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CD and DVD availability at meetings.

The Distribution Library & Burning CDs & DVDs at Meetings

With more new members showing up to meetings it seems prudent to provide some sort of CD/DVD Linux-distribution burning facility. It would be nice to provide something like the Freedom Toaster http://www.freedomtoaster.org/, and in fact I've been working on putting together a low-end (Pentium III 1GHz) version of the Toaster for The Working Centre's Computer Recycling Project, which is now in the basement of 66 Queen Street (door on Charles Street - hey, I'm Charles on Charles now). But in the meeting space we have to have something mobile. I propose to bring my notebook which has a DVD/CD Burner. If other members are also willing to burn CDs and DVDs at meetings please feel free to offer to do so at meetings.

Response to dopper: My First Linux Experience

I am glad you had a good first meeting. We did get a good turnout for that talk -- we usually get 20-30 people.

The organization that was mentioned is CLUE: the Canadian Association for Open Source. Visit http://www.cluecan.ca for more information.

Jobs at PeaceWorks

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PeaceWorks is an computer consulting company that caters to nonprofits and charities. They have been doing good work in KW andsurrounding areas for something like 11 years, and they are looking for qualified people who have good technical skills and share their values. There are two job openings: one for a Linux/Windows Client Network Administrator, and one for a Software Consultant. Full job descriptions are posted at http://www.peaceworks.ca/index.php?content=Employment Both jobs are mixed proprietary/FLOSS environments, so this could bea transition job for people who know a lot about Windows and something about Linux, and want to move in a more open-source direction.

New version of LinuxBIOS

New release of LinuxBIOS 2-2536.

The LinuxBIOS team has released a new version of LinuxBIOS 2-2536. The team has listed a number of compelling reasons to use the BIOS:

  • 100% Free Software BIOS (GPL)
  • No royalties or license fees!
  • Fast boot times (3 seconds from power-on to Linux console)
  • Avoids the need for a slow, buggy, proprietary BIOS
  • Runs in 32-Bit protected mode almost from the start
  • Written in C, contains virtually no assembly code
  • Supports a wide variety of hardware and payloads
  • Further features: netboot, serial console, remote flashing

More allegations against Microsoft

Comes v. MS: Plaintiffs Get Right to Inform US DOJ of Alleged MS Noncompliance on APIs
It seems that Microsoft is in hot water again for not properly documenting APIs in accordance with a 2002 ruling against them. The complete story is on Groklaw.

One person, tiger99, commented that "I have had to use some of the documentation that he [Bill Gates] wrote, many years ago, which was undescribably awful. It was only a manual for Basic, which other suppliers invariably were able to produce to a decent standard." This reminds me of how little value you get when you buy Windows. The manuals that come with Windows are thinner than some of the magazines I subscribe to. There's no comparison (weight-wise) between a Microsoft Windows manual and the SuSE 9.2 manuals I got when I bought SuSE 9.2 a couple of years ago. Even better, the SuSE manuals were very well written.

My first LUG experience was at KWLUG and this is how I found it

I discovered the kwlug when I came across a post by Rarsa on the puppy linux forums in my search for a simple distro capable of running on legacy hardware.

He mentioned that he uploaded an XDG-Menu presentation he did for his local Linux users group and his profile said he was from Kitchener, Ontario. I was surprised to see someone so close to home because most of the puppy users and forum contributors were from overseas. I checked out kwlug.org and had been planning on switching from vonage to a VSP/asterisk solution for a while so the next meeting topic was right up my alley. Thanks to John for his presentation and the nice gift.

HOWTO Pay for Free Software

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We stand on the shoulders of giants.

HOWTO Pay for Free Software

This document is a guide to how to pay for your Free Software. A lot of people have put in a lot of time to make your high quality Free Software. They chose to licence it so that you can modify and redistribute it. They often, although not always, gave you the program without requiring that you pay any money for it.

Despite being cheap to obtain the development, testing, and maintenance of the Free Software you use is not negligible in cost, far from it.

KWLUG online library

Lots of folks look at the library during our meetings. Does anybody use it on the web site? Any problems with it?

More pre-meeting ideas/rambling

Earlier in the year I started an hour long session with volunteers at The Working Centre to get them used to using Linux. I did some open office presentations. If people are interested, I could also show them during the pre-meeting.

In an unrelated note... I've also started putting the LUG books into Tellico.

January Pre-meeting notes...

Next meeting at the pre-meeting we'll be showing a 17 minute video about getting "Dad" to switch to Linux. Dad, of course could be anyone with an interest in computers. This should leave lots of time for new Linux user questions and casual conversation.

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