Helen McCall helen at dinoflagellate.demon.co.uk
Sat Jul 15 12:18:44 BST 2000

Hello Rich,

I will repeat what I have already written in reply to another.

You should not be taking offence to what I have said because I was not
insulting anyone. 

I was merely pointing out how poorly the "Beer and Curry" image is
perceived by other people. It is alienating highly experienced people like

The UK user group should not be alienating any section of the FreeBSD
community in Britain. My comments were constructive ones intended to
suggest how to improve the image of the user group so as not to alienate a
valuable section of the community.

If you merely decide to take offence from my description of the perceived
image, you will achieve nothing worthwhile.

Helen McCall


On Fri, 14 Jul 2000, Rich Wood wrote:

> Date: Fri, 14 Jul 2000 18:39:12 +0100
> From: Rich Wood <rich at dynamite.org>
> To: Helen McCall <helen at dinoflagellate.demon.co.uk>,
>     freebsd-users at uk.freebsd.org
> Subject: RE: V.Location
> On 14 Jul 2000, at 14:11, Helen McCall wrote:
> <snip>
> > Some time ago I
> > worked out that it was best to consign any mail containing the words
> > "beer" and "curry" straight to /dev/null.
> Shame about that, as you won't get to read this hand-crafted reply as 
> it contains both the words beer and curry.
> > 
> > I find the general ethos in the freebsd world so embarassing that I do not
> > like mentioning the name "Freebsd" to my commercial clients, preferring to
> > refer to it as "Berkley UNIX" instead. The ethos as seen by myself and
> > other women is that of teenage boys with all the naivity of youth, getting
> > drunk on lager, filling up with curry, and then as all women know probably
> > being sick on the pavement. The name "FreeBSD" tends to conjure up the
> > image of little pools of vomit in the street!
> You seem to have a radically different "image" of FreeBSD than anyone 
> else I have come across. You appear to be confusing us with Linux. 
> However if you wish to keep your (I suspect totally unfounded) view, 
> that's fine by me, just don't tar us all with the same brush.
> At the Oxford meeting, I was one of the youngest attendees (at a less 
> than sprightly 27), the only teenager in attendance was Ben Smithurst 
> who would be about 18 (at a guess). As for the vomiting I'd driven 
> home by that point, but I doubt there was any drunken vomiting after 
> the curry.
> > The "Beer and Curry Clique" is alienating a major sector of the Unix/Linux
> > world; in the same way that the tedious and irritating "Computer Games
> > Cliques" drove so many women away from computing in the early Nineties.
> > Even the very professional Debian project tends to put women off with the
> > amount of flaming on the developers' lists.
> Fine. If you wish the UKUG to do something different, organise it 
> yourself. The beer&curry nights are organised by people who enjoy a 
> pint or two followed by a curry whilst talking about BSD and anything 
> else. If your tastes lie elsewhere YOU have to do something about it. 
> We can't read your mind and organise events to suit you if you don't 
> tell us what it is you want to do (I think that bit makes sense).
> > Please try and make this list more attractive to the older seasoned
> > professionals by removing the "Young Lad" image. Please also remember that
> > us veterans very rarely ask questions on these kind of lists because the
> > kind of queries we see on the lists are the simple little problems which
> > we normall solve in a moment due to our enormous wealth of experience;
> > which is why those of us old enough to be your mothers or grandmothers can
> > offer some very useful advice, even if we do not know the latest slang.
> You completely lost it when you came to write this last paragraph, 
> you would have done better to omit it.
> You ridicule us as a bunch of drunken, vomiting teenagers, when as 
> far as I am aware you haven't actually met any of us. Then you finish 
> off with this extemely patronising response. 
> If you do wish us to repect your "wealth of experience" you had 
> better start by treating us as the responsible adults we are, rather 
> than the drunken louts you misguidely believe us to be.
> Rich
> -- 
> rich at dynamite.org                 rich at FreeBSD.org.uk
> If that's what they call normal, I'd rather be insane
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