[plug] Last night's workshop, membership update; Rusty talk reminder; general PLUG news

James Bromberger james at rcpt.to
Tue Aug 23 13:26:48 WST 2011

Hello PLUG,

/I made this email longer than usual because I lack the time to make it
shorter/ -- Blaise Pascal (/mostly/).

Last night PLUG held its first general workshop at Artifactory. Many
thanks to Daniel and the folks at Artifactory in again letting us use
their space, power and network link for this. I think we had a total of
/*around 15 bodies*/ through the evening -- some getting help, some
helping, and some working on the AV project's own workshop/test. Many
thanks to Nick for scheduling this event.

With further good news, I can report that PLUG's current financial
membership total has hit *70 paid up members*, up from around 22 in
January. Many thanks to everyone who has contributed by becoming a PLUG
member. While over triple January's total is a great achievement, I'm
now eyeing off the 100 mark as the next milestone! Full membership is
just $20/year, and concession (students, pensioners, etc) is just
$10/year. We still have around 280 people subscribed on the PLUG list
who aren't members yet (from 350 total subscribers); I'd love to hear
off-list what PLUG can do to tempt non-member subscribers in to become

This increase in membership reduces the farcical issue we had with the
PLUG Constitution in January (minimum quorum was 30, and we had 22
members, so emergency measures had to be done with a repeated meeting
the following week, etc), but in order to avoid this next time, we will
start to look soon at amendments to make the quorum work in scenarios
where membership falls; more details on this when we have a crystal
clear understanding of what needs to be proposed -- trust me, even
mentioning the C word gets some people in a tis, so lets avoid it and
stay calm -- we'll discuss this in a later thread.

We're getting closer to our *Rusty Russell* event on Tuesday 11th
October. This is going to be a big evening; not only is Rusty giving a
talk, but we're going to be running a *discussion panel* as well,
debating the /*State and Future of Linux & Open Source in Australia*/.
This panel will have experts in Computer Science, Intellectual Property
and Law, plus Rusty and perhaps more, and will be based upon the
audience input on the evening. We're also looking to do a *pizza
order*/**/for the intermission between the talk by Rusty, and the panel
session; for this reason, we need people to book (and pay for) their
tickets ASAP. Tickets are $20 for members, $50 for non-members, and free
for university computer science/IT students*; email tickets at plug.org.au
for details on paying (bank direct deposit or cash to a committee
member). On the night, door tickets will be $50 for everyone, regardless
of membership or being a university CS/IT student on the night. Please
help this be a success:

  * Get your own ticket now
  * Convince a friend to get their ticket now
  * Grab the poster from the web site (PDF available) and put it up at
  * Think of whom you would like to see give a presentation next time we
    fly a speaker in!
  * Help out on the AV project (subscribe to the separate mailing list -
    see http://lists.plug.org.au/)

In other random news on PLUG....

Our new PLUG banner got an outing at the last talk (thanks again to
Mason for the talk). Thanks to Jason and Peter for their input on logo
designs. We're looking now at *PLUG T-Shirts*, and possibly even proper
shirts. If you're interested in this please speak up!

We ran a poll around people at the last meeting (and on our /Facebook
/group) and have settled on running a
summer/end-of-year/Christmas/whatever *BBQ* in early December (at this
stage, Sunday 4th Dec); its in the PLUG calendar. More details closer to
the date.

We have a talk by Greg Orange schedule for September on *clustered file
systems*; the venue is yet to be confirmed, and two weeks after that on
Monday 26th September we're back at The Moon & Six Pence for a *drink*.
I'm already starting thinking of next years *Quiz Night*; if you'd like
to help organise some of it please let me know (probably will be around
end of March time). We're also looking at running a few more panel
sessions for discussion/debate; let committee know if you have a hot
topic and some people you'd like to see debate it!

*Software Freedom Day* is coming up in September, and thus far no one
has been forthcoming in coordinating PLUGs involvement. As such, sadly
PLUG has *no solid plans*. If you have time to look into SFD and think
of something to do, please let committee know. I'm sure that there's
PLUGgers would would help out, but someone needs to work out a plan!

Our Mumble/Icecast/etc server (Bath) is about to get a tiny upgrade (a
second CPU) sometime in the next few weeks; we're considering having
Bath do video transcoding from high quality stream to a low quality one
on-the-fly (if anyone wants to play with it). Shameless is still in a
bit of a state; hopefully it will get a new Ethernet card in a few weeks
as well and stop dropping off the network every few seconds!

*Committee meeting is next Monday night at 7:30pm AWST* -- online on IRC
(#plug on irc.plug.org.au) and Mumble (mumble.plug.org.au). *You're
welcome to attend and listen in, and contribute your ideas, or volunteer
to help out.* Before then, grab the Mumble client (version 1.2.3) for
Linux, Windows or MacOS and try connecting to mumble.plug.org.au. Grab a
headset if you have one, or just a set of headphones if you haven't (to
reduce audio feedback from any other mic you may have, like on a laptop).

I could continue, but that's probably enough for now.  :)

Thanks to everyone who is helping revive PLUG, especially committee who
are putting in time in meetings and discussions. There's clearly a lot
going on.



* This is in exchange for UWA hosting this event in their lecture
theatre; Uni CS/IT students *STILL NEED TO EMAIL* to get a ticket. Proof
of enrollment will be required on the night.
/Mobile:/ +61 422 166 708, /Email:/ james_AT_rcpt.to
PLUG President 2011: http://www.plug.org.au <http//www.plug.org.au>
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