COLALUG: The Columbia Linux Users Group

Meeting Minutes - February 9, 2006

Please note: Action items are indicated by bolding the name of the person responsible.

I. The meeting was called to order by Victor at 6:30 PM. He welcomed everyone to the meeting and asked all to fill the sign-in sheet.

II. New Business

A. Club Status: Victor gave a brief overview of the club status and the progress we have made since August 2005

B. Review of November-January: Victor stated that the last three months have been less than ideal in terms of our club activity. Between holidays, room availability and lack of group participation, the club became somewhat inactive during November-January. He stated that from the onset he made it clear that this has to be a joint, group effort, and that no one individual can or should carry the weight of putting together presentations, arranging meetings, etc. Whatever we put into our club is what we will get back. Victor's vision for ColaLUG is one of a vibrant, critical player in the Open Source/Linux community in South Carolina. He encourages everyone to actively participate not only in the meetings and mailing list, but also in the presentations and other events that make our club a valuable resource to the community.

C. Membership Recruitment: The group talked about the methods and benefits of having new members. Recruitment will bring new life to the club and will help spread the work load so that nobody gets burned out. Spread the word around to anyone you may feel is interested in learning more about Linux/Open Source -- the more of us, the better! Jeremy and Nick will be helping with posters at USC; Robert will tackle Fort Jackson and the Free Times. Jeremy and Nick will get us information on becoming an official USC club/organization.

D. Install Fest: We will be having an Install Fest either the third or fourth Saturday in March. Tentatively, we should start around 9 AM and plan on staying way into the late afternoon. One of the previous Fests lasted into the early hours of Sunday!

  1. We will need a few monitors (Victor will have at least four), some test CPUs for people to do/witness an installation if they do not have a system of their own, some networking equipment (Jeremy handling this).

  2. Victor will have at least three computers to be used as door prizes (one will be given out at Noon, one at 2 PM and one at 4 PM) -- more details on specs will be forthcoming.

  3. We need someone to manage having CDs of different distros made. We probably need at least six copies of each.
  4. Can we get "official" CDs from different companies/groups (similar to what Ubuntu does)?
  5. Victor will bring Ubuntu CD packs to be used and given out.

  6. Please contact Victor if you can make copies of distro CDs for the Fest; please let him know how many copies and of what distro.

III. Old Business: none

IV. Education Session: Drivers

The group had an open discussion of drivers: problems, tips, tricks, and resources. This was inspired by the recent discussion on sound cards in the mailing list.

A. Sound cards

  1. Jeremy mentioned looking at the ALSA.conf as a possible source of problem with sound cards.
  2. Nick mentioned manual kernel configuration as a potential solution to many driver problems.

B. Video

  1. NVIDIA better than ATI
  2. New distros are better at detecting video adaptors

C. Printers

  1. Lunuxprinting.com is a good resource for drivers and setup information.
  2. Make sure CUPS is installed and active

D. SCSI: latter versions of the Linux kernel stopped supporting SCSI drives; something may have been left out of the kernel. Older versions recognized the drives but newer instances do not.

E. Wi-Fi

  1. Recommended the MadWifi and Athros chipset

  2. Watch for different chipsets from even the same brand/model of Wi-Fi adaptors; if you need matched units look down to the revision number. This is hard to do with online purchases.

F. Modems

  1. Do not use WinModems

  2. Good brand: U.S. Robotics (pricey but they work with Linux) 3. Stay away from Diamond modems

V. Other Items

A. We were encouraged to let our government representatives know that the move by AT&T and Verizon to charge Google and other similar companies for use of internet pipelines will signify the end of "free" information. Look into the proposals and what they may mean to you and to the internet community. Be informed and proactive on the issues. Money talks and laws are passed in favor of conglomerates that do not have the community's best interest at heart.

B. LUG Radio broadcasts were mentioned as a great resource of information and news.

C. Jeremy will set a message board on ncaabbs.com for the ColaLUG to try.

D. The March training session is tentatively scheduled to be an in-depth look at OpenOffice; Amy Daniels of Airport High School offered to present. Robert will coordinate with her.

VI. Adjournment: the meeting was adjourned at 7:30 PM.

Members Present: Victor Gascon, Robert Guytine, Mikhail Simin, Travis Williams, Bruce Reed, Jeremy Sands, Roger Rowe, Aaron Myers, David Westbury, Nicholas Alston, Doug Griswold.

Please submit additions and corrections to Victor via email at colalug@rune.org.