Just a quick message to say that tomorrow's "World of Wine" presentation
has been rescheduled to 5th May.
Basically the person who was going present it... me... is coughing his
lungs out and can barely be heard when speaking anyway :S
I had hoped it would go away during the weekend, but no :S
Of course, although there's no presentation... if people want to pop by
anyway -- you can (as with any Tuesday), however firstly you must let us
know on the meetings@ mailing list so we can see who might be free to
open up (e.g. Keira and Jonathan also both work for IC and might do so,
at their own discretion!).
Hope to see you in about 2 weeks when we have the social!
Also I've been meaning to update the blog for the last two workshops, I
promise to get around to doing this when I've got time between dying and
I also think the Wine thing being after the 'Getting into Linux' thing
might be handy anyway... they might go well together for people making
We've been a bit distracted and forgot to add some meetings to the
website, so here is an update!
*NOTE: If anything changes we'll let you know, but you can keep an eye
on the calender here <https://staffslug.org.uk/calendar/>.*
You've probably heard me say it enough, but tomorrow is (although with
this snow, who knows!)...
*Tuesday 11th February 2020* - Topic: Introduction to CAcert
* An introduction to CAcert <http://www.cacert.org/> 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
Passport and Driving License).
* Being joined by people already using CAcert who'll be able to
help issue points during the assurance part.
Then in two weeks I'll be covering Wine which was requested at the last
"End of quarter" meeting in December.
*Tuesday 25th February 2020* - Topic: The World of Wine//
* What WINE is and what it is not (the clue is in the name!).
* When not to use WINE and why it should be a last resort.
* Forks of WINE including unofficial ones like Cedega and official
ones like Crossover and Proton.
* Front ends for WINE like Crossover, PlayOnLinux and others.
* Windows dependency hell and how 'winetricks' can help.
* Scripts to get Windows applications installed perfect every time.
After that will our 2nd "Social" since the relaunch, this'll be like the
one we had in November. No particular agenda except to be down the pub
and chat... we're hoping to do one of these every quarter.
We'll send an e-mail around to gather an idea of who is coming, mostly
so *a)* we'll know it's worth it and *b)* if we need to book the
*Tuesday 10th March 2019* - KPA Clubhouse from 6pm onwards
After that (since it'll be the end of the first quarter of 2020) will be
one our usual end of quarter round up meetings... I've also made it a
bit clearer what these are meant for below!
For the lightning talks, please do chat away on
about what you're wanting to hear about and might talk about :)
*Tuesday 24th March 2020* - Topic: End of quarter activities
* Updates on any previous workshops for that quarter.
* Show off your latest gadgets and discovered software to the group.
* Generally share knowledge with the help of PCs being there to
jog your memory rather than a pint to hamper it!
* Lightning talks of 5 to 10 minutes if anyone has anything they'd
like to share with the group. You don't need to be too prepared
for these, but it may help to talk on the mailing lists first.
* Plan out who is available to what workshops for the upcoming
Then... nothing. Many people will be doing stuff with their kids as
it'll be Easter. So we're intentionally doing nothing for a break :)
*Tuesday 7th April 2020* - NOTHING - ABSOLUTELY NOTHING :)
This one we're hoping to do a version of... maybe 2, 3 or even 4 times a
year, so this'll be our first time...
*Hopefully* it'll be our main source of bringing new people in to the
group who have only ever *messed* with or *never* used Linux before.
If nothing else, think of it as '_/Bring your spouse/daughter/son to the
LUG/_' day! The tone of these will be basic enough that everyone should
I'd like this to be heavily promoted and spread far and wide - if
everyone could help to do that.
*Tuesday 21st April 2020* - Topic: Getting into Linux//
* Practical reasons why you should care about running Linux on
* Lab activity where we'll have blank desktops and laptops ready
to be installed with pre-prepared installer USB pens.
* Cross platform applications you already use on Windows and macOS
which also run on Linux natively!
* Linux applications that can be used as equivalents of Windows
and macOS applications.
* Ways of running non-Linux applications through things like
abstraction layers and emulation.
* Handy reference of basic commands and their Windows equivalents
(macOS users will find this easier as they're mostly the same).
* Conventions you'll need to rewire your brain for... such as the
lack of a "Drive C:\" and or things like the Registry.
* Intentionally basic for average person off the street, bring
anyone and everyone you can convince to come!
After that... who knows... but you can always offer to do a talk :)
I hear it's Darren's birthday around then, maybe we'll let him talk Arch :P
(I've CC'd general@ <mailto:email@example.com> as we've got
a fair few people travelling from afar who'd not normally go to regular
The CAcert event is in TWO WEEKS! AAAND that might be a little too much
excitement for some top notch nerdy bureaucracy!
_*Here is what CAcert *is* and *why* you should care...*_
CAcert is a global non-profit certificate authority that can issue
certificates for use with TLS (commonly still known as SSL). But unlike
commercial certificate authorities (like Digicert, Comodo, IdenTrust,
GoDaddy) they're completely free!
CAcert /*predates*/ Let's Encrypt (abbreviated "LE", who also do free
certificates) and has 5 key advantages...
* Certificates can be issued for 2 years rather than only 3 months
with automation scripts
* E-mails, code and other things can be signed rather than just websites
* Certificates can be issued in your name or your organisations rather
than just in the name of your domain
* Isn't reliant upon cross-signing with another profit making CA (e.g.
IdenTrust cross-signs LE)
* Supports wildcards so you can cover many subdomains!
Since your identity needs proving before they can be issued... CAcert
users physically meet one another to verify we're who we say we are.
The more you've been "assured" by someone, the more points you get until
you've got enough to generate free certificates and also assure other
people... effectively it's "crowd sourced" trust.
After the presentation is over (presented by Alex Roberton, who
presented a UK CAcert event in 2012) there'll be time to "assure" people
and get "assured".
We've got all the forms here... so bring government-issued ID that has
your photo on it, *as many as possible* (e.g. UK passport and UK drivers
license). Failing that, bring anything that confirms your ID (in an
official way) especially something like your birth certificate, plus any
documentation for marriage or "change of name" too if it applies. If
you're unsure there is a page on it here...
CAcert has fell on some hard times lately and I'm hoping to help bring
this excellent project some new blood. Work continues in being accepted
by the "CA/Browser Forum" so their root certificates can get widely
"SSL certificates" are a RIGHT RACKET for the price you pay and it's
shocking the small number of commercial players involved! LE helps
somewhat but as it's aims are different, it can only go so far. Not far
enough if we actually want to combat phishing involving misspelt domains
(especially when people get a false sense of security seeing a padlock!
some re-education needed there, not helped by the browsers!).
It's advisable to make yourself a free CAcert account before coming
along. It's also helpful to know how to install their root certificate
and generate your own client certificate.
If you want to assure people, you'll also need to pass a "challenge"
online. If you get stuck on this, just come to the presentation first
and then try to take this after while you're here (we've got plenty of
PC's). If you've already generated a client certificate, just remember
you'll need to have access to it (or create another) when you get here!
I've detailed any steps you might want to follow before the presentation
(from making an account, to taking the "challenge") in the below blog
Hope to see you all there :)