[plug] PLUG News - Thanks to Greg - LCA registrations open, and more

James Bromberger james at rcpt.to
Wed Sep 14 11:09:15 WST 2011

Hello all,

Here's a round up of the news from last night's PLUG meeting at UCC at UWA.

First up, a big *thank you to Greg Orange* for giving us a tour of his
experiences with HSM and the SGI solution he implemented last year.  We
had about a dozen people at last night's meeting, which was streamed and
recorded; the video file is pretty much ready - thanks to Euan, Jason
and Michael we should have this available to view very shortly. Our
continuing thanks to HostAway and Labyrinth Data for our co-lo & hosting.

PLUG is almost set up with a *PayPal account*, thanks to Jason Nicholls.
This will mean that PLUG will be able to accept funds by PayPal, and by
credit card. PLUG gets charged around 1.3% of each transaction, so our
preference will still be for direct deposit, but the option is there for
those who find this more convenient. Its been a lot of hassle to get the
account set up for the organisation (unlike for an individual), so
thanks to Jason for the work on this.

Jason has also organised a dozen *PLUG shirts* (shirts with collar,
buttons, not T-Shirts) that we hope to have by the end of the month.
These are only produced in units of 12 shirts; /most/ of this first
batch has been sold, but we'll get more made up if there's interest, as
well as looking at a T-Shirt option. Contact committee

PLUG membership now stands at *72*. Membership is $20/year full, and
$10/year concession (student, pensioner, etc).

_*PLUG in the Pub*_
Our next pub meet social is on *Monday 26th of September *- just under 2
weeks away - at the Moon & Six Pence. We've got some visitors from IBM
coming along who would like to talk to anyone looking to take a product
or project to market and would like to work with IBM to do so. *IBM will
be buying some drinks *on the night for everyone who turns up. Since I
can't drink all their budget by myself, please come along and help me!
This is for anyone/everyone to attend, you don't have to have a project,
just come and have a drink. ;)

As you know (!) we have *Rusty Russell* with us in a month's time to
give a talk. For those not familiar, Rusty is an Adelaide based Linux
kernel developer and open source contributor who wrote the ipchains and
iptables firewall implementations in the kernel, as well as the lguest
virtualisation system, and fast user mutexes (futex). He also started
the Australian national Linux conference, now known as
/*Linux.Conf.au*/. This is the *first time we're flying a speaker to
Perth* explicitly to speak to PLUG, which is why there's a charge this
time for attending: $20 for members, and $50 for non-members; all
University computer science/IT students get FREE admission. However,
this is for tickets booked and paid for in advance; *on the night door
tickets are $50 for EVERYONE*. Please help us to get numbers right by
booking in advance. There is a hard limit of 100 in the venue. *Email
tickets_AT_plug.org.au to get your ticket*!

So, what's Rusty going to talk about. Hot off the email, here's what
he'd like to tell you:

    *Coding: Let's Have Fun!

    It's hard to describe the joy of coding, if you haven't experienced
    it, but in this talk will try to capture some of it.  Free/Open
    Source lets us remove the cruft which forecloses on the joy of
    coding: seize this chance!

    I'll talk about some of my favourite projects over the last 15 years
    of Free Software coding: what I did, how much fun it was and some
    surprising results which came from it.  I'll also discuss some hard
    lessons learned about joyless coding, so you can avoid it.  There
    will also be a sneak peak from my upcoming linux.conf.au talk.

    There'll be some awesome code to delight us.  And if you're not a
    programmer we'll take you our journey and show you the moments of
    brilliance which keep us coding.*

The evening starts at 6:30pm on Tuesday 11th October at the UWA
Geography and Geology Lecture Theatre #1 (Gentilli Theatre). Free
parking in Staff (red) and Student (yellow) bays should start at UWA
from 5pm, and car parks 18 and 20 accessed from Fairway are probably the
closest parking (http://www.parking.uwa.edu.au/). We're planning on
having Rusty give a talk for an hour, and then having an intermission
with Pizza delivered, and then returning to the theatre for a panel
discussion/debate with the audience on "*The State and Future of Linux &
Open Source in Australia*". We have three guests for this:  Rusty
(obviously), Dr Chris McDonald from the UWA Department of Computer
Science, and Assistant Professor Robert Cunningham from the Law School
who specialises in Intellectual Property and open source licensing.

Maps of UWA campus are at http://maps.uwa.edu.au/.

Please tell your friends and colleagues about this. There's a poster on
the PLUG Events page to print out and put up where other will see it.

This event should be streamed live online from our usual icecast server
for those who just can't make it on the night  (and recorded for later
playback). Your remote participation and feedback via IRC during the
event will be relayed to the venue -- however, nothing beats being there
in the room so grab a ticket and come along! ;)

We'll be emailing ticket holders in the next few weeks to reconfirm the
details for the night.

Talking of the "father" of Linux.conf.au (/LCA,
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linux.conf.au/), the *schedule has just
come out* for the January 2012 installation of this event, being held in
Ballarat, Victoria (an hour outside Melbourne) January 16 - 20. And in
the last few hours, *Early bird (read "discount") registrations have
opened*, so you can now book your ticket! For those not familar with
LCA, one of the three main world-wide grass-roots open source
conferences. If you see the Wikipedia article, there's a picture of the
2003 conference held here in Perth with the pizza boxes we had for lunch
that day (and the penguin road sign banner that now hangs in the UCC at

_*Future Talks*_
We have the following talks lined up in the calendar after Rusty in

  * Nov: Open Source Manufacturing, by Daniel Harmsworth
  * Dec: Mon-keytest GUI testing, by John McCabe-Dansted
  * Jan: PLUG AGM (and elections)
  * Feb: Moodle CMS, by Moodle creator Martin Dougiamas
  * Mar: possible NBN discussion/panel

The venues for these are up in the air; if you'd like to host host
around 30 - 40 people in a venue with enough space and a DSL (or better)
net connection then please let the committee know
(/committee_AT_plug.org.au/). We've been very grateful to the UCC at UWA
for hosting us, and other organisations, but we're constantly looking
for somewhere to congregate (that's free). Unfortunately community halls
charge more than we can afford, and normally don't have net access (for
streaming), and commercial venues are also more than we can afford on a
monthly basis.

PLUG is trying to plan talks at least 3 months out so you can see whats
happening. I'm hoping this is helping you. As always, the PLUG
presentations are on the second Tuesday of the month; and (with the
exception of the Rusty talk next month) we're now starting at 7pm dur to
popular demand (we've trid 7:30, and it was too late, and it seemed 6:30
was a little too early).

Thank you to everyone who volunteers to give a talk; if you have a talk
you'd like to give on your experiences, or a project you've been working
on, please let us know and we'll schedule you. Giving a PLUG talk is a
great first step to talking at other conferences. We're also looking for
short 5 minute "lightning talks" you'd like to give after the main
presenter on any time -- just let us know.

Also, if the Rusty event is the success we're seeing it become, then
we'd like to get your input of whom else we should bring to Perth to
give a talk. Got a favourite developer or open source contributor that
you'd like to chat with? Let committee know, and we'll contact them and
see if they are interested in coming.

_*Software Freedom Day*_
Software Freedom Day is a world-wide day to promote Free and Open Source
software. See http://softwarefreedomday.org/. It is this Saturday the
17th of September.  We've not had anyone want to co-ordinate PLUG's SFD
activity this year, so we're not explicitly doing anything; however, 402
groups world-wide are (none in Perth; 6 groups across Vic, NSW and Tas;
5 groups in NZ).

_*Summer BBQ*_
We've been thinking of what to do for members for the end of the year,
and we've settled on a BBQ in Kings Park on Sunday 4th of December at
the Synergy Playground (Zamia Cafe) from around noon (or a bit before).
There's several public BBQs there, so we'll drag along a couple of
eskis, some sausages, buns, etc, and hang out for a bit. BYO drinks -
indeed, bring a large bottle to share with others. *We need a volunteer
who will gather the number of people coming so we can get enough food -
please let us know if you can help*. Bring your partner and any
offspring you have, plus a chair(s), rug, sunscreen, etc.

_*AV Crew*_
The AV crew managed to get set up and operational in 45 minutes last
night. We still need bodies to help out with camera operation, plugging
kit together and taking it apart, or any other part of stage managing
you'd like to help out with (lighting, set, etc). Please subscribe to
the AV mailing list and speak up

_*Volunteers needed*_

  * Give a talk!
  * Give a lightning talk (5 mins or less)!!
  * Host a PLUG meeting/volunteer a venue (with DSL or better link,
    suitable for around 30-40 people)
  * Start a PLUG project
  * Organise numbers for the Summer BBQ
  * Co-ordinate and schedule PLUG talks
  * Help on the AV crew
  * Media & advertising relations (draft/send press releases, get PLUG
    more well known)
  * Employment/jobs mailing list manager - for Linux & Open Source
    related roles across WA (posting policy, possibly moderated with
  * Quiz night 2012 - lets get prepared - if you liked it this year,
    help run it next year!
  * Anything else that you can think of!

_*Committee Meeting*_
PLUG committee meets twice a month; once after the main PLUG
presentation, and then 2 - 3 weeks later on-line using Mumble to voice
chat (mumble.plug.org.au) and IRC (#plug on irc.plug.org.au). You're
welcome to attend either meeting. It's in the PLUG calendar (see the
PLUG web site). A big thanks to the committee for taking this time from
to help PLUG, and everyone else who comes along to give their input (and
to volunteer to take on a project/role!).

Facebook & Calendar
*_PLUG is on Facebook (/Perth Linux Users Group, PLUG/); if you happen
to use this then please "like" the page. The PLUG Events calendar on
Google Calendar can be imported into your own ICAL aware calendar (such
as Thunderbird with Lightning & Google Calendar provider; see the events
page on the PLUG web site).

Your feedback to committee (or me) is essential. If you like what we're
doing, let us know. If you have suggestions for something else, let us
know. If you don't like something, well, /something something something/
- OK, ok, let us know! ;)

_*Avast; its nearly September the 19th*_
A reminder that Talk Like a Pirrrrate day be fast aproachin' on Monday.
See http://www.talklikeapirate.com/.

That's rather long. Thanks to everyone who is helping make PLUG
interesting and useful.

/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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