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Venue Info[edit]

Meeting to be held at IBM Squirrel Hill at 7:30pm, Tuesday, March 29, 2016.



The regular meeting of the WPLUG Board of Directors was held at 7:30pm on March 29th, 2016 at IBM Squirrel Hill.

In attendance were:

  • Vance Kochenderfer (Chair)
  • Joe Prostko (Vice Chair) (by conference call)
  • Terry Golightly (Treasurer)
  • Pat Barron (Secretary)
  • Justin Smith (Director at Large) (by conference call)

Not attending:

  • (No directors were absent)

The meeting was called to order at 7:43pm.

No one asked to have the minutes of the previous (February 16th, 2016) board meeting read. The minutes were approved as posted on the wiki.

Reports of officers:

Chair: Last weekend, the Vance and Terry visited the Wilkins School Community Center to help with their WiFi network. The wireless access point on the top floor was reconfigured to connect to the wireless access point in the basement via power-line networking rather than wirelessly, so it should be more reliable, but not particularly fast. Since that was done, one tenant reported still having connection issues. Vance will research replacing the existing access points with ones that support newer standards and that may be more powerful. This is not a WPLUG activity, strictly speaking, but Vance wanted to ensure that the board was aware of it. The Wilkins School Community Center is much busier now than when the network was first installed, and has many more users than it had originally.

Vice chair: Attempting to get a potential speaker interested in doing a presentation on a topic such as FreeIPA.

Secretary: WPLUG currently has 17 current members, with 3 whose memberships are due to lapse in April. Members due to lapse have been contacted.

Treasurer: Haven't gotten the March bank statement yet, checking account balance from statement most recently received was $408.97. Recently deposited $40 in cash plus one members renewal check, currently holding $60 to be deposited. Our Linode billing is switched over to the Treasurer's debit card. We are still waiting to receive the Chair's debit card.

Director at large: No report to present - new business will be brought forward later in the meeting.

Reports of committees:

Technology Committee: Nothing to report since last month.

Event Committee: Robert Blackwell has agreed to do a presentation in April, and the Chair is planning to make an announcement to the mailing list within the next 24 hours to drum up attendance for the presentation.

Investigating Committee: No report.

Marketing and Communications Committee: No report.

New business:

Vance raised the topic of planning for future meetings. Through April, we will have had 3 presentations in a row, so it might be nice to do something different for May, such as the idea that Terry brought forward in the last board meeting.

Terry reviewed his idea: have a social event for people bring their stuff, tinker, hack, and for people to request help. Potential issues could be drumming up interest, and getting people to sign a release form. We had created a release form template in the past, but there were some concerns, and the effort stalled after it was suggested that an attorney review it. Terry asked if anyone had been in contact with David Tessitor recently.

Pat indicated that he still has the template release form that had previously been considered, and will send it around to the current board for review. Vance inquired if there was any specific reason or incident that has caused the idea of a release form to come up, as we haven't had one for multiple prior Installfests. Pat mentioned that the idea probably started with him, and that his original concern and position was that he was unwilling to do any work on anyone's machine who wanted help setting up a dual-boot configuration without having some kind of signed release form, due to the number of things that can go wrong that could result in catastrophic data loss, even under the best of circumstances.

Vance indicated that the proposed format sounds good, and that we would need to determine a venue, and get the word out. Terry proposed that some potential venues could be the Brookline library, or the Monroeville library. Terry was opposed to trying to use the library in the North Hills where a previous event had been held, as the staff was uncooperative and it wasn't possible to get a hard-wired Ethernet port to use. Pat reminded that hard-wired Ethernet isn't available at the Brookline library, either. Vance mentioned that a hard-wired Ethernet port would be possible at the Wilkins School Community Center, if we could get the Trevanion Room (which has such a port available). Pat suggested that we could discuss this idea on the wplug-plan mailing list to get input from a wider audience; Terry suggested holding in-person discussion as well.

Vance requested that Terry get in touch with the Monroeville library, to ask about possibly holding an event there on the 14th or the 21st; Terry agreed to do this.

Vance asked if anyone had been in contact with anyone at Hack Pittsburgh recently; no one indicated that they had been.

Vance mentioned that part of the value of this type of event would be to be able to stand over the person's shoulder and help them through the process. Terry mentioned that this is particularly useful for those with older hardware. Vance suggested that we could help attendees research what devices work with which Linux distributions.

Justin mentioned he could potentially do a remote presentation on the topic of helping people move away from proprietary solutions towards open-source solutions.

Vance agreed that he will contact the Wilkins School Community Center to see if WSCC would be available on those dates, while Terry contacts the library. Then we'll make a decision where we want to go. We would prefer to have a venue with a wired network connection available if possible.

Terry suggested that it might be useful also get in touch with Jon Mazur at CPUsers Group in Tarentum to discuss planning a joint event.

Vance indicated that he has reached the end of the list of people he contacted to ask to speak, so there are no further potential speakers from that pipeline. He said he still has a list of suggested speakers that were provided by Beth Lynn to sort through, to determine who could give a reasonable presentation.

Vance expressed appreciation for the remote presentation idea that Justin raised, we would have to determine how we could do this. Pat suggested that it might be possible to make use of video conferencing hardware at IBM Squirrel Hill; it was suggested to go immediately after the meeting adjourns to look at the video conferencing hardware and see if it might be suitable.

Justin mentioned that he may be out of town for work in July, but aside from that would be available. Remote presentation would available if we need it, and he might also be physically present in Pittsburgh at various times.

Vance recalled a discussion with Robert Blackwell, who noted that Larry Wall will be in Pittsburgh in August to give a presentation at another event - could we perhaps get him to present something for us, or jointly with the Perl Mongers group?

Joe mentioned that he will check with the contact he mentioned earlier, to ask if he'd be interested in doing a presentation on FreeIPA, or perhaps some other topic.

Justin has a friend in the area involved in PittMESH which is using OpenWRT, this might be a topic people could be interested in. Justin will get in touch with him.

Justin indicates that he has not remained in active contact with Pittsburgh Filmmakers, but reminds that the Pittsburgh Center for Arts was willing to consider giving a presentation on Blender - the one we did before was very well attended. For certain groups of people, Linux makes a lot of sense. On other end of spectrum, whenever you are a developer, developing on Windows and OS X can be a nightmare. Would i be possible that we could talk with representatives of two different local development groups who happen to use Linux to say why they switched? Such a presentation may interest developers and get them to attend.

Vance agreed that we should make an effort to get in contact with some of these other groups - we've done some things in the past with other groups that have eventually trailed off, it would be worth trying to get back in touch.

Joe wanted to know when we would be starting to plan for the annual picnic. Vance responded that we should probably start doing so in April so we can reserve space, and that he was planning to bring this up at the next board meeting.

Vance asked how did the last GUMs go (that took place in his absence). Pat expressed the opinon that the presentations were well done, but he wished they had been better attended.

Old business:


There being no further business, it was moved to adjourn the meeting. The motion was adopted. The meeting was adjourned at 8:34pm.

(After the meeting adjourned, the board members who were present in person did go to look at the video conferencing hardware at IBM Squirrel Hill - and discovered that the video conferencing system that had previous been installed was either gone, or moved elsewhere, so this particular idea will probably not make any progress.)