Vendor lock-in and restrictions hurt your productivity and wallet. To truly unlock your potential, you need truly accessible resources: Be it science, hardware, software or file formats.

REPLICATE lets you learn about sustainable alternatives to your digital life. We exchange ideas, tools & technology about Free Software & Open Hardware and anything in between.

Upcoming events

TheAlternative: Introduction to Linux

14.04.2021 17:00 - 2 x 45 minutes

In this course you will learn about the wide family of free operating systems based on the Linux kernel, some of the most useful software tools available for them, as well as the philosophy that made them so successful.

Find out how easy to use and yet powerful Linux systems are, discover their advantages when compared to other operating systems, and get to understand their basic structure and most important concepts.

Furthermore, discover different flavours of Linux and get a feeling for which distribution and desktop environment would be the right match for you.

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TheAlternative: Linux Toolbox

16.04.2021 17:00 - 2 x 45 minutes

Linux is well-known for being configurable and fitting many different styles of use. But what can you do with it?

Our goal in the Linux Toolbox course is to introduce a large range of tools and to teach you how you can profit from them. We'll show you typical tasks that Linux is good at, such as renaming hundreds of files, searching and replacing text, automatic downloading etc.. This way, you'll be able to recognize those tasks in the wild and don't have to do them by hand.

Linux has many useful tools, so we don't intend to cover them all in detail. We'll instead take a sweeping glance to cover as many use cases as possible and provide you with learning resources if you want to delve deeper into a topic. Most of the course will take place on the command line, but no prerequisite knowledge is required.

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TheAlternative: GIT

19.04.2021 17:00 - 2 x 45 minutes

Git is the state-​of-the-art version control system, taking away the pain of continuously changing file versions. Keep track of who changed what, when and why, and revert changes easily.
GitLab allows you to save the files to the cloud, giving you a secure backup location and enabling easy collaboration. Never lose your files again, and coordinate changes in even bigger projects with ease.

This course gives you a solid understanding of git and GitLab, including its basic concepts.
We will have exercise breaks where you can apply the concepts at your own pace.

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How does Zoom Store Recordings?

23.04.2021 17:00 - 1 x 45 minutes - Leonardo Galli

Like many others, we found ourselves having to move to online meetings - specifically Zoom, after the ETH closed in the beginning of March 2020. When recording with Zoom, a nice feature is the ability to save the audio of different people to individual files, allowing easy editing in post. Unfortunately, Zoom decided to trim any silences found in those audio tracks and as such they become impossible to sync in post. Thus I decided to reverse engineer Zoom, specifically how they store the temporary recording files and hopefully extract the full untouched audio tracks.

In this talk, I will go through the journey taken, to go from not knowing what part of Zoom handles recordings to fully extracting all data from the temporary files. Attendees will learn important aspects when reverse engineering any software as well as file formats. Furthermore, they will see common pitfalls and difficulties I encountered, specifically with C++ software. I will explore all of this, in the context of how the Zoom recording and transcoding architecture works, as well as the custom file format Zoom uses.

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TheAlternative: web

26.04.2021 17:00 - 2 x 45 minutes - Florian Moser

This is a crash course into web development. Do you want to create your own personal (research?) webpage, customize a theme, or event want to become a web developer? This will help you to get started.

We will introduce HTML, CSS, JavaScript and PHP and add some design / user experience on the way. You need no prior knowledge, and need not to be a programmer. After the course, you can get started with your simple research webpage, or embark on the journey to become a web developer.

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A World without Intel - Running Linux on other Architectures

28.04.2021 17:00 - 2 x 45 minutes - Nicolas König

In this course we are going to take a short look at running Linux on not Intel-based architectures. What alternatives are there and why would you use them? What works and what doesn't? Where are problems and portability pitfalls? Does the promise of portability Open Source promises really hold up to reality?

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IT Project Management

29.04.2021 17:00 - 1 x 45 minutes - Florian Moser

IT projects are notoriously late and over budget. Technical skills are usually not the problem; but scope creep, unresolved dependencies and too optimistic forecasts are.

We will look at how you can realistically estimate effort and forecast results, and what tasks are necessary throughout the project to be able to actually deliver. The course takes the point of view of an IT Freelancer, but the tools are universal and may be applied to different contexts.

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TheAlternative: PDF = PestesDateiFormat

07.05.2021 17:00 - 1 x 45 minutes - Florian Moser

Take a deeper look into how a PDF file is structured, and learn about the pro / cons of the file format. As part of this talk, we will look at the PDF and TTF specification and a (unfinished) PDF compiler (=a program that creates PDFs). At the end of this talk, you can create a minimal PDF from scratch in a text editor.

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