[Wiltshire] LUG meetings

Scott Anderson anderson.scott20 at gmail.com
Mon Jan 10 22:41:22 UTC 2011

Firstly, apologies for breaking the list by not editing my subject
line first time around. As you will have guessed I get the digest, and
forgot that I got the digest. I know, despite it saying digest.

Secondly, thanks for all the attention on the topic -- I was certainly
aware that the list was quiet as it has been some time since I first
subscribed and I don't recall often seeing more than a few mailings a

Thirdly, re. irc, for the curious I'm on there now... I must say I'm
not sure about the subject line and there's no op, but there're
eighteen on what is a quiet channel.

Fourthly, for my own part I'm not a Microsoft hater on principle, and
I use their software reasonably happily at work, but I am constantly
flabbergasted at UX decisions which verge on the insane (explorer's
search function doesn't cache its results? Wut? Outlook Express will
warn you about empty subject lines but there is no way to enable a
similar function in Outlook? lolwut?! There're plenty more...) It also
doesn't help that applications do crash, on average about once a day,
although it's also prone to violent outbursts.

Fifthly, I work with a small team based entirely in America; a couple
of Brits have contributed some code and other assistance on the
project but by and large I work with people based in the States. Given
Wave (still alive; thanks apache!), irc, the bulletin boards, Twitter,
Gtalk, skype... it's not a difficult or expensive thing to work
closely with a team based a continent away. So what good a LUG then?
Of course, LUGs are attractive in countries where the infrastructure
is not able to cope with all those fancy services I just mentioned;
providing an opportunity to share .isos, news and guidance. I have
heard in some places that people will walk for two or three hours to
get to their nearest meetup.

Here they're no doubt less significant, and what with busy lives and
the nature of Wiltshire as was rightly pointed out, no doubt we're
loathe to go to the same lengths to meet for maybe a pint. But that
doesn't mean that we're all isolated from everyone else. For example,
if a member simply fancies going to the pub one Sunday afternoon, they
can just post that to the list in good enough time. If nobody replies
then no foul, no bad, said originator can choose to either go to the
pub anyway or not. In other words, I see no reason why meetings can
not be ad hoc and spontaneous affairs; it'd be nice to have a regular
meetup at a regular place, but I am sympathetic as to why it doesn't
seem to be working out.

I just moved house for my part so don't know when I'll recover from
that, but next time I know I have time for coffee or a drink I'll post
it and see what happens in Salisbury. The actual honest to goodness
truth is is that I have never met a fellow Linux distro user in the

Finally (finally!) I agree that LUGs are increasingly redundant as a
hands on support team for the newly initiated... but I still think
that promoting GNU / Linux or any free OS in the flesh is still an
important thing to do. People in pubs (well, some pubs. Honest.)
notice when people get out laptops and start crooning over them. It's
a matter of presence. I think that just for fun, they're important;
I've been working with Peppermint since May and have been using GNU /
Linux in various guises for six years. None of my 'rl' friends use
Linux, and as great as social networks are the truth is it is
isolating to be so alone in what increasingly consumes my
non-professional (ideally one day, professional!) time. Not to mention
other functions of "networking", I know, I don't like the word either
but it is not a bad thing just to meet and spend time with people who
have a similar interest.

I think I'm beginning to ramble now so I will say merely this, I
believe that a LUG on principle is a Good Thing and although Wiltshire
LUG faces particular inconveniences to overcome, that does not
necessarily mean that it has to be irrelevant. Just my two cents
worth. Pence, I mean! See, this is what happens working with Yanks.

Sorry for being such a long poster on my second go. But an innocuous
"I'd come if it were a bit earlier" post has gone into a lot of
different issues which I couldn't help but want to address :)

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