Meeting

This week at Blackpool LUG there was Mike, Colin, Tony and Les

What we did / discussed today

  1. Colin’s Project of the Week
  2. Compiling wireless drivers for Colin’s dongle
  3. Microsoft offering free Microsoft products to students – Has Linux put them on the back foot?
  4. Using Free and Open Source Software to transition from Windows to Linux
  5. The problem with Linux is…
  6. QEMU – Try other distributions
  7. Open BSD
  8. Linux command line tips of the week
  9. Our LUG calendar

This weeks photos are here

1 Colin’s Project of the Week

This week Colin ran Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx on his Apple iBook G3.
This was a remarkable achievement, given that the hardware is over a decade old!

2 Compiling wireless drivers for Colin’s dongle

Mike and Colin had a go compiling wireless drivers for Colin’s infamous wireless dongle. This looked promising until during the compile process there were a number of errors.
which all looked to stem from one source, the kernel. Perhaps Colin should ask Tony for a really long ethernet cable? πŸ˜‰

3 Microsoft offering free Microsoft products to students – Has Linux put them on the back foot?

Mike mentioned that his son had been given free Microsoft developer software, as he is an accomplished programmer.
Does this show an early indication that Microsoft is worried about the availability of Free and Open Source Software (FOSS)?
Traditionally children have used Microsoft products in schools, but could this be changing? Could future generations grow up with the choice to use FOSS?

4 Using Free and Open Source Software to transition from Windows to Linux

We discussed the use of FOSS in helping those wishing to transition from Windows / Mac to Linux.
Common applications are

  • Internet Explorer
  • Adobe Photoshop
  • Adobe Illustrator
  • Windows Mail
  • iTunes

And their FOSS alternatives are (respectively)

  • Firefox, Chrome
  • Gimp
  • Inkscape
  • Thunderbird
  • Rhythmbox, banshee, Amarok

Windows / Mac users are not stuck paying for software, they can use these free alternatives instead.

5 The problem with Linux is…

We have great developers, coders, technical experts. All working hard to produce the best software for us. But where we have a problem is with documentation. We are improving but we need to ensure that we have quality documentation, and more of it.

6 QEMU – Try other distributions

Mike set a challenge, for each of us to follow this guide and build a USB key that can run puppy linux inside Qemu.
Qemu is a emulator that allows you to emulate various CPU architectures, such as 68000, ARM and standard x86.
The emulation does not work like Virtualbox, which really just sits on top of the base operating system and works along side. Qemu instead emulates the architecture required for the operating system, the downside of this is that you will struggle to run the operating systems at anything near normal speed.

7 Open BSD

We had a brief look at Open BSD, looked very old school. Like something from the early 2000’s. But it ran well and offered a high level of security. Pictures are on my Flickr photostream.

8 Linux command line tips of the week

Tired of pressing the up arrow key to search through your history? Then try this in a terminal instead
Ctrl+r (Press the control key and the r key in a terminal)
You should see this
(reverse-i-search)`':
Now start typing in part of a command, and it will search the history as you type to find what you are looking for!
When you have the right command press
Ctrl+o (Press the control key and the o key in a terminal)
This will now run the command.

Another quick tip, don’t want a command to appear in your history? Then enter a space before the command and it wont appear!

9 Our LUG Calendar

We have a great Google Calendar that shows events and important information in the Linux world.
Les will update the calendar regularly, so please keep an eye on it.
Important dates this week

  • How Why DIY 21st / 22nd August (exact date TBA in Liverpool): A tech event where people can get together and share ideas. Les will be there providing Ubuntu and free software advice to attendees.
  • Ubuntu Global Jam 27th to 29th August 2010, at Madlab Manchester. This is a great event to go to. Help others file bug reports, fix bugs and work to improve documentation. Or just have a chat with like minded individuals. Les and Rick will be going, anyone else fancy it?
  • Software Freedom Day in Machester on the 18th September Manchester Free Software will be hosting a day of events and workshops to celebrate Software Freedom Day. Tony, Rick, Rob and Les will be there promoting Ubuntu and Free Software
  • Ubuntu 10.10 Release Party. October 10th 2010 (10/10/10 πŸ˜‰ ) Come and celebrate the release of Ubuntu 10.10 at Madlab in Manchester. Details are still be fleshed out but as I learn more I will let you know.

See you next week
Les

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