Paul outlined the proposed development of the Bradford CVS websites and Alice and John offered to look at ways of supporting these developments.
David described how he had dealt with the arrival of an Excel file containing images dotted about among the data about the proposed location for a dig. The first step had been to create a proper spreadsheet of the data and identify, using GPS, the latitude and longitude of two points which could then be used as reference points for the remaining data.
There’s one thing that should frighten everybody who uses a desktop or laptop computer or server, and that is disk failure. Your storage should be the only part of the computer that you really care about. If not backed up, the information on your disk can be irreplaceable: when it’s gone, it’s very probably gone for good. Yet your precious information is entrusted to one of the few components in a computer that can break down completely, without warning, or literally wear out.
Alice began by demonstrating using Apache Spark, an alternative to MapReduce with Hadoop, to analyse Leeds Road Traffic Accidents. Using the Scala shell, she read in the text file, created a Scala class, created an RDD (Resilient Distributed Dataset), cached it and then queried it to find the Pearson (linear) correlation between, for example, accidents with more than one casualty and the type of vehicle. It works faster because the data is held in memory and it is scalable. It can also query data held in other types of database including SQL. Since the latest version of Excel will link with Hadoop, it can be used to query Excel data.
Just over four years ago, a group of developers who had become fed up with the slow pace of development of OpenOffice started an alternative project now managed by a German charitable foundation, the Document Foundation, to create a modern, and superior, alternative to Microsoft Office. They were gratified to receive support from major computer companies and many other developers who had become disillusioned with the slow pace of development of OpenOffice.
Alice sent their apologies via Twitter as she was still in Kazakhstan time.
Brian asked about Swanky Paint and asked for help with hostapd which was no longer working as he expected.
John H began with a short demonstration of cleaning up digital transfers of LPs using the noise removal and repair effects of Audacity to remove noise and eliminate clicks from the transfer. He then did a presentation arguing that LyX outforms any other software in document production though there are a few uses cases for which it is not suitable.
Windows refused to boot? Hard drive failing? Got a ransom virus that won’t let you use Windows? Then System Rescue may be what you need.
System rescue is a suite of utilities developed primarily by a team of French developers which will allow you to overcome most problems you may encounter in these and many areas. You can download it and burn it to a CD or to a USB stick (though a bug in a recent version may appear to stop you doing the latter, I found that burning it to a CD and then copying the resulting image to a USB stick got round this problem).
Kriss and Shi demonstrated the Raspberry Pi 2. It is faster and more stable, the power issues have been fixed and it has four USB sockets. However, the separate composite socket has gone and it is obvious that more work needs to be done on the video drivers.
Alice first introduced the Star Wars API which claims to have ‘All the Star Wars data you’ve ever wanted’ and gives you a chance to try out with claim and then the Beyond PNR presentation which takes you through the ways in which data is handled by the airline industry and the governments who want to know who is travelling where. (Click to advance the slideshow.)
Alice brought in a North Paw haptic compass which he passed round. Worn on the ankle, it contains eight mobile vibrators each of which is turned on when it is the nearest one to north enabling the wearer gradually to learn the direction of north.