A few of our Members organize various activies on their own within (and outside) of TACLUG that directly impact us. Generally, each of these activities or provided resources takes place during every meeting.
The TACLUG Distribution Library
The Distribution Library is a collection of CD's and DVD's containing the latest and greatest Linux and BSD distributions known to mankind. Joel Parker maintains the library. If you want a DVD or CD, we ask that you either donate a blank CD or DVD (whichever you are taking) or compensate Joel for the service he provides. Typically, we ask for a $1 per CD and $3 per DVD which covers the cost of the media and Joel's Time.
Typically, the following distributions are available:
- SuSE (sometimes)
- OpenBSD / FreeBSD
The TACLUG Library
The Library is a collection of books (in paper form) maintained by Paul Edwards. You can reserve a book by going to the library website (http://chameleon.homelinux.net/OpenDB/listings.php?owner_id=taclib) and Paul will bring that book for you at the next meeting. Many of the books are donated by members, or provided by publishers like O'Reilly & Associates through their LUG outreach program.
A key-signing is a get-together with PGP users for the purpose of meeting other PGP users and signing each other's keys. This helps to extend the "web of trust" to a great degree. Also, it sometimes serves as a forum to discuss strong cryptography and related issues. Informal keysignings occurr at every meeting. We try and organize a "formal" keysigning at least once a year. Charles Mauch runs the keysignings.
The Documentation Project is a collection of documentation maintained on this site by Bob Holden in an almost futile attempt to collect and preserve for posterity all of the various handouts and notes from presentations made at TACLUG meetings. Documents are entered into the wiki, and once completed and verified by the author as accurate and authentic, they are converted to PDFs and stored. If you have a handout, or were a presenter, we urge you to either enter in your documentation yourself, or contact Bob to make arrangements to have your materials entered into this valuable resource.
The TACLUG Advocate
We need someone or a group of someone's to help bring TACLUG a more friendly face. Responsibilities could possibly include:
- Greeting people who attend general meetings, signing them in, saying "Hi!", and filling out / handing out nametags.
- Generating Press Releases, letting the local media know we exist and we're cool people!
- The Tacoma News Tribune has a section called "Go" which appears every Thursday. Making sure TACLUG events are included would be a priority.
- Generating and making sure everybody has promotional posters advertising the next TACLUG event to put up on billboards and at work and school
- Organizing a TACLUG presence at local computer conventions. This person would be our lead contact for LinuxFestNorthWest for example.
If your willing to perform any of the above chores, let us know! None of the above activities are very technical, so feel free to jump in.... (Like any position, you wouldn't be responsible for doing all of this yourself - we suggest you find minions and delegate!)
New Project Info
Nearly every meeting someone comes up with a wonderful idea on things TACLUG could be doing to further our mission. However, the expectation seems to be that once the idea is made, other people will instantly latch on and take over. Unfortunatly, actions -- not ideas make the world go round.
If you have an idea for a project (eg: fixing up computers for donation to schools), the following should provide you with a very rough idea of how to get things rolling.
- Put together a written proposal. Set milestones, and evaluate what kind of manpower may be needed to accomplish each milestone.
- Post your idea to the taclug-general mailing list.
- Ask for some time at the next meeting to spend a few minutes explaining your idea.
- Depending on the level of interest, you have to make a decision at this point.
- If there is interest, but nobody volunteers to help (sadly, this the most common scenario), you are going to have to kickstart the project yourself. Like any open-source project, expect to see interest rise after you accomplish something tangible. IE: Show me the code!
- If there is interest, and people volunteer, your going to need to assume a leadership role and let people know what their individual tasks are. Expect to do a lot of the intial legwork yourself.
- The most important thing you need to realize is that if you expect a project to succeed, you need to be willing to go it alone. Once you've demonstrated this, usually you'll have plenty of people volunteering.
- Continue to ask for time at general meetings to keep people updated/informed about your project. Keeping things active (and fun) is going to depend on constantly recruiting new blood.
Generally speaking, if your passionate about your idea - people will pick up on it and become infected with your enthusiasm. But for any project to succeed, you need to quickly move beyond planning and into implementation in order to really get people interested and active in your project.
And finally, if you have any questions, or feel a little overwhelmed - be sure to ask for help. We're always full of useful ideas! :)