[Nottingham] Response on awareness day

Matthew Walster matthew at walster.org
Thu Nov 3 03:20:49 GMT 2005

On Thursday 03 November 2005 00:19, Michael Simms wrote:
> Well, greetings to all LUG members.
> I'm sorry, but this email is not going to be a nice one.

I must admit, I do now feel guilty at the sight of these emails from Martin 
and Michael - in that I do tend to read the jist of the messages about once a 
week, and I do feel that I get a lot more from NottLUG than I could give.

Recently, I've been using the ideas and techniques you guys learnt in 
Loughborough to set up Linux Install and Awareness Days, and those efforts 
have spread through Loughborough University and LSUCS (the Loughborough SU 
Computing Society) and taken hold - so much so that LULU (Loughborough 
Univeristy Linux Usergroup) has actually had it's first social for two years, 
and the first talk for at least four years.

I'm sure most if not all people on the list appreciate the efforts that you 
two, and the others that put effort into NottLUG, and maybe people will 
actually turn up on Friday and help - although it's looking (as you say) a 
slim deal.

When Michael did in fact ask for companies names and addresses that would be 
receptive to Linux, I did in fact do some research on this (from the limited 
contacts I have these days in Nottingham, being in Leicestershire these days) 
and did in fact contact a couple of schools to see if they wanted any 
information on Linux and Open Source Software. Unfortuanately, netiehr were 
interested, as both had recently installed new computer suites with the 
Microsoft bloatware installed lab-wide, and it was "too late" to consider 
re-training the aging support staff, as well as the fact that they council 
would then not offer any support whatsoever.

If it were not for me attending a conference that I've been booked into for 
over 6 months now, I would be attending the Open Day, and I wish you the best 
of luck with it - although Loughborough is holding it's own similar day the 
Wednesday before - maybe I could hand out flyers there (that Duncan 

I do apologise for my own lack of input recently - as it always is with 
University, home interests take a back seat - in fact I've only attended two 
NottLUG meets in the past 12 months, and they've been the AGM and a talk on 

I can understand if it's people like me that you guys are pissed off with - an 
external viewer that puts little back in after getting such a welcome when I 
joined 3 or 4 years ago.

Maybe it's about time we all started re-evaluating our positions, and try to 
bolster the Linux scene through usergroups, as opposed to "using" people like 
Michael and Martin all the time. They raise some good points.

I, for one, when I return to Nottingham from Loughborough, will try to 
re-engage NottLUG, try to help out where I can - but what I'm not going to 
support is for NottLUG become an syndicate similar to the AFFS - not a 
mindless press office for Linux. I think that the premise of LUG's is the 
sharing of information between people of a common interest - if you have 
something of interest to share (and as they point out - many do) then please 
do so. Maybe our faults lie in the fact that most LUG readers don't have a 
specialty? Sure, I may know a thing or two about VPS (Xen, UML etc) and 
Michael may know about professional software development through TuxGames, 
and Martin has experience in Asterisk, perl and god knows what else - maybe 
the other 400 (or more likely, 50-60 regular readers) would like to 

Maybe what we ought to concentrate on is forming a wiki or similar on the 
website, so that people can highlight without the obtrusiveness of e-mail, 
what they are interested in, what experience they have, what they want to 
learn from the LUG, and what they can give back.

Bah, I've talked too much, I'm going to get flamed for this, I can tell.

Matthew Walster
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