raspberry Pi

 

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Is Linux being helped or hijacked by corporate involvement?

Is Linux being helped or hijacked by corporate involvement? AKA has Linux lost its way?

Who knows, but here are some thoughts:

Linux started as a student project and gathered an enthusiastic band of volunteers …..but look at it now.
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2015/02/18/who_writes_linux_2015/
“The Linux kernel is growing and changing faster than ever, but its development is increasingly being supported by a select group of companies, rather than by volunteer developers.

That’s according to the latest survey of Linux kernel of development by the Linux Foundation, which it published to coincide with the kickoff of this year’s Linux Foundation Collaboration Summit on Wednesday.
Whether the decline in volunteer code contributions since Linux’s early days is actually a bad thing, however, is open to debate.

For one thing, kernel development is something of a rarified skill, and coders who successfully submit patches probably won’t stay unemployed for long. Now they’re volunteers; now they aren’t.

Also, the Linux kernel has hardly been taken over by some Good Ol’ Boys network of top IT companies. One developer who consistently makes the list of top kernel contributors, for example, is H Hartley Sweeten of Vision Engraving Systems, a maker of industrial engraving equipment.

Similarly, the Linux Foundation announced on Wednesday that its latest member is media giant Bloomberg, which has joined as Gold member and says it will “continue to take on a more prominent role in the broader community development and collaboration behind Linux.”
from the comments on this page:
https://mjg59.dreamwidth.org/39546.html

Is this trend isolated or common?
Date: 2016-01-22 11:51 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
So far I count:
– Linux Foundation quietly dropped community representation.
– The Radeon related conspiracies (I didn’t look at it in depth yet).
– The libusb related conspiracy (See Peter Stuge’s talk at 32C3).
– The X.org foundation corporate membership limit change attempt.
Is there other examples of such patterns that I missed?
Are theses isolated incidents? Or are they part of a bigger picture?

If it is, I can only think of corporate control over free software projects, but why?
I guess free software companies wouldn’t benefit from it.
However I think that the proprietary software companies would. They nowadays depend on free software so they can’t kill it, they probably don’t want to either.
However controlling the associations and leveraging such control could be used to help prevent free software from replacing their proprietary products.

Here I’m only wondering if something is happening, and I don’t have any answers.

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Re: Is this trend isolated or common?
Date: 2016-01-23 12:18 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Free software has always been a threat to the “capitalist” business model espoused by the big corporations. This model has no room for products that threaten their high profit margins, so they always attempt to buy or hijack the problem people and products. An example from the dark side is Mark Russinovich being bought off by Microsoft after the Sony rootkit affair.

Another way to look at the Linux Foundation is that we have isolated the problem to a small place and made the corporates pour their money into a different rat hole, but we have to act on that approach, perhaps by forking the kernel and making the community version the important one, removing the Linux Foundation’s influence over the real world by simple community action.

While this approach would seem cruel in that Torvalds would be shorn of his halo, in fact devolving the “governance” of the Linux kernel would serve as a way of keeping him honest, and potentially improve the overall product. Just like all of the MySQL forks forced Oracle to be honest, so would a hurd of Linux forks force “Linux” back to the real world.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linux_kernel :-

People like Linus Torvalds and I don’t plan the kernel evolution. We don’t sit there and think up the roadmap for the next two years, then assign resources to the various new features. That’s because we don’t have any resources. The resources are all owned by the various corporations who use and contribute to Linux, as well as by the various independent contributors out there. It’s those people who own the resources who decide…
— Andrew Morton, 2005

Linux is evolution, not intelligent design
— Linus Torvalds, 2005[122][123]
http://www.zdnet.com/article/linux-foundation-leadership-controversy-erupts/
“The real question behind the debate, as I see it, is who controls The Linux Foundation? The users or the companies?

Garrett sees this move as The Linux Foundation taking one more step away from the community and towards the corporate world. Zemlin doesn’t address this point specifically but, tellingly, he does say that the “process for recruiting community directors should be changed to be in line with other leading organizations in our community and industry.”

In addition, as Garrett pointed out, individuals no longer longer have “The ability to run for and vote for a Linux Foundation board seat and influence the direction of the foundation.”

Personally, I see this as a move towards more corporate control of the Foundation. But, as the saying goes, who pays the piper calls the tune. I find nothing surprising about this move.

While open-source users love the concept of community, the “community” has been made up of corporate executives and employees for well over a decade now. Only the most idealistic open-source developer and leaders and, ironically, open source’s most fervent enemies still think of Linux and open-source projects being created and controlled by private individuals.

Besides, the overwhelming majority of The Linux Foundation board of directors has always been made up of corporately chosen directors. Still, this Linux Foundation decision rubs me the wrong way. Linux started as an individual’s project that quickly gathered the support of many bright programmers. There should always be a place for individuals rather than corporations to have their say in The Linux Foundation’s leadership.

I hope Sandler, who is a strong, brilliant open-source leader, not only is allowed to run for office, but wins a place on the board. I also hope the Foundation restores the right for individuals to vote and run for office on the board. This is not asking for much, and it would restore faith that the Foundation still has room left for the little people and not just the big companies.”
http://www.linuxuser.co.uk/features/systemd-for-better-or-worse
“They” tried, for years, to destroy Linux. “Only hackers use it”, “only hippies use it”, “only communists or terrorists use it”, “we own patents for most of it” and each one failed. Now they’re attacking it from within and it’s worked beautifully. One community torn asunder over systemd. Most distros now firmly in the palm of Red Hat and thus under their control. The modularity and control that distinguished Linux from other OS’s, now mostly gone and by the time Poettering has finished, it will all be gone. And then it will be too late.
Thankfully there are still some distros holding out – Slackware, Crux, Pisi, Manjaro OpenRC and Devuan if it gets off the ground. Long may they continue to resist. But I don’t hold out much hope in the long run. This is Corporate takeover 101 and so few even see what’s happening that the chances of stopping it are next to zero. Sad.
http://embedded-computing.com/articles/the-linux-revolution-just-keeps-advancing-heres-why/
A cornerstone of Linux’s success is its huge user community. Since 2005, some 11,800 individual developers from nearly 1,200 different companies have contributed to the kernel, the Linux Foundation says. Linux is the largest collaborative development project in history and it is being developed faster than any other software in the world.

And now Linux is accelerating tech innovation via open collaboration at all levels – from the chip and on up through the entire hardware and software stacks.
http://www.infoworld.com/article/2905331/open-source-software/the-new-struggles-facing-open-source.html
Ultimately, open source isn’t about code. It’s about community, and as Bert Hubert suggests, “community is the best predictor of the future of a project.” That community isn’t fostered by jerk project leads or corporate overlords pretending to be friendly foundations. It’s the heart of today’s biggest challenges in open source — as it was in the last decade.

The Linux model inspired IBM, NVIDIA, Mellanox, Google, and Tyan to create the OpenPOWER initiative in December 2013. OpenPOWER does for hardware what Linux has done for software: makes it free and open source

http://www.wired.com/2015/02/nodejs-foundation/
it has become increasingly common for companies to maintain control of important open source tools.

That can make for more efficient decision making. But as we’ve seen with Node, it can also lead to tensions between the parent company and outside developers who adopt and develop the technology. How the Node community deals with these tensions could set important precedents for how other important open source technologies, such as the cloud computing tool Docker, are managed.

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