FOSS (Free and Open Source Software)
To return to the main FOSS page or Groups List you can use the trail of links above.

DIARY FOR 2010
28 Jan

Question & Answer

Members were invited to bring along any queries they had with any of the free software that they use, and to see who might have answers. A paper containing the answers to the prepared questions on "What is Linux?" and "What are partitions?" is found here (pdf)


25 Feb

Wine (Mike Godfrey)

How to run Windows programs under Linux using Wine. The notes for the session are found here (pdf)


25 Mar

Thunderbird (Andy Pepperdine)

Thunderbird is an e-mail client, and this session will explain the basics of e-mail and how to use Thunderbird to order your e-mails, and keep different accounts for different purposes. We will also look at filters and their uses. The notes for the session are found here (pdf)


22 Apr

Licenses and legal issues (Andy Pepperdine)

This month we'll cover some history of free software, and why software engineers spend their time creating programs to give away. Why does the situation continue, and how secure is it for the future? What can you expect from it, and how is it maintained? What are the responsibilities of the users of such software? A copy of the presentation slides (not all were used) and the notes associated with each slide are found here (pdf) .


27 May

Finding Help (Andy Pepperdine)

How to find answers from the web. How to ask questions. Which sites to go to for help. What search terms to use. Applies to Windows, Apple and Linux.

Google is your friend when searchihng on your own. If you need to ask a question on a forum or e-mail list, then you should be polite and as complete as possible. For example, if you get an error message, then give the text of the message. If you are trying to use an application, say which one, what menu items you use, and what the results are. Also say what you expected, because it might operate correctly, just not what you want.


24 Jun

OpenOffice Impress for presentations (Andy Pepperdine)

How to get effects. How to insert pictures in various ways. How to re-scale. How to select formats for slides. This program runs on Windows, Apple and Linux.

The notes are here (PDF).

22 Jul

Firefox, the browser (Andy Pepperdine)

Features. Keeping passwords for sites safe. Useful add-ons (examples welcome!). There is a version for both Windows and Linux, but less popular for Apple.

The notes are here (PDF).

26 Aug

Introduction to Linux (Andy Pepperdine)

Where is everything? What are packages? What are accounts? When to split folders from other folders.

The notes are here (PDF)


23 Sept

Network tools (Andy Pepperdine)

Routers, switches. How to find things out. Monitoring tools. I need some time to investigate this myself, so the detailed list of things to say will change. This will be Linux based, but some comments will apply to Windows too.

The draft notes are to be found here (PDF).

28 Oct

OpenOffice Calc Spreadsheets (Andy Pepperdine)

When to use them. How to write formulae and find suitable functions. How to generate charts and graphs. Sorting. Ideas for the types of things people use spreadsheets for would be welcome so we can concentrate on what is useful.

After a very instructive meeting for all present, the notes were fully revised, and are now here (PDF). The starting point for the demonstration was this spreadsheet (ods).


25 Nov

Audacity (Brian Martin)

Sound recording and manipulation. Brian showed us how manipulating an audio file was as easy as a text file with the usual copying and pasting, but in addition a number of filters and transformations are also possible. The notes that accompanied the talk are here (pdf).


23 Dec

Christmas - no meeting