Trip to Ipswich Makerspace

24 07 2015

I’ve just had the chance to visit the Ipswich Makerspace a very active group with 15 or more regular  attendees at their rather spacious location at Trinity Church Hall, Ipswich. Robots, large displays galore along with software development and tea :)


Thanks again to Steve et al for taking us in for the evening and showing us their best toys.If you are in the area and interested in creating in anyway take a trip to the next Ipswich Makerspace (2nd and 4th Thursday of every month)


Meeting 30th July Stuart talks Google hangouts and Enhancing group participation

16 07 2015

Stuart Adamson, steps into the presenter’s shoes this month and delivers a double whammy of a Google Hangout (Technology and Use) as well as some ideas of how to increase participation with in the group and the greater LUG family. Live a long way from SLUG or from any other group then deliver that talk using Google Hangouts, the level of interaction can be set to suit the meeting from a simple presenter/ audience view to a one on one as required. In addition Stuart has some totally space cadet ideas on projects that  will really attract attention and hopefully enthusiasm :)

Want to know more come to the party .. Cock Hotel 7pm for 7.30pm start .


June Meeting Review

13 07 2015

Have 100’s or maybe 1000’s or servers and diverse equipment spread over several remote sites then maybe Bergamot is the tool for you? Thanks to Chris Ellis for delivering such a well thought out talk. It opened many to the idea of very large scale Linux deployments and how to maintain/ monitor them to  commercial standards with centralised monitoring!


Bergamot how to stay relaxed when you have a million servers to watch :)

Over a dozen came to the meeting with some support from Wolverhampton LUG. New members and visitors from other LUGs are always welcome, come to the next one and find out what we do!!

Meeting 25th June Chris Ellis talks monitoring with Bergamot

22 06 2015

Cock Hotel 7pm onwards as usual, order your beer and Pie!


Chris Ellis as kindly volunteered to talk about Bergamot a project to move monitoring beyond  Nagios.

Have more than an a handful of machines you will need to have a tool to monitor them, for most opensourcers that tool will be Nagios. However Chris wasn’t happy with the way it worked and other scalability issues and decided to address them directly in the form of Bergamot which as recently had its 1.0 release (Congrats Chris)!

All are welcome as usual hope to see you there both new and old members. Interested in joining pop in and see what we do!

May Meeting Thursday 28th – at the Cock Hotel

25 05 2015

Meeting Thursday 28th of May Cock hotel 7pm for 7.30pm

Lee has had to cancel his database talk for this week- having a young family, it’s a very understandable happening and we’ll return to Lee later in the year!

So – we are looking to have  a minutes each in the room on:

  • “what I use Linux/BSD/*.OS for”


  • “What I would like to use it  for?”

Newbies and ex-newbies can all find out what the kind of interests and skills the LUG has got/wants – and even give some suggestions and ideas out.

Meeting review for April 30th 2015

7 05 2015

Another activity this month – Roger Harris followed on his previous talk about how he’s using various systems to control all sorts of things around his home with a talk that focus in on the basics of making It talk to things. This is a long report – but it deserves to be.

Firstly a big thanks to Roger for doing this – I asked him to do it (and he showed the evidence, email screenshot to start with!) so those of us who were interested by the big picture given in his last talk and wanted to know where to start…  wondered what do you do to get going.

Roger used an example of an Arduino, some goodies to connect up and a simple presentation. He started by showing an Arduino around – told us the various connectors and talked about the kind of things you can connect to them.  He switched the screen to the programming interface, talked us through various sections of it and then worked through the led-flasher program, compiled it and uploaded it to the Arduino – the led flashed. So we have a blinking equivalent of  ‘Hello world’ – he showed the variables that could be tweaked to alter the on or off time – demonstrating how blinking speed choice could give a dimming effect on the led – because leds don’t dim.  (some one is going to pick me up on that I’m sure – I’ve been out of the electronics trade since 1997, that’s my excuse.)

Now Roger moved on – showed connecting an input, e.g. a switch up to the Arduino and programming it to react on switching – then in fine tutor fashion mixed the two programs up  – now we could switch the led on and off.

The theory is that once have input and output controls we can begin to do more stuff with them – Roger demonstrated how the Arduino could  be used to control another switch eg a relay – so now – we can use the Arduino to talk to some heavy duty gear while staying safely staying low voltage and tiny current itself. He had 4 relays clicking away and  this is where things got more complicated – Roger had introduced timing elements into the program – so now he could do useful stuff.

He had the relays clicking timing by a program – and each relay could be connected to things like – water heaters, curtain closers, switching power source types (solar/wind/etc) – all dependant on what the input was doing. for example  – eg a temperature sensor on the input and, for example, a fan to control the flow of warm air into a room.  Now bolt more of other various things to control on – soon your house can scare visitors who don’t know it takes care of itself!

To finish Roger showed us I2C devices connected and told us how they extended the ability of the Arduino to control numbers of device from the physical limits by the one per pin-pair sensors demonstrated before. He showed how a program worked and explained addressing the devices – he had a program that listed connected I2C’s – then extracted one from the socket – it disapeared from listing on-screen, then replaced it – and it was re-added back into the circuit.


All great food for thought – again thanks Roger, your easy going style, managing to get so much over despite creating sporadic conversations as people realised what can be done. Then returning to the talk taking us to the next level of complication – at the end we were realising that many things got bolted together to make something very useful indeed.


Photos  from the evening




Meeting March 27th 2015 Computing the New Curriculum

14 04 2015

Many thanks to Bruce Nightingale for delivering an excellent talk on the new and improved computing curriculum that will be soon delivered to school children in the UK. The talk touched on the technology but also the problems in  understanding the aims and delivering them successfully, teaching the teacher and maintaining momentum in an environment which isn’t always conducive. Fifteen members turned up as well  making it one of our best turnouts at a recent monthly event.20150326_201839SMALLER


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