Category Archives: Linux

Torbay Tech Jam Nov 2015

The next Torbay tech jam is on the 14th November at Paignton Library 1 – 3 pm

More details are on the website

Open to all ages / abilities.

I am hoping to be able to present a mini workshop on Interfacing the Raspberry Pi to an LED,  it is a start and hopefully the work shops can build up to more complex projects over time.  Also I want to do the same thing with Arduino.


Raspberry Pi jam 7th March

Today saw another really good Pi jam in Exeter.

Demonstrations included a Pi based home automation system,  which also included a webcam which takes a photo of whoever presses the doorbell and e-mails you a picture.


Led Traffic lights ( I think this is PIC based) – Tom Brough

SAM_0207 SAM_0206

Toms latest robot (crazy Ivan)  this moves around, and can turn randomly and move forward again.


Sadly marco mark 2 had a problem, so was here but just not working as planned.


Pi Ready for eager coders to use.


Lots of people with new Pi’s in need of set up. so I did quite a bit of support here,  also minecraft-pi was popular and people seemed to like my modification which drops tnt blocks over grass.

Robots will make another appearance at next weeks Torbay Pi Jam 14th March, Paignton Library from 13:00

Another reason to use FLOSS

It seems Lenovo the PC  / Laptop makers have been installing spyware on their PC’s without the users knowledge or consent

I think this is a good reason to either re-install your OS when you get a new computer.  Normally you get install / restore media or the option to make this,  however in this case if the spyware is pre-installed it could be on these restore cds.  so you will be no better off,  you can possibly get a removal tool, but these removal tools usually end up putting other malware on to your computer,  removing it is a PITA.


Install a free and open source OS such as Mint, Ubuntu or a pure free software and take back control of your computer.

Join a GNU / Linux user group so you can learn more.

This is also a good reason why you need to know more about what your computer is doing..

Torbay Raspberry Pi jam – Feb 15

This months Pi jam was a real gem,   lots of things being demoed and some excellent progress being made with various projects.

Tom, brought along his Marco 2 robot,  which if you are following this blog or are a regular attendee of jams.  This has now been updated to allow control via a web interface.

More information on this is on the Feb 2015 Exeter Jam write up blog post.  So I will let people go there for more info.

Tom also brought along Freddie and after some basic set up this worked fine,  following a green ball with his eyes.


Video taken back in July

Doodle bot also made an appearence this is really good as it works without any user interaction and can draw (or try) to draw what it has been programmed to.


We also helped a lady get up and running with her new pi,


Here is the pi being installed from the NOOBS install tool


And a picture of the pi running the Raspbian OS after install.

I also demonstrated my Minecraft Pi coding with python.  I will post a video to youtube and put this on my website blog.


We also helped out a user who had an older install of GNU / Linux on his PC (Debian)  and wanted a newer GNU / Linux installed so flash player would function properly.

We were unble to help fully however he will be back at the next jam iwth his PC backed up so we can install Linuxmint 17.1

One of our younger members also worked on getting a cluster of computers up and running and thanks to a router / switch donated by Rick at Wifispark he got 2 laptops and my Pi up and running and proved that by sharing the load calculations can be performed quicker.   There is a dedicated page for this on the website.  Where results will be posted shortly.

We also had a Dan from the TDA drop in to see what was going on with the view on how they can help further and perhaps involve some of the local hi tech companies.

So a BIG thank you for everyone involved today and everyone who came along to support the event.  Hopefully next month will be more of the same and perhaps even bigger and better.

We also had Sarah from Inspiring Dreams, Achieving Change, who offered to help promote what we are doing.

The word on the Pi jams IS spreading.  which is a good thing.

See everyone on the 14th March 2015 at Paignton Library.  13:00 to 15:00


Torbay Pi jam – 13-12-2014

Another pi jam today and it went very well highlights as follows

We helped on visitor get up and running and ended up re-creating an sd card with raspbian (1)on in order to get the Pi up and running.  In the end Tom got everything up and running, with some help from myself as I seem to have an array of adapters and other bits and pieces which always seem to come in handy.   Including various images on my netbook.

Our younger visitors were busy with various projects  Arduino (6) hacking and getting Arch  (2) Linux up and running in a virtual machine, (Virtual box) (3))

I have loaned out my pi-liter (4) to one of the younger visitors so he can demonstrate at school






Support repositories for the pi liter


Which has some ladder board source code,  but should demonstrate the use of the GPIO.

You can also download the pi liter data sheet from the website

However you DO need to install python-pip with

sudo apt-get install python-pip

For some reason the data sheet instructions missed out this step.

The next Pi jam is on 10th January so if you get a Pi for Xmas come along and we can help you get started or show you what you can do with it.   We don’t BYTE 🙂 and are happy to help.

Free & Open Source Software Outreach Program for Women

This came through on e-mail today

Free & Open Source Software Outreach Program for Women

The GNOME Foundation started the Free & Open Source Software Outreach Program
for Women, OPW, in 2006. It was quite successful, and in the January-April 2013
round, many other FOSS organizations joined the program. We are happy to
announce that Debian will participate in the next round
(December '14-March '15) and, pending sponsorship, we'll offer up to three

You can find more details about the program:
* with details about
Debian's participation.
* with details about the
program in general.

Call for mentors and projects

OPW allows applicants to work on any kind of project, including coding,
design, marketing, web development... If you have any idea for a
project and you want to mentor it, please contact us at
and we'll guide you through the process.

OPW provides a lot of useful information for mentors on the GNOME Wiki at Please
have a look, and don't hesitate to contact us if you have any question.

Call for participants

The main goal of this program is to increase the number of women in
FOSS, so all women who are not yet a Debian Developer or a Debian
Maintainer are encouraged to apply. There are no age restrictions and
applicants don't need to be a student.

If you want to apply, you must follow three steps:

1. Choose a project from the list of proposed projects on Those lists may change as
mentors add themselves over the next few weeks.

2. Make a small contribution to Debian. Projects will add a task the
applicant must complete as part of the pre-selection process. If no task
is provided, you are welcome to ask the mentors of the project. You can
also make a different extra task of the one listed to show your skills
and interest.

3. Create a page in the Debian wiki with your application. You can do so
under pseudonym, but in that case, please give us information about
yourself privately by email to the people below!

The Debian OPW coordinators <>
 Tom Marble
 Nicolas Dandrimont

## Free Software Foundation statement on the GNU Bash “shellshock” vulnerability

## Free Software Foundation statement on the GNU Bash "shellshock" vulnerability  

*This post can be viewed online at <>.*

A major security vulnerability has been discovered in the free
software shell GNU Bash. The most serious issues have already been
fixed, and a complete fix is well underway. GNU/Linux distributions
are working quickly to release updated packages for their users. All
Bash users should upgrade immediately, and audit the list of remote
network services running on their systems.

Bash is the [GNU Project's][1] shell; it is part of the suite of
software that makes up the GNU operating system. The GNU programs plus
the kernel Linux form a commonly used complete [free software][2]
operating system, called GNU/Linux. The bug, which is being referred
to as "shellshock," can allow, in some circumstances, attackers to
remotely access and control systems using Bash (and programs that call
Bash) as an attack vector, regardless of what kernel they are
running. The bug probably affects many GNU/Linux users, along with
those using Bash on proprietary operating systems like Apple's OS X
and Microsoft Windows. Additional technical details about the issue
can be found [at CVE-2014-6271][3] and [CVE-2014-7169][4].

[GNU Bash][5] has been widely adopted because it is a free (as in
freedom), reliable, and featureful shell. This popularity means the
serious bug that was published yesterday is just as
widespread. Fortunately, GNU Bash's license, the [GNU General Public
License version 3][6], has facilitated a rapid response. It allowed
[Red Hat][7] to develop and share patches in conjunction with Bash
upstream developers efforts to fix the bug, which anyone can download
and apply themselves. Everyone using Bash has the freedom to download,
inspect, and modify the code -- unlike with Microsoft, Apple, or other
proprietary software.

Software freedom is a precondition for secure computing; it guarantees
everyone the ability to examine the code to detect vulnerabilities,
and to create new and safe versions if a vulnerability is
discovered. Your software freedom does not guarantee bug-free code,
and neither does proprietary software: bugs happen no matter how the
software is licensed. But when a bug is discovered in free software,
everyone has the permission, rights, and source code to expose and fix
the problem. That fix can then be immediately freely distributed to
everyone who needs it. Thus, [these freedoms][2] are crucial for
ethical, secure computing.

Proprietary, (aka nonfree) software relies on an unjust development
model that denies users the basic freedom to control their
computers. When software's code is kept hidden, it is vulnerable not
only to bugs that go undetected, but to the easier deliberate addition
and maintenance of [malicious features][8]. Companies can use the
obscurity of their code to hide serious problems, and it has been
documented that [Microsoft provides intelligence agencies with
information about security vulnerabilities before fixing them][9].

Free software cannot guarantee your security, and in certain
situations may appear less secure on specific vectors than some
proprietary programs. As was widely agreed in the aftermath of the
OpenSSL "Heartbleed" bug, the solution is not to trade one security
bug for the very deep insecurity inherently created by proprietary
software -- the solution is to put energy and resources into auditing
and improving free programs.

Development of Bash, and GNU in general, is almost exclusively a
volunteer effort, and [you can contribute][5]. We are reviewing Bash
development, to see if increased funding can help prevent future
problems. If you or your organization use Bash and are potentially
interested in supporting its development, please [contact

The patches to fix this issue can be obtained directly at

### Media Contacts

John Sullivan  
Executive Director  
Free Software Foundation  
+1 (617) 542 5942  

— Follow us at | Subscribe to our blogs via RSS at Join us as an associate member at Sent from the Free Software Foundation, 51 Franklin Street Floor 5 Boston, Massachusetts 02110-1301 United States