[plug] What would encourage membership of PLUG?

Bill Kenworthy billk at iinet.net.au
Thu Feb 18 10:19:57 WST 2010

On Thu, 2010-02-18 at 09:31 +0800, Tim White wrote:
> My wife and I were talking about PLUG after our failed AGM last week. 
> She wanted to know what are the benefits of joining PLUG and why would 
> anyone bother?
> Well, here is what the website says.
> *Benefits of joining:*
>     * Being a PLUG member entitles you to borrow CDs and books from the
>       PLUG library <http://www.plug.org.au/resources/library>.
>     * You get an account on the club's computers (kettle.plug.org.au and
>       spark.plug.org.au), including web space for your own web pages and
>       an e-mail address @plug.org.au. (See our terms and conditions
>       <http://www.plug.org.au/resources/shell-account> for shell access.)
>     * Free coffee (or other drink) with a kebab at Plaka Café in
>       Northbridge.
>     * PLUG members get a 10% discount at Linux IT
>       <http://www.linuxit.com.au/>.
>     * You also get spiffy card with a penguin on it.
> So my question is, what more could we offer as a group, for paid 
> members, that would encourage membership? It's not expensive, a year's 
> membership costs $10 (full membership) or $5 (concession). So what would 
> stop people from being paid members?
> On a technical side of things, I know with the new server, when it is 
> running, we hope to be running Xen, so we can have a number of Virtual 
> Machines available for people to play with. Is this something that would 
> be attractive to members? On the webserver currently, for less than a $1 
> a month, you get more hosting space than most cheap hosts give you for 
> $10 a month. (Having said that, it's not an invitation to start hosting 
> large websites with lots of traffic, as all our traffic is kindly 
> donated to us and we wouldn't want to cost our host large amounts in 
> traffic, but I think WAIX traffic is generally acceptable if larger 
> quantities than non-WAIX).
> Anyway, I just thought I'd put this out to the sleeping list, and 
> encourage some discussion about it.
> What would you want PLUG to offer paid members, that would encourage 
> your membership?
> Thanks
> Tim
> p.s. I would love it if someone could check about the discounts we 
> advertise that you can get, with Plaka and Linux IT, to see if we can 
> still get them. Also, any other business owners/managers that want to 
> add a discount, please do!

Tim, I have been a member of the mailing list since the 90's - and a
plug member on and off.  I am quite happy to pay the fees, but lazyness
and not being "in your face" about renewing it means it doesnt happen
often.  So step 1 is to send out renewals! - the mailing list being open
is great and the only service I am using - but that doesnt mean I am not
willing to be a member - just need prompting.  Especially as an online
payment was available awhile back - is that still the case?

I have some projects that might be useful to Perth-ites if hosted
locally as I am wary of putting them up on my iinet a/c, and am happy to
have it made available to PLUG members only via the plug servers(i.e.,
value adding to membership).

1. openstreetmap for WA - static tiles, not dynamically generated.  I
want to add the NASA shuttle radar profile to it eventually but have not
got there yet (too little time :).  Produced by downloading the weekly
updates (>100Mb world wide updates/week) and regenerating the tiles for
zoom 5-12 for WA, and zoom 13-17 for the greater Perth metro area and
various cherry picked towns (i.e., where I visit/holiday - currently
includes Thailand/Phuket :) weekly - easily expanded to other areas/zoom
levels.  It is possible to dynamically generate on request, but some
serious server side grunt is needed - statically just needs bandwidth to
up/download, preferably via rsync.  Consists of 1,553,431 png tiles
occupying ~3.2Gb, but it can be tar.bz2'd down to a couple of hundred Mb
as there are a lot of duplicate tiles (ocean, desert, ...).

2. Openmoko freerunner shr-testing and shr-unstable distros.
Images/ipk's compiled locally with a custom kernel and cherry-picked
applications I use.  ~8Gb, but can be reduced a lot (~2-3G) if I clean
out obsolete builds.

3. Bootable usb image for gentoo installs or rescue - I produced it for
getting a Zotac Ion mini system up and running as a gentoo diskless PXE
system for mythtv (very nice ... :)  Copy to usb key, dd the MBR across
and boot.

4. possibly other projects ...

Would there be any interest in:
a. PLUG hosting this?
b. Users who would use the data?


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