Sunday, November 16, 2008

Networking heaven

This weekend, another few cubic metres of my house disappeared... with the delivery of a lot of boxes from the Melbourne 08 team full of neat LCA stuff. Networking gear, label printers, clipboards, power boards, printers, AV gear - too much stuff to inventory but all incredibly useful and appreciated nonetheless; and many things that started the cogs turning... Have we thought of absolutely *everything*???

LCA Fact #1: You can never have too many batteries.

Anyway, the main purpose of Steve and Stuart's visit this weekend was to meet with John and our many stakeholders to discuss the oh so legendary LCA network, and everything is looking really positive right now. Can't let too much out until all discussions are done with, but let's just say, all things going well there should be no shortage of Interwebz for our highly connected delegates. :-D

LCA Fact #2: There is no such thing as too much internet...

Anyway, the day was spent talking large amounts of networking, watching the weather through the windows of Wrest Point changing from sunny to sleeting, while a sailboard sunk into the Derwent under the weight of the wind; and then traditional curry at our now regular curry place while Steve discussed fake blood and Stuart and myself indulged in nerdy pop culture references. ("0118-999-88199....")

LCA Fact #3: The Nightlife boxes apparently run a Linux front end - and album covers are specifically designed to make OCD people go crazy.

And now a few days for my stomach to recover from too much food and ROFLing. :-) Thanks guys.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Marching our way out of obscurity?

I It's been an interesting month or two, receiving feedback from both the Tassie and the National community since we won the bid for LCA 2009. In particular, Chris Neugebauer and his recent post caught my attention.

Many of the most successful Australian LUGs seem to be centred out of the surrounding Universities; this provides a number of opportunities for growth, publicity, and funding in the form of access to facilities, societal membership funding, and resources.

In contrast, TasLUG has formed, reformed and grown from a base of avid users, many of whom have not been involved in the University Computing communities. We have many members from very varied backgrounds, of many different levels of skill and focus. All the same, TasLUG has been growing soundly over the past 5 years, with the group's website now about to hit 100 topics, 500 posts, and 130 members within the next few months. Our LUG has had many posts praising our providing prompt, accurate, and friendly support to the community. We advertise on local ABC radio, where I have a regular spot, whenever the opportunity arises, we give away Ubuntu and Open CDs, we run a number of Software Freedom Day events across the state each September which attract 200+ people statewide, and now, as January 2009 fast approaches, we're about to host one of the biggest Linux events on the Australian conf calendar (and ooh boy, are we excited!).

And still, the feedback is coming in that there are people who are somehow missing out on the great community we have down here.

It is becoming apparent that without a growing support for Linux and Open Source within the University communities, LUGs face an uphill battle to bring their communities to those who might champion the cause, and pass the message on. Bringing an event of the magnitude of to the University of Tasmania can only help to achieve this goal.

Over the coming 12 months, we will be working to foster a new community of Linux and Open Source users within our community; and to cement our position in the Tasmanian community in such a way that no-one will call TasLUG's existence into question again ;-).