[Nelug] Talks at meetings

Dougie Nisbet dougie at highmoor.co.uk
Wed Sep 5 16:41:44 UTC 2007

Hi Ian,

Your post raises some very interesting points.

First of all, I've never really bought into this 
beginner/intermediate/advanced thing. Linux, and importantly, all the 
applications that can run on it, is such a big field that I think that 
there are niches all over the place where a person may have expertise in 
one field, but be hopeless in other areas.

For example, I am now firmly in the 'end user' camp. I am an arborist in 
training (http://houghall.fotopic.net) and my days are more likely to 
involve sitting in front of a chainsaw than sitting in front of a 
computer. I have linux on a couple of aging machines at home but 
nowadays I have very little interest now in what goes on under the hood, 
and tend to be interested in playing music and tinkering with photos. My 
current diversion is looking at image viewers that allow manipulation of 
exif fields and ways of tagging images that allow me to chuck my photos 
around from an XP box to a linux box, and still be able to get 
meaningful stuff out. I'm interested in taxonomy, the botanical naming 
of plants, and I would like to find a way of tagging my images using the 
heirarchical method that is used in botany. The browser in Photoshop 
does this very nicely, but unfortunately it's Microsoft only, and also, 
and it's a minor point, it's a bag of shite. So currently when I have 
time I've been playing around with xnview, which runs both on Microsoft 
windows and Linux, and it's possible I know a lot more about this niche 
than many knowledgeable people in the group. But the list of stuff I 
don't know is very long. I know nothing about Suse, Ubuntu, webby stuff, 
and quite a lot of chatter that comes up at the meetings nowadays goes 
over my head. But it's rarely important as the bar is just a few yards away.

But I digress... If someone was doing a talk I'd probably attend. Even 
if it was of no relevance to me and I didn't understand a lot of it, I'd 
be sure I'd pick up some useful nuggets of information.

One thing that did come up is the idea of encouraging people to bring 
along 'broken' kit. This is where I guess we need a bit of space, some 
power and a monitor, if someone is bringing a desktop. But the idea of 
someone bringing along their 'I can't get my wireless to work' box would 
be very interesting. I don't use wireless, but one day I'm sure I'll get 
around to it, and seeing the issues and problems involved first-hand can 
be very useful.


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