[opensource] The Future of Open Source Club & Spring Workshops

Peter Dietz dietz.72 at osu.edu
Fri Mar 30 13:08:07 EDT 2007


In honor of the thing outside called the sun and how nice it is out there, I
think we should hold a meeting outdoors.

Two places in mind...
-The semicircle between the Oval, John Glenn building, Wexner center, and
Sullivant Library would be a nice outdoor meeting place to gather. See
google --
http://maps.google.com/?ie=UTF8&z=19&ll=39.999847,-83.009705&spn=0.001005,0.001824&t=h&om=1

-And also the outdoor auditorium near mirror lake, where we might be able to
pick up electricity --
http://maps.google.com/?ie=UTF8&z=19&ll=39.997804,-83.0135&spn=0.001005,0.001824&t=h&om=1

I don't know how effective outdoor meetings would be at attracting
bypassers, but there is always the chance of attracting bypassers, and we /
I might be able to entice people to hang out atleast for a moment with free
(google) pizza.

Topics for this could be a discusion on ICANN rejecting the .xxx, Dell
shipping linux pc's, or even GTA IV coming out later this year.

On 3/30/07, BRIAN SWANEY <swaney.29 at osu.edu> wrote:
>
> 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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>



-- 

Peter Dietz
Student / Technologist

www.eclectech.us
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