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    3D printing the FLOSS way

    ericbuijs · / open-source-software · 3 days ago - 09:52

#3dprinting is rather unique in that every step in the process can be done with free and open source hard- and software. This ranges from design software that produces the 3D model, the slicer for the G-code, the firmware and even the bootloader of the 3D printer. On top of that all hardware parts can be 3D printed or bought.

I must add that not all manufacturers of 3D printers are adhering to the rules. The Prusa printers of Joseph Prusa belong probably to the most #FLOSS ones while Creality is currently doing an effort to be (partly) FLOSS. Others are probably in violation with the GPL license by using the Marlin firmware for their printers but not releasing their source code.

Some people argue that the design software is the achilles heel of this FLOSS workflow since Blender, OpenSCAD, FreeCAD and Solvespace all have their limitations compared to something like Fusion360. I'd say that for most if not all hobbyist the FLOSS programs are more than capable and no proprietary software is needed.

  • Prusa3D - Open-Source 3D Printers from Josef Prusa

    Prusa Research is a 3D printing company based in Prague, Czech Republic. It was founded by Josef Prusa, one of the core developers of the Open Source project RepRap, in 2012 as a one-man startup and grows to a 400+ team now. His open-sourced Prusa i3 design is according to 3DHubs the most used 3D printer in the world. We are shipping more than 6000 Original Prusa i3 printers per month to over 160 countries directly from Prague. Our MK3/S printer is the best 3D printer for 2018 and 2019 according to MAKE: Magazine US and the best FFF printer according to 3D Printing Industry Awards.

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    Short update on PeerTube (Sepia Search)

    ericbuijs · / open-source-software · Friday, 25 September - 09:53 · 1 minute

While the fund raising campaign for #PeerTube has reached over 45.000 euro, the developer of PeerTube, Framasoft, introduced a search engine for channels and videos in hundreds of PeerTube instances (currently 533). The name is Sepia Search. This is a long awaited feature. PeerTube instances are due to different policies, not automatically federated with each other. As an example, my current PeerTube instance is federated with only a dozen other instances. This means that if I search on my instance I can only find videos and channels on these dozen instances and not all other instances.

Sepia Search changes all that and now I can find a video or channel that remained otherwise hidden to me. I've tested Sepia Search briefly and I was already able to find a channels of interest. This also means that my own videos can be found more easily and potentially watched more frequently (I'm not making these videos for myself you know).

It's also worth noticing that Sepia Search has handy filter options that enable the user to filter on e.g. license, publishing date or language.

PeerTube is currently a dwarf compared to YouTube but thanks to Sepia Search I became pleasantly surprised by the amount of content already present. Hopefully this will be an important step to disclose PeerTube to a much wider audience. It would be well deserved.

  • Sepia Search

    A search engine of PeerTube videos and channels, developed by Framasoft

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    Slimserver aka Logitech Media Server for audio streaming

    ericbuijs · / open-source-software · Tuesday, 1 September - 09:22 · 1 minute

If you want a multi-room music system you don't need the very expensive, proprietary and vendor lock-in Sonos. Logitech made a line of music players called Squeezebox that could either be run via a Logitech owned cloud server or the so-called Slimserver (now Logitech Media Server). Unfortunately Logitech ended the Squeezebox hardware line in 2012 but in a surprise move the server software was released as free software (GNU-GPL).

Now the FLOSS community took over and started improving the software enabling existing and new users to continue listening. I currently own three Squeezebox players and I'm running the server software on a humble Raspberry Pi 2. Versatility is a strength of the system. The server can run on about any hardware and the user can even build his own hardware players running FLOSS client software such as Squeezelite.

Due to the open architecture of the server software services can be added such as plugins for Deezer and Spotify. Other plugins for example change the interface of the server (skins).

Now, thanks to the FLOSS community, eight years after Logitech ended the Squeezebox hardware I'm able to listen to my multi-room music system that's becoming better and better with every release of the server software.

  • Logitech/slimserver

    Server for Logitech Squeezebox players. This server is also called Logitech Media Server - Logitech/slimserver

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    Bringing life to an old laptop

    ericbuijs · / open-source-software · Wednesday, 26 August - 08:52 edit · 1 minute

My laptop is a Thinkpad T40 from 2003 with 1GB of RAM and a 30GB HDD (Yes, you can laugh now). I bought it second hand many years ago, it had Windows installed and it was slow as molasses. It was also a time that I got interested in #FLOSS. So I looked for a suitable Linux distro and I found Puppy Linux (Slacko and later the TahrPup release). It turned my unusable laptop into a fast and very capable computer. I'll never forget the amazement when I booted Puppy for the first time and saw how fast it was.

I'm not much of a distro hopper but last year I switched to #AntiX because I felt that development of Puppy was lacking. AntiX does more or less the same as Puppy in that it brings life to an old computer. Both are very lightweight but I find AntiX definitely more polished with JWM, FluxBox and IceWM as window managers to choose from.

Both Puppy and AntiX contain, as do most of the other Linux Distros, proprietary bits and pieces (e.g drivers and it's possible to install proprietary programs from the Snap store or PPM) but are mostly FLOSS and are available thanks to many volunteers that dedicate so much of their time to these operating systems. So I think it's fair to contribute back e.g by donating to the developers that make this possible.


Puppy Linux

  • Op chevron_right is shutting down, now what?

    ericbuijs · / open-source-software · Thursday, 13 August - 08:25 edit is a website, based on the Invidious software, that functions as a ethical alternative front-end for YouTube. Unfortunately the front-end of is going to shut-down on September 1th. Luckily the lead developer of Invidious, Omar Roth, made the software free and open source. Already a number of other website with Invidious exists. Here is a link to the list of other instances.

For those interested, here is a link to the blog post of explaining his decision

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    Support the development of PeerTube!

    ericbuijs · / open-source-software · Tuesday, 4 August - 14:12 edit

#PeerTube, the free and decentralized alternative to YouTube, is already great but to make it even better with global search, moderation improvements, plugins and playlists and live streaming donate for the new version 3. Funds are being raised progressively over six months of development, so that you can help Framasoft in the efforts.

  • JoinPeerTube

    PeerTube is a decentralized video hosting network, based on free/libre software. Join the federation and take back control of your videos!

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    The free and open source Darktable

    ericbuijs · / open-source-software · Wednesday, 29 July - 09:13

I'm finally getting the hang of Darktable to manage and edit my photo collection. Setting up a proper workflow for editing was the most difficult due to sheer number of tools (modules) in Darktable. Once I mastered the interface it's kind of nice to work with and I'm getting some decent results now. A very nice feature is that all the images are edited in a non-destructive way.

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    ericbuijs · / open-source-software · Sunday, 12 July - 10:12

An excellent source to find ethical, (mostly) free and open source alternatives to software is Whether you want to replace Google Analytics, Zoom or Minecraft, shows you several alternatives all on an easy to use website.