We had a great turn-out tonight -- thank you all for coming to the meeting and sharing your thoughts and ideas! We had approximately 15 members present.

Action Items

These are the action items from today's meeting:

  • There is a proposal to move the meetings from the first Wednesday to the first Thursday of every month. Those present at the meeting approved the change; however, Stuart suggested asking those on the mailing list that could not attend today's meeting for comments or objections. Please email the list if you have any comments/objections/ideas concerning the proposed change.
  • I volunteered to be the new President of the ColaLUG; the nomination was seconded and members voted in favor of such. In the next few days I will send an email to the list with details on my vision for the club and what I believe is needed to make that vision happen. Among the items I will share are the list of club officers and proposed responsibilities.
  • Stuart Anderson will contact Steven Nance to transfer the colalug.org domain.
  • It was suggested that we abandon the PHPNuke website format. Stuart will implement a Wiki (please see http://www.wikipedia.com) approach to the website.

  • Steve Phillips will work with Stuart to point the "lugnut.org" domain (which Steve owns) to a part of the new Wiki ColaLUG website. The lugnut.org page will be a starting point for novices but will also be linked to the main ColaLUG website.
  • We will begin posting minutes from every meeting on the mailing list and the website. We will also ensure that the presentation materials are posted on the website. This will become a very valuable resource and will also attract current and new members to our meetings.
  • The tentative September meeting's theme: "What is Linux?" (including a demonstration on how to install it). Mike Wescott will do the live installation demo. A detailed agenda will be sent in the next two weeks.

Other Items Discussed

  • We had many great ideas on what needs to be covered during the training sessions. Among the concepts presented were: 1) install fests (this requires significant preparation and commitment from members)
    • Steve suggested doing the installations from USB hard drives or a server rather than CDs; Victor has two external drive cases and 40 Gb drives that could be used for this.
    • We need to set a suggested minimum hardware for those that want to bring their equipment
    2) splitting meeting presentations into two (one basic and one intermediate or advanced) each night. 3) having two meetings per month: one for basic subjects and one for advanced topics 4) make presentations about practical matters; people want to know how to get things done with Linux 5) a portion of each meeting should be dedicated to a Question and Answer session in which we can discuss real-life situations/problems and try to come up with possible solutions. 6) We have three audiences in the LUG: novices (majority?), very few intermediate, and some advanced. Some of the advanced users specialize in an area (for example, servers) and are not strong in other parts of Linux (i.e., desktop applications).
  • Our current location has Internet access (and Stuart may be able to line up one or two other locations in case of an emergency). A crossover cable is needed at all times (one is in the closet); the remote for the projector was missing tonight.
  • Stuart will work with Mike Wescott to migrate the current mailing list (from Majordomo to Mailman [?]).
  • It was suggested to visit the local PC club and invite them to a LUGNUT meeting (especially an install fest).
  • We are tentatively aiming to have an install fest in late September or early October.
  • Stuart brought a super-neat "gadget" that will be launched next month. It is a thumb-size server! The complete computer is about 3" long and 1.25" wide (those are my guesstimates) and connects to the USB port of any machine. On a Windows system, the host will recognize two new devices (a CD-ROM and a network adapter). You can then launch server applications to connect you to a network (such as your work's VPN) with extreme security. The particular piece that Stuart brought even has a thumbprint reader. Stuart is offering a substantial reward to anyone that writes interesting applications for this type of device -- contact him directly if you are interested! More information can be obtained at http://www.projectblackdog.com.

  • There was a significant discussion on the weaknesses of Linux concerning hardware recognition. For example, some common (modern) printers do not work in Linux; other devices (IR items, cameras, etc.) may not work or function only after significant tweaking. This is a major drawback to Linux compared to Windows, especially in the eyes of a new user that is used to the complete plug-and-play world of Windows.
  • Steve mentioned that many changes in industry happen when vendors establish new standards. For example, if a product a company wants is offered only in a Linux platform, then the customer will buy and adopt Linux. Other forces driving the continued success of Linux are industry dependent (the example of an inter-bank transaction package that was written in Germany for Linux, then was adopted in all of Europe, has finally reached the US and now the American banks are telling vendors [like Oracle] that they want this Linux application!). On the consumer field, people are increasingly frustrated with viruses and other malware that constantly infects Windows machines but is not seen in Linux boxes.
  • We had an after-the-meeting talk on how to use Windows drivers (for example, for NICs) in Linux. If you were part of the discussion, please send any information to the list!


ADDENDUM

  • ColaLUG is now eight years old! Stuart mentioned this fact during the meeting and Steven Nance emailed to confirm that the first meeting was held on August 5th, 1997, at 8:30 PM, Barnes & Noble on Harbison Blvd.


Please send any comments and/or corrections to these minutes and I will incorporate them in the "official" copy to be posted on the website.

I want to thank all those that have helped in the past: Stuart, Mike, Ernie, and everyone that has made presentations or assisted with install fests and other events. I hope you will continue to help us grow as a club so that we can spread the Open Source and Linux word to those in the Midlands.

Take care!

-= Victor =-