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

26 Jan

Partitioning disks before installation of an OS (Andy Pepperdine)

Why would you want to divide your hard disk into several partitions, and how would you do it when you know you want to?
The notes for the demonstration, including screenshots, are found here (pdf).

23 Feb

Question and Answer

There are always things that you know should have an answer but either cannot find or don't understand the answer when you get it. Here's your chance to ask about those things that are bothering you - or give answers to questions that are asked by others.

The notes are found here (pdf).

22 Mar

GRUB and booting (Andy Pepperdine)

What happens when a machine boots, and why does Linux need a different system from Windows? How can you put two systems on a single machine and select the one you want? How can you modify the order of selection? Why is boot from disk different from boot from USB? We'll cover as much as we can in this complicated area of software.

The notes are found here (pdf).

26 Apr

Spreading the word about Linux and free software

This month we will try to reach all those people who could save themselves a lot of headaches as well as cash by switching to free software. Plans are not yet advanced, but may include demonstrations, and maybe a talk about what FOSS is.

Eight new people turned up, and we had a good discussion and the demonstrations seemed to go well. The brief introductory presentation can be found here as an odp (Impress) file, and here as a pdf . Thank you to all the regulars who came along to help.

A question arose about how to type accented characters under Linux. A description of the use of all the characters accessible from the standard UK keyboard layout is now available here (pdf) . There is a keyboard layout here as an editable .odt , and again here (pdf).

24 May

News and views

What is going on in the land of FOSS? What new applications are worth knowing about? What new distributions of Linux are coming along? What is the status of legal challenges? What are the commercial aspects and issues surrounding FOSS? Does any of this matter to my desktop?
This month we covered a wide variety of topical comments with news about some of the Linux distributions and applications. Mention was also made of the possible impact of the Data Communications Proposal, and the downfall of the ACTA legislation.

If you are using Ubuntu and were put off the upgrade to 12.04 because of the way Unity uses advanced features of graphics cards, then try Lubuntu or Xubuntu which are more suitable for older machines.

28 Jun

Question & Answer

Another chance to get those pesky issues solved.
A summary of what was discussed can be found here as a pdf.

26 Jul


Who uses what and why? Why use LibreOffice instead of KOffice, or a collection of separate applications like AbiWord and Gnumeric? Which picture editor would you use? Which sound editor? Which video editor? How do you read news? Read email? Browse the web? Write books? Publish newsletters?
The wisdom of the group has been distilled and can be found here as a pdf.

23 Aug

Keys and encryption (Andy Pepperdine)

What is a keyring? Why do we need all these keys? What is a password manager? When would I need it?
Some notes are here as a pdf.

27 Sept

Linux Distributions - the Pros and Cons of each

Linux is now issued in a bewildering number of distros from different teams, each with their own idea of what works best for them and who they think they are building for. Some are better than others for newcomers, some are better for older machines, or new machines, some are tuned for great media experiences and others for getting simple office jobs done. And more.
The notes are here as a pdf.

25 Oct

Question and Answer

Another general session - bring along your problems and let's find some solutions.
A summary of what was discussed can be found here as a pdf.

22 Nov

Installation of Applications etc. on Linux

What are all these packages, .deb or .rpm files, or "tar balls", and how do you get special drivers loaded? The notes can be found here as a pdf.

27 Dec

Christmas - no meeting

Although no meeting was held, one of our number produced a cake after the November meeting. And here is the recipe (pdf) for it.