[CLUG-chat] Upcoming CLUG Talk: What can CLUG do for you?

Jonathan Hitchcock vhata at clug.org.za
Thu Aug 6 16:47:01 SAST 2009


Hi,

On Thu, Aug 6, 2009 at 4:19 PM, Dirk Lucas<dirk.lucas at gmail.com> wrote:
> An example from my experience is to watch an encrypted dvd on Ubuntu. It
> just dont work, so you have to start reading. It is quite a steep learning
> curve. Ordinary computer users do not know about libdvdcss. For some
> "simple" issues like this one, I have spent hours or days to sort it out. If
> you do not understand the issue or the underlying principle, you can google
> and get it to work eventually, but without knowing what you are doing at
> all.  As a last resort some users post questions here, just to get a comment
> like "here is the solution, but in the future go google it first".

Let's be honest, Dirk.  Typing "play dvd ubuntu" into google takes you
directly to about five pages, all of which say right there on the
front, "In order to be able to play encrypted DVDs, we need to install
libdvdcss2".  Try it right now.

It's unsurprising that you got that sort of reaction when you asked
questions that really can be solved in ten seconds with a single
google search.  Even so, I think you will generally find that people
do tell you the answers straight away anyway.

But we digress.  We're talking about what sort of activities CLUG can
do to be more useful.  You and Walter seem to be suggesting lots and
lots of installfests and introductions?  But the majority of CLUG
users are, by definition, people who already have Linux installed.
Once you've been to one installfest, future ones are not really much
use to you.  So, sure they're a good way of getting NEW members, but
they're not that useful to existing members, are they?

Having workshops which people can attend with questions would, of
course, be useful - we could put a bunch of knowledgeable people in a
room, and others would be able to wander in and show them problems or
ask for help.  But I don't see these lasting very long either.  Even
assuming that this way of solving problems is easier than asking on a
mailing list, asking on IRC, or googling, I don't think it's tenable
to set up entire workshops so that a few people can come in and ask
how to play DVDs, and then leave satisfied, while the rest of us sit
around bored.

To summarise:  I think one or two all-purpose iron-out-tweaks
show-you-cool-stuff workshops would be good every so often, but I'm
doubtful as to whether they would work if they were held regularly, or
whether they would benefit the majority of CLUG members.  Finding
something useful to many, that we can hold often, is what we really
need to identify.

(I may be wrong, of course, and I'm open to persuasion.)

-Jonathan


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