[oclug] Re: ideas for a newbies night
radornato at rogers.com
Thu Mar 5 16:31:03 EST 2009
I'm fairly new to Linux, having started with Ubuntu, and in an effort to learn more have migrated to Slackware.
I'd certainly attend beginner/intermediate sessions like these:
Ideas for subjects/themes that I'd attend
- Command-line basics
- "Why linux is like taking care of your own bicycle"
- FLOSS Software:
-- Open Office, more than just "Word,Excel,PowerPoint"
--- just what are all those other programs that come with OpenOffice?
-- Interactive sessions about the width and breadth of FLOSS software
- Base System Setup night (or 3)
-- Installing (aka installfest, but never having attended one, how much troubleshooting / module tweaking / custom kernel compiling goes on?)
-- getting on-line, browsing & set-up with e-mail
-- basic Security considerations, both GUI & CLI
-- setting up regular back-ups & basic restoring, both GUI & CLI
-Tour of the on-line resources, from the informed viewpoint
-Exploring a distro hour/night:
-- Ubuntu, Fedora, OpenSuse, Slackware, Debian, Arch
- "Welcome to /etc 101"
- Getting a server going:
-- home user file server
-- a wiki (DokuWiki, MediaWiki) and keeping it safe
-- a Mythbox/Boxee/XBMC
- "Just what does a home user need MySQL for anyway?"
- "Just what does a home user need Python for anyway?"
- "Make that old PII-PIII (486? Pentium Pro?) in your basement/garage sale into something" night.
- Lego (Mindstorms) & Linux: Taking advantage of the OpenSourciness
- Just what does an Advanced Linux User do anyways?
- "How to build a HighPerformanceSuperMegaUltraNifty Linux Cluster completely out of solar powered Intel Atom-processors and Open Source Software in the comfort of your own living room, why you should want to, And what to do with it once it's done."
Those are my (mostly) serious topics of interest.
--- On Thu, 3/5/09, R RENAUD <rjrenaud at rogers.com> wrote:
> From: R RENAUD <rjrenaud at rogers.com>
> Subject: Re: [oclug] OCLUG needs a newbies night
> To: oclug at lists.oclug.on.ca
> Cc: oclug-events at lists.oclug.on.ca
> Received: Thursday, March 5, 2009, 2:23 PM
> - Lets start some discussion.
> - Follow up on this mailing list to let us know what talks
> you'd like
> to hear at OCLUG meetings or tutorials.
> - What level of talks, beginner, intermediate, advanced.
> - If you're a beginner but don't know what you need
> to know, send mail
> about that too.
> - Also follow up if you can give a talk about something.
> Even if you
> can give a short talk on something you know about, it
> could still be
> informative for someone just learning that topic.
> Brad Barnett writes:
> | On Thu, 05 Mar 2009 14:51:08 +0000
> | William Case <billlinux at rogers.com> wrote:
> | >
> | > Roland Renaud who has been arranging speakers for
> the last year, has
> | > asked several times for suggested topics. We
> discussed having
> | > lightening talks for newbies and as refresher for
> the rest of us at one
> | > of our recent meetings. If newcomers want
> introductory talks, just
> | > email roland at oclug.on.ca. I am sure there are
> plenty of members who are
> | > willing to do a quick talk and invite people to the
> beer sig for follow
> | > up.
> Rather than sending mail directly to Roland, suggestions
> discussions about meetings and events should go to
> oclug-events at lists.oclug.on.ca.
> That's the official purpose of the list:
> - oclug-events a discussion list and archives - An open
> list used
> to plan special events and coordinate meetings.
> As a subscriber to the list, I'll still read your mail
> and so will others.
> Your ideas on meeting suggestions might inspire other
> suggestions or
> encourage someone to give a talk on that subject.
> By sending mail to the list, you eliminate the need for a
> person to respond to your mail in the event the contact
> person changes
> or is unable to read your email. Fault tolerance eh?
> On that topic, the group will be electing a (possibly) new
> board of
> directors at the April meeting. This is a good time to
> discuss how we
> want to improve OCLUG, its meetings and what we consider to
> be an
> We usually have over 50 people at each meeting. Some
> regardless of the meeting topic but there is also a group
> composed of
> people who only attend if the meeting agenda is interesting
> to them.
> The mailing list is a good way for those people to indicate
> what they
> might be looking for or to volunteer to speak on a
> particular topic.
> | Hi Bill,
> | I think there is a miscommunication here.
> | It isn't really possible for a new Linux user, who is
> attending OCLUG for
> | the first time, and wanting help with his machine.. to
> email Roland
> | three months before he's tried Linux, and request
> I'm reminded of one of my university math professors
> who assumed that
> we understood what he was teaching because there were few
> We had to inform him that we were sometimes unable to
> formulate a
> reasonable question but that didn't indicate we
> understood what he was
> trying to teach.
> I think it's the same for novices, they can't
> request a talk on topic
> "foo" because they don't know that
> "foo" is preventing their computer
> from doing what they expect it to.
> | I think the reoccurring requested theme I've seen
> over this list for the
> | last seven years or so, is a permanent, every meeting
> night, help for
> | novices assist.
> At the March meeting, I asked who considered themselves to
> be 'fairly
> new to Linux' and saw 20 - 25% of the audience raise
> their hands.
> However, OCLUG has been around for a while so we also need
> to keep it
> interesting for the more experienced users.
> We need to discuss how to have a mix of meetings or topics
> at the
> existing meetings that is useful and interesting to the
> range of
> This needs to be discussed further; probably on the
> mailing list since not all members attend the meetings.
> In the unlikely event that the traffic on this list gets
> don't worry, the final results will still end up in
> oclug-announce and
> on the website.
> BTW, who's a novice? Some of us have been using
> computers running
> Unix, Linux and other systems for many years and can claim
> knowledge on certain topics. However, the time we spent on
> topics prevented us from learning others so we are still
> novices on
> those topics. Personally, I'll admit to being a novice
> on many topics.
> | Keep in mind that you may be in a situation where you
> have relatively few
> | novices at the meeting, as meetings are over their head,
> and therefore
> | you have no novices to request tutorials!
> | Chicken and the egg thing, you know. After all, would
> you want to be a
> | member of a club that taught you absolutely nothing
> useful, confused you
> | to no end, because everything was over your head?
> | Would you continue to go to meetings about iptables, you
> name it, when
> | you didn't know what 'ls' was?
> | Note, OCLUG may wish to remain more in the realm of the
> | Frankly, while I've done tons of work in the past
> assisting new users, I
> | have little desire to do so now. I can't think of
> anything more draining
> | than helping grandma learn how to plug a USB flash drive
> into her
> | machine, again and again.
> | Probably a result of working in IT support for years, of
> I've also worked in IT support and although my users
> had more computer
> background than grandma, I appreciate that someone might be
> skilled in
> one aspect of computers but support on a new (to them)
> topic is much
> appreciated. I appreciate that you've had your fill of
> this but it
> still might be useful for OCLUG to pursue. If you're
> there, we'll
> have to give you the tricky ones. :-)
> | Maybe there should be an entirely different meeting night
> for new users,
> | staffed by not-quite-as-new-users. I once was a member
> of a club, that
> | did just that. Other years, said club, always started 2
> hours earlier
> | for novices.
> | Anyhow, just some thoughts.
> | > If there is a huge response we can arrange a
> tutorial night -- or
> | > something.
> OCLUG used to have tutorials on a different night.
> They've recently
> tended to the expert end of the field but we could possibly
> have some
> beginner talks at either a different time or location.
> Most conferences have different tracks for different topics
> novice, expert) but this suggests more speakers and
> probably more
> rooms. I don't know if that would be workable with the
> current size
> of the group.
> Michael Richardson once suggested we have experts track and
> a novice
> track. He thought it could work in a single room but I
> think it would
> be difficult to have simultaneous talks in our current
> I appreciate the room we have at Algonquin but it's
> just not designed
> for simultaneous talks. Maybe we can get T117 and T119 in
> the future?
> Either way, we'd need more speakers to run multiple
> For the last year, I've been speaker
> "co-ordinator" but it has been
> mostly of a job of getting enough speakers to fill the
> meeting rather
> than co-ordinating and selecting which topics would mix to
> make an
> interesting meeting.
> It's been a bit of work but if people want me to,
> I'll try to improve
> on it in the next year.
> We just need more feedback on what types of topics people
> ... and more speakers. :-)
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