Blackpool LUG – On the road again!!! 19/02/2011

Well the LUG wasn’t on, but that didn’t stop some foolhardy folks from getting on a train to Manchester, bags full of kit, large cardboard tube under arm, and large florentina butties from Rustica waiting for them…
First of all there was the CHUG!
A bit like the Radio 1 roadshow, but without drunken debauchery, we hit the tracks on the train to Manchester. First of all there was Tony’s new toy, his Toshiba R500 laptop (of which he has two).
Wow what a great little laptop. Its thin and light, has a dual core processor, and most importantly a DVD drive!!!
We also discussed a cracking idea, turning my (in)famous Joggler into an automated CD burning kiosk for events. The touch screen leads itself to easy operation, and with bash scripts behind the scenes to run the actual process, we could be on to a winner – perhaps a LUG project?
Right onto the event…
Okay Computer, a beginners guide to free software and Ubuntu

Aerial view

We take our knowledge of GNU Linux and Free Software for granted. Do you remember when you first took your tentative steps? Well at this event, there were many people taking their first steps.
The event, called Okay Computer was the brain child of Anna Morris, who purposely aimed the event at a beginner level, and ensured that the material, while being high level, had sufficient depth to educate and entertain all.
The event itself presented the basics of GNU Linux, encompassing the philosophy of the freedoms we enjoy. The history of Free Software / GNU Linux was particularly well presented, via a series of easy to understand slides.

Who are the attendees?

Then the session shifted focus to the popular Linux distribution Ubuntu, in this case the long term release 10.04. While not being a totally free distribution, Ubuntu is one of the easiest to get to grips with, and has a responsive user community and forums.

Charlie talking about Ubuntu

The first Ubuntu centric talk was a whistle-stop tour of Ubuntu, which was led by Charlie Owen. Charlie is passionate about Ubuntu, and gave a great overview of the key features. Her talk also included a Q+A session where the audience could ask a question, and an answer could be provided by other members of the audience.

How to install Ubuntu, what a busy session

There was also a very popular live demonstration of how to install Ubuntu, after this there were PCs available for the attendees to use. During this session the attendees mingled, talked to experienced Linux users, took away free Ubuntu and Linux Format discs.
The attendees had many pertinent questions, “How can I edit video on Linux?”, “Can I try Linux on my PC without installing it?”, and many other questions. Luckily there were many knowledgeable people there who were willing to talk, in particular the Ubuntu Gurus from Blackpool LUG, who are now veterans of events such as this.


A great picture of Tony, courtesy of SonniesEdge
I really enjoyed this event, it was simple, and provided a great overview of what we take for granted, how to use our favourite operating system.
I think that this should be a regular event, or at least incorporated into another event.
I learnt a lot from this event, and I’ve been using Linux for ten years!
All in all, a great day was had by all.
Photos of the event can be found here
See you all next time.

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