Jeremy Bennett

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 and

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

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.

3D Printing and Making – Thursday 19 July

At this evening meeting in London, we returned to the popular themes of open source 3D printing and making. We’re delighted to welcome three leading authorities in the field to speak to us.  This was a joint meeting with the UK Open Source Hardware Users Group.  Venue was the BCS Offices at 5 Southampton St, London WC2E 7HA from 6-8pm.

Eventbrite - Open Source SG - 3D Printing and Making

Each talk lasted 30 minutes and included plenty of time for questions. We welcomed 32 attendees on the evening.

Videos of the talks are linked below.

Fashion Technology, Stem Cell Research & Mental Health

Rachel “Konichiwakitty” Wong

Rachel will be talking about her personal projects in Fashion Technology and her work in stem cell research and how open source and social media communications has helped her achieve her goals. She will also touch on the importance of having a varied interest in relation to mental health.

Rachel “Konichiwakitty” Wong (@konichiwakitty) is a wearable tech innovator and a stem cell scientist. During the day, her PhD involves using stem cells to grow optic vesicles to study and find a cure for genetic childhood blindness. When she isn’t working, she creates wearable fashion technology. She combines her skills in sewing an jewellery-making together with programming and electronics. She exhibits and gives talks on her fashion tech projects around the world to encourage young girls into STEM education and careers. She was recently awarded a Electronics Weekly BrightSparks engineering award for her work in tissue engineering and fashion technology. She can be found on twitter as @konichiwakitty where she shares all her latest projects.

Video is now available on YouTube.

Delta Printers Are Really Cool

Bracken Dawson

A short talk on the the ups and the many downs of delta machines, when & why you should use one, what the challenges are and a few different ways to conquer those challenges.

Bracken is a developer at IBM working on the Cloud. He was one of the five founding trustees of So Make It, the Southampton makerspace. He has been building 3D printers since the 3D printing boom in 2012.

Video is now available on YouTube.

“In the future, everyone will work for 15 minutes.”

Adrian Bowyer

There is much said about the coming impact on work of the robot and AI revolutions, some of it quite well-informed. But the powers of automation and intelligence are dwarfed by the power of something else: self-replication. After the fundamental forces of physics, self-replication is the most significant phenomenon that there is. Using the Sun’s energy over the last four billion years, self-replication and Darwin’s Law have created a world-surface that is knee-deep in reproducing nano-machines. Indeed, your very knees are made out of them.

Yet engineering hasn’t worked with the power of self replication much, if at all, until now. This talk will be about the RepRap Project—an open-source project that has created humanity’s first general-purpose self-replicating manufacturing machine. It will examine the likely social and economic impacts of self-replicating technology, and draw parallels with a twelve-thousand-year-old industry that uses natural self-replicating machines, the industry without which we would all starve: farming.

Adrian Bowyer holds a first degree and a PhD in engineering from Imperial College. He was an academic engineer and mathematician at the University of Bath for 35 years, from where he retired in 2012 to become a director of RepRap Ltd., a company that sells RepRap machines and components, and that undertakes research and consultancy in RepRap-related projects. RepRap Ltd is an entirely open-source company, and all its designs, software and documentation are freely available to everyone.

His areas of research are geometric modelling and geometric computing in general (he is one of the creators of the Bowyer-Watson algorithm for Voronoi diagrams), the application of computers to manufacturing, and biomimetics. He is the author of about one hundred papers and books on many different aspects of engineering, computing, mathematics and biology.

Video is now available on YouTube.

Funding Open Source – Thursday 17 May 2018

An evening meeting, where we will hear three talks on how to fund open source projects and businesses. This is a joint meeting with BCS Entrepreneurs, BCS Young Professionals Group, BCS Women and the UK Open Source Hardware User Group. Venue is the BCS Offices at 5 Southampton St, London WC2E 7HA from 6-8pm.

Registration link:

Each talk will last 30 minutes and include plenty of time for questions. I look forward to seeing you there.

Thinking differently: new approaches to funding the development of open source conservation technologies

Alasdair Davies

An active conservationist and technologist all his working life, Alasdair Davies is combining his two passions with a third – openness – to bring affordable, customizable technology to the field through the Arribada Initiative. As a Shuttleworth Foundation Fellow, he is designing, developing and producing open source conservation technologies in partnership with leading wildlife charities such as WWF and the Zoological Society of London, employing open approaches and licences to drive down costs by introducing new community-based funding models.

Video of Alasdair’s talk on YouTube

Funding open – tactics and stories from civic tech

Irina Bolychevsky

Irina is passionate about products and using technology to make things better. She spent many years working on open data at Open Knowledge as one of the directors and ckan product owner, at web startups, and most recently as a data consultant for W3C, the Open Data Institute and the UK, Dubai and UAE governments. She co-founded—a project to promote and bring together people working on and interested in decentralised digital technologies.

Video of Irina’s talk on YouTube

Other ways of funding open source

Ben Nickolls

Ben Nickolls is a software developer turned product manager building a sustainable source of funding for open source maintainers at Tidelift. He is an advisor to The Centre for Cultivation of Technology, The Ford Foundation, The Sloan Foundation and helps organise the annual open source sustainability conference and the Core Internet Infrastructure working group. In his spare times he rides bikes, designs boardgames and walks his dog.

Video of Ben’s talk on YouTube

We anticipate this evening may be oversubscribed, so please book promptly. We shall be videoing the talks for later posting on YouTube for those who are unable to make it.