FOSS (Free and Open Source Software)
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27 Jan

Question and Answer

Bring along anything you feel you need to solve now and cannot see how to do. As usual, detail is important, so the more you can supply, the better will be the answer.
Notes from this discussion can be found here (pdf).

24 Feb

Tricks and tips

Tips and sundry things. everyone is invited to supply their own favourite methods of doing simple things we can all learn from.
Applications have many menus with rarely used options. Many have short cut keyboard access.
Some websites are better than others for different purposes.
The result of the exchange of hints is written up here (pdf).

24 Mar

Formatting disks (Andy Pepperdine)

It is time we revised this again as questions keep coming up.
The notes (pdf) include a lot of what was discussed at the meeting, as well as a description of the partitioning process of an external portable drive.

28 Apr

Security and Firewalls (Andy Pepperdine)

What does security mean in the home? Protection of a PC; of a network; of a file; of a folder.
What is a firewall? Where must you use a firewall? Where can you omit a firewall?
What are passwords used for? How can you keep them all? Do you need to use different ones in different places?
The notes (pdf) cover as much as I can think of briefly.

26 May

Android (Ron Millen)

Android is getting a lot of publicity. It is being pushed by Google as an OS for smart mobile phones, cheaper than Apple's iPhone. Android is based on Linux, so what is the experience using it in practice?

23 Jun

Question & Answer - focus on recent Linux distributions

Not everyone has been happy with the most recent releases of Ubuntu, for various reasons. Here is a chance to ask how to avoid some pitfalls, and to see what others' experiences are with these and other distros (e.g. Mint). Where is the future? What should the "ordinary" person do?
There are a few notes (pdf) from this session.

28 Jul

Operating systems

What is an operating system? Why should one be better than another? What is a good choice for use at home?
What are the drawbacks of various offerings.
Some notes (pdf) are now available.

25 Aug


Compatibility with Linux is still not a given when buying new equipment. What can we do about it? How can you select something that is certain to work? What are members' experiences in repairing or building PCs to run Linux?
Some preliminary notes (pdf) are now available.

22 Sept

Backups (Andy Pepperdine)

What are the differences between various backup systems? How frequently should backups be taken? What data should be backed up (all the system, or just own data)? What media is best for retaining the data?
What can go wrong that will mean you will need to use a backup?
Most importantly: how can you recover a single file? How can you recover all your data? How can you recover the whole system?
The are some (pdf) notes from the session.

27 Oct

Question and Answer

Another general session - bring along your problems and let's find some solutions.
What was discussed in now described in the notes from the session (pdf).

24 Nov

Linux Distros or is Ubuntu still the Best? (Andy Pepperdine)

There are other Linux systems that are very usable. What do you use? Experiences with, for example, Fedora, Mint, Puppy, and anything else. Why would we use each one? The discussion was lively. Here are the notes from the session (pdf).

In addition, Mike Godfrey provided some notes on how to read floppies in Ubuntu (pdf).

22 Dec

Christmas - no meeting