[clug] [Wanted] Someone to manage CLUG meetings

Michael Still mikal at stillhq.com
Mon Sep 6 11:58:09 GMT 2004

Telek, John wrote:
> You can't just waltz in there. You have to have a security card. Don't
> worry, I like other visitors
> Have spent a half hour or so freezing our asses off because we couldn't
> get in.

Thinking about this whilst watching my Linux based PVR this evening, it 
occurred to me to compare and contrast CLUG with some of the Microsoft 
users groups I have attended [1]. The differences?

  - You have to find the Microsoft building in Canberra. They're 
unmarked, and Microsoft doesn't seem to like have ground floors (first 
in the city, and now in Barton). The buildings are secured, and you need 
to be swiped in. There's probably obvious security concerns that cause this.

  - You need to RSVP. Your name is marked off at the door. There are 
RFID tagged membership cards you are encouraged to carry at all times 
[4]. They make no secret of the fact that there are RFID readers in the 

  - Microsoft pays for the pizza. People eat just as much as they do at 
CLUG, and the ratio of pizzas to people is about the same (is there a 
metric geek measure here?)

  - The talks aren't as good (or a least the few I have gone to).

  - They hand out vendor crap [2].

  - It's all about the "business benefits that can be derived from rapid 
development of WinForms applications talking to SQL Server".

- They go for a couple of hours.

That's actually a pretty close comparison to CLUG, except our building 
is marked, the room is on the ground floor, and there are two maps on 
the web site. A detailed description is given in the reminder email.

We don't ask people to RSVP, and certainly don't mark you off at the 
door. I don't know anyone at CLUG except me who would willingly carry a 
RFID tag around [3].

You have to pay for your own pizza. Get over it.

We have remarkably well prepared talks compared with the amount we pay 
the speakers.

No vendor crap. I don't even know how you would say [For Sale] aloud.

I'm not sure most of the people in a CLUG meeting know what a WinForm 
is, let alone care. Better yet, I suspect most of them don't know a SQL 
Server when it just out at them.

They're about the same length.

Therefore, based on industry standards, CLUG is quite good. It's also 
the right price, and run entirely by volunteers. In the past I've been 
told off for suggesting that we should thank the people who hang around 
until midnight (ish) to lock up after us, and have for years. They don't 
like having attention drawn to them, but we all know who they are. We 
certainly don't get paid in loyalty points which lead to discounts at 
Harris Technology [4].



1: I'm bored with hating Microsoft. It's just one of those things you 
have to live with. Also, dotNet is actually kinda nice. It's better than 
Java [5], more open than Java was at this stage in it's life, and 
facilitates the graceful porting of commercial applications to Open 
Source platforms. Even if _you_ want to hate Microsoft, it pays to know 
your enemy.

2: I like vendor crap. It keeps me from being naked. It does feel like a 
bribe for attending though, much like the Harris Tech thing.

3: Mine lives on my desk at home most of the time.

4: http://www.microsoft.com/australia/msdn/connection/

5: I feel no urge to establish my geek credientials here, there is no 
employment goal to my involvement with CLUG.

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