Joint Meetup with Write the Docs LA

We're mixing things up this month with a different venue and a different format. We're doing a joint meetup with Write the Docs LA, the local Write the Docs chapter of technical documentarians.

We'll spend some time learning about each other's groups. Topics will include static site generators and an update on Sean Marquez's exploration of SpaceMacs for text editing and project management. (This was presented at SGVLUG back in July.)

Please see the WTD LA meetup link for more details.

Sean's presentation will appeal directly to: - software developers who are opinionated about text editors - developers & writers who are curious about text rendering to diagrams, i.e., PlantUML:

Sean's presentation will also provide insight to: - people who have a thousand things on their TODO lists - anyone who is interested in Getting Things Done:

Write the Docs LA

Meetup Event Page

SGVTech at PCC Maker Festival

NOTE: Please RSVP on the PCC Maker Festival Eventbrite!

More info here:

As part of Connect Week, SGVTech is exhibiting at the PCC Maker Festival to promote all our subgroups and projects to the Pasadena City College community. There will be other maker groups and businesses as well as the PCC student clubs. There will be rovers, 3D printers, coders, electronics and their awesome Fab Lab. There will also have an exclusive performance by the Blender Boyz - Pasadena’s premier, all-appliance, bad-boy, blender band who will be grinding out their unique machine melodies!

Exhibitors include: JPL Open Source Rover Nonscriptum reDiscover Center PCC Electronics SGV Tech Meetup Los Angeles Public Library PCC Fab Lab She.Codes Mesa MAKEit 3D Microduino PCC Motorsports and more!

Meetup Event Page

Surprise topic

Informal talk by Steven Doran covering various topics from a discussion of recent news regarding Project Raven to Ada Lovelace. It was fun.

Meetup Event Page

Darktable for beginners: Improving your digital photography


With the ubiquity of cameras, photography is everywhere! If you'd like to improve the looks of your photographs, post-processing is an effective way to give your work the umph and sparkle that they are missing. In this talk we'll cover the basics of darktable, a Free Software application for processing raw photographs. There will be an introduction to some photographic concepts and a tutorial covering the basics of the must-use darktable modules.


Mica Semrick has been a desktop linux user since 1998. He's been making photographs since 1995. In his free time, he's a community manager at PIXLS.US, a community centered around Free Software for Photographers.

Meetup Event Page

The Young Man And The C: Swallowing The Red Pill

Note: This is a lightly edited reprise of a talk given a few years ago at LUG


Many good, experienced high-level language programmers do not learn C or C++ well until they suddenly need to write an FFI extension, make an emergency patch to an existing C or C++ codebase, re-implement the bottleneck component in the application stack in a fast language, take an attractive job with a low-level programming component, or otherwise move from their comfortable language of choice and swallow the Red Pill of coding closer to the machine. If you are already a programmer, you don't need to be taught how to program, and your google-fu is strong for looking up detailed syntax. Instead, this will be a crash course in leveraging skills you learned in a high-level environment and transferring them to these low-level tools, acquiring some new skills you simply never needed before, and a building a mental picture of where the road to expert, idiomatic mastery lies. We will focus on plain C because C++ is too complex to cover well in a single talk, but much of the material will apply directly to C++. Perhaps surprisingly, some of it will even make you a better programmer in your favorite comfortable, higher-level language.


Some little-known facts about Dustin Laurence:

  • His first exposure to computers was playing Colossal Cave
    Adventure and the bootleg Fortran IV version of Zork on his cousin's work mainframe using a glass teletype and a modem with a cradle for the handset.

  • His first good programming language was C. He lies and pretends that C is where he learned to program because 8-bit BASIC is embarrassing.

  • He once gave up trying to learn the libc low-level I/O functions from the Ultrix man pages because he thought a buffer must be some kind of abstract data type provided by the C library and he couldn't find any documentation.

  • He once confidently predicted that Linux was a temporary fad that would be replaced by BSD for serious work once the Berkeley codebase was completely free. It's probably a good thing he doesn't gamble.

  • He avoids social media for the same reason he doesn't do crack cocaine.

  • These days he happily hacks Python for Spring Labs.

Meetup Event Page


The SGVLUG & SGVHAK potluck BBQ will be on Saturday, July 27th from 5pm to 9pm to Lan's house in the city of San Gabriel.

Please RSVP on the Google form below by Thursday, July 25th. The form will automagically update with RSVP count and what people are bringing.