Workshop on 17/12/2019: End of quarter activities

Workshop… with added tinsel!

It’s Christmas! So it was time to deck out the workshop with at least a bit of tinsel! We weren’t expecting a great number of people (considering the time of year) but we got a nice healthy 11 through the door.

This workshop activity was a little different to the ones that preceded it, and the first of it’s kind… this was a chance to…

  • Look back to previous workshops this quarter, add any updates to them… there wasn’t much to say on this except how we might run them again in the future with more/different details.
  • Bring in gadgets/toys which we can play with play (especially since this time it’s Christmas!). We had a TuxDroid by Kysoh and looked at some DVDs, more them below…
  • Lightning talks of 5 to 10 minutes if anyone has anything they’d like to share with the group. This was in an “un-conference” style (like OggCamp), but perhaps the intentional disorganisation got away with us a bit here! It might be an idea to gather some ideas via the mailing list before hand! However there was still plenty of topics and distributions talked about regardless!
  • Talk about what is planned for the next quarter including planning new talks and labs that people want to see. More on that below…

This seemed to go very well indeed and I think it was the longest workshop we’ve had since the relaunch. Everyone got into the spirit of things and it was a good group conversation amongst us all. The hope is to do this kind of meeting at the end of every quarter, so the next one should be at the end of March or start of April.

These random 3 things represent some of the changes we’ll be doing to the workshop ready for next year…

  • A clock, we’ll likely put this somewhere so that the person giving a talk can see it. We’ve been very good so far time wise with our talks, but this may help keep the pace too.
  • We’ve acquired a pair of 24-port TP-Link gigabit PoE switches. So we should be able to up the 30 PC’s/Phones from those little blue unmanaged 10/100mbps Netgear PoE switches daisy chained to each other. This should help with boot up times as the OS runs from the network. It should also give us some extra PoE enabled cables a the ends of the desks to run things like Raspberry Pi’s from.
  • A fridge! That’s right, we’ve got sick and tired of carrying in the fridge from IC’s office. So we’ve bought another one! Plenty of place for soft drink cans and that all important “LUG MILK”!

We were also trying to get the TuxDroid working. At the moment we’ve got it all hooked up and it’s capable of saying “Hello” (with its crazed blue eyes flashing and wings flapping) but that’s about it. Unfortunately because the Kysoh company went bankrupt a year after this was launched (2009) the downloads are very hard to find to make it work. However we’ve got a few leads on this and should be able to have our talkative Tux running soon.

There was also the idea floated of potentially having some kind of documentary / film nights. Plenty of great IT and FOSS related films (dramatised or documentary style) that people might be interested in watching and discussing. Brought in two that we had on DVD just to get the idea across a bit.

Some additional ideas for workshops next year included (this is not an exhaustive list and I’m sure we’re missing some, there were many ideas!)…

  • Equivalents to MS Access
  • Monitoring (inc. Icinga)
  • Automation (inc. Ansible)
  • Arch Linux
  • Docker
  • VMs and Containers (inc. Proxmox VE)
  • Cryptocurrencies (inc. Bitcoin)
  • Wine (inc. Crossover, PlayOnLinux & Proton)
  • Nextcloud (inc. Collabora)
  • Password Managers (inc. KeePassXC)

And that was it! StaffsLUG wishes you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. More great things to come in 2020!

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