[Wolves] Deceased Bovines in Pastry

James Turner wolves at mailman.lug.org.uk
Thu Apr 3 22:28:00 2003

Just came across this document, which I'd been meaning to post some time
ago but ended up forgetting about.

LUG meeting summary 08/01/2003

I am pleased to announce that after years of careful planning, all
logistical difficulties were finally overcome and the LUG's fabled
excursion to the World Famous Pie Factory
(www.necgroup.co.uk/restaurants/piefactory) in Tipton finally came
into fruition on the 8th January 2003. The following were in attendence
for this event:

 - Aq
 - Fizzy
 - James
 - Jono (beard colour: Dark red)
 - Lee
 - Rachael
 - Ron
 - Sparkes

Due to the high proportion of Linux enthusiasts travelling to the venue by
car there was an unusual air of sobriety to this week's gathering, however
we didn't let such difficulties spoil our enjoyment or prevent a little
sing-a-long. For future reference, it may be of interest no note that Aq
tried the Pie Factory's own brew, the "Lumphammer", and gave it his seal
of approval.

Food Consumption

This was, of course, billed as the highlight of the occasion. During
several prior discussions, Ron in particular had extolled the virtues of
the Pie Factory's meals and whimsical atmosphere, amusing us with stories
of Mad O'Rourke (the Pub's former owner, or his alter-ego) and his
singular habits.

All but two of the party managed to swallow a pie of some form or
another as the main constituent of their meal, though only Ron had the
courage and stamina to order one of the horny "Desperate Dan"-style cow
pies. Even those who had no pie at all still managed to shovel plenty of
food into their mouths one way or another.

The food was (as far as I know) liked by all and rather more promptly
served than that at our regular haunt, the Moon Under Water (not that this
would be difficult), but the drinks proved to be more expensive.

Discussion at the preverbial dining table included running Linux on
Microsoft's XBox (www.xbox.com) and multimedia playback with mplayer.
(www.mplayerhq.hu). For the latter, installation of a seperate package of
additional codecs was strongly recommended for optimum visual and
auditory enjoyment.

Emergency Evacuation

We were rudely awakened from our after-dinner slumbers by a loud but
enthusiastic singer/guitar player who took up station within a few
yards of our table and began renditions of such classics as "Whiskey In
The Jar", "Dirty Old Town" and "You Can Call Me Al". Despite the singer
having considerably more musical talent than even the celebrated Richard
Matthew Stallman, it was deemed prudent to remove to the opposite side of the
pub as soon as possible.

Our new table was situated adjacent to several large but relatively
un-dangerous looking pieces of Heath Robinson machinery slightly
reminiscent of the pie-making machine in the film Chicken Run.

Digital Photography

Following our move, Fizzy whipped out a fancy-looking new mobile phone and
demonstrated his "eleet" photography skills using its integrated digital
camera, taking a photo of each person from the LUG. As a technology
demonstration/experiment, one of the images was transfered to
the LUG web site whilst we were still at the Pie Factory. The method used
to accomplish this was roughly as follows:

Firstly, the photos were copied to Aq and Jono's Linux-based Sharp Zaurus
PDAs (personal digital assistants) (www.myzaurus.com) using IrDA
(Infra-red Data Association) transfer (www.irda.org). The PDAs were then
passed round for people to look at the photos. Pleasingly, the infra-red
links operated flawlessly without requiring any prior fiddling.

An IrDA link was then set up between Aq's Zaurus and mobile phone, which
connected to the Internet via a standard GSM Communications (Global System
for Mobile Communications) (www.gsmworld.com) connection. One of the
photographs was then copied from the Zaurus to Aq's main home machine and
onwards to the LUG web server using the secure shell - ssh(1) - and
secure copy - scp(1) - commands. Following a bit of PHPnuke
(www.phpnuke.org) tinkering from Jono the photograph appeared on the web

Without going into full usability lecturer mode, Steve made a brief
summary of a few of PHPnuke's various flaws, including its inability to
reformat the LUG web site more appropriately for mobile devices. Ron
pointed out that the process of transfering the photograph (which took
of the order of one hour to complete) could be simplified by using WebDAV
(Distributed Authoring and Versioning) (www.webdav.org), should the need
arise for other documents/files to be uploaded in future.

The Pie Factory As A Meeting Venue

Overall, the Pie Factory visit was deemed a success, even to the extent
that it be considered as a regular venue for LUG meets!

World Domination - Plan Of Action Discussed

In light of evidence that Linux is on the verge of making significant
gains in market share on the desktop (eg
news.com.com/2100-1001-243527.html?legacy=cnet - sorry it's a bit
old!), it was decided by Jono that we should put our plan for World
Domination (and Linux User Group Domination) into action.

In order to maintain our tactical advantage I am not able to reveal
specific details of our battle plan on the mailing list other than
that we intend to begin the offensive by advancing our army eastwards
towards a certain large urban development within enemy territory.

Jono revealed that one of his many and varied relatives happened to own a
paintball field which might be an appropriate training venue should we be
able to gather enough interest from neighbouring LUGs to provide us with

Aq's Joke Corner

Regretably, our regular and well-loved comedy slot was supressed due
to lack of alcohol.

Miscellaneous comments

According to Jono, next month's Linux Format will contain a feature on
the Access To Recycled Technology (A2RT) project (www.a2rt.org), which is
based in Birmingham's Jewelery Quarter. Steve and Vinny, the project
organisers, have visited the LUG on several occasions.