Overview – Intro: My LUG Adventures

So, I was thinking about all the LUGs I have contacted and visited and thought – what a cool concept. I’ll blog about the different LUGs I have attended.

Having been an advocate and activist, I have worked with many people from different organizations all over the world. From Anonymous to 2600, I have been honored to be a part of this great community. I always said, “I may not have much, but my life … is an adventure!”

So, in the spirit of adventure, I would like to meet with or connect with LUGs moving forward.

I started a LUG here in the Valley recently. We needed one farther east and needed someone who was strong in supporting the community and addressing needs like security, current technology and such.

Our focus is Community, Responsibility and Freedom.

In the past 3 months, I have connected in person with the following LUGs in AZ:

Prescott LUG
Sunland LUG
Phoenix LUG
and started MPGLUG

I was going to the Linux SIG in Tucson but had to pick someone up from the airport so I could not make it. That was a disappointment.

I have been asked to speak at a LUG in November. I might consider it, even though this is out of state and freezing cold!

Prescott LUG
This was a bit of a drive and I did miss the carpool! So, I drove up there myself. This was about a 2 hour drive up. We went to discuss starting an installfest in Prescott. When I arrived, the woman in attendance asked in a quite rude tone – insinuating tone, mind you, if I were a Windows user. She snickered at me. I mentioned in discussion protesting. She said, “What did you protest? LINUX!!!??”
At that point, I informed her that I actually worked as an intern and committee member of the Digital Speech Project at the FSF. “Oh, I have a membership there” she responded. I tried to be nice. Some people are just odd or defensive. I understand this. The rest of the evening was pretty pleasant once she realized I wasn’t some Winblows user or Linux h8r.

I don’t understand the culture where this is okay? I am new to a LUG. Where’s the welcome mat?
If I were a n00b, I would never go back. In fact, even as someone who has been a part of this community for over 15 years now, I have never gone back! The weather has restricted my return there. The culture for this LUG is laid back. Of course, this could be the culture in that part of the state. They did not want to have an installfest early in the morning.

I was right there with them! If the people in that area are not going show up before noon, why am I going to show up before noon?

There was no presentation or topic discussion per say. There was just good food, good beverages and good company. I enjoyed the older gentleman. Ed and Ed are cool guys! The location was nice. We closed down the one place and moved on to the coffee shop/beer place.

Phoenix LUG
Phoenix LUG has a culture and what seems like a status quo. Their space does not allow for growth. A few of the attendees work. Most of the instructors I have seen there all teach at the community college level. The Ubuntu presence is so strong, it is tough to see where Ubuntu ends and PLUG begins. While it is good to have membership and activity, some of the new members were working on what they thought were PLUG projects but turned out to be Ubuntu projects. These members were not interested in Ubuntu but were Debian and Mint users who had no idea the projects had Ubuntu goals in mind and were Ubuntu projects, not LUG projects.

The format for this LUG is present. Present several topics. The last meeting was supposed to end at 9pm but went until 10:30pm. This is somewhat of a problem for some people who might want to actually sleep.
The presentations were about things like – age old Blender software.

This seemed more like a marketing presentation to help some guy get a gig at the community college teaching courses on Linux tools like Blender. Also, he has none of my respect for going well over the allocated time.

This LUG does offer some raffle prizes which is nice.
This LUG is not a non profit and not “officially” a LUG in that regard.
The LUG Benevolent Dictator seems one for life.
I know of no Steering committee. People have asked. I believe this was disbanded or possibly consists of some good old boys as we have never voted on anything.

I enjoy many of the members and participants here. They are my original LUG here in the valley and I know these people for years.

Donations of deo and cologne appreciated.
Last month, I left the room to get a beverage and when I returned the offensive odor nearly knocked me out. It’s not unusual. Just noting in case you have an extra sensitive ofactory gland.

They do go out to eat after the event. The problem is that the place we go is pricey for some people. That location does not change, no matter how much input is given by others. There is a place just next door that has happy hour at the same time as this event. The conversation is great. One guy is a hoot. Others are great fun as well. They do have a guy who does a lot of video and camera work. He is fantastic!

As mentioned earlier, the Phoenix LUG is the community college version. They advocate Ubuntu and have a mixed presence with Ubuntu. This group – MPGLUG is more like the University version. In fact, I was the curricula writer for Universities including ASU for ComTia’s Linux + partnership with Aries Technology for self paced opportunities. In fact, Aries contracted out with Cisco who provided content that was less than accurate and violated copyright. In initially, my position was to ensure accuracy of the provided documentation. Ultimately, because the content was not accurate, I was given the opportunity as sole writer of the content for unversities worldwide.

Our topics are current topics in computing such as security, Banana and Raspberry Pi, OpenWRT, HTTPS Everywhere. We have a focus on current technology and Security issues.
We respect privacy and realize many people are interested in maintaining privacy. We work towards benefits to our community, being responisible and freedom!

As for the culture, well, we haven’t had our first meeting yet. We aim for open, free, quality exchange, education valued, helping, caring culture. Live, Love, Linux!
If you want to write that on the sidewalk, use chalk! 🙂