FLOSS Fund Nominee Schedule

This is the list of FLOSS Fund Nominees in the approximate order in which they will be presented to the group:

Scheduled

OpenSSL
Meeting: May 2014
Nominated by: Darcy Casselman

Waiting

Done

PortableApps.com
Meeting: Dec 2012
Nominated by: Chamunks Arkturus
Donation: $26.00 USD = $26.30CAD
XMBC
Meeting: Nov 2012
Nominated by: Andrew Cant
PostgreSQL
Meeting: Oct 2012
Nominated by: Andrew Cant
Donation: $25USD = $25.01CAD
JQuery
Meeting: Sept 2012
Nominated by: Andrew Cant
No FF (Social night)
Meeting: Aug 2012
Unpaper
Meeting: May 2012
Nominated by: John Kerr
Ardour
Meeting: July 2012
Nominated by: Andrew Cant
Donation: $35USD = $36.42CAD
Ubuntu
Meeting: June 2012
Nominated by: Paul Nijjar
Donation: $25.00USD = $26.02 CAD
TestDisk and PhotoRec
Meeting: April 2012
Nominated by: Chris Irwin
Donation: $36.37 CAD = 27.00EUR
curl and libcurl
Meeting: March 2012
Nominated by: Andrew Cant
Donation: $44.38CAD = $44.25USD
Electronic Frontier Foundation
Meeting: February 2012
Nominated by: Paul Nijjar
Donation: $75.38CAD
MusicBrainz
Meeting: January 2012
Nominated by: Andrew Cant
jXplorer
Meeting: December 2011
Nominated by: Raul Suarez
Donation: $20.97CAD = $20USD
FreedomBox
Meeting: November 2011
Nominated by: Andrew Cant
Donation: $64.64CAD = $60.00USD
Inkscape
Meeting: September 2011
Nominated by: Jonathan Lapsley
Donation: $42.33CAD = $40.30USD
Zim Desktop Wiki
Meeting: August 2011
Nominated by: Raul Suarez
Donation: $61.00CAD = 42.00EUR
HeliOS
Meeting: July 2011
Nominated by: John Kerr
Donation: $76.85USD
ZoneMinder
Meeting: June 2011
Nominated by: John van Ostrand
Donation: $30CAD
Gmote
Meeting: May 2011 (waiting for donation to be made)
Nominated by: Brian Nickle
Donation: $42.75 CAD = $45.00 USD
Firebug
Meeting: April 2011
Nominated by: John van Ostrand
Donation: $49.39CAD=$50.68USD
LibreOffice
Meeting: March 2011
Nominated by: Chris Bruner
git
Meeting: February 2011
Nominated by: Chris Frey
Donation: $54.48CAD=$54.50USD
Audacity
Meeting: January 2011
Nominated by: Paul Nijjar
Donation: $72.30CAD = $71USD
XBMC
Meeting: December 2010
Nominated by: Adam Glauser
Donation: $45.00
PCLinuxOS
Meeting: November 2010
Nominated by: Pete Dixon
Donation: $50.00
davmail
Meeting: October 2010
Nominated by: Ilgiz Lapitov
Donation: $200 USD = $205.16 CAD
OpenWRT
Meeting: September 2010
Nominated by: Bill Switzer
Donation: $109 USD = $111.81 CAD
OSU OSL Open Source Lab at Oregon State University
Meeting: August 2010
Nominated by: Richard Weait
Donation: $103 USD = $110.17 CAD
VLC multimedia player
Meeting: July 2010
Nominated by: Adam Glauser
Donation: 55 EUR = 75.21 CAD
gPodder
Meeting: June 2010
Nominated by: Andrew Cant
Donation: 43 EUR = 57.44 CAD
OpenStreetMap
Meeting: May 2010
Nominated by: Paul Nijjar (for Stephen Palmateer)
Donation: $168.25 CAD
RRDTool
Meeting: April 2010
Nominated by: Andrew Cant
Donation: $37.20USD = $40.00 CAD
OpenBSD
Meeting: March 2010
Nominated by: Paul Nijjar
Donation: $65.00CAD
Linux Mint
Meeting: February 2010
Nominated by: Raul Suarez
Donation: $59.90USD = $65.81CAD
Project Gutenberg
Meeting: January 2010
Nominated by: Chris Frey
Donation: $180USD = $190.26CAD
flameeyes (FLOSS developer)
Meeting: December 2009
Nominated by: Chris Bruner

Donation: 24.00EUR = $36.96CAD

Mermtest86+
Meeting: November 2009
Nominated by: Paul Nijjar

Donation: $$75.00USD = $81ish CAD

CIPPIC
Meeting: October 2009
Nominated by: Khalid Baheyeldin
Donation: $110
OpenLayers
Meeting: September 2009
Nominated by: Andrew Sullivan Cant
Mapnik
Meeting: August 2009
Nominated by Richard Weait
44GBP=$77.65 CAD
GPSBabel
Meeting: July 2009
Nominated by Adam Glauser
$31.22 CAD = $22 USD
The Mozilla Foundation
Meeting: June 2009
Nominated by Adam Glauser
$50.96CAD = $43.71USD
VIM text editor
Meeting: May 2009
Nominated by William Park
Donation: $76.00 CAD -> €48.00
Puppy Linux
Meeting: April 2009
Nominated by Raul Suarez
Donation: $87.01CAD = $71.77USD
Ogg Vorbis Theora
Meeting: March 2009
Nominated by John Kerr
Donation: $85.75 CAD
W3C Validator
Meeting: February 2009
Nominated by Bob Jonkman
Donation: $62.25
OpenVPN
Meeting: January 2009
Nominated by Lori Paniak (aka 4Pi_Guy)
Donation: $71.76
The GIMP
Meeting: December 2008
Nominated by: Richard Weait
Donation: $58.74CAD
Webcam Support (Michel and Sylvie Xhaard)
Meeting: November 2008
Nominated by: Chris Bruner
Donation: $80.59CAD = 50EUR
Internet Archive
Meeting: October 2008
Nominated by: Andrew Cant
Donation: $57.27 CAD = $46.00 USD
Apache Software Foundation
Meeting: September 2008
Nominated by: Adam Glauser
Donation: $63.68
Quanta Plus
Meeting: August 2008
Nominated by: Richard Weait
Donation: $51.00
Drupal Association
Meeting: July 2008
Nominated by: kbahey
Donation: EUR30.00 = $66.00 CAD
OpenOffice.org
Meeting: June 2008
Nominated by: Richard Weait
Donation: USD$65.00
GNU PDF
Meeting: May 2008
Nominated by: Richard Weait
Donation: $71.00
Wikimedia Foundation
Meeting: March 2008
Nominated by: Chris Bruner
Donation: $74.00
LinuxBIOS
Meeting: February 2008
Nominated by: Richard Weait
Donation: $200.00
wxwidgets
Meeting: January 2008
Nominated by: Chris Bruner
Donation: $78.00=$78.30USD
pilot-link
Meeting: December 2007
Nominated by: bswitzer
Donation: $37.01=$36.00USD
Vim text editor
Meeting: November 2007
Nominated by: Paul Nijjar
Donation: $94.05 = 64.26EURO
The LaTeX3 Project
Meeting: October 2007
Nominated by: Adam Glauser
Donation: $55.91
Public Patent Foundation
Meeting: September 2007
Nominated by: Richard Weait
Donation: $157.27 CAD = $153.10 USD
Software in the Public Interest
Meeting: August 2007
Nominated by: Lori Paniak
Donation: $46.00
OpenStreetMap.org
Meeting: July 2007
Nominated by: Richard Weait
Dontation: $56.70CAD = $52.69USD
Drupal
Meeting: June 2007
Nominated by: Kevin Norwood
Donation: $87.57
Free Software Foundation
Meeting: May 2007
Nominated by: Chris Bruner
Donation: $165.75 ($157.27 USD)
FreePBX
Meeting: April 2007
Nominated by: B. Switzer AKA Unsolicited
Contribution: $160
Open Source Labs
Meeting: March 2007
Nominated by: Paul Nijjar
Contribution: $155
CLUE
Meeting: Feburary 2007
Nominated by: Richard Weait
Donation: $177.28

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.

I've kept an odd collection of Linux distributions, including some old versions. Why get an old version when there are so many security flaws? Here's a few reasons I can think of:

  • Compatibility with old commercial Linux titles such as Loki's Eric's Ultimate Solitaire and Heroes of Might and Magic III.
  • System requirements - run on lower hardware resources than many modern distributions.
  • History - some distributions like Corel's CorelLinux no longer exist as they originally were (yes Xandros took CorelLinux over).

Anyway, here's a short list of DVDs I plan to bring to the next meeting:

  • SimplyMepis 6.0-1 [DVD] i386
  • BinToo 2007.1 [DVD]
  • Xandros Desktop 3.0 [DVD]
  • Mandriva 2007 [DVD]
  • SuSE Linux Enterprise Server 10 Eval [DVD]
  • SuSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 10 Eval [DVD]
  • Ubuntu 6.10 [DVD]
  • Ubuntu 6.06 [DVD]
  • Fedora Core 5 [DVD]
  • Fedora Core 4 [DVD]

Here's the short list of CD's:

  • Fedora Core 6 release [5 CDs]
  • Fedora Core 5 release [5 CDs]
  • Red Hat Linux 7.3 [3 CDs]
  • Freespire [1 CD]
  • Ubuntu 6.10 [1 CD]
  • Ubuntu 6.06 LTS [1 CD]
  • Kubuntu 6.06 LTS [1 CD]
  • Ubuntu 6.06 SPARC server [1 CD]
  • Blag 5000 [1 CD]
  • Dynebolic 2.0 [1 CD]
  • Demudi Live 1.2.1 [1 CD]
  • Slackware 10.1 [2 CDs]
  • Vector Linux 5.0.1 SOHO [1 CD]
  • KnoppMyth R5D1 [1 CD]
  • FreeBSD 6.1 [2 CDs]
  • Booth Kiosk [1 CD]
  • NetBSD SPARC [1 CD]
  • Debian SPARC [1 CD] - May 2006
  • Aurora Linux SPARC beta 2 [8 CDs]
  • Corel Linux OS Open Circulation CD-ROM [1 CD]
  • Knoppix 4.0.2 [1 CD]
  • WCLP 0.8.1 [1 CD]
  • Ubuntu 5.10 PPC [2 CDs]
  • NetBSD PPC [1 CD]
  • g4u [1 CD]
  • Ubuntu 5.10 install [1 CD]

I have some other CDs and DVDs which I can hopefully dig up before the meeting. Please note that I won't be bringing any blank CDs or DVDs with me. For longer sets (i.e. 8CD Aurora we'll either have to employ several machines or make the burned CDs available the following month). We also still have 7 DVDs of Fedora Core 4 to give away.

I'm open to better ideas of course.

Cheers,

Charles

Comments

The freedom toaster is awesome.

<a href="http://linuxcaffe.com/">Linuxcaffe</a&gt; in Toronto burns distros in-house. Perhaps you can contact them and find out how they have implemented it. *thinks to self* <em>I bet that would be a cool presentation</em>

Jobs at PeaceWorks

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.

- Paul

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

Of course with 64-bit technology all the rage the team has some catching up to do. But it looks like there are quite a few LinuxBIOS deployments already in clusters, servers, embedded solutions, and notebooks (the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC)). It might be interesting to play around with the LinuxBIOS on a couple of machines. Presentation?

Comments

[Gotta like RSS.]

Have you any experience with running this yourself? e.g. Does one order a PROM, flash one's own BIOS, or ???

(Sounds like a presentation topic to me! (-:)

<code>[color=#997e33]© B. Switzer - ALL rights reserved. No duplication in whole, or in part, permitted.[/color]</code>

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.

Another person, OmniGeek, cynically pointed out that it isn't likely anything would come of the new allegations given the current administration in place:

"Given the current administration's less-than-stellar record regarding political
interference with science, and their evident willingness to subvert the due
process of law for their own convenience, I think it rather likely that this
request will be binned with the rest as "not containing responsive
information," and will be ignored." I'm apt to agree with OmniGeek. Before George W. Bush was sworn into office it looked like Microsoft was in for a devastating time. As soon as Bush got the situation practically reversed itself.

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.

I was astonished just by the number of people that were present and on top of that, the fact that it wasn't a complete sausagefest. It's a nice change to see both genders taking an interest in technology.

I'm looking forward to playing with trixbox and openstreetmap in the near future. I heard someone mention a Nominee for the FLOSS fund which I'm very interesting in learning more about. It was an organization devoted to educating the Canadian government about the benefits of OSS on a federal, provincial and municipal level. I've taken more of an interest in government OSS usage since I read time management for system administrators and the puppy research was actually for a system I'm donating to a first time computer user on town council who just needs web browsing, email and word processing.

It was a great evening (excluding the bad weather driving from Orangeville) and thank you to all the people who make the meeting possible.

HOWTO Pay for Free Software

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. But unlike proprietary, commercial software, there are ways you can pay for Free Software that aren't money.

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?

Comments

The Working Centre's Computer Recycling Project is moving to 66 Queen Street (door on Charles Street), which means the LUG Library will come with us. One of the things I had planned for the new location was a couple of walls of books, like what exists in the Cafe.

I've been using Tellico to manage my own book collection. Tellico's a gem because all you have to do to enter a new book is enter the ISBN number, save the record, then update it from online sources. Tellico also has a Checkout feature with a due date. It can also create reminders that a book is due (but only on the Tellico box - it doesn't email out reminders).

Since we'll probably end up with extended hours (and open more often) the library will be available to anyone regular days (I'm thinking hours like 10:30-6 to allow for those who get off work at 5).

Hi Richard! Sorry to have to post like this, but I seem to be unable to access the reply message you sent me, I get an "unauthorized" message even though I'm logged in and authorized for almost everything under the sun.

This also brings up the subject of user to user mail on the system, it isn't as apparent as it was on the old system. There is no mail tab, nor link under the username section on the right of the screen (below Upcoming events) where I'd expect mail to be. Even under my account there seems to be no mail sub-system. Of course one can click on a user name to send mail, but I think mail might need a bit more prominence on the web site.

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.

Comments

From the web site:

<cite><a href="http://periapsis.org/tellico/">Tellico</a&gt; is a KDE application for organizing your collections. It provides default templates for books, bibliographies, videos, music, video games, coins, stamps, trading cards, comic books, and wines.</cite>

Tellico uses XML to store data rather than an sql data base.

In reply to by richard

Thanks for pointing those details out Richard. It's a great little program. All you have to do to record a book is enter the ISBN number and do a lookup on the book, makes book entry a snap.

So I have 2 thoughts about Tellico. One thought involves bringing a small computer with it to LUG meetings so people can just sign the books out on the computer. The other is just continuing to use the sign out forms and I spend one hour updating the database a month. It's not a big job to do, and I'm in a better position to do it now than I was six months ago.

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.

Computers for a school in El Salvador

Raul S. mention at the last meeting that he has a friend who was sending computers to El Salvador. Coincidentally, The Working Centre is currently working on sending 15 computers to Meanguera del Golfo in El Salvador. I have 15 Pentium III's, but I'm short on hard drives above 6GB.

At first I thought I might install the K12 Linux Terminal Server Project and make the boxes diskless. But I think I'll just make 1 Samba file server and put 3-4GB hard drives in the rest with The Working Centre Linux Project on the client computers.

I already have a Pentium III 800MHz with 512MB RAM (which I'm upgrading to 1GB) ready to act as the Samba server. If anyone from the LUG is interested in helping build the client machines please give me a shout at work (519)749-9177 x. 255, or contact me through the list.

Intro to OpenStreetMap.org

OpenStreetMap is a project aimed squarely at creating and providing free geographic data such as street maps to anyone who wants them; the project was started because most maps you think of as free actually have legal or technical restrictions on their use, holding back people from using them in creative, productive or unexpected ways."

An introduction to the Who, What, Where, Why of OSM will be followed by a demo of the steps in collecting, categorizing and contributing data to OSM.

Comments

Intro to OpenStreetMap.org was presented Tuesday 12 December 2006 at <a href="http://hosug.org/">the Hamilton Open Source User Group</a>.

Comment spammers

There have been several comment spammers recently. KWLUG members have been helping to delete these comments. Thank you.

We'll have a new web site circa February with more automated spam-control. Until then keep removing spam where you see it, and deactivate those accounts by choosing "blocked" in the user account. If this is more maintenance than we want to do then we can switch comments back off.

Organizing Cambridge LUG

There are already LUG in Cambridge, Massachusetts and Cambridge, England. Why not Cambridge, Ontario? Well, now there is a LUG in Cambridge, Ontario. Or there will be, shortly.

CambridgeLUG Will hold pre-meetings, in December 2006 and January 2007 before the official grand Opening in February 2007.

The December, Organizational Meeting invites the participation and input of those interested in helping to form and mold Cambridge LUG.

The January 2007 Founders Meeting will embrace and extend the work of the first meeting. We'll discuss upcoming meeting schedules, topics for presentations and other matters of the LUG. We'll have our first presentation too.

The Grand Opening in February 2007 will feature clowns, dancing bears, an air show, and an audience give-away that will make Oprah look like a skinflint the wonderful embodient of our plans from the previous meetings. You might recognize some of the features of KWLUG meetings in Cambridge, and you might recognize some of the faces.

Come on out and be part of Cambridge LUG, as a complement to your participation in KWLUG.

Public Patent Foundation

The Public Patent Foundation is a US-based non-profit. They fight bad patents and bad patent policy. They argue that software patents are particularly bad and they use the legal system to have bad patents overturned, surrendered or rejected.

The Public Patent Foundation (“PUBPAT”) is a not-for-profit legal services organization that represents the public's interests against the harms caused by the patent system, particularly the harms caused by wrongly issued patents and unsound patent policy. PUBPAT provides the general public and specific persons or entities otherwise deprived of access to the system governing patents with representation, education and advocacy.-- from PubPat web site.

You can support this excellent and important advocacy by donating money, or time as a legal or technical expert.

Comments

From their page, http://www.pubpat.org/About.htm:

> Many patents granted by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office are wrongly issued.

As far as I know, U.S. patents don't apply to Canada. Beyond the point that a U.S. producer wants a patent, and if they don't get it they stop. If they do get it they then go for matching patents in other countries. [Is there not an international patent body?]

Is there a Canadian organization, or equivalent, to support?

For example, clicking support, then partners, reveals http://www.pubpat.org/Partners_and_Providers.htm, and, for example, the E.F.F. http://action.eff.org/site/PageServer?pagename=DON_splash_CANADA

<code>[color=#997e33]© B. Switzer - ALL rights reserved. No duplication in whole, or in part, permitted.[/color]</code>

KWLUG Copyright / License

What to do? What to do?

B. pointed out that the KWLUG web site (this site) claims © KWLUG at the bottom of each page. It does this because I put it there when assembling the template for the page. What should the content license for the KWLUG web site really be? I think that the cc-by license is ideal for text content.

Comments

Hmmm.

Not sure I like the free to copy part. Maybe I'm just being paranoid. [Think e-mail forwarded beyond what it should be, with others comments added, getting to the wrong place, such as back to the original author.]

Yet I know that such paranoia is diametrically opposed to the spirit.

Like you say ... What to do? What to do?

Think I recently heard on the news about a bank running an IPO for someone, where an employee let the cat out of the bag. The bank is no longer allowed to participate now.

<code>© B. Switzer - No copying or duplication in whole or in part permitted.</code>

Topic Requests?

 
So I was saying to Ward (Mr. River), just the other day, here's some presentation topics. Whether or not he was interested, he still got them, and, by the way, I can't do them I said. Nipping that thought in the bud, as soon as possible. As I slunk away ...

Nice guy, that Mr. River. But he's always asking US to DO stuff. Can't imagine why. Probably something to do with these meetings going on, with time to fill, and sometimes having to scratch to get something to fill it with. I guess his alter ego doesn't want the audience to hit a saturation point with him too soon.

"If you want to talk, we want to listen."

"You can even be a Windows user, and escape the building without needing medical attention!" (But we WILL try to convert you!) [Repeatedly.]

Don't forget, at least IMO, K-W LUG isn't so much about Linux, as it is neat things you can do with a computer (preferably under GNU/Linux). It's all about applications. Or news of general interest to the computer world (preferably with a GNU/Linux slant).

So I, not infrequently, ruminate to myself, surely I can present or contribute something, but what? More urgently, how? I know it doesn't have to be long. Even 2 minutes. "Hey, I found this neat web page!", "Discuss!" Then as the moderator's hook comes out to kindly but firmly, and not taking no for an answer, "OK, discuss next meeting then!", "Harumph!!"

You won't find a kinder, more gentle audience, anywhere. If you can take some ribbing, some times. And when you do, the rest will be laughing with you, not at you. That's for sure. Many have been in the same place you'll find yourself, and just as anxious about it. Many still are. But that's a good thing. (Stop cooking with cheese!)

Should have thought of this a LONG time ago.

Assumption: One of the reasons people don't present more is:

  1. fear of the unknown, and
  2. fear of having to take time away from other things to honour presentation commitments made.

So ... make more of the unknown, known.

So here's some calls for separate presentations on:

  • 'Using the K-W Lug website.' Demo what's there. Particularly, how to use it / post content post-meeting if you happen to make a presentation.
  • 'How to MC a meeting'. The mc's themselves know (now?), how much / little work is involved here, but does anyone else?
  • 'K-W LUG Presenting 101'. What facilities are available. Set up / take down. e.g. Bring your own USB mouse! How to post back to website. Most importantly how easy it is (I can only assume) to make up slides / you just need to bring in your USB key, not your computer, etc. [Demo making slides for 'How to make a sandcastle' or something. Presumably using pages. OO Impress templates (http://documentation.openoffice.org/tutorials/index.html).]

A key point being ... get the results on the web site. Refer to these every meeting. Re-present them at least once a year, if not twice. And not in August, assuming that's the lowest turnout day of the year. Probably September is good. And January or February? [Catch those sleepy students coming back, unawares!]

Anyways ... so after the last meeting, many of us toddled off to Zeke's again. Arguably at least as good and important a part of the meetings as the meetings themselves. The stuff you hear is simply so interesting and fascinating. (Beer and waitresses don't hurt either! Too bad we missed Oktoberfest!). But even more, the sheer variety and depth and goodwill of the people present is just so astonishing.

I did have to compliment Chris' son. Perhaps so profusely that he took me as ingenuous - which would be unfortunate. At that age, they have so much more time to dig into something than when you're older and have to worry about such things as water bills ... Their enthusiasm and expertise comes through so strongly, and us older (BUT NOT ELDER, YET) folk get to see something really neat.

Anyways. Chris happened to mention that to show a Windows user Linux with Blender, without impacting a computer where the parents are already computer phobic ... one would have to re-master a Knoppix (or other LiveCD). So ...

More calls for separate presentations on:

  • Live CDs (Knoppix, Ubuntu, whatever) - why do they matter?
    Don't descend into:
    - hard disk repair (requires significant expertise as to knowing what one is doing)
    - to introduce Linux to non-Linux/computer people.

    Do descend into:
    - to validate that one's hardware is indeed working, a driver is missing, a file is corrupted, or there is some other reason why something isn't working. But you can prove that what you have isn't broken, or go out and buy something else.

    - perhaps to quickly network 2 disparate friend's computers for file transfer? Samba?
    - ftp, telnet, web? And thus not committing yourself to opening such security holes on a permanent basis?
    - probably too late, but it occurs to me there's going to be a lot of non-functional hardware Boxing Day.

  • Live CDs (mastering, and windows versions) - why do they matter
    - create a Linux Blender demo disk for a Windows ppsychically trapped user?
    - adding drivers as needed for the presentation above.
    - boot windows to prove hardware you don't have Linux drivers for, yet, and perhaps one needs certain windows files to get it working under Linux? Config files? Driver files? Boot internet explorer to get to the download site that doesn't work under Firefox. Or something.
    - presumably Bart's PE, although I think there's another one out there too.

</rant>

Cheers.

Computer retailng... from a consumers' point of view

Computer retailng... from a consumers' point of view

First of all, I do understand that the computer reseller
business is a very tough segment of the retail business
to be in. Not many folks understand this. This includes
people who have been in computing for some time. Many
consumers do not realise the low markup there is on new
equipment. I know, because I loooked into it. You do not
have to, trust me on this one: profit margins are slim on
equipment. Factor in the the big box stores like Best Buy,
Staples etc and the small computer store has an uphill battle.
There are many items that the small store cannot buy at the
price Staples sells for. But, this is not new, and it has
been happening for years in other segments of retail as well.
On this point, I do not know why people think that a Zellers
is any better than a Wal-Mart.

However, what ticks me off is that so many local stores have the
same products. There is no variety. Try to buy a hardware
modem, for under $50.00 in Guelph. This means a non US Robotics
product, and they are available, TigerDirect has them. Any KVM
switches I saw in Guelph were a tad high in price. I found one
on sale at TigerDirect for $29.00.

As much as I dislike going to a big box store, and as much as
I want to buy locally, my economic means forced me to act
otherwise. A clarification here: I was in Toronto anyway when
I bought my KVM switch from TigerDirect. But if I was going to
buy a new monitor (as I did last month) it was worth the drive
as I had over 20 monitors to choose from, and they were all on
display -- working. Number of new monitors on display at the
local computer shop: zero. Do I blame them? HECK NO!

The reason that I am so happy to see FactoryDirect open in KW is that
they have neat stuff at a good prices. Will they hurt the local
computer shop? Not really, given the low markup on equipment in
the first place. In fact, the off-lease stuff that they sell will
need repair some day, and that is where the little shops come in.

The little shops are better at serving small to medium sized business
as well. Small business is not as price driven either, but they expect
service. Spending an hour on a customer who wants to buy one computer
is not worth their while. In fact they may not be able to afford to.
Unless it is a slow day. Very slow.

If you want product X and you want it NOW go to Staples or Best Buy.
But if you can wait for a sale... a big box discounter is the place...

I do dislike bigboxism, but is there any choice? I think not.

That is my opinionated 2 cents CDN worth.
Cheers!!

John

Site Map vs. Site Menu

The discerning reader will see that there is both a site map and a sitemenu link at the top. Their functionalities overlap. But neither one of them seems ideal:

* Sitemenu expands categories and shows some of the sub articles, but doesn't give RSS feeds and doesn't list blogs, books, etc.
* Site map has RSS feeds, but doesn't expand categories.
* Neither one of them include static pages in the map, which is unfortunate because I would like to link to things like the pages in the "Resources" section.

One of these maps should go, and maybe we should keep a different one. Which should go? Which should we keep?