[clug] After the InstallFest is over...

steve jenkin sjenkin at canb.auug.org.au
Tue Oct 20 16:42:38 MDT 2009


I was going to post a note (below) thinking out loud about supporting
new users, until I realised my concerns aren't burning issues and might
never be so.

There are times where problems are completely beyond owners and they
need hands-on help. In the early days of CLUG, this was a major feature
of the monthly meeting...

Should the monthly meeting notice explicitly state "Bring your problem
systems"? Or am I presuming too much on behalf of our resident experts?

Currently we muddle along and there's no evidence of needing change...
I'd like to avoid losing people because they don't know where/how to ask
for help.

I also raised an issue below about dial-up and home networks.

It took me a while to realise I always need *two* working systems at
home, especially when I moved to broadband. Things *will* break, and you
need to be prepared, otherwise it's a real drama. (You need the 'Net to
diagnose and fix the problem, but can't get there.)

Perhaps this message (and 'dial up is NOT cheaper') could be pushed at

Comments anyone?



Talking to Keith yesterday built on comments by Dr Denise Bates last
month on getting new users onto Linux.

It raised a few questions for me about "what next" in terms of help and
support - which includes home network setup (& ADSL not dial-up!).

Does anyone have a link to good resource on "why dial-up is no longer a
good idea"?
Especially, keep have a stable laptop/desktop for browsing/email and use
other cheap systems to experiment with.

[In the Windows world, there are enough local computer shops around that
will re-install Winders when it breaks for people to perceive it being
well supported.
Re-install seems to be the favourite technical 'solution' to winders
system problems.]

How do we offer these new folk an essential feature of CLUG from the
early days - a place to come with hardware/system questions, get good
Internet access (downloads etc) and have people ahead of them on the
learning curve help out?

Phrasing it like that: didn't we already cover this question on list in
the last few months?

We can't do more than we can do - and I don't get the impression of
'newbie' hordes demanding attention.

The only scenario I can imagine where we do get swamped with new users
is if we actively promote Linux to the community (and are wildly
successful), or something 'big & bad' gets reported in the media abt
running Microsoft and a bunch of ordinary decide to take on Linux.

One of which is self-created, the other very unlikely.

Steve Jenkin, Info Tech, Systems and Design Specialist.
0412 786 915 (+61 412 786 915)
PO Box 48, Kippax ACT 2615, AUSTRALIA

sjenkin at canb.auug.org.au http://members.tip.net.au/~sjenkin

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