Schedule for the Day
1:30pm - Doors open, set up
2:00pm - Business Meeting starts, elections
2:30pm - Featured Presentation
3:30pm - Meeting ends, everyone out. Some of us may go to D's 6pack for beer and dogs.
At this meeting, we will elect the WPLUG Board of Directors for 2012-2013.
Votes may be cast by mail or in person at the meeting. Your vote must be received before the polls close to be counted, so show up by 2:00pm to be sure you get to cast yours.
The ballot for this election has been provided to the membership and can be downloaded from the wiki. Blank ballots will also be available at the meeting. Detailed instructions for voting are given at Election Instructions.
Those who were nominated at the October 13, 2012 nominations meeting and have agreed to be candidates are (in alphabetical order):
- Patrick Barron
- Terry Golightly
- John Lewis
- Joseph Prostko
- Justin Smith
Meet the Candidates
There will be a special "meet the candidates" session in the WPLUG IRC channel (irc.freenode.net, channel #wplug) on Tuesday, October 30, 2012 from 7-8pm. We encourage all members to attend and ask questions of the candidates.
I've been involved with technology for almost as long as I can remember. The first computer I ever used was an HP timesharing system, dialed in at 110 baud on a Teletype with a paper tape reader, way back in 1978... I've been involved with open source software since before people even called it that, having "cut my open source teeth" on a PDP-11 running Seventh Edition Unix (open source, but sadly, not "free"...).
I've hung out sort of "on the fringes" of WPLUG for a very long time, and have benefited in many ways from even that minimal participation. I joined WPLUG as a full fledged member about two years ago, because I wanted to give back at least a little (in the form of membership dues) to an organization that I've derived so much benefit from. But now, I think it's time for me to give back a little more, by offering my services as a member of the WPLUG Board for the upcoming year.
If I recall correctly, as of the last General User Meeting, there were 27 dues paying members of WPLUG. In a region with such a vibrant technical community, it surprises me (and saddens me, a little) that this number is so low, particularly since WPLUG has existed for such a long time now. Part of this is, I think, an "outreach" issue, though judging from the level of partcipation on WPLUG's mailing lists, there are certainly many people who are aware of WPLUG and benefit from it who are not dues paying members. I will admit that part of the reason I didn't join as a member before I did was a lack of real, tangible benefits from being a full fledged, dues paying member of the organization. If I am elected to the WPLUG Board, this is something I hope to help change.
In fact, I've reviewed the WPLUG Board 2007 Goals and WPLUG Board 2008 Goals, and it seems that the "tangible benefits" issue had been previously acknowledged. The goals published by these previous WPLUG Boards actually had a lot of good ideas, many of which were never (to my knowledge) completed. Since 2008, the WPLUG Board has not published a substantial set of updated goals, and the idea of having a long-term plan seems to have fallen by the wayside. I would very much like to see WPLUG revive the long-term plan and make progress on some of the ideas in the previous plans that have not yet been implemented.
I have been active with computers since the mid 1980s. I was a Win95/Dos user until 1997 when this funny named distribution call Mandrake Linux came on the scene. Upgrades generally broke libraries, but with a little help from the user's mailing list, I could fix it in a relatively short period of time. Whoa, this was earth shaking to me. A community of user's supporting each other. Making computing easier and fun at the same time. Some time later I heard of this group WPLUG. Wow! a user's group for Linux users. I may have attended a meeting or two at CMU some years back and then didn't become active until the past 2 years. It somehow didn't seem welcoming. Very techy overly geeky. Don't get me wrong, I like geeky and techy. However, I don't believe that you can really be a thriving user's group with your focus on a narrow group of users:
Those who already are in the know, in short: THE CHOIR. The choir is nice, is good , we know the choir we are the Choir! Always a solid backbone to rely on. But, do we necessarily do a good job of bring in the uninitiated to our world. Becoming a Linux/FOSS user.
In the past year, as Vice Chair I have attempted with limited success (Software Freedom Day) to promote Linux/FOSS to the general public. We could use a less formal approach to our meetings. Perhaps software demonstration and/or a sit around where we demo a web site on an overhead, or show off our our latest gadget. Techie discussions led by local (and national) industry leaders will and should always be our bread and butter. The only thing in our way is the ability of us to give our time, effort, ideas.
I am now gainfully employed now and will have less free time to share with the group. Which means it takes more than one candidate for board to be able to get people motivated. We need to get more members interested and interested parties to serve on our committees. Even if it is only for chat sessions on the irc channel. Getting together for weekly or monthly chat sessions might be a start.
Spread the load share the idea: Linux as an alternative to M$/Apple. We have a choice, now how can we show Western Pa. users that they also have a choice. A choice that is worth making. That's the challenge and that's the agenda I'd like to promote as a Board member of your WPLUG.
I have been a WPLUG member for several years, and a Linux user for many more years. I desire to become involved with the WPLUG Board of Directors, as I think there is a need to find ways to improve the marketing of WPLUG and increase the membership numbers. I think that outreach needs to be improved, and that it needs to be done to attract both new and seasoned Linux users. Improving the social networking aspects of the organization is one simple step that could help spread the word quickly. An another idea I had is that we as an organization could provide Linux training to individuals, where the proceeds benefit the organization. I think that an InstallFest may be a bit intimidating for some first time installers, and even if they do get the installation done, they will likely have a moment of "now what?". It'd be nice to pick a beginner-friendly distribution and use that as a standardized teaching platform. A lot of people are familiar with Windows, so it would make sense to show people how to perform similar tasks in Linux and show that in a lot of cases, Linux will satisfy all of their needs for an operating system. We could even make a localized/branded Linux distribution, such as the one described here, LiveCD.
Additionally, I think the regular WPLUG meetings are good, but I think it would be fun to have casual meet-ups every month or two at a local establishment in order to talk to others in a relaxed environment with no real agenda. We do this with my beekeeping club Burgh Bees, where we meet up on the last Tuesday of every month at Carson City Saloon to hang out, and enjoy food and drinks. I think WPLUG doing something similar could be a great way to attract new members and just spread the word of Linux.
With respect to Burgh Bees, I am currently serving the role of secretary of the nonprofit, and would like to utilize the knowledge I have attained from serving on that board to help out WPLUG as much as I can. My roles as secretary currently are keeping minutes, as well as composing monthly news blasts and maintaining our social network sites, like Facebook.
I look forward to the discussion on Wednesday night on IRC, so will see you all there!
For more about me, please check out my User page, located here: User:Jprostko
Enter a paragraph or two expressing your agenda for the coming year.
I still remember my very first computer: a Macintosh SE, one of Apple's first Mac-branded products. At that age, I didn't care about much more than playing my favorite educational games. As I got older, however, I discovered that computers could be used for more than just entertainment. Multimedia software allowed me to create works that were limited only by my imagination; the Internet was like a wild frontier ripe with opportunity. The PC became less of a tool and more of a workshop in itself, a place sheltered from rules and regulations where I could let my creativity run free.
In college, one of my hallmates convinced me to try Ubuntu as an alternative to Windows. I came away so impressed that I designed a similar experiment for my senior project: I asked a group of student volunteers to use Windows and Linux for basic productivity tasks and record which one they preferred. They chose Windows. That wasn't important, though; I've always felt that the free exchange of information is one of society's greatest assets, and in open source, I found a philosophy that espouses that.
I'm one of WPLUG's newest members. As such, I'm not as qualified to speak on the group's history as some of the other candidates, but based on what I've seen so far, WPLUG's future is uncertain. We have trouble attracting new members; our existing members aren't sure what to do because the group lacks a coherent vision.
In my opinion, we stand the best chance at success if we fundamentally transform the way WPLUG operates. I propose a three-point plan called WAG that improves upon the concept of a Linux user group by bringing it up to date with current technological trends.
1. Web Site. WPLUG’s Web site is informative but looks dated, even compared to other LUGs. I propose creating a simple Wordpress Web site for WPLUG. Use a stylish theme to make it look attractive with minimal effort.
-Tie in WPLUG Google+, WPLUG YouTube, and LinkedIn accounts -Repurpose the wiki as a repository for WPLUG’s bylaws (or organizational info in general). -Include supporting material that explains why we believe what we do (see this page on another group’s Web site for reference) -Add convenience features such as a Java IRC applet -Organize a link exchange program with local technology enthusiast organizations like Hack Pittsburgh -Include a calendar. Google Calendar would integrate nicely with Google+.
2. Android. By 2016, more Android devices will exist than Windows devices. Isn't that amazing? Yet month after month, we focus exclusively on desktop Linux, which is a niche in a dying market. Let's treat mobile Linux with the same respect as desktop Linux and make it our mission to show the next generation of Linux users all the cool things they can do with it!
*Show off various Android mods *Play around with the Android TV sticks currently on the market *Demonstrate how Android can be used in home automation *Explain the similarities and differences between GNU/Linux and Android/Linux *Show how the command line can be used in both Android *Help users understand the software and hardware differences between phones. How many people REALLY know how to pick out a phone? *Give a presentation on other Linux-based mobile operating systems like Open WebOS and Firefox OS
3. Google+. Our social media presence is minimal; that's a no-no in today's world. Google+ is the ideal home for WPLUG for several reasons.
*Populated almost exclusively by technology enthusiasts *People who want to see what happens at our events (picnic, installfests, etc.) have no easy way to do so. We could use the Google+ “party mode” feature to automatically upload and organize pictures from group events. *Use Google+ Hangouts to broadcast each meeting live on YouTube. Members can even access the meeting via phone by dialing in to the Google+ hangout. After the meeting is over, it will be uploaded to the WPLUG YouTube channel automatically.
To be added.
If you would like to volunteer to assist with this meeting, please add your name to one or more of the categories below.
- Host: Terry Golightly
- Co-Host: Your name here
- Setup: Your name here
- Clean Up: Your name here
- Your name/location here