Meeting Minutes 2009-01-29

Martin Owens doctormo at gmail.com
Fri Jan 30 05:58:11 GMT 2009


Dear all,

Firstly, thanks to all those who came to our meeting. I hope you enjoyed
having a talk about what we're going to be doing and I hope you've all
been energised as much as I have.

This is an edited minutes, for full log please see xvv's fantastic log
keeping in the IRC channel log.

== People Introductions ==
Because there were lots of new faces, we had a round of introductions.

Martin Owens (doctormo), meeting chair, starts things off, FOSS
Programmer.
Marius Popa, our guest from the Romaian LoCo, currently working in
Boston.
Frank Tillay (sp?); first time at a meeting; works in the area as
sysadmin and wants to learn more about Ubuntu.
James G; programmer in westwood;
Steve Pomroy (aka xxv), tinkerer at MIT Media Labs.
Ralph deGennaro (Rio); does DB stuff for pearson school systems
Mike Rushton (aka leftyfb), Systems Admin in Lowell.
Mike Terry; works in OEM services decision at Canonical
Algot; retired teacher and computer tech for school district; computer
using ed. Runs MOSSIG blog.
Felecia; from tip of cape cod; not many ubuntu users there; got laptop
from dell with ubuntu on it; very happy with ubuntu.
Jim Olburn; from watertown, worked at a bunch of tech places; spends
most time on ubuntu + apple; having fun
Jay; works as programmer at verizon; interested in open source software;
bringing mysql to the company.

== Group Introduction (Martin) ==
Describing basic parts of how a loco works.
Haven't had a meeting in about 2 months due to holidays
Main aims of group:
 * Education (what options are available; what free software is);
advocate use of free software in general.
 * Operate on principal that everyone can bring forth their own ideas
 * Usually there's a minimum number of people to get anything going
  - example, Microcenter will be running an introduction to linux this
Saturday, need one person there.
 * One person in charge of events, but everyone can help

ACTION ITEM: Jim, with Mike or Rio possible, Saturday 2pm, Cambridge
Microcenter.

One program that's running is a program at the south end technical
center every Tuesday from 7-9pm.
Mel King runs this and we help out; we train people how to use the basic
operating system. Mel makes sure they are trained and then gives them a
recycled computer for free.
People will come back for extra things, such as uploading pictures to
their ipod or download music.
We've had quite a few people, looking for different things, but doesn't
happen too often.
Want to encourage it, so martin is creating a network of these types of
facilities and the communities behind them.
Martin teaching [person from a facility] about ubuntu, for the goal of
expanding the available reach.
Looking to help out places that don't have computer labs and get them
involved.
Plenty of people out there who want to learn how to use computers
without paying a lot of money
First thing is to build the network of communities
South End of boston has a particularly high number of community centers

ACTION ITEM: Martin to set up wiki of this network and teaching program.
GENERAL ITEM: All, If you can spare a weekend, look for places that do
computer stuff for communities and see if they want to get involved with
us. that way, we can build up our people structure and expand beyond us
doing stuff.

We can't touch enough people by ourselves. we need to leverage our
skills.

rio: where you're headed is a great idea, I'm new to the group; I see
you trying to get the message out there; there's a lot more effort we
could do with the community centers and such to help get the message out
there

doctormo: fascinating program at the SETC, teach to learn; learn to
teach. Expand your ability to and learn and help others learning. This
is why Martin is teaching the D street center guy; why teaching with
felicia to get knowledge out there.

rio: most of time martin is at SETC, lefty always there; i'm always
there; great place for people to talk with people about ubuntu and play
with it, good place to practice; Johnathan Prigot spent an hour with
someone, teching them. found it exhausting.
miket: do you need more hands?
leftyfb: No, need to get more people to teach, go to other places and
spread to other community centers
doctormo: if there's a lot of demand, mel will open up front room to
offer more computers to teach on
leftyfb: about a dozen chairs there to teach, more if needed.
mariuz: this is a public place?
doctormo: whole thing run by tent city via MIT; promote tech access to
poorest communities; great way to get in touch with those most in need
doctormo: mike doesn't want this poster to go out until he's done
rewiring; students messed with wiring, need to redo it
leftyfb: probably next week, get wiring finished
Hard to get them online without network cables

[someone please post link to poster]

Any comments about poster?
Going to use spreadubuntu.org instead of wiki for loco materials.
http://spreadubuntu.neomenlo.org/, link sent to mailing list in an
email.

ACTION ITEM: leftyfb wants to help spreadubuntu out with a new domain
name.

rio: too wordy; try to keep things simpler
leftyfb: poster should be something you can skim
doctormo: posters should be read on a couple of levels, it is a bit too
wordy, I'm open to making text bigger, reducing number of words
danbhfive: I was thinking that you could make multiple posters, each
targeting a different audience / each having a different message
rio: [changed some wording, recites it]
felicia: Can be understood by the girl on the street; interested in it
danbhfive: [will comment in a sec]
jay: agrees with danbhfive's comment; any places that don't speak
english?
... around south end, many spanish speakers
... portugese too
Jay: we're [teaching] in English, right?
doctormo: know people in Chinese community who can teach in native
language. teach them in english, they can teach in chinese.
rio: if people want to do projects, see if people in loco want to do
such; use things in wiki as toolset to help this.
doctormo: making sure to put everything in online tools, so people can
do novel and interesting things on their own.
leftyfb: want to be viral, not linear.
jim: as you're doing these courses, are these sessions "what do you want
to learn?"; you should want to develop some courses
doctormo: There's courseware available
leftyfb: too informal currently
... first while of teaching them, need to figure out where they're at
... if we want to be more formal, we can go by the curriculum.
felicia: been going to online help in ubuntu, find it very superficial;
not enough for me
leftyfb: want to keep official docs broad; community stuff is where it's
at
mariuz: https://wiki.ubuntu.com/Training here is course i think
jay: [mentioning "VTC ubuntu" training courses on youtube]
... pretty good; sat through all of them
mariuz: http://www.ubuntupocketguide.com/download.html another free book
i saw recently
leftyfb: showing screenscasts.ubuntu.com, start a very low level
leftyfb: look into contacting [VTC] guy
jay: is a good idea to show other people?
leftyfb: how do we use them?
doctormo: training; give them out as handout
rio: more tools at disposal, more links give out
lefty: standard piece of paper as handout
jim, felecia: set them up as bookmarks on computers we set up.
mariuz: ubuntu have channel for training?
lefty: ubuntu-classroom
miket: are rather technical
rio: don't want to subject people to irc
lefty: one network called freenode; channels dedicated to projects

== Working with Schools (leftyfb) ==

Now Mike is bringing up working with schools

Mike: a lot of people in the group are related to the industry
Martin: Tact is important in schools.
Mike: Setermining how does Ubuntu fit into the classroom
and making sure we know what to talk about
Mike is mentioning finding right people to talk to and the right
training for them
Martin: A challenge is that Boston recent activities, and that we might
not be looked kindly upon by us coming in and challenging their existing
decision
what happened?
Martin: Encouraging people in educational market to come to existing
training sessions
Algot: Getting in touch with the organizations and businesses that
support the schools, educating them is important
... for instance Greenpages is a big company that helps out schools, and
they are windows people
... so when they know and could answer questions about better or cheaper
ways to do things
... so that they can provide bids for both Windows and Ubuntu
Algot: The SIS and SRC type information that schools are required to
manage and submit to governments. All the software that does is
Proprietary
Mike: Is this software is same or related to what is on the desktop
Algot: computers are an all-or-nothing thing that it wasn't 20 years
ago; teacher's computers need to be like students' computers
Rio: there's starting to be a lot more web-based stuff
... need to think of this as the whole
doctormo: that plan... the whole thing of going into schools and
changing their IT ... needs to be a business.
leftyfb: need to find places that are already using them; schools...
doctormo: It's better to approach inderviduals, bring them into the
community teaching and make progress with making people feel
comfortable. When the day does come, there won't be so much resistance
from teachers and sys admins.
Algot: one place was a private school
... better as they're independent, not constrained by state; smaller
budget still
... primarily concerned with getting kids moving from grade to grade;
deal with MCAS which has hijacked what goes on in schools; the process
means tools are somebody's choice, but not what drives the focus;
... integrators don't care, they just know what integrates, nothing to
do with teachers
jim: y'know, I love ubuntu, but can't compete with active directory; it
administrators have that kind of control; done this for fitchburg state;
... don't have the toolset to compete with that yet
doctormo: can be done, but takes an administrator with knowledge
rio: how much does [edubuntu] deal with this?
Algot: need to get to the installers, integrators; greenpages is good
company to talk to
jim: got tons of contacts
lefty: find any that use open source
Algot: some that use Firefox...

danbhfive: regarding school discussion: how about working with
non-profits?  I used to work for a buddhist non-profit, and IT was a
constant disaster.

ACTION ITEM: leftyfb, rio, jim and algot to work towards a plan

== Identica (Mike) ==

It's a tool, like twitter but open source; identi.ca
... groups; one of groups created is !ubuntuma
doctormo: need to make this known to others; have identi.ca summary
posted to mailing list every so often.
rio: need to figure out channels of communication
doctormo: make sure people aren't lost
... don't want this to be a separate column of communication
lefty: see what I can do
mariuz: it's easy to create and identi.ca account here is mine
http://identi.ca/mariuz

ACTION ITEM: leftyfb, identi.ca information posted, mailing list
postings.

== Video/Audio conferencing/broadcasting for meetings ==

... speaking of communication, one request in the past was recording
this
 skype worked best, but people don't like that as it's non-free
xxv: we have a teleconference phone here
rio: wiki is confusing; volunteer to go through and reorganize it
doctormo: any objections?
everyone: go for it!
rio: informational aspect of finding out information; participation
aspect too
... lots of people coming to this without much technical knowledge
danbhfive: skype replacement: http://www.voiceandvideochat.com/
I briefly tested, and it seems to maybe work.
xxv: "maybe work" is not quite a "skype replacement", not to say that
skype works all the time!
mariuz: vlc will stream too.

ACTION ITEM: leftyfb, look into setting up streaming solution.

== Open Floor (All) ==
rio: Wiki maintance, public facing content
doctormo: website is supposed to be public facing, wiki is for internal
documentation.
doctormo: explains how new site that's not up yet, need someone to take
the task to task.
 ... anyone know python?
danbhfive: mk, Ill post on the mailing list
rio: makes re-framing easier; don't need subsections on wiki.
[guy next to xxv]: website was not up to date; was confused
leftyfb: I can take care of the wiki events information.
doctormo: everyone here should get a launchpad account for editing the
wiki and other useful things.

ACTION ITEM: Rio to push the release of the website as static content
for public face of group.

doctormo: CD given out,
algot: when order for 9.04, keep me in mind
leftyfb: if you need some for an organization or event, use the shipit
website: shipit.ubuntu.com

ACTION ITEM: doctormo, order more Ubuntu Desktop CDs.

xxv: meeting officially closed. thank for coming, all!

Our next meeting is Thursday February 26th (7-9pm), 2009-02-26 19:00
We will discuss the action points and see if there is any problems or if
everything went well.

Best Regards, Martin Owens




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