Re: [TTLUG] Multi function - print/fax/scan, possibly copy
- posting when drunk and forgetting spell check .. joy
> it means your happy just settelign iwht whatever is around you nad your
> not willing or even considering what more there is or you can be/do..
> Hassan Voyeau wrote:
> > "To be pleased with one's limits is a wretched state."
> > and how is that so? Could you please explain.
> > On 7/16/07, Deosaran Bisnath <deobisnath@...
> > <mailto:deobisnath%40yahoo.com>> wrote:
> > >
> > > Hi all:
> > > I need to buy one locally, for use now. Recommendations? Where?
> > >
> > > Thanks,
> > >
> > > Deosaran
> > >
> > >
> > > To be pleased with one's limits is a wretched state.
> > > Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
> > >
> > >
> > > ---------------------------------
> > > Moody friends. Drama queens. Your life? Nope! - their life, your
> > > Play Sims Stories at Yahoo! Games.
> > >
> > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
- I just saw this article, actually.
I'm tempted to say "Not in the same way as before".
In the old days, we needed a community that needed to pool knowledge together to make things work properly. While you still hear people complain about things not working, that (to most people) is simply not true anymore. Linux installs just work, in most cases, and give you a better OOBE than most any other OS.
There are still huge Linux communities out there, but they focus on different things than the old-style LUGs did.
It's a dilemna that is faced by any special interest group these days. Don't know what the answer is.
From: TTLUG@yahoogroups.com [mailto:TTLUG@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Kerry Panchoo
Sent: Monday, July 23, 2007 10:56 AM
Subject: [TTLUG] Do we still need LUGs?
Originally Posted on Linux.com
Do we still need LUGs?
By Tina Gasperson on July 18, 2007 (9:00:00 PM)
In the world of Linux, many things have changed in the last decade. The
operating system itself has grown up, and is no longer an "upstart." But
one mainstay of the Linux community, the Linux user group (LUG), appears
to be on the decline in some areas. Attendance is down, LUG presidents
say, and some groups have stopped meeting. Does this mean we don't need
The faithful are more inclined to think that the function of the LUG is
changing from that of an incubator for Linux newbies to a social
gathering for like minds. Others say that even though fewer people
attend LUG meetings, it doesn't change the fact that the LUG is an
indispensable help in an environment where traditional support is often
hard to come by.
A few years ago, LUGs enjoyed a heady heyday. If you were lucky enough
to have a LUG close enough to drive to, you probably attended meetings
regularly. Enthusiasm, both for Linux and the ideals for which it
stands, drove an agenda full of exciting presentations, nights dedicated
to getting a new distribution installed on your desktop, and lots of
free stuff from companies like Red Hat, Corel, and SUSE, who wanted us
to catch the fever.
Today, many LUGs have seen a slowdown in attendance, and some Linux
events typically sponsored by local user groups have ceased to exist,
such as the Atlanta Linux Showcase (ALS). Chris Farris, one of the
founders of ALS and a sponsor of the Atlanta Linux Enthusiasts group,
says the quality of ALE has dropped "since the dot-com-bust period of
2001-2003. For me, part of the drop-off had to do with shutting down
ALS, which was a driver for a lot of my participation in the Linux
community." Farris says that ALE has split into three groups to help
members avoid Atlanta traffic jams: Central, Northeast, and Northwest.
"Northwest has been on and off," he says. "Northeast has a small group
of people who attend -- under 10. Central still gets decent turnout, but
nothing like we saw back in 1995-1998 at Georgia Tech, where we could
fill a 100-person room."
Brad Spry, the contact person for the UNC Charlotte Linux Users Group,
says attendance at that LUG is down, "but the reasons are not cut and
dry." He says that because the LUG is university-based, it's hard to
find a meeting time that works. Because of that, Spry says the most
valuable asset for his group is the listserv. "Email isn't burdened by
time. People can participate whenever they have a chance. It's a busy
Vernard Martin of ALE agrees. "While [ALE] has broken into several
groups, the overall mailing list hasn't fragmented yet, and has many
more people subscribed than actually attend all the meetings combined."
He says that the communication that mailing lists provide shows that the
LUGs still are "quite useful."
The Suncoast Area Linux User Group (SLUG), based in the Tampa Bay area
of Florida, had splinter groups in at least three different counties in
busier days. Now, SLUG is contracting. President Paul Foster says, "This
isn't necessarily a bad thing. I don't know that you have to repair LUGs
because their attendance is down. Times change, the market changes,
conditions change." But Foster doesn't agree that attendees aren't
willing to drive miles to a meeting. "Gas isn't that expensive yet," he
says. "If people don't come, then there's obviously nothing compelling
enough to get them there.
"The height of SLUG was the Tampa meetings at Price Waterhouse Cooper
[office building]. We had a large room, fast Internet access, and power
at each table. Lots of tech talk, lots of questions answered. We had
35-40 per meeting." When the group could no longer provide Internet
access and power outlets, meeting attendance dropped, Foster says. "We
dropped down to maybe 20, and I don't know what it is now.
"I've lost a lot of my enthusiasm for Linux," Foster says. "Here's what
I mean by that: when I first got involved, I was stoked. Windows sucked,
and here was something I could tinker with. I could write programs with
the free compiler, and everything was fairly transparent. At that time,
Linux was not exactly the easiest thing to figure out, though. Installs
required a lot of information I didn't know and didn't have to supply to
Windows. Fast forward 10 years -- I still use Linux almost exclusively
and with no regrets. But now, I know most of what I need to know to do
anything I need to do. Installs don't require me to know much, the
software mostly figures out my hardware. I love Linux. I'm just not
excited about it. It's like buying a new car. It's cool-looking. It
smells like a new car. A few months go by. You still like your car. But
it's now just your car. It's what gets you from point A to point B. You
don't think much about it."
Foster says the conversation at LUG meetings doesn't focus heavily on
Linux anymore. "In general, the discussion ranges from home remodeling
to wives, to Verizon and other evil corporations. I make sure we touch
on Linux at least once a meeting, but that discussion usually lasts for
about 10 minutes. The guys who come are not newbies. They are
engineering types or networking types who work with computers daily. We
don't do presentations, but welcome anyone who wants to bring a box and
have us hack away at it."
For some long-time Linux people, a social gathering is the ideal
scenario. "LUGs provide other things that don't get obsolete, notably a
social context," says Chris Browne, a "troublemaker/shooter" for the
GTALUG in Toronto. "To hobbyists or enthusiasts, much of the point is to
get together with other enthusiasts. The point is to meet socially with
a group of like-minded people."
SLUG member Dylan Hardison says his sole interest in LUGs "has always
been social. I don't think presentations, the promise of new knowledge,
or free stuff has ever been a consideration. All of my geographically
close friends I have met via SLUG. I also met my fianc&eacture;e at a
meeting. Pretty much every job I've ever had has been somehow related to
SLUG or someone I've met through SLUG."
Jeff Waugh, a member of the Sydney, Australia, SLUG, agrees that the
social aspect is valuable. "[It] is still important to the organic,
high-value growth of the userbase, mingling of ideas, and opportunity
for business connections." It's possible that the "social LUG thing"
ends up being the default mode once all the excitement has died down.
"Our LUG doesn't do a whole lot," says longtime Tampa SLUG member
Russell Hires. "We don't really have a cool Web site. We don't have
presentations that often, that I'm aware of. I did one or two myself,
but I admit I didn't do a great job. We've done a few things in the
past, but nothing really lately. We seem to have expertise, but no one
with energy and experience and ability invests a whole lot in our LUG. I
feel like we all wait for someone else to do something."
Spry says he's trying to spur more interest. "One trial balloon I
floated recently was a merger between Linux and Mac user groups. I feel
they have a lot in common now, and would be a stronger group together.
Both groups seemed to warm to the idea, but it has gone nowhere. Apathy
reigns supreme. It seems as if advocacy has become cliché."
Some see the decline in interest as more of a shift in focus from the
operating system to the applications that run on it -- "showing
applications, showing concepts, planting the seed of an idea for what
someone who has just recently installed Linux can do," says Gareth
Greenaway, president of Simi Conejo Linux Users Group. Greenaway says
the Simi LUG has seen lower numbers over the last several years, "mostly
due to the lack of interesting topics at the meetings." Farris says that
ALE's topics have "almost always been about an application that runs on
Linux: Asterisk, MythTV, dosemu, Exchange replacements, TiVo."
"I've never seen a LUG that was kernel-centric, they were always
application centric," says Terry Collins, a computer hardware consultant
based in Australia.
Whatever LUGs are for, and wherever they are headed, no one really wants
them to go away. "We still need LUGs," Farris says. "They provide a
place for professionals, students, and hobbyists to meet, discuss and
Foster sums it up. "You've got a group of people who are generally
extraordinary. They're fairly knowledgeable about a pretty technical
field. They're generally courteous and good-humored and willing to help,
for free. While we don't all attend barbecues at each other's houses,
and we may not agree on politics or religion, we still can count on each
other more or less as friends. That's not a bad reason to have a group
Tina Gasperson writes about business and technology for some of the most
respected publications in the industry. She's been freelancing since 1998.
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