Forum Link

Introducing the NatickFOSS Forum. Maybe the group will decide we should go further than this demo site. You can look around, but to add to the discussion you need to create an account. Getting started with the NatickFOSS Forum

header image: Natick Foss - Reflecting

Dick and Jill Miller of Miller Microcomputer Services lead a group of Free Open Source Software (FOSS) explorers on the first Thursday of the month. The monthly meetings run from 3:00 to 6:00 (play time may follow to 7:00pm).

The meetings offer information for computer beginners, serious users, and explorers.

For continuing information, e-mail to, "Please subscribe me to your FOSS/Linux e-mail list."

I hope to be a regular participant at the meetings. From time to time, I'll do a demo about something. When appropriate, there will be a handout. If we succeed in gaining members and begin to flow out of our meeting room into the halls, there won't be enough copies on hand. Anything I hand out will be posted here, generally as a web page or a PDF document. There may also be a "source" document which you can easily modify to your needs. Source documents will probably be Open Document Format (ODF) which can be opened using LibreOffice. My documents will typically be released using a Creative Commons license, either CC-BY which requests you acknowledge the original author, or CC-Zero which places the material into the public domain and doesn't ask you anything [1].

Natick FOSS Meeting "Demos"

April 2016 (potential)

Supporting a Community
First learn from others, then support another who wants to learn. Help them thrive in learning FOSS. Then, when you support the developers, you keep the updates coming.

September 2015

Bugs in a Program
What to do?

January 2015

Stenciling and Silhouettes with Inkscape
Remixing a photo to make a vector graphic

October 2014

Unity Desktop Launchers
You ask the questions. Sometimes we find the answers.
Portable Presentations
S5 uses HTML, JavaScript and CSS to let you present anywhere with just a thumb drive and any computer with a browser.

May 2014

You don't own your copy of an ebook and DVDs are locked down.

January, 2014

Taking photos of documents and 3-D objects is the trick, here.

August 1, 2013 - Dick and Jill are on vacation. We're on our own.

Introducing phpbb, a FOSS forum package. We'll begin exploring the system on a live "demo" during the meeting. Maybe the group will decide we should go further.
Exploring Inside Ebooks ePUB and Mobi in Nooks and Kindles
SeaPerch ROV Open source hardware, robotics and science

February 7, 2013 - Intro to Computers with Ubuntu Unity

The guide introduced last June has been updated to a Web version as requested.
More feedback from everybody is the next step.

January 3, 2013 - Updating our Promotional Card
With the move to the new Community/Senior Center, it seems appropriate to look at our promotional handout "business" card to bring it up to date. Follow the link to see some possible versions.
Should NatickFOSS have computer case stickers? Bumper stickers?

December 6, 2012: Making a Christmas Lightbulb with Inkscape

Files: SVG - PDF

November 1, 2012: Making a Logo with Inkscape. (HTML only at this time.)

October 11, 2012: Install Fest Demo Guide (HTML only at this time)
We hope to schedule a November Install Fest at the new Senior/Community Center and perhaps at Natick High School. This guide is to help prepare NatickFOSS members to participate in the install fest.
Comparison LTS vs 6-month releases. Handout PDF - ODT Why some at install fest may want to choose one over the other.

June 7, 2012 Drafting a Natick Senior Center Ubuntu Computer Guide 
    AnswerGarden: Feedback for the question Software Freedom is...
    9 WordCloud Generators (link to blog post by Michael Gorman)
    Get some free Ubuntu stickers for your computers:
    Changing a File Association (in Windows) so double clicking the file will launch LibreOffice for and .odt file
    What does "Open Source" Mean? - guest post to Questions About Technology blog

May 3, 2012 Discussion of ebook lockdown with DRM. Handout - PDF

February 1, 2012: Charting with Spreadsheets (Final Wednesday Meeting before the change to Thursdays)
Handout - PDF - ODT (Practice Files this time, too)

January 4, 2012: Alternate Desktops
Handout - PDF - ODT

September 7, 2011: A Brief Peek at Inkscape
Handout - PDF - ODT

August 3, 2011: Earthquake Detector with Arduino
Handout - PDF - ODT

July 6, 2011: Scratch - A programming experience for almost everyone.
Demo Handout - PDF - ODT [2]
"Can't Catch Me" Car program Scratch file (will only be fully useful if you also have the Lego kit 9580 from Lego Education.)

button: choose FOSS This button is for use on a Web site.
It could also be made into an actual physical button or sticker to wear at your next meeting.
Logo 2013
Logo from 2013 PNG - SVG
(Note that the SVG does not display well in a browser. Download)
image: Logo Natick FOSS
Old Logo for the group PNG - SVG
Natick FOSS logo3
Another logo idea PNG Created using the free font, MAINFRAME BB
This button is also for use on a Web site, but might also be a button to make physically to wear around town.

Another version of a Web site button. More like the standard Web site "button" design.
Right click and "Save As" for this image will give you the PNG version 300px wide
Left click will give you the SVG image for the whole "page" and "Save page" will download the SVG.

Business Card to print and distribute around town (Ask for some at the next meeting).

image: postcard metrowest

image:postcard back
Please also explore the other parts of this website for articles and tips not presented specifically at the Natick FOSS meetings.

Note [1]: Creative Commons is an organization whose purpose it is to make clear definitions for document sharing. It is a complement to copyright, which typically confers (reserves) all rights to the document's author(s). Standard copyright prevents you from making copies or creating a derivative work based on the expression of the original document. Creative Commons has several licenses working from the most liberal, CC0 to licenses like the CC-BY-NC-ND which limits you to making copies but not incorporating the work into commercial projects, not making changes and acknowledging the original author.

Note [2]: ODT stands for the open document text format. It is similar to seeing a file with the .DOC extension. Files with the .DOC extension are in a format created by the Microsoft Corporation and used in their popular word processor, MSWord. ODT files are designed to be opened by any program which recognizes the formats of the Open Document Format (OASIS). Though I currently use LibreOffice for my word processor, ODT files should be openable by OpenOffice, Calligra, and other word processors. Recent versions of Microsoft Word do open ODT files, apparently (limits). A list of ODF compliant software is available on Wikipedia:

Note [3]: SVG is a vector graphic format. SVG is an emerging standard for doing images which are size-independent and focused on non-photo images. GIF/PNG/BMP/JPG/JPEG are not going to show up well if you change their size, becoming blocky or losing detail. Some files from demo materials may be best provided in SVG format.
image: SVG vs. Bitmap [image from Wikimedia Commons user: Yug]

SVG files are intended to redraw within the dimensions chosen, doing the best possible image for the size requested. SVG files are generated by programs like Inkscape, which is one I frequently use. Wikipedia has an extensive list of SVG editors