[ubuntu-uk] LUGs

Alan Pope alan at popey.com
Wed Mar 28 19:28:23 BST 2007

On Wed, Mar 28, 2007 at 06:34:37PM +0100, TheVeech wrote:
> On Wed, 2007-03-28 at 16:35 +0100, Tony Travis wrote:
> > TheVeech wrote:
> > > Just curious.  Anyone a member?  If so, what's yours like?
> > > 
> > > I'd have thought they were a bit of a geekfest, not having been to one,
> > > but I'm probably way off the mark.  Trouble is, the one for my neck of
> > > the woods is supposed to be active but its website hasn't been updated
> > > for a long time.  These days, is it time better spent online?
> > 
> > I subscribe to the AberLUG mailing list (Aberdeen) and I've found it 
> > quite useful. I've met up with a few people 1:1, but I don't attend the 
> > AberLUG meetings: A 'geekfest' sounds a rather judgmental!
> Don't be daft.  Of course I'm not judgemental.  There's nothing wrong
> with pointy ears (i.e. it's judgemental).

Clearly via email I cannot detect a sense of humour here, so bear with me if 
this is badly dectected.

:( Negative comments like this about LUGs by people who have not been to a 
meeting make me sad and a little cross.

My local LUG meets are great fun. They are a tremendously social event with 
a lot of chat and general shooting the breeze.

The tech stuff can get deep but it's not like you have to sit and talk to 
someone about the subtleties of one kernel config parameter over another, 
you can just go and talk to someone else if you're getting geeked at.

> >  I've found 
> > AberLUG members friendly, and willing to help anyone learn about Linux.
> This is what I'd be after.  It sounds like it's a similar mood and
> approach to, say, the Ubuntu forums and the mailing lists, which I've
> found really impressive at times.

Each LUG is different of course, some have pub meets, others meet in 
offices, universities of church halls. They all have their merits and often 
the locals like the way things run or they either wouldn't attend (sad, 
means low numbers in LUGs) or they instigate change (as Colin has done in 

> > I guess it's about making contact with like-minded people. I think far 
> > more people read the LUG lists than attend LUG meetings. However, the 
> > LUG meetings are what some Linux people want, so each to their own :-)

As an example there are 178 members (not filtering duplicate addresses) on 
the Hampshire LUG list. At each meeting around 10-40 people turn up 
depending upon time of year, what talks are scheduled and who has broken 
stuff or gadgets to show off.

> I think I'd feel pretty comfortable in a crowd like that, but what about
> people who are still getting to grips with the 'basics' - would they
> benefit or would they feel a bit out of place?

We get complete newbies at our LUG. People have been known to just walk in 
off the street and ask for help. Others travel some distance to come.

We have name badges on (mostly - unless we forget) showing the distro we 
know, and have someone sat at the door directing new people to a place to 
sit, where to get power and LAN, and who to talk to about specific issues.

I'm not saying ours is the best run LUG, many would find the above awful, 
but it works for us. Other LUGs like meeting in a curry house or pub during 
the week and their members would never dream of actually giving up a weekend 
to go to geek-out. 

Each to their own I guess, but at least give them a chance :)


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