[oclug] 2004 President's Report
vic at gedris.org
Wed Apr 21 23:43:25 EDT 2004
Here is the President's Report that Mike Soulier delivered on my behalf
at the OCLUG annual general meeting earlier this month.
Vic Gedris here, your humble outgoing OCLUG president. The reason why I
don't look the same as usual is that the person reading this President's
Report is actually Mike Soulier, your outgoing OCLUG vice-president. I
haven't been able to make it to the regular OCLUG meetings recently, so
Mike is taking care of this speech. I do have a good excuse for not
being here, however. On Tuesday nights I teach a Linux class at
Algonquin College! I will try to keep this speech as short as possible
so that Mike doesn't wear out his voice or bore you folks to death.
This month marks the end of OCLUG's 7th year of operation, and 3rd year
as a formal incorporated not-for-profit organization. Things have
grown, changed, and evolved since I first joined OCLUG at the end of
1997, and the fact that so many of us have stuck around hopefully means
that we've been doing something right all these years!
I'm glad I had the chance to serve as president again for the 2003-2004
year. The board of directors this year brought in quite a few fresh new
faces to the team. Only 4 of the elected members had been on previous
boards. The dynamics of this team were good too, as everyone seemed to
be from different backgrounds. Although we didn't always agree on
everything, I think we usually did a fine job of working together and
getting things done when necessary. The elected board of directors
Vic Gedris (President)
Peter Bojanic (Vice President)
Raymond Wood (Secretary)
Mike Kenzie (Treasurer)
and Raj Thukral
Peter Bojanic, who was doing a fantastic job on the OCLUG board, helping
to keep our board meetings on track and getting all the details sorted
out for our monthly meetings, had to step down shortly after the
election due to other obligations. In his place, the board nominated
Warren Layton as a replacement board member, and also moved Mike Soulier
into the Vice President role. It was with this lineup that we carried
through the rest of the year.
It was another busy year for OCLUG. It seemed like we were constantly
organizing some sort of activity, whether it was monthly meetings,
tutorials at ExitCertified, or various other special events that often
involved collaboration with other groups.
This year we finally settled on a hopefully steady time and location for
our monthly meetings by keeping our room booking for the Ottawa Public
Library paid for well in advance. Overall, our monthly meetings went
quite smoothly, and we had an excellent selection of volunteer speakers.
Admittedly, there are still a few wrinkles to iron out, such as making
sure that we consistently have a projector available to our presenters,
and to try and get speaking schedules set up sooner. I don't want to
bore you with a complete list of volunteers who spoke at our meetings
over the last year, but a few highlights that come to mind are:
- Matthew Wilcox, who gave us talks about PGP, PCI, and other
three-letter acronyms that start with "P". Matthew also stepped up
to the podium several times to help keep us entertained during
- Kyle McMartin, who introduced us to the features of the new 2.6
version of the Linux Kernel
- James Puderer, who showed us that with a free operating system and
some inexpensive hardware, you can build a fancy answering machine
- And of course, we also had Robert Love, a kernel hacker working for
Ximian / Novell, who is helping to get Linux optimised for desktop
use. Thanks to Andrew Hutton and everyone else involve in bringing
Robert all the way from Florida to Ottawa during the winter!
For over three years now, ExitCertified, a training centre here in
Ottawa that specializes in Sun, Veritas, and Linux-related training, has
been offering OCLUG free use of their facilities to hold our monthly
tutorial sessions. The turnout for these sessions has been fantastic,
with typically more than 20 people packed into their classrooms. These
clases have been so popular, that I usually have to turn people back
every month. Although it's unfortuante that we have to turn people
away, it makes me happy that OCLUG members are finding these tutorials
to be so useful!
The tutorials covered topics that attracted a wide range of people.
Everyone from newbies to more experienced Linux users came to the
- Apache Tomcat
- Red Hat and Debian packaging
- Shell Scripting
- ....and more.
There were, of course, many other people involved in our monthly
meetings and tutorials. Too many to name them all. But as you can see,
OCLUG relies heavily on our volunteer members to step forward and
present topics, or to seek out other interesting speakers from far-off
places. Everyone's efforts are very appreciated! I look forward to to
many more years of interesting presentations. Have *you* considred
Besides the monthly OCLUG meetings and tutorials at ExitCertified, OCLUG
was involved in several other events this year:
Back in May, the Electric Vehicle Council of Ottawa invited OCLUG to
their annual "Electrathon" event to help with their scoring and judging
system. EVCO, the Human powered Vehicle Operators of Ottawa, and OCLUG
seemed like such a natural fit together at an event like this.
Of course, the third annual "Linux in the Wild" picnic took place back
in July. It was a chance for OCLUG members to do something ususual,
like get out in the sunshine! Randal Leavitt took the lead on getting
this event organized, and made sure that we were all *very* well fed.
We even had a few "celebrity" Linux hackers at the picnic again.
"Rusty" Russel and Ted Tso came all the way to Ottawa for our picnic,
and also decided to drop in to the Linux Kernel Summit and Ottawa Linux
Symposium later that week. OCLUG finally had some t-shirts printed up
for this event as well, for the first time since 1997 (does anyone
remember those shirts??). Sasa Gyoker was responsible for the artwork.
July was full of Linux events. In addition to LITW, OCLUG also
participated in the University of Ottawa's "Linuxfest". OCLUG members
helped perform Linux installations, and volunteered to give talks and
tutorials about various topics.
In September, Jim Elliot from IBM invited OCLUG to participate in the
IBM Linux Roadshow at the Chateau Laurier. A group of OCLUG volunteers
were there for the day, giving out free Linux CDs and information about
OCLUG to the many representatives from Canadian government organizations
And most recently, many OCLUG members participated in the Open Source
Weekend at Carleton University. The OSW volunteers, who consist of
members of OCLUG, OCUUG, Ottawa Perl Mongers, students from Carleton and
OttawaU, and other local groups, really did a great job pulling this
event off. OCLUG had our own booth at this event, and many of our
members gave talks and helped spread the good word about Linux and Open
Source software. Another milestone for OCLUG was that we *finally* got
a run of customized OCLUG Knoppix CDs printed off! This customzed Linux
demo CD was put together by Zack Sprackett and Jody McIntyre, with
funding from OCLUG, the Canadian Linux Users Exchange, and Steamballoon.
Many thanks to everyone involved in getting that together! There should
be copies of it available at today's meeting, so be sure to pick up a
few to give to friends.
On the topic of OCLUG's finances: This year, OCLUG has managed to put
itself into a decent financial situation. Donations and other monies
collected at our events have allowed us to easily pay for a full year's
room rental at the library, finance our events, put away some money for
future use, and have some extra cash around for other upcoming bills.
In a few minutes, Don Chiasson will provide us with an auditor's report,
and if you have any questions about OCLUG's finances, you can speak to
Don or OCLUG's treasurer, Mike Kenzie.
In addition to all of the people I've mentioned during this speech, I
would like to thank everyone else who has been to an OCLUG meeting,
spoken up on our mailing lists, dropped in to chat at our Beer-SIGs, and
helped out in every other way. OCLUG is as strong as our membership, so
the more people we have helping out, the stronger the group gets.
Although I'm not running for the board again, I do plan on coming out to
OCLUG events and volunteering when I can.
I'm looking forward to OCLUG's continued growth and progress, and I wish
the new board the best of luck in keeping the ball rolling. It has been
Vic Gedris April 5, 2004.
Vic Gedris | Sick of getting Microsoft email viruses? Try
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