[oclug] OCLUG Meeting Update from Last Night
bill.strosberg at rcpsc.edu
Fri Dec 7 09:37:31 EST 2001
Here is one man's take on the meeting last night.
OCLUG held it's monthly technical meeting last night at the Rideau Campus of
Algonquin College. We should remember to thank the College and our members
who make this happen for free.
Burns MacDonald did his best impression of Dan York and was out interim
emcee for the night. Burns indicated Dan was airborne somewhere over the
United States on Mitel/SME/E-Smith business, eating stale peanuts.
Randal gave his presidential update in his casual FDR-style fireside chat
manner. The Business of Open Source Software (BOSS) event was a great
success, and we actually are in the black financially! Because of this
state of financial bliss, he did not pass the hat. We are seeking
volunteers to organize next year's "Linux in the Wild" summer event, so
anyone with some time and organizational skills is welcome to contact either
Randall or the Board list. Board elections are coming up next spring, and
there are already volunteers working to make this happen.
Burns then turned over the floor to Bart Trojanowski for his fast-paced and
thorough introduction to socket communications. This presentation was done
to help members prepare for the upcoming programming wars contest. Bart
indicated this contest was to explore the networking domain, leaving the
computing-bound domain for new ground. For those of you who have never
considered entering the contest, please take note: this contest is for
everyone - not just the elite programming crowd. Socket communications is
the basis for every Internet service, and gaining a valuable understanding
of how things work is one of the best gifts you can give yourself for
Christmas/Hannukah/Holidays. For your own sake, especially beginners, enter
the contest because by doing this programming task, YOU ALWAYS WIN!,
regardless of standings of execution time, code brevity, and style.
Burns then introduced Wayne Tosh from Industry Canada who came to our
meeting as part of a two man team to dicuss the Government's "Computers for
Schools" program. Canada was the first country to implement and execute a
national strategy to place excess and outdated computers from both
government and private industry in schools across the country. The program
to date has installed over 300,000 computers in schools nationwide! Over 50
countries have come to Canada to learn how to implement this type of
program, and it is a great win for everyone.
Computers for Schools needs computers of Pentium-class and above, as well as
computer parts to make this program a success. They install (groan) older
Windows-based operating systems and software on the platforms and
recondition them before sending them out. They have a lot of corporate
sponsors that provide transportation, facilities and co-operative help in
making the program a success.
Where do we fit in as a Linux group? Good question. Farrell tried to
explain from the floor to the Industry Canada folk that a 486 with Linux
makes a perfectly good platform for student needs, but Wayne explained that
school boards are pretty much demanding Windows as their standard desktop
machine. This is a dissapointing, but hardly unexpected state of affairs.
What we as a group can do is ask our employers to participate, offer our
time and expertise to help the program along, and work towards making Linux
a part of the program. Although desktops currently are required to be
Windows, they still have server requirements and communications requirements
we can fill. Rather than fighting the program, we can work Linux in from
the inside as team members.
Hmm ... Getting Linux accepted by the establishment by working quietly from
within. Sounds like every Linux install I've done in enterprise situations.
Rather than raising hell about Windows, let's try to participate and become
part of the solution by helping.
Burns thanked Wayne and his associate (who's name escapes me, therefore I've
danced around it in this message) for their presentation.
The beer .SIG took place at the Canal Royal Oak, where I had reserved a room
earlier in the day. Pints quaffed, stories told, wings decimated. The
usual stuff. It seems like we've found a good home for our beer .SIG.
Other notes ...
I took it upon myself (as a loudmouth Board Member) to contact Ralph
Doncaster of ISTOP (my new ISP) about considering a group program for OCLUG,
as many of our members have been consumed by Roger's driven malaise. Ralph
kindly responded quickly, and here's the text of his reply:
What we're able to do for December, is any Rogers cable subscriber that
gives us a copy of the Rogers bill will get free activation. I'm willing
to add 1 month free for OCLUG customers switching to IStop.com. This is
for the residential 1.2M service. My costs on the 3M service don't leave
much room for discounts.
I think this is a great way for our membership to get a good deal, support a
local small business that OPENLY SUPPORTS Linux and solves many of our high
speed issues. ISTOP does not care what we run as servers, does not block
ports and installed painlessly for me (a former cablemodem user in West
Quebec). Do remember to buy a handful of the high frequency line filters
for your phones, as the line noise increases dramatically without choking
off the high frequency DSL stuff. I tried to implement the filter in-line
at my home demarcation point, but the signal loss was too much and I ended
up with a filter on every phone.
As well, some of the OCLUG Board had a Chinese dinner get-together prior to
the meeting in which we talked about many topics, only a few related to the
LUG. We did seem to decide that the Programming Wars contest was about peer
recognition and prestige amongst ourselves, therefore cash prizes and club
purchased items would NOT be our goal. The Board felt that tasteful,
quality personalized plaques were in order, as well as private contributions
from corporate and private donors.
Richard rode his beautiful HPV to the meeting, and awed the membership (me
at least) with a real world example of living your principles in high style.
He chauffered Vic from dinner to the meeting, and Vic indicated the HPV
(human pwered vehicle) was certainly an attention getter!
If I've forgotton anything important, shoot me.
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