Calendar

We intend to add a proper calendar on this page which you can RSVP with and subscribe to for updates. For now we’re just manually adding things here and letting people know via our mailing list, Discord, and Meetup.

Any completed events of any significance such as Workshops (where there was a talk or lab exercise) and trips away to places… get a blog post created after the event has passed. So please check that section for details as to what happened during those events, this page is more for planning what is coming up.

Workshops

For venue and other details see the Workshop section in Events.

Although the workshop room itself is possible to be open for any Tuesday (see the Workshop section in Events for how that actually works), there are specially scheduled presentations and practical lab activities. That is what is covered here on this web page. These activities will try to be (but won’t always be) every fortnight but it’s likely only two thirds of them will actually occur due to festive periods and other clashes. You are always best checking this page and subscribing to the meetings mailing list.

Where you see the [Possible] prefix it means we’re either not entirely sure a workshop will even happen or possibly just not sure on the topic.

If the topic states Suggestions welcome! then this means a topic hasn’t yet been proposed. If you’ve a burning desire to see something as a topic that you don’t know much about, or conversely if you want to share what you know on a topic… then let us know via the meetings@ mailing list.

Planned

None planned for now

Potentials

Tuesday ??th ??? 202? – Topic: Benefits of a Linux desktop
Presenter(s): Steven Maddox
Location: CoCoLab
Time: 6:30pm (main activities starting at 7pm)

  • The target audience for this talk is your average computer user.
  • How a Linux desktop can be better for your privacy, safety, finances, sanity, and productivity.
  • Discovering your favourite distribution and the flexibility to customise your experience.
  • The effects that the free/open software community has on how Linux feels and evolves.
  • Being a part of the Linux community, why that matters, and easy ways to give back.
  • See how easy it is to install Linux and try it for yourself.

Tuesday ??th ??? 202? – Topic: Basic Linux internals for non-Linux users
Presenter(s): Steven Maddox
Location: CoCoLab
Time: 6:30pm (main activities starting at 7pm)

  • Equivalents to drive letters (mounted filesystems) and where files should live (the FHS).
  • Editing config and equivalents to the Windows registry and macOS defaults command.
  • The role of the kernel, init, and other services commonly used.
  • Drivers and the role of psuedo files and filesystems for accessing hardware and the kernel.
  • Desktop Linux conventions and the freedesktop.org specifications.
  • User management and privilege escalation including things like Polkit and sudo.

Tuesday ??th ??? 202? – Topic: Mainstream desktop apps on Linux
Presenter(s): Steven Maddox
Location: CoCoLab
Time: 6:30pm (main activities starting at 7pm)

  • Learn which applications you’ve used on Windows/macOS which run natively on Linux.
  • Discover alternative applications that can do the same thing or better than non-Linux apps.
  • Running non-Linux apps via abstraction layers, emulation, streaming, or dual booting.
  • Installation methods and how supported or endorsed these are by application authors.
  • Running OS agnostic applications such as Java, .NET, Chrome Apps and more.

Tuesday ??th ??? 202? – Topic: The World of Wine
Presenter(s): Steven Maddox
Location: CoCoLab
Time: 6:30pm (main activities starting at 7pm)

  • What WINE actually does, what it stands, and when you should try and use it.
  • WINE forks (such as Cedega, Crossover, and Proton) and other projects using Wine code.
  • Easy to use interfaces for WINE such as Crossover, PlayOnLinux, and others.
  • Windows issues you’ll see in WINE and how things like ‘winetricks’ can help.
  • Writing scripts to get Windows applications installed perfect every time.
  • How WINE can actually be better than running an application on Windows.

Past

Tuesday 7th June 2022 – Topic: End of year activities 2021
Presenter(s): Steven Maddox
Location: CoCoLab
Time: 6:30pm (main activities starting at 7pm)

  • Catch up with one another, we’ve not seen each other in person for ages!
  • Try out and show off the improvements we’ve made to the room where we hold workshops (including posters, vending machine, and new equipment).
  • Brainstorm what we’d like to see in future workshops, including resurrecting any plans we had for workshops before the COVID-19 outbreak.
  • Plan any other events, perhaps even a social down the KPA.
  • Nothing too serious, this will be our first physical meet up in just over 2 years since the first COVID-19 lockdown began… it’d be great to hear ideas from people that will mean we can be right back on track in terms of activities and events!

Tuesday 29th December 2020 – Topic: End of year activities 2020
Presenter(s): Richard Bateman
Location: Jitsi Meet
Time: 6:30pm (main activities starting at 7pm)

  • Nothing formal, just a chance to catch up with the group.
  • An opportunity to go over ideas that people might have for future meetings in 2021 (hopefully with some of them in person if COVID-19 starts to become under control).
  • This meeting will be held entirely online using Jitsi using this link due to COVID-19.
  • A chance to see how interested people are in online only meetings given that’s really now the only option during these trying times.
  • Also you can help us test the Jitsi system itself as it is self-hosted!
  • A chance to continue talking about the topics people have raised via the mailing list and on Discord/IRC (a list of topics have been compiled).

Tuesday 11th February 2020 – Topic: Introduction to CAcert
Presenter(s): Alex Robertson
Location: CoCoLab
Time: 6:30pm (main activities starting at 7pm)

  • An introduction to CAcert from one of their UK volunteers Alex.
  • We’ll also cover SSL in general for anyone unfamiliar.
  • Time for assurances (for free certificates with CAcert, you’ll need this), to participate in this you’ll need to bring some form of ID as mentioned here (e.g. Passport and Driving License).
  • Being joined by people already using CAcert who’ll be able to help issue points during the assurance part.

Tuesday 28th January 2020 – Topic: CCTV cameras and control systems
Presenter(s): Darren M
Location: CoCoLab
Time: 6:30pm (main activities starting at 7pm)

  • This will cover the better networking capable CCTV camera’s on the market which support the kinds of protocols we’ll need.
  • Also it’ll cover systems to control / manage and monitor your cameras.
  • Presented by Darren who has much experience in this field and does this for a living.

Tuesday 14th January 2020 – Topic: Introduction to OpenStreetMaps
Presenter(s): Iain Simpson
Location: CoCoLab
Time: 6:30pm (main activities starting at 7pm)

  • Get an idea on what the project is like, how the data gathered is licensed and it’s aims.
  • Be more familiar with some of the tools which can be used to gather useful data to improve OpenStreetMaps.
  • Using it as a general user and the advantages you get (such the export functions) of using its features over other map products like those from Apple/Google/Microsoft.

Tuesday 17th December 2019 – Topic: End of year activities 2019
Presenter(s): Mark Sherratt, Richard Bateman, and Steven Maddox
Location: CoCoLab
Time: 6:30pm (main activities starting at 7pm)

  • A look back to previous workshops this year and any updates to add to them.
  • Bring in any gadgets and toys so we can have a play (think of it like the last day of School before Christmas when you were a kid!).
  • A Christmas atmosphere to be sure 🙂
  • Lightning talks of 5 to 10 minutes if anyone has anything they’d like to share with the group.
  • This will be the first of this kind of meeting, so please share via the meetings@ mailing list how you’d like these to go!

Tuesday 3rd December 2019 – Topic: Introduction to the LAMP stack
Presenter(s): Steven Maddox
Location: CoCoLab
Time: 6:30pm (main activities starting at 7pm)

  • An introduction to what the basic components that make up a traditional Linux web server, such as Linux, Apache, MySQL (or MariaDB) and PHP… i.e. L.A.M.P.
  • A brief talk on things to consider when setting up a server in general and also possible web based control panels for your webserver.
  • A lab exercise where we install the basic components from packages, and set up a minimal amount of config for a server that can serve multiple sites.
  • If there is time show quickly WordPress running on what we’ve made as an example.

Tuesday 22nd October 2019 – Topic: Tabletop gaming on Linux 2019
Presenter(s): Darren M
Location: CoCoLab
Time: 6:30pm (main activities starting at 7pm)

  • Introduction to ways tabletop games can be played on a computer.
  • A look at the VASSAL open-source board game engine.
  • Q&A with Darren who develops mods for VASSAL.

Tuesday 8th October 2019 – Topic: DNS Sinkholes
Presenter(s): Richard Bateman
Location: CoCoLab
Time: 6:30pm (main activities starting at 7pm)

  • What a DNS sinkhole is and why you might want to use one
  • Installing and using Pi-hole on both Raspberry Pi hardware and other installs
  • Taking a look at what it blocks and monitors
  • Advantages and disadvantages of DNS-level blocking

Tuesday 24th September 2019 – Topic: 20 years of StaffsLUG and Relaunch
Presenter(s): Mark Sherratt, Richard Bateman, and Steven Maddox
Location: CoCoLab
Time: 6:30pm (main activities starting at 7pm)

  • Get to know new faces and re-introduce to the concept of a LUG.
  • Look back at early StaffsLUG history with Dave Roberts.
  • Getting feedback for the future.

Prior to Monday 26th August 2019…

Before StaffsLUG relaunched in 2019 there would sometimes be workshops graciously held at the offices of Navaho. At some point we’ll fill out this section with reminders of what those past Workshops were about (likely by looking through the old mailing lists!).

Socials

Unless otherwise stated, socials take place at the KPA (see the Socials section in Events) on the same day of the week that we would have usually done a Workshop meeting. This helps with peoples schedules and means that you’ll normally see the same faces.

These events don’t have any presenter or outline listed as there is no agenda, presentation or specific activity at our socials. Mostly you’ll find people having a drink, sometimes food, plenty of chatting, and sometimes we play tabletop games.

Planned

Tuesday 21st June 2022
Location: KPA Clubhouse
Time: 6pm onwards

Potentials

Tuesday ??th August-ish or December-ish or both 2022
Location: KPA Clubhouse
Time: 6pm onwards

Past

Tuesday 9th November 2021
Location: Jitsi Meet
Time: 7pm onwards

Tuesday 20th July 2021
Location: Jitsi Meet
Time: 7pm onwards

Tuesday 8th September 2020
Location: Discord Voice & Video
Time: 7pm onwards

Tuesday 1st September 2020
Location: Discord Voice & Video
Time: 7pm onwards

Tuesday 26th May 2020
Location: Discord Voice & Video
Time: 7pm onwards

Tuesday 5th May 2020
Location: Discord Voice
Time: 7pm onwards

Tuesday 24th March 2020
Location: Discord Voice
Time: 7pm onwards

Tuesday 10th March 2020
Location: KPA Clubhouse
Time: 6pm onwards

Tuesday 19th November 2019
Location: KPA Clubhouse
Time: 6pm onwards

Older

Often socials were held at a pub in Stafford called ‘The Yard’. Sometimes it would be closed as it changed hands (for a while being a Yates’s) and now seems to now be open again, details can be found here. We used to meet on the first Monday of the month and we hope to resurrect socials (or both socials and workshops) in Stafford at some point in the future. More details on past events will appear here when we’ve been though the older mailing lists a bit.

Trips

See below for details about any upcoming trips and subscribe to the trips mailing list for more details.

Planned

Nothing at the moment, see the potentials section below.

Potentials

Nothing at the moment, check back later!

Alternatively if you’ve got an idea for a trip to go on, then tell us via the trips mailing list!.

Cancelled

Monday 6th to Friday 10th July 2020 – Human-Computer Interaction Conference 2020

Past

OggCamp 2019

  • A few StaffsLUG people are going on the Saturday 19th October if you want to join us.
  • Two possible CrossCountry trains which you can get from either Stoke or Stafford…
    1) Stafford (8:28am) -> Stoke (8:44am) -> 2 other stops -> Manchester Piccadilly (9:24am)
    2) Stafford (9:02am) -> Stoke (9:20am) -> 2 other stops -> Manchester Piccadilly (10:00am)
  • A bunch of us will wait at Manchester Piccadilly until 10:10am at the main entrance/exit which exits on to the road “Station Approach” – we’ll make sure at one of us is holding a Tux penguin for ID! It is just a short 9 minute walk from there and we can show you the way.

Older

Previously trips have been taken to places like the The National Museum of Computing at Bletchy Park.

At some point we’ll fill out this section with reminders of where those past trips were (likely by looking through the old mailing lists!).