From LUV
Jump to navigation Jump to search


Status of this document: DRAFT, to be discussed at ctte mtg 9th May 2011


We're aiming for a roughly two-year cycle, ie 20 talks. In practice, we don't intend to keep to a fixed schedule, more that after 18 months, a talk will not count as "already given".


  • to avoid inadvertently drifting into "intermediate".
  • to remain relevant to new beginners.


We would like to emphasise talks which include activities for the users to do.., hands-on beats demo beats talk with slides...


In the interest of keeping balance, we should classify each talk roughly into the categories and keep the proportions close to the target percentages indicated.

use and enjoyment (50%)

  • managing your photos
  • making backups simple
  • a tour of text editors
  • internet relay chat, instant messaging and micro-blogging
  • free software games (last given Mar 2010)
  • Open Office (scheduled Jun 2011)
  • Gimp
  • Inkscape (scheduled Oct 2011)
  • MythTV
  • Home computing with Ubuntu (last given Mar 2011)

setup and maintenance (25%)

  • Introduction to the Command Line (eg based on
  • Compile and Install a Program From Source (see below)
  • Buying a computer that's compatible with free software (see below)
  • Tips and Tricks for Installing GNU/Linux (see below)
  • GNU/Linux maintenance
  • Package management (last given Apr 2010)
  • reporting bugs
  • Where to Get Help
  • An Introduction to Hardware

programming (15%)

  • what is programming (last given Oct 2010)
  • intro to programming in Python (scheduled May 2011)
    • intro to PHP (last given Jun 2010)
  • version control systems

software freedom (10%)

  • what is free software (last given Apr 2011)
  • about the community (last given May 2010)
  • free software licensing: free software, copyleft, distribution, license compatibility, common misunderstandings

Details for some talks

setup and maintenance

Compile and Install a Program From Source

  • concepts of source and compilation
    • majority of GNU/Linux programs written in C and needs to be compiled
    • other software is run in an interpreter and no compilation needed
  • downloading and unpacking source archive
  • README and INSTALL instructions
  • configure, make, make install
  • installing development libraries and dependencies
  • running out of build directory before installing
  • installing as root and the drawbacks - uninstall not so easy
  • installing to user-owned directory

Buying a computer that's compatible with free software

  • what's a chipset
  • major areas: 3D graphics, wireless networking
  • NVIDIA and ATI don't provide 3D accelerated graphics under free software
  • Intel have excellent 3D graphics support on free software
  • most wireless chipsets don't work
  • stick with Atheros, they work and the company is friendly to the free software community
  • especially avoid Intel wireless
  • graphics cards are expensive (or impossible if on board) to replace
  • wireless cards can be replaced later, though it can be very fiddly
  • watch for DRM on wireless cards
  • other less problematic areas: sound, fingerprint readers, webcams, printers, TV cards

Tips and Tricks for Installing GNU/Linux

  • partitioning
  • dual booting on the same hard drive is possible but a pain
  • replacing existing installations without losing your work
  • backup first
  • upgrading