[plug] PLUG News round-up (long)

James Bromberger james at rcpt.to
Fri May 13 10:34:23 WST 2011

Hello PLUG,

I gave a rather long (*yawn*) /News round-up/ at Tuesday's meeting, and
I felt I should reproduce it here for you (and *highlight* any changes
/since/ Tuesday).

*AV Project*
The video project now has a reasonable amount of equipment, mostly
donated (Thanks to /L-3 Nautronix/ for an old PCI video card on Tuesday)
or on temporary loan. The group has had a workshop at the end of April,
and will probably hold one per month to test all equipment and try and
improve the process. We keep saying we're applying for grants, but we're
still also trying to get up to speed on what equipment we're after that
would make up this grant -- hopefully something we'll sort out this
month. AV Project did record the May presentation by Carl on IPv6; *we
did end up with a bit of a hum/buzz on the audio which we'll try and
improve for next time, but thevideo (all 200+MB in 1:19) is at
*PLUG Committee Changes
*With the announcement of Jason Nichols becoming Deputy Treasurer, we
also put out a clal for additional Ordinary Committee Mmebers, and
*Daniel Harmsworth (of Artifactory and Central Tafe Lecturer fame) has
volunteered to step up to committee*. Thanks Daniel.

*Association Administrivia
*At the April meeting we announced we had just got PLUG organised with
its own PO Box; we've now notified Fair Trading and our Bank (Bendigo)
of our change of address, and Jason/Peter are organising informing the
ATO for our ABN record. Many thanks to Mark G who has let PLUG use his
personal PO box for some while.

*Next Social Event
*For want of a better name, "PLUG in the Pub" is on again this month on
Monday 23rd May at The Moon & Six Pence in the city. I think we'll be
there from "Beer O'Clock" until late. PLUG in the pub is every two
months, and we've pretty much settled on the Moon & Six Pence as a venue
(but we're open to suggestions).

*Scheduled PLUG Presentations/Talks
*Next month (June) we're at IBM where Indulus Bernstein will be showing
us what High Performance Computing (HPC) things that he and IBM have
been up to. We're being hosted by IBM at their West Perth offices on Hay
Street. We'll be *starting at the earlier time of 6:30pm*, as a result
of feedback we've had. AV team will be trying to stream this live. In
July, James Henstridge will be presenting Ubuntu One, the "/personal
cloud/". Later int he year we'll be potentially flying a well known,
high profile, accomplished developer in from over east to give a talk -
and from feedback we've had, we'll be covering the costs by selling
tickets to this event. There are real costs involved (flights, hotel),
and Daniel Harmsworth has volunteered to coordinate ticket sales,
promotion, etc. I'll let him post out about the details of WHO and
WHEN.... /RSN/.

*Polling for feedback
*I've run a few short impromptu polls to try and get some measured
feedback recently. The results are: people would prefer meetings to be
more centrally located with public transport, start at 6:30pm instead of
7:30pm (which we'll try and do for the IBM presentation), and include a
set of "lightning talks" (5 minutes or less; again we'll do this after
every presentation from now on). We've been very mobile with PLUG
meetings for the last few months, but we'll probably start to settle
down again soon into one locaiton. The moving around has shaken things
up and given some people a less reasons to not come along! Meeting sizes
have DOUBLED in 4 months! Membership has DOUBLED in 4 months!! Woot!!!

*Branding/Logo/Visual Identity
*For the last few years, the only logo that people seem to have been
able to lay their hands on for PLUG has been the small image on the web
site. We're going to try and update/refresh this, and Tim Bowden has
volunteered to administer a Logo Competition, details of which I've
asked Tim to send out to the list /RSN/. Please submit your entires
early; we'll be looking to make up posters and banners for use at
meetings as soon as we can.

*PLUG Services
*We've recently one of PLUGs old servers, Shameless, and put it on IPv6.
We're about to launch a new "user shell box", "Bath" (yep,
bath.plug.org.au) which will also be available on the IPv6 network. We
hope to get the web site (on Pot.plug.org.au) at some stage on IPv6. And
lastly, as part of discussions on Tuesday evening, we moved to install
an *Urban Terror game server* (email last night about this). We have a
Mumble server (aka Murmur) running on www.plug.org.au too if you'd like
to muti-way voice chat. Want more services?  Suggest it! Even better,
volunteer to admin it! remmber, many PLUG people are on IRC at #plug on
irc.plug.org.au (GimpNet).

*Volunteers needed: AV Project
*Want to help produce the PLUG videos? Got a passion for audio,
lighting, video, directing, broadcasting? Please sign up to the AV
mailing list, and help out. No experience necessary. The AV project is
an attempt to get PLUG's presentations available to remote members, and
even local ones who cant be there on the night. Its also good practice
so we have a team of people ready should any conference return to Perth.
If the AV team is healthy and producing good content, then that's a
reasonable sign that PLUG may be ready to run LCA again...

*Volunteers needed: Workshop/InstallFest
*If you would like to organise a Workshop (bring your computer and get
someone to help you with a problem) or InstallFest (bring your computer
and get it installed) please let us know. Its been a while since PLUG
has held either. Venues are around, just someone needs to manage
promotion, scheduling, etc.

*Volunteers needed: Software Freedom Day
*Do you understand the /Free as in Freedom/ concept of open source. Do
you appreicate that its not just "zero cost" software, but a community
of sharing, improving, and using software? Would you like to express
this to others? read up on Software Freedom Day (which is a day in
September, or so) and coordinate PLUGs involvement.

*Volunteers needed: PLUG web site content
*Want to organise our web site? Help Lance (our librarian) get links to
relevent local mirrors and information? Please email committee and we'll
set you up with a Drupal account on our web site and give you editing

*Volunteers needed: PLUG Promotion
*There's loads of people using Linux now. Why aren't they PLUG members?
Most haven't heard of PLUG. Why not? What should PLUG do for them (and
you) that it's not doing now? Have you mentioned to your
friends/colleagues/fellow students that next month you're going to IBM
to see a presentation on high performance computing. Ask them to come along!

*Volunteers needed: Other activities*
Want to get other geeks/hackers/enthuisusts together for some fun? here
are some suggestions - if you have something you'd like to run, please
contact us:

  * Paint-balling
  * Barbecue
  * Dinner
  * Beginners talks? "Getting started with /$software_package/"?
  * LCA group trip (see below)
  * Other projects??

*Linux.conf.au 2012: Ballarat
*Linux.conf.au is the national, annual Linux & Open Source conference,
run by a regional Linux User Group on behalf of Linux Australia (the
national body). Each year its in a different city - and way back in 2003
we (PLUG) ran it. In January 2012 its in Ballarat, an hour outside of
Melbourne. Its time to start thinking i you're looking to attend, and
how you're going to get there, and if you're going to book flights -
should you team up with other PLUG people and go as a group.

*PLUG health
*As you can see from the above list, there is a lot going on. The main
PLUG mailing list has some 370 subscribers, but sadly only around 44
financial members who have paid their $10/year ($5 concession). That
means our annual budget is around $400/year, which if you divide that by
12 meetings a year works out at less than $34/meeting. Its for that
reason we don't hire a venue - we just can't afford it in a sustainable
way. We have around $2,300 in the bank, most of which came from Computer
Angels. We're earmerking some of these funds for the posters/banners
mentioned above, plus covering costs of PO Box, etc. If you've read this
far in this email, then you're probably intersted enough in PLUG that
you should make your contribution, and be counted as a member. Details
on the web site.

*Membership fee increase
*For the last 10+ years, PLUG membership has been $10 full, $5
concession per year. We're going to take ont he first increase of this,
and make it $20/year full, and $10/year concession. At the meeting I
announced we'd be doing this from the end of the year, but the committee
meeting moved to *bring this date forward to the 1st of July*. That
means you have about a month and a bit to get your current PLUG
membership up to date at current prices ($10/$5). We're also not
processing multi-year memberships at $10/$5. I'm sure you'll agree that
$20 is not a huge sum of money, but it does help us to cover the costs
of making PLUG do the interesting stuff (such as that listed above, and
everything else you've seen in the last 4 months, like the Quiz Night).

*Short Summary
*Since the above is so very long, here's a summary:

  * PLUG in the Pub, Monday 23rd May (its in the PLUG Calendar on the
    web site)
  * Next meeting at IBM, West Perth, on HPC
  * Get your PLUG membership now before it goes up to $20/year
  * Logo competition starting; details from Tim B real soon now
  * Special presentation event towards end of year; details from Daniel
    H real soon now
  * Video from Tuesday's IPv6 talk now on the web site. Thanks to Carl
    for giving the presentation

If you have questions, feel free to email or call me, or email the
committee (committee at plug.org.au). Or just reply on list and we'll all
discuss! next committee meeting is via IRC at 7:30pm WST on #plug on
irc.plug.org.au (Gimpnet); feel free to lurk there (or chime in with

*My thanks goes to the continuing efforts of the committee to keep up
with invigorating PLUG, and to people volunteering to help with various

PS: I may follow up this message with more if people poke me to remind
me of even more stuff I have forgotten! :)
/Mobile:/ +61 422 166 708, /Email:/ james_AT_rcpt.to
PLUG President 2011: http//www.plug.org.au
Perth.pm Organiser 2011: http://perth.pm.org
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