View Full Version : Great Meetup Everyone!

April 2nd, 2007, 02:45 AM
I just want to thank everyone that came out to meet and discuss the new Ubuntu Maryland Loco group. To those that showed up at the show but could not find us, I apologize. It was not mentioned to me by any of the Hamfest contacts that the Exhibition Hall meeting room was in <ironicly?> the Vista building across the way.

Even with that initial confusion we had a bakers dozen worth of people show up. As we went around the room and introduced ourselves, we found three were there under duress of their S/O or family, but we'll still count them! It was a good mix of people and a great range of knowledge, from just starting with Ubuntu, to 'just a user' level, to people who work in Ubuntu and Linux. Everyone there came with the general desire to publicize and bring Ubuntu and Free Software to the masses. Over the next couple of hours, we discussed our various experiences with Ubuntu and free software. We talked about ideas on how to share Free Software. Everyone had some great ideas of what they envision us as a group doing. With those thoughts to generate discussion we were able to come up with some excellent starting points.

Once the main discussion was completed we broke out to smaller groups and held various conversations about a wide range of topics. It was a great two hours that we got to spend together as a group. I have much hope for what we will be able to accomplish.

Here is a summery of what ideas that came about:

- Learning Centers - Find community and non-profit groups that need updated computer systems yet cannot afford newer hardware and licenses.

- Ubuntu Knowledge Portal - A guide to getting started with Ubuntu including tutorials and hardware guides including brand names to assist 'regular users' rather than chipset identification.

- Ubuntu Loco Team Fliers - To be given out at thrift shops, charities, and businesses that sell off/give PCs to employees and cannot provide a licensed copy of MS Windows. In addition provide discs to organizations to be given away with the machines.

- Customize Ubuntu for the MD Loco team - Customize an Ubuntu distribution to provide custom background, icons, and links within Firefox.

- Local Computer Shops - Provide fliers, discs to local computer shops for them to install as an option or dual boot to Windows on their PCs.

- Publicity - This would come in the form of local TV news and news papers. Publicizing what we are doing via the community and technology segments. Also coming up with commercials to run on cable stations.

- Howard County Library - There's so much to say here. We were lucky to have Luis Salazar, one of the creators of the Lumix (http://www.newsforge.com/article.pl?sid=04/05/03/1520209) distribution. This was the distribution that the Howard County Library system used before migrating to Groovix, (http://groovix.com/groovix_software.html) an Ubuntu affiliate. Over time they have saved over $1 million in technology costs by using Ubuntu and Free Software. As a group we came up with the following ideas, and Luis was right there to say 'We can (or pretty sure we can) do this at the library.

1. Monthly meeting for the Ubuntu Loco group. This is set to go the third Thursday of the month at the Central branch of the HC Library at 7:30pm.
2. Provide Ubuntu disks. Our friends from the DC Loco team showed up with two boxes of the Canonical provided Ubuntu 6.06 LTS ship-it version. Luis happily took them to hand out at the library.
3. Providing space and bandwidth to do an install fest. I think this idea needed some more cooking before we say it's done, but it's something we will do somewhere.
4. The HC Library provides a learning program and we discussed teaching classes base around using Ubuntu.
5. Acquiring Ubuntu books for the stacks. This was under my questioning as they were unavailable the last time I checked. Now that I check it again there are Ubuntu books in stock and/or on order.

- Softer Aluminum foil for the hats. There were some compaints that the current batches of tin foil hats were rough on the head. We'll see what we can do about a gentler alternative to the mainstream version.

Once again, thanks to all who turned out and those that had the desire but were unable to attend. If I forgot to mention anyone's ideas I apologize and please add a note to this thread!

We will meet again at the Howard County Library Central Branch (http://www.hclibrary.org/locations/central.php)on April 19th at 7:30pm. Keep the ideas flowing and we'll talk about them in person at that time.

Chuck Frain