Help to find linux specialists
davidlloyd at bigpond.com
Mon Oct 7 14:24:15 CST 2013
On 07/10/2013, at 8:57 AM, Pat Clark <weedbane at internode.on.net> wrote:
> A number of my friends have been asking me about linux as they get
> worried over the demise of MS XP. Especially as they are hearing more
> about MS turning into a closed system and they want to be able to do
> what they like with their machines.
> I show them my system and they get interested. The next step is to point
> them to a shop/person who can sell them suitable hardware and help them
> get set up if necessary.
> I've just been trying to find such businesses/people on the net but only
> high-end providers appear to be listed.
> I'd like to have a list that will show them where to go and shop in SA.
> If a list is not available, maybe we could start one here. Or if this is
> not deemed correct to put on this list, then please email me personally.
This was a niche that LinuxSA used to fulfil. My first "in-person" involvement with LinuxSA was in one of the InstallFests during which time people found that I'm not quite as "strange" in person as I can come across "online" (but do realise "strange" is a relative term). After that I became involved in helping to organising InstallFests and was involved in the 2004 Linux.Conf.Au which was held in Adelaide.
For a number of years I hosted a whole host of people -- basically anyone who wanted to come along -- at my house of a Friday night. It was an occupational and health, safety nightmare (I'm surprised someone didn't actually trip over one of the various power boards and cords) and we would all help each other out according to our skills. This all started out because Robyn Manning, Andrew Galdes and I all decided we'd get LPI certified and we'd meet on Friday evenings - they did whilst I'm still not; no idea what that says about me.
My best memories of these times was when the people who would come who knew little about Linux would then go on to help others with their problems. I considered that an achievement; I watched a number of people go from "Linux newbes" to people comfortable helping others learn this new "Linux" thing - and trust me, back in the days, Linux was NOT as nice as it is now to people!
This is something that I believe that LinuxSA could start again. It is not something that I am able to help restart - there are reasons for this but I tender the most obvious - I'm time poor.
Here is what I found important:
* Be consistent
- if it's every Friday from 7 PM is is regardless if one person shows up, no people shows up or a bus load shows up
* Have enough helpers but encourage participants to share knowledge too
* Go with the flow
- if they want to learn how to compile kernels, teach them how
- if they want to learn how to style LibreOffice documents, teach them how
- if they just want to talk about the football, that's cool too
* Feed them
- this could be a difficult one but ordering pizza in if you're a large enough group would only be about $8-10 per person
- I used to feed them myself (in my past I've been a kitchen hand/cook and cooking up huge amounts of food for little cost is relatively easy for me)
* Identify the core group of people and make it worth their while
There is one space where you could probably get help starting this and getting this going. That's hacker space in Adelaide. I'm sure if you suggested something like, "Mind if I and a few others turned up with a group of friends and helped some people learn Linux?" they'd respond with a resounding, "No, we don't mind - come along."
I did this out of my own home for a number of years. I think I was successful because I did identify a core group of people and over the years we became friends and we enjoyed our company as much as we enjoyed helping others learn this new fangled operating system. The only real reason it stopped was because I shifted house and could no longer host.
But it could start up again - someone would need to drive it though.
I'm happy to advise from afar.
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