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Wednesday, June 6, 2012

UCLA Linux User Group has a word on promoting Open Source.

Yesterday, directly after school, I headed to UCLA's Boelter Hall to meet up with the UCLA LUG (Linux User Group).  It took me some time to tame the maze-like structure of the Hall, but I found the location with the unassuming Penguin logo peering out of the door.  I entered with some confidence, still unwary, of the amount of talk my project had from the group.

I shook hands with Nathan McCoy, the president of the group, and got comfortable with the lounge and its many inhabitants, all Linux enthusiasts. We initiated the discussion with a clearer picture of my goal: to not only raise school awareness of open source, but perhaps bring a transition to the school's decadent technology.

The theme? Spark interest, then push an idea! 2 years is ample time to work this through.

Open to suggestions, I was suprised beyond measure of the loads of ideas they contributed, most of which were extremely high quality.

Here are ideas for the moderate course.
  • Grassroot entry: start from the bottom, slowly build up on it.
  • Start a computer group in school, or more specifically, a LUG.
  • *Set up timetables, meetings, and events. 
  • Acting closed, make the ideas "trendy" (ex. instead of talking of jargon like "open source," I relate it to people, consider what they care about, and make it seem like another Windows and just as easy - or even more appealing - to use.)
  • Showcase applications that I create or tricks/tips to the group.
Here is something to work from the administration, disseminating like the branches of an upside-down tree.
  • For instance, say I wanted a few computers in the library to run Linux. I would contact the district office to see if anyone else has tried this, and if it's permissible to try this in the school.
  • I can talk with the school's computer science teacher and see his views on Linux in school. Striking a negotiation would help.
All these things while taking small steps forward.  In the long run, progress is guaranteed not by rushing but by taking deliberate, concerted measures to unity.

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