So I was saying to Ward (Mr. River), just the other day, here's some presentation topics. Whether or not he was interested, he still got them, and, by the way, I can't do them I said. Nipping that thought in the bud, as soon as possible. As I slunk away ...
Nice guy, that Mr. River. But he's always asking US to DO stuff. Can't imagine why. Probably something to do with these meetings going on, with time to fill, and sometimes having to scratch to get something to fill it with. I guess his alter ego doesn't want the audience to hit a saturation point with him too soon.
"If you want to talk, we want to listen."
"You can even be a Windows user, and escape the building without needing medical attention!" (But we WILL try to convert you!) [Repeatedly.]
Don't forget, at least IMO, K-W LUG isn't so much about Linux, as it is neat things you can do with a computer (preferably under GNU/Linux). It's all about
applications. Or news of general interest to the computer world (preferably with a GNU/Linux slant).
So I, not infrequently, ruminate to myself, surely I can present or contribute something, but what? More urgently, how? I know it doesn't have to be long. Even 2 minutes. "Hey, I found this neat web page!", "Discuss!" Then as the moderator's hook comes out to kindly but firmly, and not taking no for an answer, "OK, discuss next meeting then!", "Harumph!!"
You won't find a kinder, more gentle audience, anywhere. If you can take some ribbing, some times. And when you do, the rest will be laughing with you, not at you. That's for sure. Many have been in the same place you'll find yourself, and just as anxious about it. Many still are. But that's a good thing. (Stop cooking with cheese!)
Should have thought of this a LONG time ago.
Assumption: One of the reasons people don't present more is:
- fear of the unknown, and
- fear of having to take time away from other things to honour presentation commitments made.
So ... make more of the unknown, known.
So here's some calls for separate presentations on:
- 'Using the K-W Lug website.' Demo what's there. Particularly, how to use it / post content post-meeting if you happen to make a presentation.
- 'How to MC a meeting'. The mc's themselves know (now?), how much / little work is involved here, but does anyone else?
- 'K-W LUG Presenting 101'. What facilities are available. Set up / take down. e.g. Bring your own USB mouse! How to post back to website. Most importantly how easy it is (I can only assume) to make up slides / you just need to bring in your USB key, not your computer, etc. [Demo making slides for 'How to make a sandcastle' or something. Presumably using pages. OO Impress templates (http://documentation.openoffice.org/tutorials/index.html).]
A key point being ... get the results on the web site. Refer to these every meeting. Re-present them at least once a year, if not twice. And not in August, assuming that's the lowest turnout day of the year. Probably September is good. And January or February? [Catch those sleepy students coming back, unawares!]
Anyways ... so after the last meeting, many of us toddled off to Zeke's again. Arguably at least as good and important a part of the meetings as the meetings themselves. The stuff you hear is simply so interesting and fascinating.
(Beer and waitresses don't hurt either! Too bad we missed Oktoberfest!). But even more, the sheer variety and depth and goodwill of the people present is just so astonishing.
I did have to compliment Chris' son. Perhaps so profusely that he took me as ingenuous - which would be unfortunate. At that age, they have so much more time to dig into something than when you're older and have to worry about such things as water bills ... Their enthusiasm and expertise comes through so strongly, and us older (BUT NOT ELDER, YET) folk get to see something really neat.
Anyways. Chris happened to mention that to show a Windows user Linux with Blender, without impacting a computer where the parents are already computer phobic ... one would have to re-master a Knoppix (or other LiveCD). So ...
More calls for separate presentations on:
- Live CDs (Knoppix, Ubuntu, whatever) - why do they matter?
Don't descend into:
- hard disk repair (requires significant expertise as to knowing what one is doing)
- to introduce Linux to non-Linux/computer people.
Do descend into:
- to validate that one's hardware is indeed working, a driver is missing, a file is corrupted, or there is some other reason why something isn't working. But you can prove that what you have isn't broken, or go out and buy something else.
- perhaps to quickly network 2 disparate friend's computers for file transfer? Samba?
- ftp, telnet, web? And thus not committing yourself to opening such security holes on a permanent basis?
- probably too late, but it occurs to me there's going to be a lot of non-functional hardware Boxing Day.
- Live CDs (mastering, and windows versions) - why do they matter
- create a Linux Blender demo disk for a Windows ppsychically trapped user?
- adding drivers as needed for the presentation above.
- boot windows to prove hardware you don't have Linux drivers for, yet, and perhaps one needs certain windows files to get it working under Linux? Config files? Driver files? Boot internet explorer to get to the download site that doesn't work under Firefox. Or something.
- presumably Bart's PE, although I think there's another one out there too.