LUG Radio Live 2006 – Part Seven

Sunday was the day of the BOF that I had proposed on the UK LUG Masters mailing list back in April. It was clear from the Saturday sessions that BOF area 3 was much better suited to running a BOF than the spaces in the auditorium, so we arranged to move the BOF from BOF 2 to BOF 3. I hadn’t been that optimistic about the BOF originally, mainly due to being in the hangover slot – the first session on Sunday morning. However, the gents had sensibly pushed the start of Sunday as late as possible, so it kicked off a little after 11am. It was a surprise, but a pleasant one, to see so many people turn for the session. There were about twenty people there, with about eight or nine different LUGs represented. With that many people crammed in to the bizarrely green room though, we soon started to run out of air!

There was some confusion over the BOF, as two guys from Sussex LUG thought that they were running the session. It turns out that they had volunteered a Linux User Groups BOF and we (UK LUG Masters) had agreed a BOF. However, only the one had made it to the final schedule. As it turned out, the two Sussex guys were also responsible for running the practical aspects of their LUG (their Chairman apparently in absentia), so were great contributors to have at the meeting.

I was really impressed with the discussion we had. The first half we dedicated to practical issues: The problems with the hardware; how we really need a replacement; how to cover running costs for the hardware (replacement disk drives etc.); the administrative structure that might be needed to accept donations from UK LUG members. The over-riding feedback from those present way to just get on and do it, without getting bogged down in endless debate and trying to please everyone all the time. The second half of the session focussed on what people would like to see happen in the future. Lots of suggestions in this section including: revised way of helping people find their local LUG; a UK-wide Planet; a UK-wide wiki for technical information; information and advice on how to set up and run a LUG; information and advice for newbies on basic LUG concepts like “mailing list”. These were by no means all the suggestions, but others did a better job of taking notes than me.

I was still supervising the live audio in the lightning rooms. At some point during the morning session I began to have my suspicions about the mini-jack connector to the microphone doing the audio recordings in the Beard room. The waveforms in Audacity just didn’t look right, and I was worried we were just recording crackle. It didn’t help that the connector seemed to have become quite loose in the socket. We didn’t really have any other option than to carry on recording and see what the audio was like afterwards.

None of the morning’s talks hugely grabbed me, so after they were up and running, I went to wander the exhibition with Alan. I spent a good 20 minutes talking to Juski from the stand. Some of you may know I’ve been working on my Meeja Box project for some time and, although it works, I keep getting told that having to SSH in from my laptop and issue cryptic commands to watch some TV does not constitute a user-friendly interface. MythTV, along with Freevo, has been on my radar for some time now, but I’ve had quite a few specific questions I wanted to ask and it was an ideal opportunity to collar someone who knows. The outcome of the conversation is that I’m probably going to reinstall the Meeja box with Ubuntu Dapper Server on it, then try and get MythTV working on top of that. There are a few features I’m after that won’t appear until the next release (0.20, I think) but most of what I want is there.

Next stop was Josette on the O’Reilly stand, who recognised Alan from FOSDEM. He clearly bought far too many books there. I was relatively well behaved and only purchased these three books. We had a brief friendly chat with the FSFE guys. I’m interested in the FSFE and supporting their work, but feel the €120 annual subscription to be a bit steep. The guys told me that it was actually minimum donation of €60, which is a little more reasonable. Apparently this is the lowest amount that actually gives them some money to use in their campaigns, once the costs of the membership are covered.

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