Review: OCLUG meeting Feb 4

Let’s first talk about getting there. The OCLUG meetings since New Years have been in room B457 at Algonquin’s Woodroffe Campus. It is identified on the web site clearly, with a link to the map, which is a good start. However, Algonquin’s floor maps are not clear. They make it look like there are two parts to the 4th floor of building ‘B’. At the January meeting, one group reached the 4th floor but did not realize that there was more of it and that it could be reached from where they were. They went back down and asked for directions from security and arrived late.

Better directions would be useful for meetings at Algonquin. To get to B457, I start at the cafeteria on the ground floor of Building B, and go up the stairs on the north-east corner of the room to the third floor. From there I go north and then west to the elevators or stairs that reach the fourth floor. Presumably that elevator is accessible on the ground floor if stairs are a problem for you.

There is lots of parking on the far (east) end of the Algonquin campus, and lots of it is free after about 5:30pm, but its a long walk to B457, not so bad for T117 where we like to meet. Bus access is great with the Base Line Station so close.

Once you get to the room it is quite good. The screen projector works well, even if it takes a couple of minutes to set up. Everyone can see the screen and the presenter, although not quite as well for people at the back.

OCLUG gets the room for free through the “School of Advanced Technology”. A hat is passed during the meeting so that people can donate to the club if they want to. Donations

The classroom seating is great for up to about 50 or 60 people, and there were probably 40 there, so there was comfortable room for all. This crowd bring their own laptops, extension cords and power bars, so the tables are welcome and much used. The chairs are good quality classroom seats, and the room is a comfortable temperature.

The attendees include students, high tech employees, retirees, professors, experienced Gnu Linux users and people who are new to Gnu Linux.

The speakers were knowledgeable and aticulate. This month’s speakers presented talks on Embedded Linux. They brought hardware with them to show off, and so did other attendees. The audience interacted a lot with the speakers, during the talk and in a 10 minute Q&A at the end.

There are washrooms in the area, with no distracting quality problems. You can pick up food and drink on the way to the meeting in the cafeteria on the ground floor.

The OCLUG group has a good online presence, including an extensive web site with notes and sometimes slides from previous meetings. The “linux” mail list is quite active, and I understand the IRC channel is fairly active. There is a new mail list for people interested in using Gnu Linux for photography and video.

After the meeting, members went to the “Chances R” restaurant, a short walk away in the College Square mall. There was a table set up for our group that seated about 20 and some people generally go to separate tables nearby.

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