CUCC Expedition Handbook - Minimal laptop
Setting up a minimal Expo laptop
What you can do from any laptop
There is a lot you can do without installing any software on your own machine. Using a browser, you can logon to the Expo online system ("the website", also known as "troggle") as user 'expo' at the Troggle User Login page. (Ask another expoer for the 'cavey:beery' password.) You can:
[more details on cave data and survey maintenance are in the data maintenance manual]
- Edit any HTML page in the online handbook: correct errors, update phone numbers
- Edit existing Survex files in our complete Loser cave data repository
- Create new Survex files - a template is provided - for new cave passages
- Edit the cave description and entrance description text for existing caves
- Create entirely new caves in the system by filling out online forms
And using email to send the results to an expo nerd, you can:
- Type up your logbook entry for any trip you do (surface or underground), but please use our standard format
- Upload GPS tracks from your phone
- Send photos of cave entrances and cavers doing mad things
- Sketch rigging plans on paper, photograph them, and email them
- Regularly take photos of pages of 'the bier book' and 'the sesh book' and email them, to protect against accidental 'Gössering'
- Regularly take photos of pages of 'the handwritten expo logbook', also to protect against accidental 'Gössering' but also against permanent loss. We are missing several vital logbooks from past expos through carelessness.
and of course using your phone or laptop you can update entries on expo antics on public forums such as ukcaving.
We are actively working on increasing the number of expo activities that can be done with just a browser and no installed software.
Your own laptop
If you are new to expo please use the expo laptop first. You don't need to use your own laptop - which takes most of a day to setup completely.
To set up your own laptop you need to do this:
- Register an SSH key with an expo nerd i.e 'get a login'. (see "Key Configuration" below)
- Install git version control software to download ("clone"), view and edit caving data.
- Clone three expo repositories loser, drawings and expoweb so you have the files on your machine. (Use the git reminder for how to do this, e.g. git clone ssh://email@example.com:/home/expo/expoweb
- Install survex, and therion or tunnel for editing cave data.
Once you have got this working, and if it doesn't do what you want or you don't understand how to use it,
look at the full laptop configuration for everything else.
And please write some documentation for the next person in your situation.
Cheat lists and quick reminders
If you are just typing up logbook entries then you don't need any other software. If you are working with survey data download this software (short list):
- git - version control system
- Installing surveying software - survex, tunnel, therion - specifically for expo use
- Survex, including the Aven visualisation tool.
- Tunnel: 2.5D cave drawing program based on Survex-compatible data which can also read PocketTopo files. (Generally called 'tunnel' even though the project and executable is actually 'tunnelx'.)
- Therion - Therion processes survey data and generates maps or 3D models of caves.
Follow this link to register a key with the expo server to get upload (i.e. read/write) access.
Do this first, Without it none of git, scp, ftp or rsync will work.
On a Windows machine you will need to configure pageant (the putty authentication agent)
to run at startup to load your key.
Note that you are loading your private key, the .ppk file, into pageant and that this key never leaves your laptop.
When using Windows please, please be excessively
careful when naming files and survex names and be exceptionally careful when using rsync.
Learning how to use this software