[opensource] Re: Opensource Digest, Vol 25, Issue 9

Farhad Salehi salehi.3 at osu.edu
Fri Mar 30 11:45:21 EDT 2007


Here is a random idea. Set up a computer with Linux and any other open source applications you feel people will use. Have it be in a public place where people can walk by and see it and play with it. Have it set up (by this I mean with a desktop environment) so that the people who use it will be familiar with it and see they can do anything and everything they normally would want to do with a computer on it. Also around the computer have up flyers saying that if they are interested in this that they should come to some of our meetings or subscirbe to the mailing list.

I have set up something like this before where the computer is behing a glass enclosure (if our office had a window on something other than the door this would be easier to set up with just our office). The only thing the user would have access to is a mouse and keyboard (again this should really be all they need as they do not need direct access to the computer or monitor). If we were able to set this up somplace other than the caldwell lab, it would be interesting to see how many people stop by the computer and try it out. It could be an interesting way to make people know about open source software and have them see they can do anything they would normally do with it. It should be a decent way to advertise and try and get more people to show up to meetings.

Likewise we can set up the computer so that we prominently display icons for applications we will have upcoming workshops for. This way someone stops by and sees a big icon saying "Featured Program: Blender" and plays with the program. They very well might be like hey this program was really cool and I would like to know how to use this program more. They then would see that later in that week we would have a workshop teaching them how to use that program.

I am sure there are other things we can do with this setup. The main problem though would be to get a secure place where we would be allowed to setup this computer. It would be nice to have a couple of these setup in different buildings so that we can get broader range of the students at the school (maybe a graphics/animation based setup in the art buildings for the art majors, a desktop publishing setup for the journalism majors, etc).

Let me know how feasible you guys think this would be. It defintely seems like we have enough computers and know how to set this stuff up. All we need is people to do so and univeristy approval and permission to do so. I for one would defintely help set this up and look into what we need to do to be allowed to do this.

And sorry for rambling a bit.

----- Original Message -----
From: opensource-request at cse.ohio-state.edu
Date: Friday, March 30, 2007 9:57 am
Subject: Opensource Digest, Vol 25, Issue 9

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-------------- next part --------------
Today's Topics:

   1.  The Future of Open Source Club & Spring Workshops
      (Alexander J. Lingo)
   2. Re:  The Future of Open Source Club & Spring Workshops
      (BRIAN SWANEY)
   3. Re:  The Future of Open Source Club & Spring Workshops
      (Brandon Mintern)
   4. Re:  The Future of Open Source Club & Spring Workshops
      (BRIAN SWANEY)
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From: "Alexander J. Lingo" <lingo.13 at osu.edu>
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To: Opensource at cse.ohio-state.edu, opensource-announce at cse.ohio-state.edu
Date: Thu, 29 Mar 2007 22:34:09 -0400
Message-ID: <8242065d0703291934g7bdd1772o1c1270ffaebe8735 at mail.gmail.com>
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Subject: [opensource] The Future of Open Source Club & Spring Workshops
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Hello all,

Spring Quarter is here, and Open Source Club is still alive. But, I am
unsure how long. Nothing threatens us immediately; but there is a threat
that I have felt -- stagnation.

Our format has generally been to have someone give a presentation on a topic
that they either know about or are interested in learning about. These
presentations are a great learning experience, both as a presenter and as an
attendee. But there is a factor working against us: We have a small
meeting-going membership, with few new faces. This tends to mean the same
awesome people are always presenting equally awesome things.

I am not sure that this format is sustainable. We do not advertise our
presence to the outside university. We offer few outward-reaching
services/events. The only way we can grow is through word-of-mouth, which
sadly is not enough to reach all those who could be interested in Open
Source.

Computer software is something that most people interact with on a daily
basis. Students today grew up alongside the personal computer. Very few
computer users know about open source and the awesome operating systems and
applications that are readily available to them. We are an organization that
is too inward-facing. Student organizations are supposed to work for
students and other interested parties, and I believe we are not giving back
to the OSU community as much as we could and should.

I think that we should work to advertise, explain, and showcase the open
source offerings to the students of Ohio State. For the most part, we have
been preaching to the choir -- those who know what open source is and what
possibilities it offers.

We've made an outreach before, with the Open Source Workshops of last Spring
Quarter. We had a moderate attendance at those meetings. This quarter, we
should work to offer another series of workshops. Last quarter we thought
that workshops revolving around OpenOffice.org/media creation would be a
good idea.

So, I'm asking, what ideas do you have for club format, outreach, and Spring
Workshops do you have?

It could be as simple as us standing on the Oval handing out Ubuntu CD's.
I'd love to hear everyone's ideas.

-- alex

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Hello all,<br><br>Spring Quarter is here, and Open Source Club is still alive. But, I am unsure how long. Nothing threatens us immediately; but there is a threat that I have felt -- stagnation.<br><br>Our format has generally been to have someone give a presentation on a topic that they either know about or are interested in learning about. These presentations are a great learning experience, both as a presenter and as an attendee. But there is a factor working against us: We have a small meeting-going membership, with few new faces. This tends to mean the same awesome people are always presenting equally awesome things.
<br><br>I am not sure that this format is sustainable. We do not advertise our presence to the outside university. We offer few outward-reaching services/events. The only way we can grow is through word-of-mouth, which sadly is not enough to reach all those who could be interested in Open Source.
<br><br>Computer software is something that most people interact with on a daily basis. Students today grew up alongside the personal computer. Very few computer users know about open source and the awesome operating systems and applications that are readily available to them. We are an organization that is too inward-facing. Student organizations are supposed to work for students and other interested parties, and I believe we are not giving back to the OSU community as much as we could and should.
<br><br>I think that we should work to advertise, explain, and showcase the open source offerings to the students of Ohio State. For the most part, we have been preaching to the choir -- those who know what open source is and what possibilities it offers.
<br><br>We&#39;ve made an outreach before, with the Open Source Workshops of last Spring Quarter. We had a moderate attendance at those meetings. This quarter, we should work to offer another series of workshops. Last quarter we thought that workshops revolving around 
OpenOffice.org/media creation would be a good idea.<br><br>So, I&#39;m asking, what ideas do you have for club format, outreach, and Spring Workshops do you have?<br><br>It could be as simple as us standing on the Oval handing out Ubuntu CD&#39;s. I&#39;d love to hear everyone&#39;s ideas.
<br><br>-- alex<br><br>

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From: BRIAN SWANEY <swaney.29 at osu.edu>
Precedence: list
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Cc: Opensource at cse.ohio-state.edu
To: "Alexander J. Lingo" <lingo.13 at osu.edu>
Date: Fri, 30 Mar 2007 00:35:21 -0400
Message-ID: <45239b94523019.452301945239b9 at osu.edu>
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Subject: Re: [opensource] The Future of Open Source Club & Spring
 Workshops
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While I'm not extraordinary with computers (yet), but I was involved in counter-marketing in tobacco prevention for the past few years. I worked for one of those years as an elite leader (known as TAP, or Teen Advisory Panel) and worked with Stand's advertising agency and received media training, to later train others in the same type of grassroots activism. I will be glad to do what I can.

As for attendance, I'd suggest, (but don't know enough to recommend) some examples of things that are unconditionally awesome to those who have no idea about open source and/or prefer proprietary software (and show just how great it can be).

VLC is a great example of this. GIMP can't hurt either. I'm sure with as expensive as it is, anyone interested in media editing/creation would be interested in a free (but equally or more powerful) version that they are free to pass on to their friends. After all, isn't this sort of freedom what open source is about? I hear there is a nice graphics editor called Blender. If anyone knows how to use it, it would be a nice demo, since what young adult today doesn't want to make the next Halo? Perhaps not the best though... I'm not sure how to work it and I don't suspect too many others will either.

Jim said he was surprised that I stayed with Open Source for as long as I did a few meetings ago. Let's consider why someone would want to leave... Maybe that will be difficult to understand, maybe not (depends on your understanding of newbies, I guess). Driver support is a big issue. Then comes compatibility. I almost didn't install Linux (or possibly even join) because of that one barrier alone, the fear that professors wouldn't be able to read my work (remember that flame war? I was struggling to work it with what Windows was configures for back then). I introduced some friend to VLC, who had no understanding of or inclination towards open source, and now he says "open source rocks". I explained the threat VLC, this program that he has come to love and periodically makes reference to, faces, which we like to call "patent abuse," and he said he'd like to have me install Linux on his laptop over the summer. I wonder...

Let's use this knowledge to our advantage. Make some of these workshops about compatibility and mobility of Linux. Demonstrate how to connect to wireless in Linux, since OIT refuses. Show how easy it is to create a Microsoft Word document without Microsoft Word. Show how easy it is to start up everyone's favorite IM client without the spyware and that annoying advertisement at the top (well, yes... there is that AdHack thing too, but I haven't seen their site in a while so maybe AOL got mad at them or something and it doesn't work on Triton anyway to my knowledge) that shows (gasp!) real names instead of just "sexybabe2783". Then show them some of the features native to Linux (like GRUB menus, if they're careful not to break it). If bold and daring enough, if we've nothing better to do, and if Paul doesn't mind, let's talk about corporate control and the philosophy behind open source; comparing Windows' philosophy of "dominating the software world" with GNU's philosophy of f
reedom to do what you please with your software. Yes, I know we aren't anti-Microsoft - just a lame, crappy idea to throw out into the pool with the rest of my lame, crappy ideas.

Based on what you're telling me, it looks like we're going to have the same group of people stretching and wringing out their brilliant minds to keep the intellectually stimulating presentations coming for the entire foreseeable future, and that is inevitable. Recruiting a bunch more new people will not really fix that, just preserve the cause. In my tobacco group, we had to recruit new members and train them, while the veterans did the most critical stuff (like management and media coverage) and meanwhile trained the newcomers, just like you all are with me.

Sadly, if we are getting to this point, this is what we must do to survive. They are the future now. Without them, our group will just diminish as people graduate out. With the passing time, as you expressed, our presentations will unavoidably become more and more scarce, until the it's over... I, for one don't wish to see Open Source wind up like our brother, ntSig. I've seen it happen in tobacco prevention, where I watched groups around me disappear, and don't doubt the possibility of that happening here.

Please feel free to respond with your criticisms and disapproval or whatever other (potentially supportive) comments you may have. All that aside, I hope this helps.


-Brian Swaney
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Hello all,

Spring Quarter is here, and Open Source Club is still alive. But, I am
unsure how long. Nothing threatens us immediately; but there is a threat
that I have felt -- stagnation.

Our format has generally been to have someone give a presentation on a topic
that they either know about or are interested in learning about. These
presentations are a great learning experience, both as a presenter and as an
attendee. But there is a factor working against us: We have a small
meeting-going membership, with few new faces. This tends to mean the same
awesome people are always presenting equally awesome things.

I am not sure that this format is sustainable. We do not advertise our
presence to the outside university. We offer few outward-reaching
services/events. The only way we can grow is through word-of-mouth, which
sadly is not enough to reach all those who could be interested in Open
Source.

Computer software is something that most people interact with on a daily
basis. Students today grew up alongside the personal computer. Very few
computer users know about open source and the awesome operating systems and
applications that are readily available to them. We are an organization that
is too inward-facing. Student organizations are supposed to work for
students and other interested parties, and I believe we are not giving back
to the OSU community as much as we could and should.

I think that we should work to advertise, explain, and showcase the open
source offerings to the students of Ohio State. For the most part, we have
been preaching to the choir -- those who know what open source is and what
possibilities it offers.

We've made an outreach before, with the Open Source Workshops of last Spring
Quarter. We had a moderate attendance at those meetings. This quarter, we
should work to offer another series of workshops. Last quarter we thought
that workshops revolving around OpenOffice.org/media creation would be a
good idea.

So, I'm asking, what ideas do you have for club format, outreach, and Spring
Workshops do you have?

It could be as simple as us standing on the Oval handing out Ubuntu CD's.
I'd love to hear everyone's ideas.

-- alex

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Hello all,<br><br>Spring Quarter is here, and Open Source Club is still alive. But, I am unsure how long. Nothing threatens us immediately; but there is a threat that I have felt -- stagnation.<br><br>Our format has generally been to have someone give a presentation on a topic that they either know about or are interested in learning about. These presentations are a great learning experience, both as a presenter and as an attendee. But there is a factor working against us: We have a small meeting-going membership, with few new faces. This tends to mean the same awesome people are always presenting equally awesome things.
<br><br>I am not sure that this format is sustainable. We do not advertise our presence to the outside university. We offer few outward-reaching services/events. The only way we can grow is through word-of-mouth, which sadly is not enough to reach all those who could be interested in Open Source.
<br><br>Computer software is something that most people interact with on a daily basis. Students today grew up alongside the personal computer. Very few computer users know about open source and the awesome operating systems and applications that are readily available to them. We are an organization that is too inward-facing. Student organizations are supposed to work for students and other interested parties, and I believe we are not giving back to the OSU community as much as we could and should.
<br><br>I think that we should work to advertise, explain, and showcase the open source offerings to the students of Ohio State. For the most part, we have been preaching to the choir -- those who know what open source is and what possibilities it offers.
<br><br>We&#39;ve made an outreach before, with the Open Source Workshops of last Spring Quarter. We had a moderate attendance at those meetings. This quarter, we should work to offer another series of workshops. Last quarter we thought that workshops revolving around 
OpenOffice.org/media creation would be a good idea.<br><br>So, I&#39;m asking, what ideas do you have for club format, outreach, and Spring Workshops do you have?<br><br>It could be as simple as us standing on the Oval handing out Ubuntu CD&#39;s. I&#39;d love to hear everyone&#39;s ideas.
<br><br>-- alex<br><br>

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_______________________________________________
Opensource mailing list
Opensource at cse.ohio-state.edu
http://mail.cse.ohio-state.edu/mailman/listinfo/opensource

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From: Brandon Mintern <mintern at cse.ohio-state.edu>
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To: opensource at cse.ohio-state.edu
References: <mailman.17.1175229335.6356.opensource at cse.ohio-state.edu>
Date: Fri, 30 Mar 2007 02:42:31 -0400
Message-ID: <pan.2007.03.30.06.42.31.287429 at cse.ohio-state.edu>
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Subject: Re: [opensource] The Future of Open Source Club & Spring Workshops
Message: 3

On Fri, 30 Mar 2007 00:35:21 -0400, BRIAN SWANEY wrote:
> [a bunch of good ideas]

Seriously, those are some great ideas, so please stop being so down on
yourself :-).  I have not been to an Open Source meeting in over a year,
and that is something I wish to change this quarter.  Of course, that does
not solve the problem of preaching to the choir, because I have been
running exclusively FreeBSD and Gentoo for about 6 months now.  My
non-tech girlfriend even works regularly in Gnome.

I agree that some kind of serious recruitment campaign is in order.  This
will help not only the Open Source Club at OSU, but the Open Source
community in general, by bringing new people into the foray. While I think
it's important to show that free software can do everything that Windows
can, I think it's also important to relate facts like the ones about
Apache being the most-used webserver, to show off the cool effects of
Beryl, or to point out that many of the best new programming languages are
open source. In other words, I don't think people want to hear, "We can do
that, too," but instead, "We can do that better."

We can promote open source without even requiring a Linux install.  After
attending an Open Source Club meeting last spring, I was very interested
in Linux, but too used to Windows to make the switch. My first step, at
this point, was to switch all of my major Windows programs to open source
versions, IE -> Firefox, AIM -> Gaim, Photoshop -> Gimp, MS Office ->
OpenOffice.  After some time, I found that the only non-open source
programs I was using were Calculator, Notepad, and Paint, and at that
point, I knew it was time to switch (I still kind of miss Paint).

I think it might be a good idea to promote some of these open source
alternatives to Windows users.  For example, I was pleasantly surprised to
learn I could customize my top bars in Firefox, even stuffing everything
into the menu bar.  I also found that the tabs, quick search features, and
plug-ins were pretty cool, too.  Brian already suggested some Gaim
features that are good, but there are also things better about OpenOffice,
like auto-completion and export as PDF.  For reading PDF and PS documents,
Evince rocks all over Adobe on startup time and lack of user tracking.  I
think that the first step in converting people to open source (and getting
them to join the club) is to get them to begin using open source software
on a regular basis. Eventually, we might be able to convert them to
Ubuntu.

The tips above can apply to just about anyone, even people who aren't CSE
majors.  For those who are majors and who think they may like to hack, I
think there is another thing that I have found to be a bit lacking.  When
I decided to leave Windows, it was not for political reasons or monetary
reasons, but because I liked the capabilities of the command line for
automating some repetitious tasks, and for performing some operations
quickly without having to wait for some program to startup.  I also wanted
to know what was going on with my computer, to control wired and wireless
connections and to learn how things work.  In short, I was tired of the
Windows interface and was ready for something different.  When I installed
Ubuntu, I felt like I might as well be using Windows. Everything was
automagic and the point-and-click interface for doing everything was
actually what I was trying to avoid. While this is great for someone who
is non-technical, I was frustrated by it.

I eventually came across Gentoo, and I have been very happy ever since.  I
have had no dependency problems, everything on my computer is compiled
specifically for my platform, I get great 64-bit support (something Ubuntu
was lacking at the time), and no updates or installs have caused breakage.
 I even appreciated the excruciatingly long installation process, because
I felt like I learned something about how everything works.  In short, the
only Linux I have seen promoted by the club is Ubuntu, but I believe that
there are better (in some respects) distros out there that could at least
be mentioned.

Perhaps to cater to potential users like me, we could show some of the
cool things that can be done through the command line by showing how it's
possible to manipulate a bunch of files through the use of xargs, or to
show how magical interweb connections actually work by running dhcpcd from
the command line.  For programmers who are used to programming in the
Notepad-like excuse-for-an-IDE called Visual Studio, we could show how
even the old-school vi can increase programmer output and productivity.
Finally, showing how easy it is to connect to your home computer from
campus or to campus from your home computer is a major benefit that
technical users should appreciate Linux for.  I found it more efficient to
do 581 programs by VNCing to my home computer to use vim to program, and
then SFTPing it back onto the local machine to make sure it worked in
Windows.  Being able to do things like this, in my opinion, makes Linux
pretty cool.

Finally, the hardest part of switching to Linux is making "the big jump".
It can be scary and difficult, and that nagging uncertainty can make
people very reluctant to switch.  I think it would be great to purposely
cause some error, show how you can search the error text in Google and
then find a free solution to your problem on community message boards or
mailing lists.  We could show sites like Gentoo-Wiki which give great
step-by-step instructions on almost anything you would want to do.
Finally, we could implement a mentor program where someone would borrow a
club member for an evening (or maybe a weekend in the case of Gentoo ;-))
to assist with an install and to be there to provide help later when
needed (by e-mail or phone).  Many people depend on their computer for a
lot now, and the thought of being stuck with no idea what to do can be a
bit scary, so having someone knowledgeable to help could be a nice
confidence booster.

Anyways, those are my ideas, and I believe this is my first message to the
list, so hello :-).

Brandon


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From: BRIAN SWANEY <swaney.29 at osu.edu>
Precedence: list
MIME-Version: 1.0
Cc: opensource at cse.ohio-state.edu
To: Brandon Mintern <mintern at cse.ohio-state.edu>
Date: Fri, 30 Mar 2007 09:41:30 -0400
Message-ID: <4595d4b45957db.45957db4595d4b at osu.edu>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii
Subject: Re: [opensource] The Future of Open Source Club & Spring
 Workshops
Message: 4

On Fri, 2007-03-30 at 02:42 -0400, Brandon Mintern wrote:
I don't think people want to hear, "We can do
> that, too," but instead, "We can do that better."
> 
> We can promote open source without even requiring a Linux install.  After
> attending an Open Source Club meeting last spring, I was very interested
> in Linux, but too used to Windows to make the switch. My first step, at
> this point, was to switch all of my major Windows programs to open source
> versions, IE -> Firefox, AIM -> Gaim, Photoshop -> Gimp, MS Office ->
> OpenOffice. 
> 

I think I sort of mentioned this idea. VLC would be a nice place to start. I've yet to find something that works better for any platform.

On Fri, 2007-03-30 at 02:42 -0400, Brandon Mintern wrote:
but there are also things better about OpenOffice,
> like auto-completion and export as PDF. 
> 
Sorry, I didn't know of these features (I don't know most of what can be done with it yet). I personally would like to see some of these.

On Fri, 2007-03-30 at 02:42 -0400, Brandon Mintern wrote:
the
> only Linux I have seen promoted by the club is Ubuntu, but I believe that
> there are better (in some respects) distros out there that could at least
> be mentioned. 
> 
Well, the school refuses to support anything but Windows (and maybe Mac), but if they have to for some reason, they support RedHat and SuSE (although I think Fedora is included in some fashion).

On Fri, 2007-03-30 at 02:42 -0400, Brandon Mintern wrote:
I think it would be great to purposely
> cause some error, show how you can search the error text in Google and
> then find a free solution to your problem on community message boards or
> mailing lists. 
> 
While I have no doubt that Google searching is a critical skill for (especially new) Linux users, I'm not sure that would be too appealing in the start.

On Fri, 2007-03-30 at 02:42 -0400, Brandon Mintern wrote:
Finally, we could implement a mentor program where someone would borrow a
> club member for an evening (or maybe a weekend in the case of Gentoo ;-))
> to assist with an install and to be there to provide help later when
> needed (by e-mail or phone). 
> 
I think this would help a lot. The issue is about who is willing to take the time to reach out to newcomers. Paul was really helpful to me and I may not have been able to do it without him, but this may be a lot to ask of a college student. I might be willing to, if I'm able to make the time and be qualified enough.


-Brian Swaney

----- Original Message -----
From: Brandon Mintern <mintern at cse.ohio-state.edu>
Date: Friday, March 30, 2007 2:42 am
Subject: Re: [opensource] The Future of Open Source Club & Spring Workshops

> On Fri, 30 Mar 2007 00:35:21 -0400, BRIAN SWANEY wrote:
> > [a bunch of good ideas]
> 
> Seriously, those are some great ideas, so please stop being so down on
> yourself :-).  I have not been to an Open Source meeting in over a 
> year,and that is something I wish to change this quarter.  Of 
> course, that does
> not solve the problem of preaching to the choir, because I have been
> running exclusively FreeBSD and Gentoo for about 6 months now.  My
> non-tech girlfriend even works regularly in Gnome.
> 
> I agree that some kind of serious recruitment campaign is in order. 
> This
> will help not only the Open Source Club at OSU, but the Open Source
> community in general, by bringing new people into the foray. While 
> I think
> it's important to show that free software can do everything that 
> Windowscan, I think it's also important to relate facts like the 
> ones about
> Apache being the most-used webserver, to show off the cool effects of
> Beryl, or to point out that many of the best new programming 
> languages are
> open source. In other words, I don't think people want to hear, "We 
> can do
> that, too," but instead, "We can do that better."
> 
> We can promote open source without even requiring a Linux install.  
> Afterattending an Open Source Club meeting last spring, I was very 
> interestedin Linux, but too used to Windows to make the switch. My 
> first step, at
> this point, was to switch all of my major Windows programs to open 
> sourceversions, IE -> Firefox, AIM -> Gaim, Photoshop -> Gimp, MS 
> Office ->
> OpenOffice.  After some time, I found that the only non-open source
> programs I was using were Calculator, Notepad, and Paint, and at that
> point, I knew it was time to switch (I still kind of miss Paint).
> 
> I think it might be a good idea to promote some of these open source
> alternatives to Windows users.  For example, I was pleasantly 
> surprised to
> learn I could customize my top bars in Firefox, even stuffing 
> everythinginto the menu bar.  I also found that the tabs, quick 
> search features, and
> plug-ins were pretty cool, too.  Brian already suggested some Gaim
> features that are good, but there are also things better about 
> OpenOffice,like auto-completion and export as PDF.  For reading PDF 
> and PS documents,
> Evince rocks all over Adobe on startup time and lack of user 
> tracking.  I
> think that the first step in converting people to open source (and 
> gettingthem to join the club) is to get them to begin using open 
> source software
> on a regular basis. Eventually, we might be able to convert them to
> Ubuntu.
> 
> The tips above can apply to just about anyone, even people who 
> aren't CSE
> majors.  For those who are majors and who think they may like to 
> hack, I
> think there is another thing that I have found to be a bit lacking. 
> When
> I decided to leave Windows, it was not for political reasons or 
> monetaryreasons, but because I liked the capabilities of the 
> command line for
> automating some repetitious tasks, and for performing some operations
> quickly without having to wait for some program to startup.  I also 
> wantedto know what was going on with my computer, to control wired 
> and wireless
> connections and to learn how things work.  In short, I was tired of 
> theWindows interface and was ready for something different.  When I 
> installedUbuntu, I felt like I might as well be using Windows. 
> Everything was
> automagic and the point-and-click interface for doing everything was
> actually what I was trying to avoid. While this is great for 
> someone who
> is non-technical, I was frustrated by it.
> 
> I eventually came across Gentoo, and I have been very happy ever 
> since.  I
> have had no dependency problems, everything on my computer is compiled
> specifically for my platform, I get great 64-bit support (something 
> Ubuntuwas lacking at the time), and no updates or installs have 
> caused breakage.
> I even appreciated the excruciatingly long installation process, 
> becauseI felt like I learned something about how everything works.  
> In short, the
> only Linux I have seen promoted by the club is Ubuntu, but I 
> believe that
> there are better (in some respects) distros out there that could at 
> leastbe mentioned.
> 
> Perhaps to cater to potential users like me, we could show some of the
> cool things that can be done through the command line by showing 
> how it's
> possible to manipulate a bunch of files through the use of xargs, 
> or to
> show how magical interweb connections actually work by running 
> dhcpcd from
> the command line.  For programmers who are used to programming in the
> Notepad-like excuse-for-an-IDE called Visual Studio, we could show how
> even the old-school vi can increase programmer output and 
> productivity.Finally, showing how easy it is to connect to your 
> home computer from
> campus or to campus from your home computer is a major benefit that
> technical users should appreciate Linux for.  I found it more 
> efficient to
> do 581 programs by VNCing to my home computer to use vim to 
> program, and
> then SFTPing it back onto the local machine to make sure it worked in
> Windows.  Being able to do things like this, in my opinion, makes 
> Linuxpretty cool.
> 
> Finally, the hardest part of switching to Linux is making "the big 
> jump".It can be scary and difficult, and that nagging uncertainty 
> can make
> people very reluctant to switch.  I think it would be great to 
> purposelycause some error, show how you can search the error text 
> in Google and
> then find a free solution to your problem on community message 
> boards or
> mailing lists.  We could show sites like Gentoo-Wiki which give great
> step-by-step instructions on almost anything you would want to do.
> Finally, we could implement a mentor program where someone would 
> borrow a
> club member for an evening (or maybe a weekend in the case of 
> Gentoo ;-))
> to assist with an install and to be there to provide help later when
> needed (by e-mail or phone).  Many people depend on their computer 
> for a
> lot now, and the thought of being stuck with no idea what to do can 
> be a
> bit scary, so having someone knowledgeable to help could be a nice
> confidence booster.
> 
> Anyways, those are my ideas, and I believe this is my first message 
> to the
> list, so hello :-).
> 
> Brandon
> _______________________________________________
> Opensource mailing list
> Opensource at cse.ohio-state.edu
> http://mail.cse.ohio-state.edu/mailman/listinfo/opensource
> 




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