Ubuntu New York State LoCo Team Newsletter
The New York State Ubuntu Local Community (LoCo) Team is a group of volunteers united by a commitment to Ubuntu and free and open source software (FOSS). The team advocates and supports Ubuntu for home, business, and educational use in New York State. By bringing the freedom of choice, power of the community, and stability of Ubuntu to the public, the team believes it can change the face of computing for the better.
The primary purpose of the team newsletter is to document everything the team has done. The reader should get a sense of the activities conducted by the team both offline and online. Experienced members should find information on "what happened" and "what's going on," while newer members should find information on how to get involved. In addition to this primary purpose, the team newsletter can add another community aspect to the team and contain articles written by members on relevant topics.
Welcome to the New York State LoCo Team Newsletter, Issue #1 for January 2009.
Message from the Team Vice President
The beginning of a new year can be an exciting time filled with high anticipation and expectations of the months to come. I have committed myself to assisting the NY State LoCo become an official Ubuntu LoCo. It is my firm belief that with the renewed and increased activity in the Rochester, Syracuse and Down State areas that the team is headed toward realizing that goal this year.
I would like to thank all of you who assisted with making the NY State LoCo more active in the last three months of 2008. It is thanks to all of you that the ball is almost to the top of the hill. Lets push it all the way to the top in 2009!
January 4th, 2009
After six months of dormancy, the team found renewed energy in November 2008 and resumed team meetings on November 13, 2008.
Team elections occured during the general IRC meeting on December 11, 2008. Charles (PrivateVoid) was elected vice president, Stacey (the-stace) was elected treasurer, and Joe (NewJack) was elected Rockland County regional leader. The positions of president and secretary are held by Jeremy (ausimage) and Brian (hal14450), respectively.
The online presence of the team is becoming polished. Activity on the forums and mailing list have increased. The wiki has been revamped and the website has been modified based on member feedback. Artwork in the form of contact cards and CD stands has been developed. Meetings are announced on the Facebook group wall, but administration of the group has not been handed over to an active member. Barnaba (hendrixski) has received administration of the team's Facebook group.
Rockland County Group
The Rockland County group has been established and its first meeting was held on December 6, 2008.
The December 4th meeting at Barnes & Noble @ RIT was a success. The group held a CACert and PGP Key signing in addition to the general meet up. Barnes and Noble featured a meeting room equipped with a projector and screen.
General Meeting (November 13, 2008)
Newsletter Committee Meeting (November 20, 2008)
General Meeting (November 25, 2008)
Election Meeting (December 11, 2008)
Newsletter Committee Meeting (December 16, 2008)
Rockland County Group
Introductory Meetup (December 6, 2008)
This was an informal meeting with no set topic and a free-flowing conversation. As the first meetup, regional members were acquainted face-to-face with each other.
Install Fest (November 1, 2008)
People were able to bring their computer to the event and have Ubuntu or other GNU/Linux distributions installed. The Rochester Computer Society provided facilities for installing Ubuntu on large numbers of computers. Experienced users helped newer and less experienced users.
Ubuntu 8.10 Release Party (November 1, 2008)
After the release of Ubuntu 8.10 in October, the release party assisted new and existing users with migrating to the new release.
General Meetup (November 6, 2008)
This was an informal meeting with no set topic and a free-flowing conversation.
General Meetup (December 4, 2008)
This was an informal meeting with no set topic and a free-flowing conversation.
Ubuntu Global Bug Jam 20-22 February 2009 - The NYS Ubuntu Loco is trying to organize a statewide event to participate in this global event.
Top Five Reason's To Switch to Ubuntu
ll too often, popular tech-blogs engage in the old and tired debate about why you should switch to OS X or stay with Windows. The argument has boiled down to one hip ‘Mac’ guy making fun of a ‘PC’ guy or Seinfeld talking with Gates about the proper fit of a pair of conquistadors. I would like to advert your attention to the following salient points just in case watching insipid ads is not enough to make you consider the other alternative. The other alternative, the one that both Microsoft and Apple are afraid to mention, is GNU/Linux.
Reason 1: Freedom
Apple and OS X offers freedom from choice. Microsoft and Windows offers you freedom of hardware choice. Ubuntu and GNU/Linux offer you total freedom. You can choose the graphical interface of your OS and are not stuck with what the denizens Redmond or Cupertino chose for you. With Ubuntu, you can choose the default look and feel of Gnome, KDE or Xfce. If the default style is not to your liking can customize your desktop. You can make it look just like OS X, Windows XP or Windows Vista. The choice is yours, not theirs! Beyond the look and feel you also have the freedom to choose between thousands of programs.
Reason 2: Secure
Despite the bleating noise coming from Cupertino about OS X not having any exploits and the daydreams of Redmond that Vista is now truly secure, neither solution offers the security of Ubuntu and GNU/Linux. The greatest threats to computer security are no longer viruses or worms. They are trojan horses delivered through clever social engineering attacks. Such attacks often depend on a user to run an install or agree to a pop-up. Windows XP had no built-in security to defend against these exploits. The security of OS X and Vista are similar, but still only require a user to agree to running the application. The ease of doing so results in most users hitting the OK button before they engage their brain. With Linux you often have to mark files as executable and you have to know that you want to run them with administrative rights before you launch them. While it is still possible to fool a Linux user into running malware, the likelihood is greatly diminished due to the number of steps it takes. For OS X and Vista the user experience still trumps security.
Reason 3: Lower Cost
To get OS X, you must purchase hardware that in most cases is $400 - $500 more than comparable non-Apple hardware. To run Windows Vista, you have to buy more expensive hardware due to the high system requirements. The system requirements for Ubuntu are the following:
Xubuntu requires 128 MB of RAM and 1.9 GB of hard disk space. Ubuntu requires 256 MB of RAM and 4GB of hard drive space.
Compare that to those for Windows Vista, which requires a 1Ghz processor, 1GB of RAM, a graphics card that supports DirectX 9 and has a 128 MB of RAM, a 40 GB hard drive with 15 GB of space.
Or with OS X, which requires an 867Mhz processor, 512 MB of RAM (1 GB of RAM if you want to use the developer tools) and 9GB of disk space.
While both Microsoft Windows and Apple OS X come with a nice selection of included software, neither can beat the vast software library available in the Ubuntu repositories.
Reason 4: Community
The Ubuntu community is a thriving global community that uses, supports and contributes to GNU/Linux. There are copious amounts of documentation on-line and thousands of people willing to assist with any problems you encounter or questions you have. When you elect to use Ubuntu, you join that community. When you buy OS X or Microsoft Windows, you become a faceless unimportant customer to a large company that will often treat you like cattle. Ubuntu has local community groups in all fifty states and over one hundred countries including Uruguay, Iran, Luxembourg, Georgia, Estonia, Norway, Belgium and Chile.
Reason 5: Ease of Installation
Contrary to popular opinion, Ubuntu is easy to install. You simply download the appropriate ISO and burn it to a CD or you can order an Ubuntu CD from On-Disk.com. Once you have the CD, you simply boot your computer using the CD and follow the simple instructions in the graphical installer. For most users, the process takes roughly 15-20 minutes and when it is done you are greeted with a fully functioning computer complete with productivity applications. The installation is much faster and when it is complete you will not spend the next two hours installing patches, drivers and applications like you would with Windows.
In the end, the choice of which OS to choose is yours. I hope that this quick top five article has opened your eyes to the very powerful alternative of Ubuntu and GNU/Linux.
Upcoming Team Meetings and Events
Upcoming Local Events
See the team calendar for a calendar of statewide events.
Regular members have no obligations. Active members who volunteer to help the team are greatly appreciated and they impact the community. Your ideas and service count!
The team IRC channel is a place where members of the team communicate and collaborate with each other in real-time. People from New York State can also find out more information about Ubuntu.
Register as a member on the team website.
Join the team in Launchpad. Review the Ubuntu Community Code of Conduct and place a signed copy of the Code of Conduct in your Launchpad account.
Subscribe to the team mailing list.
Join the team's Facebook group: http://www.facebook.com/home.php#/group.php?gid=2389558839
Team Owner: Jeremy Austin-Bardo
Team President: Jeremy Austin-Bardo
Sub Team Contact (Rochester): Brian Neil
<recalculate team membership>
Team Membership : 160 as of November 2008 (cumulative: website, Launchpad team, mailing list)
Team General IRC Meeting Schedule: second Thursday and fourth Tuesday of every month at 7 PM Eastern Time
Team Wiki: https://wiki.ubuntu.com/NewYorkTeam
Team Website: http://www.newyork-ubuntu.com
Team Mailing List: ubuntu-us-ny on lists.ubuntu.com
Team Forum: http://newyork.ubuntuforums.org
Team Blog: http://blog.newyork-ubuntu.com
Team IRC channel: #ubuntu-us-ny on irc.ubuntu.com
Team SIP conference channel: firstname.lastname@example.org or *8771-5000 on SIPBroker affiliates
Additional Ubuntu News
You can find more news and announcements about Ubuntu at:
Thank you for reading the New York State LoCo Team Newsletter.
See you next month!
The New York State LoCo Team Newsletter is brought to you by:
This document is maintained by the Newsletter Committee of the New York State LoCo Team. If you have a story idea or suggestions for the Team Newsletter, contact the chair of the Newsletter Committee. Ideas can also be added to the wiki at https://wiki.ubuntu.com/NewYorkTeam/Newsletter/Ideas. If you'd like to contribute to a future issue of the New York State LoCo Team Newsletter, please feel free to edit the appropriate wiki page.
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