London technical meet, sometime late July/early August

Nik Clayton nik at
Thu Jun 20 22:58:59 BST 2002

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Hi all,

It's high time we had another user group get together in London.  So I'm
organising one.

I thought it might be worthwhile to do this a bit differently though, and t=
and get in a bit more technical content than we normally cover.  This is
(mostly) because I've been following the London Perl user group quite close=
over the past few months, and seen how well this approach works for them.

Once a month or so they have a technical meeting.  The technical bit lasts =
about two hours, then everyone decamps to the nearest pub to continue the
discussions in a convivial atmosphere.  Some of them have even be known to =
for the odd curry or to.

The technical bit is broken up in to 'n' presentations, where a presentation
is anywhere from 5 to 40 minutes.  I want to shamelessly steal this format.
So I'm looking for volunteers to speak about something appropriate to the
(Free)BSD and/or wider Unix community.

This doesn't have to be hardcore Unix geek-ery.  For example, if there's ti=
to spare, I'd like to do 20-25 minutes about the current state of the art in
fighting spam, since I've been doing rather a lot of that recently, and I
suspect it's going to be of interest to a lot of you.

But you can talk about anything you want.  Perhaps you've discovered a real=
neat utility in the ports tree that's making your life much easier.  Or may=
you've just successfully used FreeBSD in a large project, and want to talk
about your experiences, and how it went.

Maybe you've been successful in advocating FreeBSD (or the more general open
source concept), and want to share insights you learned from that.

Given that there are going to be a bunch (well, at least 1) of the FreeBSD
committers in the audience, you could also talk about what you don't like
about FreeBSD, or things that you think the FreeBSD development
community misses that are important to the business-using world.  I've=20
increasingly discovered that things about FreeBSD that I don't give a secon=
thought to can cause real problems for people trying to use FreeBSD, and=20
it's important that this feedback reaches the development community somehow.

And, of course, the second European BSD Conference is only a few months awa=
If you're speaking there, perhaps you'd like to get some public speaking
practice in, and try out a draft of your talk before a live audience.

If you don't want to talk, please feel free to suggest a topic you would=20
like to see covered.  That might give someone else the incentive they need=
to talk about it :-)

The only thing we don't have yet is a venue and a date.  I'm almost certain
I've got the venue sorted (and hence the date) lined up, thanks to a very k=
donation from a large FreeBSD-using design firm in central London -- but it=
not confirmed yet, which is why I'm not announcing a date yet.  However, I'=
looking towards the end of July/beginning of August as about the time=20
this'll happen.

I expect to know about venue (and date) definitively by the end of next
week, at which point I'll (assuming everyone thinks this is a good idea)
send out an e-mail with more concrete details.

However, on the off chance this falls through, perhaps you could make
enquiries at your place of work and see if they have facilities to host this
sort of meeting one evening.  Even if I get the venue for this one, it'll be
good to have other venues lined up for future meetings (assuming this is a

The rough timetable will be:

    6.30pm   Begin arriving at venue.  Coffee, tea, etc
    7.00pm   First presentation starts
    9.00pm   Last presentation ends.  Decamp to pub/restaurant as necessary


FreeBSD: The Power to Serve               (__)
FreeBSD Documentation Project    \\\'',)
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