Scheduled Time: 7:00 PM EST Thursday, January 29th, 2009
Scheduled Location: Wiesner Building, E15
map Streetview 20 Ames Street
Cambridge, MA 02139

Join On Freenode IRC Channel #ubuntu-us-ma

Meeting Chair: Martin Owen
Meeting Minutes by: Steve Pomroy

Agenda Items

The following agenda items were proposed for this meeting:

  • Introductions (everyone)
  • Current Programs (Martin)
    • - SETC Teach Program
  • Objectives (Mike)
    • - Schools and Education - General Public
  • identi.ca !ubuntuma
  • recording/broadcasting video/audio of the meetings
  • Open Floor (everyone)


The following team members were present during this meeting:

Physically Present:

  • Martin Owens (doctormo), meeting chair, starts things off, FOSS Programmer.
  • Marius Popa (mariuz), our guest from the Romaian LoCo, currently working in Boston.

  • Frank Tillay; 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 (xxv), tinkerer at MIT Media Labs.
  • Ralph deGennaro (rio); does DB stuff for pearson school systems
  • Mike Rushton (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.

Virtually Present:

  • Aaron (guinea-pig)
  • Dan (danbhfive)

Action Items

See progress for Action Items here

  • jim - , with Mike or Rio possible, Saturday 2pm, Cambridge Microcenter.
  • doctormo - Set up wiki of this network and teaching program.
  • doctormo - Work with Condon center, education about ubuntu and networking with other centers.
  • everyone - 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.
  • doctormo and rio - sort out copy for class poster.
  • leftyfb - wants to rewire the SETC labs
  • leftyfb - wants to help spreadubuntu out with a new domain name.
  • leftyfb, rio, jim and algot - work towards an education plan.
  • leftyfb - identi.ca information posted, mailing list postings.
  • leftyfb - Look into setting up streaming solution.
  • rio - Push the release of the website as static content for public face of group.
  • doctormo - order more Ubuntu Desktop CDs.


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

Teaching Program

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.
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


  • 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.

  • 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
  • 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 A lot of people in the group are related to the industry

  • doctormo: Tact is important in schools.

Setermining how does Ubuntu fit into the classroom and making sure we know what to talk about, finding right people to talk to and the right training for them

  • doctormo: 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.
  • doctormo: 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.

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


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.

Open Floor (All)

  • rio: Wiki changed maintenance, 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.
  • James G: 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.
  • 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
  • xxv: meeting officially closed. thank for coming, all!


  • There is lots to do.

MassachusettsTeam/Meetings/Minutes/2009-01-29 (last edited 2009-02-27 06:26:15 by pool-68-163-152-38)