NMI/BCS Open Source SG Conference – London 10/5/2016

In partnership with the BCS OSSG and BCS OSHUG, this conference explores the increasingly vital role of Open Source as an enabler in the world of electronic systems. It will provide attendees with an informative view of:

  • The benefits and challenges of using open-source
  • Leading electronic systems organisation using open-source today sharing their experience
  • The breadth of opportunities presented by open-source, from application software down to silicon IP
  • Open-source capabilities from a range of leading suppliers

The event will be held on Tuesday 10th May at BCS HQ – 1st Floor, The Davidson Building, 5 Southampton Street, London, WC2E 7HA, [map] from 6:00pm to 9:00pm.

Note: Please aim to arrive by 9:15am as the event will start at 9:30 prompt.

This event is free to attend for both BCS Members and non-members but booking is required. Places are limited; please book as soon as possible.

Meet the Supplier Pitches

Provider of Open Source solutions or services? Give a 2 minute pitch!

Session 1: Challenges & Opportunities

Open Source: The Enabler for IoT Greatness (and Mediocrity)

Strip the layers of marketing fluff on the shiny new Internet of Things devices and you will find, in almost all cases, a slew of great Open Source projects powering these little gadgets, to perform their intended duties. Go up a layer and guess what — the cloud is full of Open Source too!

This talks uses IoT as a case study in explaining how Open-Source makes rapid iterations and complex interconnected things happen very quickly. While this all sounds great, we will also look at how certain approaches in “openness” actually cause more problems than they solve especially when it comes to interoperability between ecosystems.

Omer Kilic is an Embedded Systems Engineer who enjoys working with small computers of all shapes and sizes. He works at the various intersections of hardware and software engineering practices, product development and manufacturing. He is the Chief Hacker at Den Automation, an Internet of Things hardware startup in London.

Sailing the open seas

Deciding to operate a business with an ‘Open Source’ mindset, and looking beyond “why would you give everything away for free?”, there are interesting business models to be had. Those invariably come with challenges, but also have the benefits that are derived from maintaining a culture of openness. Boldport is a small business that open sourced their primary internal software tool, PCBmodE, and who releases all their hardware designs as ‘Open Source hardware’. We’ll discuss where ‘openness’ is challenging and where it has created opportunities, all with a hardware perspective.

Saar Drimer combines his obsessive doodling, love for circuit design, programming, and problem solving into Boldport’s products and services. As an engineer he’s learned to appreciate the value of adopting industrial design thinking and making it an integral part of his design process. He studied electrical engineering at UC Santa Cruz, and researched the topic of hardware security for his PhD at the Computer Lab, University of Cambridge.

Session 2: Practical Solutions

Red, Amber, Green: Free and Open-Source Software in the Supply Chain – When to Avoid, Tread Carefully and Embrace

Almost all software projects have an aspect of Open Source: and for very good reason. With reference to client case studies, Andrew considers how to maximise the utility of Open Source code, both in terms of the code itself, and engaging with the communities around it, and mitigating risk throughout the supply chain.

Andrew Katz is a UK-based lawyer specialising in FOSS and open content.

Prior to becoming a lawyer, Andrew Katz was a developer and has released software under the GPL. He advises individuals, corporations, foundations and public sector organisations on FOSS law issues, and is a visiting researcher at the University of Skövde, Sweden, and visiting lecturer at Queen Mary, University of London. He is a founder editor of the Free and Open Source Software Law Review.


An “Open Source Internet Research Toolkit” – Southampton 9/6/2016

The BCS Cybercrime Forensics and the Open Source SGs, BCS Hampshire Branch & Southampton Solent University are hosting a talk on Open Source Research.

The event will be held on Thursday 9th June, room 326, 3rd Floor, Reginald Mitchell Building, Southampton Solent University, East Park Terrace, Southampton, Hampshire, SO14 0YN (directions and campus map) from 6:00pm to 7:30pm.

This event is free to attend for both BCS Members and non-members but booking is required. Places are limited; please book as soon as possible.

Event details

Open Source Internet Research ToolkitOpen Source Internet Research Toolkit (OSIRT) is an open source tool developed in C# to support officers conducting Open Source Research on the Internet. OSIRT provides investigating officers the ability to capture static and dynamic web content, scrape aspects of a website, hash user created or downloaded content and offers expansive reporting options. Any generated or downloaded content is date and time stamped, with its associated web location, in order to maintain full provenance (Bucknor v R [2010] EWCA Crim 1152) and, in addition, retained in an automated audit trail in accordance with principle three of The Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) guidelines on the Good Practice Guide for Digital Evidence (ACPO, 2012).


Open Source Where You Least Expect It – London 21/4/2016

The BCS OSSG and the OSHUG are hosting a talk that takes a look at the use of open source hardware and software in less obvious places..

The event will be held on Thursday 21st April at BCS HQ – 1st Floor, The Davidson Building, 5 Southampton Street, London, WC2E 7HA, [map] from 6:00pm to 9:00pm.

Note: Please aim to arrive by 18:15 as the event will start at 18:30 prompt.

Please register to attend and share on Lanyrd.

Ownership and Gift; Open Source and God; How a Vicar values Open Source

Do we really own anything, or is it a gift? When we try to claim ownership how does that affect our attitude and our freedom? Does my choice of software really have a spiritual dimension? How can I give something back? These are all questions which arise for an ex-compiler-writing Vicar who wants software which does the job at hand but also wants to live with integrity and Christian values. In his talk Rev Peter Salisbury explores these questions through examples of the way his church uses Open Source software and hardware.

Peter Salisbury was an electronics geek in his teens just as logic chips first hit the Maplin catalogue. From building computers in a cupboard he went to study Computation at UMIST, graduating in 1980. He worked in system tools with Burroughs Machines, then moved to language design and compiler writing for a Project Management company. In 1989 he moved to Salisbury to study theology in preparation for becoming a vicar. He was ordained in 1992 and is currently Vicar of Lymington on the south coast near Southampton. He has never really forgotten he’s a geek.

Open hardware for open science

Is science open source and should it be? This talk will look at the current state of open software and hardware in scientific practice. Example open hardware projects from the worlds of biology, astronomy and computer science will be presented.

Sarah Mount is a Research Associate on the Efficient Editing of Homogeneous Programs (Editors4) project. Previously, she was a Senior Lecturer at the University of Wolverhampton, and before that she held a number of positions at Coventry University.

Hacking the atmosphere

The AirPi is an open source board he designed for measuring and recording air pollution and weather information. Despite its innocuous goal, that board has ended up in some fairly weird situations — come along to find out where!

Tom Hartley is a student at Imperial College, currently sitting on the fence between software and hardware. Prompted by a mysterious fascination with the Raspberry Pi that lives on to this day, he developed the AirPi 2 years ago as part of a competition and went on to sell over 1,000 kits to people who care about the air they breathe. A devotee of open source, the code he writes and the boards he designs are all available freely online.

Embedded platforms (BSD, OpenWRT, Plan 9 & Inferno) – London 17/3/2016

The BCS OSSG and the OSHUG are hosting a talk on embedded platforms, with talks on the BSD family of operating systems, Linux and OpenWRT, and Plan 9 and Inferno in distributed systems.

The event will be held on Thursday 17th March at BCS HQ – 1st Floor, The Davidson Building, 5 Southampton Street, London, WC2E 7HA, [map] from 6:00pm to 9:00pm.

Note: Please aim to arrive by 18:15 as the event will start at 18:30 prompt.

Please register to attend and share on Lanyrd.

The BSD Family of Operating Systems: a familiar environment for your VAX, PIC32 or RISC-V ISA and many other platforms.

BSD The Berkeley Software Distribution started out as a patch set to AT&T UNIX in the 70’s and grew to a complete Operating Systems. Today several projects continue to develop variant operating systems based on the work originally started by the Computer Science Research Group, each with a different area of focus.

This presentation will cover some of the benefits these operating systems can offer to aid the workflow of a hardware project.

Sevan Janiyan is founder of Venture 37, which provides system administration & consultancy services. As a fan of operating systems and computers with different CPU architectures, in his spare time he maintains builds of open source software on a variety of systems featuring PowerPC, SPARC and armv7l CPUs. He hopes to own a NeXTcube & OMRON LUNA-88K2 one day.


Open Energy Tools & Interoperability (Open Inverter, OpenTRV, Heat Pump Monitoring) – London 18/2/2016

The BCS OSSG and the OSHUG are hosting a talk on a topic which has been a recurring theme and of much interest at previous meetings, open energy platforms.

There will be talks on Open Inverter, OpenTRV, OpenEnergyMonitor and heat pump monitoring, with a focus also on interoperability. The evening meeting will also be preceded by an interoperability hack day for project contributors.

The event will be held on Thursday Thursday 18th February at BCS HQ – 1st Floor, The Davidson Building, 5 Southampton Street, London, WC2E 7HA, [map] from 6:00pm to 9:00pm.

This event is free to attend for both BCS Members and non-members but booking is required. Places are limited; please book as soon as possible.

Note: Please aim to arrive by 18:15 as the event will start at 18:30 prompt.

Low power DC conversion using open source hardware


The Open Inverter is a micro inverter designed to produce an AC power output of up to 250 VA. It uses modular, open source PCB designs for both it’s controller and power boards — and is extendible to larger power outputs or for other power electronics projects, such as battery charging, DC ring mains and DC power transformation using buck-boost DC/DC converters.

Open Inverter will provide an AC output from a single 250W photovoltaic panel, micro-hydro turbine. It also has applications in electric bike charging and DC power storage. The key PCBs are currently at either the layout or manufacture stage. The microcontroller board features an RFM69 low power wireless, making it compatible with the Open Energy Monitor ecosystem.


Hardware RNG, PGP key signing party – London 21/01/2016

Random numberThe BCS OSSG and the OSHUG are hosting a talk on hardware random number generation, plus a PGP key signing party.

The event will be held on Thursday 21st January at BCS HQ – 1st Floor, The Davidson Building, 5 Southampton Street, London, WC2E 7HA, [map] from 6:00pm to 9:00pm.

Note: Please aim to arrive by 18:15 as the event will start at 18:30 prompt.

Hardware random number generation

In this talk we will take a look at what makes a good random number, why you might want a reliable source of them and some methods of generating random numbers in hardware.


How to Start your Open Source Business

Tariq Rashid

All (almost all) the talks at the Open for Business conference, that was hosted as part of the Wuthering Bytes festival at the end of September, have been recorded and are now available on line.

This includes recordings of the talks by Tariq RashidRob Blake,  Stuart Mackintosh (second talk), Rob TaylorScott Wilson, Amanda Brock Peter CoatesRobin KennedyCornelia Boldyreff and Adam Jollans.

The entire video set is also available as a playlist, allowing you to relive the day in its entirety.

Publishing the talks on-line provides a permanent repository of information that will serve as an invaluable resource to those running, starting up or considering starting, their own open source business.

All the details in the Embecosm web site.

OSS 2016 Call For Contributions


The 12th International Conference on Open Source Systems (http://oss2016.org)

Gothenburg, Sweden, 30 May – 02 June 2016

Scope of OSS 2016

Free/Libre Open Source Software (FLOSS) has had a disruptive effect on the software industry and the ways that organizations and individuals create, distribute, acquire and use software and software-based services. The FLOSS movement has created new kinds of opportunities such as the emergence of new business models, knowledge exchange mechanisms, and collective development approaches. On the other hand, the movement has introduced new kinds of challenges, especially as different problem domains embrace openness as a pervasive problem solving strategy. FLOSS can be complex yet widespread and often cross-cultural. Consequently, they require an interdisciplinary understanding of their technical, economic, legal and socio-cultural dynamics.

Many organizations that have been known for developing proprietary software are now actively involved with FLOSS. FLOSS adoption continues to grow among businesses, governments, and other organizations. FLOSS remains important for educators and researchers, as well as an important aspect of e-government and information society initiatives, providing access to high-quality software and the code used to create it.

The goal of 12th International Conference on Open Source Systems, OSS 2016 is to provide an international forum where a diverse community of professionals from academia, industry and public sector, and diverse FLOSS initiatives can come together to share research findings and practical experiences. The conference is also a forum to provide information and education to practitioners, identify directions for further research, and to be an ongoing platform for technology transfer, no matter which form of FLOSS is being pursued.