[kwlug-disc] KWLUG - The Kitchener Waterloo Linux User Group new content notification: 2010-03-04 11:05

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Thu Mar 4 11:05:02 EST 2010


Greetings mail-forum-merge,

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Recent content - 3 new posts
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1. What is kwlug? [Extracted from a proposal.]
Published Blog entry by bswitzer
[ http://kwlug.org/node/722 ]

What is kwlug?
>From the front page of the kwlug web site http://www.kwlug.org:
KWLUG - The Kitchener-Waterloo Linux User Group is a monthly meeting of
GNU/Linux, Free Software, Open Source and technology enthusiasts. We
meet in Kitchener, Ontario, usually on the first (non-holiday) Monday
of
the month. (Directions) Our meetings are free and open to those with an
interest in Linux. Find out more about our meetings. Join our mailing
lists.
The Kitchener-Waterloo Linux Users' Group is a group of computer
enthusiasts that meet on an ad hoc basis the first non-holiday Monday
of
every month. Using various flavours of Linux as a base, instead of
Microsoft Windows variants, volunteers present on topics that have
caught their interest. Although called a Linux user's group, the focus
is seldom on Linux itself - instead, the focus is on what people do
with
computers, be it browse the web, use maps, edit photos, or program -
typically, experiences apply whether using Linux, Windows, or any other
operating system. The focus is on what we do with computers, not,
generally, the nature of the computers themselves. Inevitably, however,
the very nature of describing something interesting that was done leads
to a technical discussion as to how one goes about doing it.
kwlug is a computer group, it is technical – if you don't mind being
dropped in the deep end of the pool, you will thrive.
kwlug is free and open to all to attend, participate, contribute, or
just lurk. No expertise or experience is necessary, merely a desire to
learn. Come share in the mutual support of like minded people.
It is more accurate to describe kwlug as a free software users' group,
not a Linux users' group. All software used is available via free
internet download. It would be even more accurate to say kwlug is a
FOSS
users' group, a particular type of free software - the important point
is that not only is there no cost to kwlug, there is no cost to the
software. FOSS provides an equal playing field, whether you are a home
hobbyist or a large corporation, being barrier free with a very low,
and
most often no, cost of entrance.
 In most every case, there is a free and popular equivalent to most any
non-free software application. Skills are almost always transferable,
and directly applicable, to proprietary versions.
kwlug is more than just a monthly meeting, it hosts a website at
http://www.kwlug.org, and two mailing lists. [A mailing list is group
e-mail, akin to computer forums or chat groups, but executed via
e-mail.]
There is no cost to be part of kwlug, there is no cost to the software
used - everyone is able to fully participate and expand their horizons
and skills. There is no barrier to entry, and mutual encouragement and
help is but an e-mail away.
* 'FOSS', or Free and Open Source Software, is not an intuitive term,
but it is an important one. Much like 'conservation' seems intuitively
obvious, it quickly becomes quite a complex subject. Excerpting from
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free_and_Open_Source_Software:
Newcomers to the subject can be confused by the term "free". In the
context of free and open source software, "free" is intended to refer
to
the freedom to copy and re-use the software, rather than to the price
of
the software. The Free Software Foundation, an organization that
advocates for free software, suggests that to understand the concept,
one should "think of free as in free speech, not as in free beer".

---

2. OpenStreetMap Redux
Published Nominee by pnijjar
[ http://kwlug.org/node/723 ]

Stephen Palmateer on the KWLUG mailing list suggested that we nominate
OpenStreetMap for the FLOSS Fund. In addition to its usual crusade to
generate openly-licenced map data for the entire world, the project
played a role in helping relief efforts after the January 2010
earthquake in Haiti [1]. 
The project accepts donations via http://donate.openstreetmap.org/ [2]

[1] http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/WikiProject_Haiti
[2] http://donate.openstreetmap.org/

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3. Inspirational Projects
Published Blog entry by pnijjar
[ http://kwlug.org/node/724 ]

Over the years that the FLOSS Fund has been running, I have been
surprised that people have such a hard time finding projects to
nominate. I run into neat projects frequently.
I feel kind of squicky giving you a list (I am NOT suggesting that
y'all nominate these projects), but maybe you can use this list to
inspire yourself:

FreePOPs [3], a neat POP3 proxy I used to rescue my e-mail from
Yahoo!'s servers.
Cacti [4], which is a great tool for graphing network activity.
pfSense [5], which is a pretty nifty firewall project.
TinyMCE [6], which is one of the two major JavaScript editors that let
you do rich-text formatting in text fields. Maybe you're too cool to
use
it, but lack of WYSIWYG support on the web hobbles many people.
OpenWRT [7], which has converted many a consumer-grade router into
something featureful.
TrueCrypt [8], which (although not perfect and not DSFG-free) is an
excellent cross-platform no-cost encryption tool that even
non-technical
users can use.
VLC [9], which makes multimedia tolerable on Free Software platforms.
Imagemagick [10]. Ha ha who uses Imagemagick anymore, right? You might
be surprised.

Squid [11], which is an immensely popular proxy/cache.

These are a few projects which I use and which I find useful (even
inspirational). You probably have some too. Even if you don't nominate
them for the FLOSS Fund, it is worth thinking about them and
appreciating them.

[3] http://www.freepops.org/en/
[4] http://www.cacti.net
[5] http://www.pfsense.org
[6] http://tinymce.moxiecode.com/
[7] http://openwrt.org
[8] http://truecrypt.org
[9] http://www.videolan.org
[10] http://www.imagemagick.org/script/index.php
[11] http://www.squid-cache.org/


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