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Manchester Free Software

Tuesday 21st March, 7:00pm

The purpose of Manchester Free Software is to promote the Free Software philosophy.

Manchester Free Software group serves a growing need for a group in the Manchester area that focuses on free software. The group also covers topics which impact on the freedoms of computer users. The purpose of this group is to:

  • Increase awareness and promote the use of free software within Manchester
  • Provide a friendly and accessible community for individuals in Manchester to learn about and discuss free software, with particular emphasis on ethical considerations
  • …and be a source of information regarding free software to individuals and organisations in Manchester.

Anybody is welcome to the meetings, but you will be particularly interested if you are into such things as…

  • Free Software Foundation
  • GNU Project including GNU/Linux
  • League for Programming Freedom
  • “Free as in freedom” BSDs like FreeBSD, NetBSD, OpenBSD
  • Open Rights Group
  • Mozilla project
  • OSS Watch
  • Hackspace Foundation
  • mySociety
  • anti-Digital Restrictions Management,
  • OpenStreetMap
  • “Free Our Data”
  • The Libel Reform Campaign
  • Open Data Manchester
  • Mozilla Drumbeat

March Meetup:

Every meeting we start with an opportunity for informal key signing.
For an explanation of what this is about see:


GNU R is a widely used free software system for data analysis including
statistics and visualisation.

The talk+tutorial will include:

* introduction to programming;
* programming in GNU R;
* GNU R statistical analysis;
* GNU R graphics;
* using GNU R extensions (R “packages”);
* using ggplot2 (a “Grammar of Graphics” implementation).

This will be a talk plus a tutorial which you can follow along with.  If
you wish to follow along to the tutorial then beforehand please install
GNU R core plus GNU R’s recommended packages along with the CRAN
packages ggplot2 and TeachingDemos.  On a Debian based system these can
be installed by doing:

apt-get install r-base r-cran-ggplot2 r-cran-teachingdemos

For more help on installing GNU R see the “GNU R FAQ – How can R be

Questions and discussion are welcome during the talk+tutorial.

More information:


If you have experience of using GNU R then please consider giving a
lightning talk at the meeting.

Event Planning

MFS will have a stall at the “Heaven on Earth” festival on 22 April at
Halle Saint Peters in Ancoats.  The festival opens at midday and goes on
until 11pm.  After the Talk+Tutorial we will organise what we are doing
on the day including who is helping out.


The meeting will be followed by informal discussion and socialising in
the Terrace (which is next door to Madlab).  There are non-alcoholic
drinks available and there is no pressure to consume alcohol.

About Manchester Free Software