Daily Archives: June 28, 2018


Open Source Fortran – 15 November 2018

At this evening meeting in Manchester, we’ll be welcoming two experts in open source Fortran compilation.  This is a joint meeting with the BCS Fortran Specialist Group hosted by BCS Manchester Regional Group at MMU Business School  from 6-8pm.

We will have three talks:

  • A Tour of the Flang Fortran Compiler.  Kiran Chandramohn, Arm
  • gfortran – the gnu gcc fortran compiler.  Paul Thomas, Glyme Consultancy Limited

Full details and registration on the event page


Mentoring & Advocacy + AGM – 25 October 2018

Whilst open source is now more widely accepted, there are still large parts of the engineering community who have yet to “see the light”.  Advocacy remains a key role for all who care about open source, while mentoring helps user make best use of open source technology.

At this evening meeting in London, we’ll be welcoming leading speakers on this topic.

  • Karen Sander(@o0karen0o). Software Freedom Conservancy.
  • Paul Adams(@therealpadams). FSF Europe
  • Prof Cornelia Boldyref(@Cornelia)Advocacy for Women in Open Source

Full details with presentations on the event page.


Members’ Lightning Talks – Thursday 13 September

An opportunity to hear about all the open source projects our members are working on. We’ll start with Chris Jones’ talk on Hammerspoon postponed from earlier in the year and then be followed by 8 short talks on the full range of subjects addressed by the Open Source Specialist group.  This is a joint meeting with the UK Open Source Hardware Users Group.  Venue is the BCS Offices at 5 Southampton St, London WC2E 7HA from 6-8pm.

Eventbrite - Open Source SG - 3D Printing and Making

Chris Jones’ talk will last 30 minutes, with all the subsequent talks lasting no more than 10 minutes including time for questions. We look forward to seeing you there.

We shall be videoing the talks for later posting on YouTube for those who are unable to make it. We also hope to live-stream the talks using gotmeeting – a first for us.

Hammerspoon: Staggeringly powerful macOS desktop automation

Chris Jones

Hammerspoon exposes many parts of macOS to the simple scripting language Lua. Its goal is to make the most powerful and flexible tool for serious power users to automate and customise as many things as possible. In this talk we’ll look at the history of automation on Apple computers, how Hammerspoon works, and some of the excellent things it can help you do. Of course, it’s Open Source, so you can also jump in and help make it even better!

Chris Jones has been creating, using, and advocating for Open Source software, since the mid-1990s. He’s spent the last 12 years of his professional life working on/with Open Source – the first half at Canonical (creators of Ubuntu) and since then working on OpenStack at HP and Red Hat.

After 13 years of zealously running only Linux on his desktops/laptops, he has spent the last 8 years recovering as a macOS user, but has nevertheless retained his passion for contributing to Open Source.

This talk was to have been given at our June meeting which was cancelled. We are delighted Chris is available to give his talk at this meeting.

Sous-vide cooking with a Raspberry Pi

Chris Swan

Cooking with a touch of science and a dash of engineering. Sous vide (under vacuum) is a technique that places food into a temperature controlled water bath. The vacuum bit isn’t that important, and squeezing the air out of a zip lock bag is generally sufficient; but precise temperature control is essential to ensure that the right proteins are denatured. The thermostat in a typical piece of kitchen equipment is nowhere near good enough, but add a sensor (immersible temperature gauge), an actuator (433MHz remote control socket), some control software and a dev board to run it on and you have the ability to cook perfect steaks, eggs, fish or whatever.

Chris has been tinkering with electronics since he was a small child, and got into software when he realised that it was necessary to make hardware do interesting things. In his day job as CTO for Global Delivery for DXC Technology he’s bringing a large services company and its customers into a world of DevOps and Infrastructure as Code. On evenings and weekends he can often be found making some sort of project around a dev board, with a particular fondness for Raspberry Pis.

Upspin: a personal storage and sharing system

Sevan Janiyan

Upspin tries to address the shortcomings of sharing, privacy, and availability of data on the internet, in the modern day. Whether it’s making state available across multiple computers or sharing with other parties, Upspin is a personal namespace which can accomodate and be built upon.

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.

Next Generation Storage Interfaces

Julian Kunkel

The efficient, convenient, and robust execution of data-driven workflows and enhanced data management are key for productive in computer-aided RD&E. Still, the storage stack is based on the low-level POSIX I/O (or objects in cloud storage).

This talk introduces chances for establishing an open community-driven next-generation storage interface in a similar fashion to the existing forums.  The forum would bring together vendors, storage experts, and users to discuss key features of the API and establish governance strategies. The envisioned coarse-grained API aims to overcome current obstacles for highly parallel workflows but would be beneficial also in the
domain of big data and even desktop PC. It bears the opportunity to create a new ecosystem.

Dr. Kunkel is a Lecturer at the Computer Science Department at the University of Reading and also a member of the BCS OSSG Committee.  Previously, he worked as postdoc in the research department of the German Climate Computing Center (DKRZ) that partners with the Scientific Computing group at the Universität Hamburg. He manages several research projects revolving around High-Performance Computing and particularly high-performance storage.

Julian became interested in the topic of HPC storage in 2003, during his studies of computer science. Besides his main goal to provide efficient and performance-portable I/O, his HPC-related interests are:

  • data reduction techniques, performance analysis of parallel;
  • applications and parallel I/O, management of cluster systems;
  • cost-efficiency considerations; and
  • software engineering of scientific software.

Building an Open Source Electric Surfboard

Peter Bennett

With the increasing availability of 3D printers and the wide variety of components available over the internet, how hard is it to build an electric surfboard? This talk will cover the design and construction of an open-source electric surfboard from the concept to hitting the sea, including some of the challenges met along the way, especially those to do with managing lots of electricity very close to lots of water. The project can be found on GitHub at https://github.com/largeostrich/openelectricsurfboard and https://github.com/largeostrich/openwaterjet.

Peter Bennett (@thelargeostrich) is currently studying Mining Engineering at Camborne School of Mines, University of Exeter.  He has a long standing interest in open source technology, particularly 3D printing
and electronics. He previously reimagined peripherals for the EDSAC using 3D printing and arduino for ChipHack at Wuthering Bytes 2017.

Jumbo Servo – I2C position control

Andy Clark

When Andy needed a really big servo, rather than spend a fortune on an industrial monster, he decided to make one. As it would be used with a Raspberry Pi or Microcontroller he decided it would be digitally controlled rather than the usual analogue pwm.

Andy has been Making and Repairing in a shed at the bottom of the garden for the last 10 years. The code and designs for his often quirky and enchanting projects can be found on GitHub and documented on the Workshopshed blog.

A Plan 9 C Compiler for RISC-V

Richard Miller

The Plan 9 operating system was developed at Bell Labs in the 1980s using a new C compiler written by Ken Thompson, which was also later used to implement the kernel of the Inferno operating system and to bootstrap early releases of the Go language. Like Plan 9 itself, the compiler is highly portable, elegantly minimalist, lightweight and quick. The ARM version, for example, is about 21,000 lines of code and compiles itself in 15 seconds on a Raspberry Pi 3.

This talk will describe the exercise of re-targeting the Plan 9 C compiler to generate code for the RISC-V open instruction set architecture.

Dr Richard Miller learned C in 1977 while re-targeting (and re-hosting) Dennis Ritchie’s original Unix C compiler from the PDP-11 to the Interdata 7/32. Since then he has re-targeted Unix and Plan 9 C compilers for various other CPUs from NS 16032 to Nios II.

Gigatron: An 8-bit TTL based microcomputer

Ken Boak

Gigatron is an 8-bit TTL based microcomputer, that I built up from a kit from www.gigatron.io.

Although it consists of just 36 TTL ICs, a ROM and a RAM – it will run at 10MHz clock and delivers performance that exceeds that of the 6502/Z80 that were contemporary in the mid-1970s.

If time permits, I will also mention a very simple interpreted language (a bit like Forth) that could be ported to such a machine – and is on my to do list.

Ken Boak is an OSHUG regular

Open permits and the power of open source

Simon Worthington

Open source gives compounding value—the bigger the ecosystem, the more that can be done quickly and easily. I’ll give a demo of a open system that lets anyone make their own provable, machine-readable passes, which I’ve made rapidly by combining open source libraries.

Simon is a freelance software engineer and also works for the Government Digital Service.