Workshop on 28/01/2020: CCTV cameras and control systems

In this much anticipated workshop we had one of our regular LUG members Darren go over a topic he knows both professionally and personally, CCTV systems.

The emphasis was on getting the most out of inexpensive hardware and using both in a secure way (especially due to possibility of malware being in the firmware) and intelligent way by pairing it with useful control software.

Also Wi-Fi was covered somewhat as you may be forced to use it for more remote locations you wish to have CCTV. This was in additional to general infrastructure talk when it came to things like switches, point to (multi) point links and Power over Ethernet (Poe).

For anyone interested in using Darren for his professional services, just drop a message on the mailing list and he’ll get in touch directly.

For anyone interested in the slides they are below. Simply extract the ZIP file and you should get a folder with a HTML file you can open (created using remark).

Also a big thanks for some of the guys who popped over from Shropshire LUG, it was great to see people mixing from the other areas. Hopefully a bunch of us will be able to pop by at one of your workshops soon.

Workshop on 14/01/2020: Introduction to OpenStreetMap

So this workshop was to cover the basics of what the OpenStreetMap project is all about, how the data is gathered (and is licensed) and it’s aims. Also covered during the workshop was…

  • How OSM covers the entire world, stats were given for the number of contributors worldwide.
  • History of the project, how it came to be and the previous challenges around proprietary mapping systems.
  • What ‘trap streets’ were, fictitious streets on proprietary mapping systems used to catch out copyright violators.
  • The humanitarian benefits of OSM in events such as the Haiti Earthquakes in 2010, where there was no adequate map information in existence already.
  • Detail around the data formats, nodes, ways, areas and relations.
  • The possibilities for custom tagging, layering, representing multiple storeys etc…
  • Briefly talked about how the OSM engine could be used to represent fictitious places (e.g. Mordor, J. R. R. Tolkien’s fictional world of Middle-earth)
  • Talked about the features Google has (history, timeline, 3D buildings etc…) that would be good to implement into OSM.
  • Discussed the pros and cons of the various mapping tools with the conclusion that OSM has the biggest advantage of being co-operative and has “many eyes” looking to spot mistakes and inconsistencies.
  • Lastly a demo of how to edit, and discussed the different editors available to use.

Here’s a gallery showing off some of the things looked at during the presentation…

In terms of the main presentation, this was HTML based slides which you can find in the ZIP file below. Just extract the ‘osm_presentation_webpages’ directory from the ZIP and then open ‘index.html’. Your default web browser should take care of the rest without needing the Internet.

During the lab exercises some sample OSM and GPX formatted data was used and looked at, these can be found in this ZIP below…

As for the growth of OpenStreetMap, Iain prepared this handy table…


Year
UsersNodes
20051000
20063000
200710000
200825000250
2009100000500
2010200000750
20115000001000
20127500001350
201310000002000
201414000002500
201520000002700
201628000003250
201742000003750
201850000004500
201956000005200

As of when the presentation was given (14th January 2020) there are…

  • Number of users: 5,968,421
  • Number of uploaded GPS points: 7,637,593,413
  • Number of nodes: 5,699,926,279
  • Number of ways: 632,110,826
  • Number of relations: 7,415,306

At the end a flyer was handed out with further information, you can find the original source of this at this link on GitHub, however we’ve provided copies from there in PDF format below too…

Finally these are the rough notes that our presenter Iain used during the meeting, these could be handy if you’re trying to remember the order things were covered. Any images referenced in these notes can be found in the ‘osm_presentation_webpages.zip’ ZIP file (in the ‘src’ directory) above…

A tale of an old subscriber list

So if you’re on this page it’s very likely because you clicked a link to it in an e-mail we’ve just sent you!

That e-mail was sent January 2020 and is basically just a reworded version of an e-mail originally sent back in August 2019 reminding people that the LUG has relaunched.

The short version…

Image result for sorry cake

We’re sorry if you’ve got an e-mail from us a second time!

Our main reason for sending another e-mail was because we’d randomly stumbled upon an old file with the e-mail addresses of older subscribers who we think we’ve likely forgot to tell about our relaunch. It’d always been meant to be a one-off e-mail and we won’t be doing it again… that file is also now gone.

For a better explanation (and how we’re protecting your personal information) you’ll need the longer version below…

Oh and we also threw in about 4 or 5 extra e-mail addresses in… who were already on the general@ mailing list but not on meetings@, just in case you’d forgotten we have both!

The longer version 🙂

Image result for lord of the rings hobbit

When we relaunched back in August we sent an e-mail out to everyone who was still on the older (Mailman 2.1 based) mailing list of “staffslug@staffslug.org.uk” (which has since been retired and archived).

Basically it just said that we were finally back and how you could re-subscribe yourself manually (either by sending an e-mail or using the web interface) to the new Mailman 3 based mailing lists.

This had a few issues…

  • Many of you just wanted a button to push which would do it for you.
  • The list of people on the old mailing list had dwindled a lot (from 150 to about 70) presumably during the LUGs dormant phase!
  • All the e-mails were sent using BCC, which I imagine got some of the e-mails trapped in spam filters.

We only know it was about 150 as an old e-mail with minutes from a meeting in 2013 (yes, even back then a bunch of us were trying to restart things!) shows the old LUGMaster stating that figure.

Anyway, after the e-mail in August was sent… we deleted the sent copy of the e-mail (with all the BCC’s) so that we weren’t retaining those addresses.

However over the last few years… files have been accumulating from past attempts to move the mailing lists over. In a recent tidy up we’ve spotted an old CSV format file with e-mail addresses of those who we’re guessing have either subscribed to an older mailing list before or used one in some way.

Dusting this off a bit… we’ve removed from that that list anyone who is already subscribed or we remember e-mailing/telling back in August (although it’s a lot of e-mail addresses, sorry if our memory isn’t great!).

Suffice to say this latest reminder e-mail is based on what was left… sorry if you got one in August as well!

This time we’ve sent it using an excellent “Mail Merge” add-on for Thunderbird (and not using BCC) which accepts CSV files! It also includes handy buttons for resubscribing… which connect to a little script we’ve made to automate the job!

The file we’ve discovered has since been deleted and additionally (just like with the BCC e-mail from before) copies of the e-mails sent have gone too.

Hope this all makes sense!