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Re: [tlug] Why the shirts? Why TLUG?

Hi Shannon,

I probably wont' be the only long-time (since 1997 or 1998, when we used
to meet at HSBC), TLUGer to answer this, but I guess I'll be the first
unless someone hits send before I do :)

On 4/19/2007, "Shannon Jacobs" <> wrote:

>Okay, so it's nice to get together for a beer or three, and I've gotten a
>couple of technical questions answered, but... Maybe the real problem is
>that my motivations are too negative.

Not necessarily. Take a poll of TLUG (or any LUG) and you'll find that a
lot of them were first drawn to Linux out of a dislike for MS more than
a strong interest in, or knowledge of, *nix.

OTOH, some of the older hands (ones older than me, but me too) were drawn
mostly by an interest in Linux. It was after using Linux for a while
that I came to really dislike Windows and Microsoft. Back when Windows
95 was new, I actually liked both it and MS quite a bit. It was after
using/getting to know Linux and other *nixes that I came to dislike
Windows as I realized how much better *nix was, and dislike Microsoft
for its business practices.

>For example, I am strongly motivated to stop spammers

Me too. In fact, I've been making a living doing just that since 2003,
and if it weren't for my involvement with Linux, I never would have
gotten into this field.

>certainly no love lost there and I admit that my interest in Linux is thus
>primarily a negative thing, too, as an alternative to Microsoft.

That is by no means a bad thing. You're in good company.

>Earlier, I've asked both directly and indirectly about the purposes of TLUG.

For that, you can start here:

You *did* RTFM, didn't you? ;-)

There's more information here about TLUG, if you haven't read it all, I
do recommend it:

>There have been a number of answers, mostly contradictory. Some people want
>'quality, not quantity'

That lacks enough context for me to be sure of what is meant, but I'm
going to take a stab at "better to have a few really knowledgeable
Linux users than  tons of ones who are not so and have little or no wish
to become so."

That is a school of thought held by some people not only here but in a
lot of places. I was a member of that school for a very long time and to
some extent I still am. That is, I believe that part of what makes
Linux/Unix special is learning from those who know more than you, and
sharing that knowledge in turn with those who know less. As Linux
becomes more popular, the overall knowledge level goes down; that is
unavoidable and somewhat regrettable, but it sure beats the alternative:
continued domination by Windows.

>motivation, but one I don't share. Other people just want to have fun,

We're all about that. TLUG is the most fun LUG I've ever been involved

>(apart from beer money), others say the club has no need of money, and

Whether we need to continue to raise funds as a group and what to do with
the funds we have has been a topic of debate from time to time. One
reason to have club funds is if we should ever find ourselves having to
pay for meeting space at some point. Another thing that has sometimes
been discussed is donating to some worthwhile Free Software project(s).
Not sure what the current position is on funds; I haven't followed that
in some time.

>meanwhile we have this new shirt project. Are they to be sold exactly at
>cost? Whatever. So far there have been few clear responses.

Don't know, don't care (much). If they are sold at any profit, I
believe it should be minimal.

>Maybe my interests are simply too divergent from the interests of most TLUG

I doubt it. TLUG is a very diverse group.

> If so, then I should be looking elsewhere. Can anyone recommend an
>alternative Linux group that is more focused on seizing the current window
>of opportunity against Vista?

AFAIK we are the only English-language LUG in Japan (at least outside of
US military bases), as well as the first and oldest English-language LUG
in Asia.

WRT the window of opportunity against Vista (ignoring whether there
really is one for any platform other than the Mac), that's primarily
the concern/preserve of Linux distributors rather than of LUGs per se.
LUGs have been working steadily for years to spread the word about Linux
and teach people. New Windows versions have not really been significant
events for anything but PR. The primary beneficiary of the slow uptake
of Vista is really Windows XP. People not upgrading to Vista are not, by
and large, looking to chuck XP. They are looking to keep it as long as
possible, and it will be supported by MS for a long time to come, even
though they will no longer sell it after the end of this year.

For Linux, the real opportunity will come when those XP machines are
running out of gas and need to be replaced/upgraded and or XP reaches
EOL. At that point, Linux will have a real shot. It's already easy to
use, and by the time that happens, a Linux system will be about as good
as Mac is right now, or close. That is, it will be way better than XP,
across the board. It's already better than XP in most respects. But
again, that drive will be led more by distributors than LUGs. They have
a business interest in it. We have an ideological interest/enlightened
self interest.

> I see there's a LinuxWorld Expo next month

Those stopped being interesting around 1999, but check it out once for
yourself, if you've never been.

If you really feel like TLUG, or maybe Linux (the movement more than the
OS) is not quite the right pew for you, might I suggest that you may
perhaps be better served by a Mac? I don't mean that in any negative
way; I'm typing this on a MacBook Pro, and I'm hardly the only Mac
user in TLUG. Mac OS X is a wonderful OS. It's pretty stable (not as
stable as Linux, in my experience, but it's pretty good), stays out of
my way and doesn't make me mad very often, has good consistency,
generally does a good job of following the principle of least
astonishment, and is very pretty to look at.

If I'm recommending a computer to someone, I'll ask them two diagnostic

1) Do you like to get under the hood of stuff, get your hands a little
dirty, see what makes it tick? Or do you want it to just work reliably
and don't want to get into how it works?

2) Do you have any application that only runs on Windows?

If the answer to 1 is "I just want it to work" then I would recommend a
Mac. If they say they like to get under the hood, then I'd suggest
trying out Linux. Maybe give them a live CD or have them check out my
system, if possible.

The answer to 2 used to be "Then you may be stuck with Windows." Now,
however, it's "Get a Mac and run Parallels on it." If you have an
indispensable Windows app that doesn't work under Wine, Mac + Parallels
is the way to go.



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