This weekend I went to the Ballarat install-fest, mini-conf, and inaugural meeting of the Ballarat Linux Users’ Group (BLUG).

This was the second install-fest, the first one was quite successful so it was decided that there was demand for a second. I suggested that what we should do is get some of the more experience members of LUV to attend and give talks about their areas of expertise and make a mini-conference. I also suggested that we
hire a large vehicle to take a number of people to the meeting. Both my suggestions were accepted.

So on Friday evening I was in a Kia XXX with five other people from LUV on our way to Ballarat.

On Saturday we had the install-fest. We started at about 10AM, there were about a dozen people getting help installing Linux and many more attending the mini-conf and just hanging out. For lunch we had a BBQ. In the afternoon I gave a talk on SE Linux and then a brief impromptu talk on Poly-Instantiated Directories while the next speaker was setting up their laptop.

At the end there was the inaugural meeting of BLUG. The president was appointed, and there were some brief discussions about when to schedule meetings. I suggested that BLUG meetings should be either the day before or the day after LUV meetings to increase the incidence of speakers from other regions attending both meetings, my suggestion was being seriously considered at the time the meeting adjourned – LUV is a larger group and has better ability to get speakers from other regions. It was also agreed that a
weekend combined LUV and BLUG meeting would be arranged twice a year.

I traveled back to Melbourne by train which was cheap at $9 and comfortable. There was even a power point in the carriage (which I didn’t use as my laptop was charged and the location was not convenient). For the next such event I’ll try and arrange a group to travel on the train together.

The next thing to do is to find other regional centers in Victoria where we can do the same thing. Bendigo might be a possibility.

Also if you are a member of a LUG in a city please consider the possibilities for helping form a LUG in a regional center that’s nearby. I would be happy to provide whatever advice I can to help people replicate this success in areas surrounging other cities, so please email me if you have any questions.

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