OSSG

Activities directly related to the OSSG, rather than Open Source in general


OpenUK launches a single voice for open source in the UK

2019 has seen OpenUK formally launch at the House of Commons in September with the kind sponsorship of Pete Wishart, MP.

OpenUK is a membership and trade organisation for “open” in the UK, actively representing the interests of UK businesses in the UK and internationally. It is building out a number of projects and workstreams to create a single voice for opens source software, open hardware and open data across the UK. This will be increasingly important post-Brexit, when we need to come together with once voice to be recognised as a strong presence in the UK and to influence Government, legislation and the public sector to ensure appropriate treatment of “open” in the UK.

OpenUK launch event at the House of Commons.

We have a wide variety of new work streams supporting the goals of OpenUK and will be working with our extended board to prepare our 2020 strategy in January and will be sharing this via our new web site and NextCloud.

The Committees we have set up and will be working on are:

  • Awards Committee – organising our 2020 OpenUK Awards in London on 11 June, as part of London Tech Week chaired by Amanda Brock with judges Andrew Back, Cheryl Chen and Chris Lamb
  • Events Committee – being formed in 2020. We have a healthcare event on 6 February, and open data series kicking off in March and a number of other events planned including topics such as open hardware and well-being/ working from home – chaired by Amanda Brock
  • Learning Committee – working on an open-source GCSE and a schools competition for early 2020, with the winners being part of the Awards. Over time we will work on code camps etc – chaired by Paul Taylor
  • Legal and Policy Committee – currently setting its remit, reviewing CCS and GDS contract terms, looking forward to a meeting with the Parliamentary All-Party Intellectual Property Committee, when a new Government is in place and responding to the recent Commission workshop – chaired by Chris Eastham
  • Museums Committee – being formed in 2020. Working on a permanent exhibition room at the National Computer Museum at Bletchley to be launched in January 2021 and temporary exhibitions open elsewhere – chaired by Stuart Mackintosh
  • Universities Committee – welcoming all universities in collaborative student projects – chaired by Bruce Darby of Edinburgh University

OpenUK is actively looking for additional members for a number of our committees and groups and would be pleased to hear from anyone interested in volunteering.

British Baked Podcasts, celebrating the talent of the UK’s open sectors will be added weekly from January and are being recorded with the support of BCS’s open source group and Endecosm. We are also hoping to launch UK Faces of Open Source in 2020. http://www.facesofopensource.com/

Details of the participants in all of our committees in our new web site which will be live before Christmas, thanks to our friends Greg and Ele at Civic, who are working hard to build this. A combination of our site and our Nextcloud, hosted by OpusVL,will allow easy access to mailing lists and transparency across the work of our committees and board. Andrew Katz, our Pro Bono GC and his team at Moorcrofts are working hard on making sure all the necessary legals are in place.

Amanda Brock has stepped into the role of CEO and will be OpenUK’s first employee.

Our board will also be extending in January and details of the interim board for 2020 will be updated in the new site. By the end of 2020 we will move to an elected board.

The OpenUK events calendar on the new site will list what is happening across open source software, open data and open hardware in the UK and beyond and will also include the up and coming OpenUK events and even we will be attending in 2020. Please  contact us via the site, if you would like an event listed.

Our final exciting news, is that OpenUK will be hosting a stand at FOSDEM for the first time on Saturday 1 February, potentially the first day after the UK’s Brexit from the European Union.  It will be themed “Tea and Biscuits with the Brits”.

We welcome anyone based in the UK or who wants to showcase a UK business as part of our stand, to take part, give away their goodies and meet the folk of FOSDEM with us. Please contact amanda.brock@openuk.uk if you would like to help with our stand and hope that you will join us for tea, biscuits and a good old natter about open source in Brussels. Please also feel free to contact me if you are interested in participating in any of our committees or are interested in becoming a member of OpenUK or sponsoring our activities.


Case study: Building a profitable open source business

This post is part of the OSSG series “the role of open source in the UK”, where we collect and publish statements from companies and individuals in the UK regarding their experience with Open Source Software. We welcome any submission to this series. If you are interested, please send an email to Dr Julian Kunkel.

Embecosm's activity over the years

by Dr Jeremy Bennett, Chief Executive, Embecosm

Open source is central to the work of Embecosm, and over more than a decade we have built up a very successful business. In this post I’ll explain how we did it.

About the company

Embecosm Limited was established in 2008, initially to provide free and open source modelling and debug services to system-on-chip designers.  It very quickly became clear that chip designers wanted more than just debug. The company expanded to cover development of the entire free and open source compiler tool chain. More recently we have broadened our expertise to cover operating system development, bringing up open source operating systems of all sorts.

This is Embecosm’s business today, providing open source software development services in our specialist fields.  Much of our business is in the embedded space and very often pre-silicon, hence our continued expertise in modelling. We use everything from high-level functional models through instruction set simulators, cycle accurate models based on Verilog and VHDL, through to EDA event driven simulation.

With bases in the UK and Germany, Embecosm is now the world’s largest independent general open source compiler tool chain developer. We are not the only player in this area, CodePlay in Edinburgh specialise in OpenCL compilers, while AdaCore in France specialises in open source Ada compilers. Siemens in Germany also has a department offering compiler development services.

The business model

Embecosm follows a purely service business model. Customers pay for our engineering expertise to develop their compilers, models and operating systems.  These are all inherently very difficult areas of software engineering, very much the rocket science end of the discipline.  This is core to our business model―it is invariably more cost effective for customers to use our services than to attempt to recruit and manage an in-house team. 

We are not a body shop. We supply a team to solve the problem, bringing in specialists at different times. Early on we probably want assembler and modeling specialists, later on the compiler team get to work, then we need the documentation and training specialists to complete the project.

The scarcity of the skills we offer is critical to driving our business.  The fact that the software is always freely available is important (see “The risk factor” below), but doesn’t allow the customer to solve the problem on their own.

The risk factor

The value of free and open source software to the customer is in the reduction of risk. It costs as much to use Embecosm to develop/maintain a compiler tool chain as it does to buy in a proprietary tool chain.  However unlike the proprietary tool chain, you are not locked in to one supplier. If you wish you can drop Embecosm and use another tool chain supplier with no problem.

Indeed the ability to walk away from Embecosm at any time, is a key reason that customers stay with us. It is a value of free and open source software that is often overlooked, but in a business context can be the most important.

Building profitability

A service business relies on reputation.  This is the case even more for free and open source software, with its basis in open communities. The first three years of Embecosm were not profitable, and mostly spent writing application notes explaining to people how to do all the things we do and talking about these things at conferences. These application notes on integrating GDB, building fast Verilator models, porting Newlib and so on, remain standards for the industry.

But showing people how to do the work themselves, ended up driving business to us. Reading our application notes allowed managers to see how difficult the problem was and that Embecosm had the skills to solve these problems.  It makes the buying decision to use Embecosm services much easier.

We remain completely open with all we do and contribute widely to free and open source projects. Almost every customer asks us to train up in-house staff, which we are happy to do. It provides us with advocates inside the customer who understand our work, and can act as “translators” to others in the customer, allowing us to provide a better solution.  Their experience invariably leads to growing confidence in Embecosm’s skills and a strong bond between customer and supplier engineering teams, which helps both.

We are also unashamed that our skills are valuable. My staff are highly qualified and highly paid, reflecting the extreme scarcity of the abilities we need.  Our charges to customers reflect the value we deliver.

In once case a customer had a team of 10 generalist engineers in India trying to develop a GCC tool chain for 5 years.  Customers continued to complain about the poor quality of the tool chain and eventually we were called in.  By then standard regression testing was flagging over 130 internal compiler errors.  All were fixed by one Embecosm engineer in one month and we then spent a year training up the team in India with the specialist skills they needed to maintain the tool chain.

So we may look expensive by the hour, but when you consider what we deliver in that hour, we suddenly seem very good value.  This is a general principle of business, whether open source or not.  The higher value the services you can provide, the more profitable you will be.

Conclusions

Free and open source businesses can be very profitable, particularly operating in areas where skills are scarce.  Ongoing engagement with the wider community is essential to building reputation, trust and ultimately more business.

Dr Jeremy Bennett is Chief Executive of Embecosm (www.embecosm.com), specializing in the development of free and open source compiler tool chains, operating systems and processor models.  He is author of the standard textbook “Introduction to Compiling Techniques” (McGraw-Hill 1990, 1995, 2003) and holds a MA and PhD in Computer Science from Cambridge University. Since 2017 he has served as Chair of the BCS Open Source Specialist Group.


What’s New in Cryptography & Security – July 2019

At this evening meeting in London on Thursday 18 July we have three talks with speakers looking at what’s new in cryptography and security. We last looked at this topic in April 2015, and in the intervening time the maker movement has evolved often, but not always, for the better.

This is a joint meeting with the UK Open Source Hardware User Group.

Christopher Wade of Pen Test Partners will present an analysis of common weaknesses in IOT devices.

Glyn Wintle, CTO at dxwcyber, will explain why you should choose Open Source crypto.

Alec Muffett of the Open Rights Group and Deliveroo will deliver a talk on why and how you should start using Onion Networking.

Full details, including how to register are on the events page.


Makerspaces – June 2019

At this evening meeting in London on Thursday 20 June we have two talks, with a total of five speakers looking at makerspace.  We last looked at this topic in April 2015, and in the intervening time the maker movement has evolved often, but not always, for the better.

This is a joint meeting with the UK Open Source Hardware User Group.

Dr Jenny Molloy, Tony Naggs and Anne-Pia Marty of Biomakespace Cambridge will talk on setting up and running a maker space for interdisciplinary work covering both technology and natural science.

Dr Laura James, co-founder of Cambridge Makerspace and Adrian McEwen, founder of DoES Liverpool will provide a critical review of maker spaces and their role in wider society.

Full details, including how to register are on the events page.


Machines and systems of past, present, future – January 2019

To start off the year, we have a series of talks around the theme of Acorn computers, RISC OS, RISC-V toolchain.

  • Brief history of Unix-like operating systems on Acorn hardware – Stephen Borrill
  • RISC OS : What’s Next – Richard Brown
  • Embedded FreeBSD on a five-core RISC-V processor using LLVM – Jeremy Bennett
  • Buildroot for RISC-V (Using Buildroot to create embedded Linux systems for 64-bit RISC-V) – Mark Corbin

For those unable to be present in person the meeting will be recorded and also live streamed over GoToWebinar:

https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/7524829278273993474

GoToMeeting system check:
https://link.gotomeeting.com/system-check

For more details and registration see the page on Eventbrite.


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


Open Source Hardware Camp 2018 — Lincoln, 30/06 + 01/07

30th June 2018, 09:00 Saturday morning – 16:00 on the Sunday afternoon at The Blue Room, The Lawn, Union Rd, Lincoln, LN1 3BU, [map].

Open Source Hardware Camp 2018 will be hosted in the historic county town of Lincoln — home to, amongst others, noted engine builders Ruston & Hornsby (now Siemens, via GEC and English Electric). This year OSHCamp will feature a total of 10 talks on the Saturday, with 7 hands-on workshops on the Sunday.

Lincoln is well served by rail, reachable from Leeds and London within 2-2.5 hours, and 4-5 hours from Edinburgh and Southampton.

There will be a social at the Wig and Mitre on the Saturday evening.

Tickets are priced at £10/day and this includes lunch.

To register visit: http://oshcamp2018.eventbrite.co.uk

Saturday :: Talks

Introduction to cycle-accurate Verilog simulation

Developing hardware designs in Verilog is tricky, for both FPGA platforms and ASIC hardware targets. Understanding the behaviour of a design, testing it, and debugging are made much easier by simulating in software. There are a variety of simulation approaches with different trade-offs in what properties of the design are accurately modelled and how quickly they run. This talk starts by giving a brief overview of the approaches, then focusing in more detail on cycle-accurate modelling, which is a relatively fast approach that is robustly implemented in an open-source tool called Verilator. The main focus will be on working with CPU designs, but the software and techniques are generally applicable to other areas.

A brief overview of how to use Verilator to simulate a design, to develop testbenches, and to visualise simulation output using GTKWave will be given. The software and techniques discussed in this talk will be put into practice in the “Open-source RISC-V core quickstart” workshop on Sunday.

Dr Graham Markall has a background in languages and compilers for scientific computing, and is well known for his work on the Numba project. He is part of Embecosm’s GNU tool chain team, where his current projects include the implementation of security enhancements to the GCC and LLVM compilers for RISC-V and ARM, and the development a GCC-based toolchain for a customised RISC-V processor.

LoRaWAN at 100,000 feet & 10mW with High Altitude Ballooning

High-altitude balloons are manned or unmanned balloons, usually filled with helium, that are released into the stratosphere and generally attaining between 18,000 to 37,000 metres (59,000 to 121,000 ft; 11 to 23 mi). In 2002, a balloon named BU60-1 attained 53.0 km (32.9 mi; 173,900 ft).

The advent of cheap open source electronics & suitable GPS chips has allowed hobbyists worldwide to build fly & (usually) recover these balloons since the mid 2000’s with modest budgets compared to professional weather balloons. Indeed, the Raspberry Pi Foundation ran a few Skycademy events aimed at helping school teachers. There is a wealth of information available from the United Kingdom High Altitude Society (UKHAS), their website HabHUB.org and Dave Ackerman’s website.

Ofcom limit the power of any airborne transmitter to 10mW, which whilst tiny isn’t a practical problem since the line of sight is usually superb. The community stated using RTTY initially but latterly has begun to use LoRaWAN to transmit the telemetry and some of the pictures taken during a typical 2 to 3 hour flight. The Civil Aviation Authority will grant permission for such flight via their system, NOTAMs. It’s normal to be asked to contact air traffic control before launch to make sure commercial aviation traffic isn’t hindered.

Tony Brookes is a member of the Derby Makers who is leading a project to launch such a balloon (or more if funding permits) over the summer. Derby Makers are now resident in the Radio Communications Museum of Great Britain in Derby following their tenure in the Derby Silk Mill museum which is now undergoing HLF funded refurbishment.

Machine Vision

Machine Vision is one of the fastest growing disciplines in robotics and automation. In the past, discrete vision processing tasks have been both complex and brittle requiring a great deal of specialisation and practice. Now however machine learning (ML) inference is becoming practical at the edge, Machine Vision is one of the emerging ‘edge applications’ of ML inference technology. Machine Vision is much less brittle than earlier approaches and promises much wider and simpler applications. This talk (and hands on workshop) will explore the landscape of Machine Vision and its applications for robotics and automation.

Alan Wood has been working with parallel distributed programming for several decades. His recent work includes smart grids, 3D printers, robotics, automation and biotec diagnostics. His current research is focused on machine learning for embedded automation using FPGA, CSP and Neural Turing Machines. He is a long term advocate of open source communities, a moderator (aka Folknology) for xCORE, the co-founder of myStorm open hardware FPGA community, as well as a co-founder of Surrey and Hampshire Makerspace.

Making Electronic Tesla Coils – Keeping in the Magic Smoke

This talk will give an overview of designing and building an electronic Tesla coil from off the shelf or easily modified components. It will cover the safety, construction methods and some of the theory of operation. It will also present details of the controls and methods needed to prevent the Tesla coil from destroying itself when power is applied.

Derek Woodroffe has been building Tesla coils as a hobby for over 20 years. He has constructed over 30 different Tesla coils, from 30mm to over 1M tall and of many different types. He runs both the Nottingham Gaussfest and Cambridge Tesla coiler meet-ups and has worked a number of times on TV to assist with Tesla coil and high voltage demonstrations to programs such as the Royal Institute Christmas Lectures and Dara O Briain’s Science club. Derek also has a keen interest in all other uses and generators of high voltage and has built working examples of many. His projects are detailed on www.extremeelectronics.co.uk.

Amazingly, he is still alive.

Turning your hobby project in to a business for fun and profit

Designing hardware is the easy part. Turning it in to a business is where it gets interesting. This talk will cover some of the things needed to take it to market, including stock, marketing, shipping, support, cash flow.

Spencer Owen like many kids in the 80s, loved his ZX Spectrum and other 8 bit computers. This set him up for a career in IT, and he worked as a server engineer and network engineer for many years. In 2013, in a bid to see if he really understood how computers worked at the lowest level, Spencer went back to his roots built a simple Z80 based machine on a breadboard. This was to mature in to the RC2014, which Spencer started selling in his spare time in 2015. Within a few months it was clear that the RC2014 was taking up more time than he had spare, so he quit network job and started a retro computer kit company. Spencer is now the largest supplier of Z80 computers worldwide.

MakerNet Alliance

A brief presentation of ideas the MakerNet Alliance is working on with E-nable.org for a Design Ecology Interface, to visualize the evolution of open source designs for prosthetics (and ultimately any hardware designs) and help users find the design version with the features they need. The presentation will be followed by discussion session with the audience to get feedback on the ideas and input on requirements.

Anna Sera Lowe has always been fascinated by how things are made and how they get to the people who need them. As a manufacturing manager and later a supply chain consultant, she made a career of finding great excuses to visit manufacturing facilities around the globe; from multi-million dollar automated factories to informal waste-processing operations on dumps (sometimes next to each other) – and everything in between. She has consulted for clients as diverse as Johnson & Johnson, the state electricity monopoly of South Africa, and the Global Fund to Fight Aids, Tuberculosis, and Malaria. Over the last few years her interest has been caught by ideas around grassroots innovation and distributed manufacturing networks. She co-founded Kumasi Hive, a makerspace in Ghana, and is leading work on MakerNet, an initiative to explore business models and digital tools for local manufacturing of useful goods for development.

EMC for IoT

Often the last thing on your mind when working on an exciting new project are the regulatory hurdles that come with getting a product ready for sale in the European market. These afterthoughts suddenly become pressing priorities as you approach your launch date. Electro-Magnetic Compatibility (EMC) is the study of how all electronic devices and phenomena interact and, in our increasingly electro-dense society, these requirements become all the more important. Without EMC and radio regulations we would suffer interference to the wireless infrastructure we so depend on.

This talk will give a tour through the EMC and radio regulations for a typical IoT type product (equally applicable to any electronics product), why they are required and look at some of the risks and pitfalls involved in the process. If you’ve got a product that you want to start selling, have limited experience or are merely EMC-curious then this talk will be extremely useful. Questions often asked include: Why do I need to do EMC testing? What about if I have a radio module in my product? What sort of certificate should I have? Do I even need to do anything? You’ll find some of the answers here.

James Pawson, Unit 3 Compliance. Having a broad background of electronics experience (and also a beard), James found himself drawn to the field of EMC partly because of the interesting variety of work and partly because no one else wanted to do it. Twelve years later, now with his own test laboratory and consultancy business, he has found his vocation in helping solve people’s EMC problems. He’s also found more grey hairs in his beard and worries that the two are related.

Non-Standard Computation — From Bits to Pulses to Spikes

Taken together the rise of parallel distributed processing and the end of Moore’s law has brought a renaissance in alternative views of computation. This talk is a journey through the rapidly changing area of non-standard computation: from GPU’s, tensor and neuromorphic processors to stochastic, temporal and quantum computation. The main aim of the talk is to describe the tremendous opportunities that currently exist for radical change in computational paradigms, and crucially for the open source community, in the delivery of these architectures.

Jonny Edwards is the CEO/CTO of Temporal Computing – the first business in the UK to focus on temporal computation methods. The work on temporal computing started in the Non-Standard Computation Group at York University, via several Unconventional Computing Conferences, and has since attracted VC and IUK funding to support long-term commercial exploitation.

It’s the people, stupid! (But the people aren’t stupid) — Hardware as an enabler to Heating as as Service

Why are clocks slowing down over western Europe like halving your heating bills at home?

Remember when at the start of the year a row in one corner of what used to be Yugoslavia caused clocks across Europe to slow down and eventually lose six minutes? Nothing technical was broken, and it’s a reminder that people issues can’t just be ‘fixed’ blindly with tech.

When a purely technical fix for energy efficiency is installed, for example a better boiler, savings tend to persist for many years, maybe for a decade if the tech lasts that long.

Solutions that may make as big a difference but rely on the people around it continuing to do something to assist, tend to have much shorter persistence. Maybe between one and four years.

We already have a smart radiator valve called “Radbot” that can knock 20–50% off your heating bills and pay for itself in a year. It requires very little input if any to do its job. But it won’t work if people open all their windows in winter and expect magic to happen. Yes, some people do.

We just finished an Innovate UK project “Heating as a Service – Lite”. We are more convinced than ever that while the technical and financial elements are probably easy to find solutions to, the social part, making things that work with real people for a long time, is intriguing!

Damon Hart-Davis created the OpenTRV project following his 2012 presentation to DECC’s smart heating workshop. He has freelanced in technology for over 30 years, delivering mission-critical products from design to production in the City for more than 20 of those, and has founded and been involved in several start-ups over that time with his creations seen on TV, the Web, and his pioneering Internet Service Provider helping crack open that market more than 25 years ago. A previous virtual/on-line credit-card company start-up that he co-founded as CTO, Ixaris, turns over ~GBP13m.

Bela, an embedded platform for ultra-low latency audio and sensor processing

Bela started off as a research project at Centre For Digital Music (Queen Mary University of London) and is now a commercial product, mainly aimed at makers, programmers and researchers that work with audio. The platform is based on a BeagleBone Black with a custom expansion cape and a dedicated software environment. The board runs Debian Linux with Xenomai as a real-time co-kernel. The combined use of Xenomai and the BeagleBone Black’s on-board PRU microcontroller allows to achieve sub-millisecond latency for audio and sensor processing, while node.js is used to provide a user-friendly web-based IDE. The project is entirely open source, hardware and software.

Giulio Moro is a PhD student in the Centre for Digital Music at Queen Mary University of London. A sound engineer by training, he is now researching in the field of performer-instrument interaction. He is one of the inventors and core developers of Bela.

Note that this talk was originally given at OSHUG #63 in London and is being repeated at OSHCamp as a refresher and to serve as an introduction for the workshop on the Sunday.

Compered by:

Dr Jeremy Bennett is founder and Chief Executive of Embecosm, a consultancy specializing in the development of open source compiler tool chains.

Sunday :: Workshops

Open-source RISC-V core quickstart

An introductory workshop for getting starting with simulating RISC-V cores using Verilator, which is an open-source tool for generating cycle-accurate models of hardware designs written in Verilog. Although this workshop focuses on simulation, the cores can in general be instantiated on FPGAs for use in real applications (and higher performance!)

The workshop will use two or three different RISC-V implementations (including Clifford Wolf’s PicoRV32 and Ariane from the PuLP platform). Loading and executing programs onto these bare metal systems through a testbench and also through a debugger (GDB) will be covered, along with some examples of interacting with the cores, and inspecting their state. Gathering accurate performance measurements is also possible, because the simulations are cycle-accurate.

The tutorial materials will provide enough implementation that it is possible to follow this workshop without having had prior experience of hardware design or Verilog specifically – however, some understanding of programming and the organisation of computer hardware will be required.

The workshop should be of interest to people with a background in software who would like to tinker with open-source processor core development, and people with a background in hardware who would like to tinker with software toolchains.

Participants should bring:

  • Their laptop

Run by: Dr Graham Markall

An introductory workshop to NetBSD on embedded platforms

An introductory workshop to NetBSD in the context of developing embedded platforms. NetBSD is a fully featured operating system with great agility that has been around for many many years. This workshop is intended to introduce some of the features which are available in the operating system as standard. We’ll explore how to go from obtaining the source code to building the operating system, cover features which simplify working with the system, how accessible it is without resorting to installing third party software or writing any C.

Topics we will cover:

  • Cross compilation support with build.sh
  • File tamper detection / execution prevention with Veriexec
  • High-level access to subsystems e.g exploring GPIO via Lua
  • Rapid development with Rumpkernel

Participants should bring:

  • A laptop (Macos, Linux or Windows (windows 10 specifically))
  • ARM board (BeagleBoneBlack preferably or a Pi and such)
  • USB UART for serial access

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.

High Altitude Ballooning

An in-depth look at the help and advice available online, likely costs and technical issues for those wanting to build, fly and recover a HAB. If our project has some spares available, I’ll try and bring them along so people can see what’s being discussed.

If we’re lucky there may be a balloon launch somewhere in the world that we can follow during the session!

Participants should bring:

  • Their laptop

Run by: Tony Brookes

Machine Vision

A hands-on machine vision workshop – further details TBC.

Participants should bring:

  • Their laptop

Run by: Alan Wood

Soldering Workshop

A soldering workshop where novices get to assemble and program the Cuttlefish, Arduino-compatible, kit.

Chelsea Back is a trainee engineer and is working towards a degree in Electronic Engineering. She enjoys building microcontroller projects and teaching people how to solder, is a student member of the IET and a STEM Ambassador.

Build a Z80 based retro computer

A step-by-step build of a RC2014 Mini Z80 Retro Computer. Approx 2 hours should be enough time to assemble a computer running BASIC.

Participants will need to purchase a (heavily discounted) RC2014 Mini. Some soldering experience is assumed.

Participants should bring:

  • Their laptop
  • A soldering iron, wire cutters, FTDI cable and laptop if you have them

Run by: Spencer Owen

Bela: an embedded platform for ultra-low latency audio and sensor processing

This hands-on workshop introduces Bela, an embedded platform for ultra-low latency audio and sensor processing. Bela is useful for creating digital musical instruments and other interactive projects, which can be developed in C/C++, Pure Data (Pd) or Supercollider. The platform features an on-board browser-based IDE for getting started quickly. In this workshop we will guide participants through connecting sensors and accessing them from C++ or PureData and use them to control the generated sound. On Bela, sensor inputs are sampled at audio frequency and with high resolution (16bit), in order to allow for detailed, nuanced interactions. The hardware and software architecture allows sub-millisecond latency, allowing for expressive musical performances, as well as feedback control of physical systems.

Participants should bring:

  • Their laptop

Run by: Giulio Moro

Travel & Accommodation

For travel and accommodation details please see the OSHUG website.

Registration

To register vist: http://oshcamp2018.eventbrite.co.uk

Sponsored by:


Shrimping (hand-built Arduino) workshop – London 19/04/2018

The Shrimp is a small Arduino compatible computer built on a breadboard.

In this 1.5 hour workshop you will learn how to build and program a
Shrimp, with two projects.

Project 1: Flashing LED. This project is to get you started. You will
build the shrimp, and get it to flash a small LED. You will then learn
how to program the shrimp to change how the LED flashes.

Project 2: Persistence of vision. You will add a line of LEDs to your
shrimp, and program it to flash them at very high speed, so when waved
in the air it spells out a message.

At the end of the workshop you can take your shrimp home with you.

This workshop is suitable for anyone over the age of 7. For children
7-11, it is very much about following instructions to build a
computer. For older children (our record is 92), you will start to
understand how a computer works and want to explore how much it can be
modified.

Pre-requisites: BCS Open Source SG will supply the Shrimping kits.
You’ll need to bring a laptop with the free Arduino IDE installed.

Speaker Biographies:
Dr Jeremy Bennett is Chair of the BCS Open Source Specialist Group. He is also Chief Executive of Embecosm who provide open source compiler development services. A former academic he is author of the standard textbook “Introduction to Compiling Techniques” (McGraw-Hill 1990, 1995, 2003).

Registration link: https://ossg190418.eventbrite.co.uk

Agenda:
18:00 – Registration, including tea, coffee and networking
18:30 – Workshop start
20:00 – Workshop end
Networking: Continues after the workshop in the Coal Hoal Pub on The Strand

Will catering be provided?
Refreshments are provided, though no food is being provided.

Closing date for bookings is Thursday 19 April 2018 at 08:30 am. No more bookings will be taken after this date.
For overseas delegates who wish to attend the event please note that BCS does not issue invitation letters.