[wilhelmtux-discussion]zürichlocal group meeting

Alex Schroeder alex at emacswiki.org
Sam Feb 15 02:00:09 CET 2003

It was nice -- at first we were 4, me, and 3 people from Berne.  :)
Later, more arrived: 1 from Luzern, 1 from Wil, and 3 from Zürich.
We need more people from the Zürich area!

First, everybody told us a bit about themselves, and how they had come
to WilhelmTux.  My plan was this introduction would then facilitate
discussion, and everybody would be encouraged to talk about the stuff
that interests them most, and so we'd find some things to do and ideas
to write about.

Some of the things we talked about:

* The difficulty of introducing Windows users to GNU/Linux -- they
  expect a certain layout and certain functionality.  It is difficult
  but important to communicate how this software is written so that
  people understand the resulting design, Gaudenz said.

* We talked about TCPA and Palladium again -- I even got a printed
  copy of the intro on the Against TCPA site from Georg, as well as a
  list of companies, and some information from the IBM site about
  their new TCPA compliant notebooks.

* From TCPA we moved on to Digital Rights Management (DRM) and we
  talked about how software and hardware (TCPA) can take rights away
  from you that you had before -- eg. buy a CD, and record the music
  for your own personal use onto tapes, minidiscs, and audio CDs --
  but not on CD ROMs, because there is no "tax" on that media.  We
  talked about stand-alone CD burners requiring Audio CDs, about
  Lawrence Lessig's book Code Is Law, and how we would like to better
  understand our current rights.  One of use explained, for example,
  that we can borrow CDs (and copy them) from close friends and family
  and copy it, but we cannot borrow CDs from just anybody and copy
  them.  So we need more information...  We also talked about how it
  would be nice to have something on the website about this, and I
  volunteered to write something.

  If you know anything in this regard, or have some accessible
  literature on this, please let me know.  :)

* We talked about spreading Linux at schools.  We need more CDs like
  the one done for the Linux User Group (LUG) Berne to distribute.  It
  seems that the LUGBE was also able to distribute CDs and flyers in
  book shop in Berne.  We would like to do that in Zürich, too.

* Mike mentioned he knew an editor of the Mittelschul (highschool)
  Verband (association) Zürich, who'd be interested in doing stuff.
  We could publish an article in his newsletter that gets printed
  every three months.  We noted that we need more educational
  material, ie. not only something about Linux, but it must be written
  in the right *style* -- we need learning goals, learning methods,
  etc.  The whole jargon.

  Are there any teachers amonst us that could help?

* We noted that it might be easier to launch a competition.  Mike said
  he'd be able to find sponsors for a laptop or something similar to
  hand out as a first price.  This could be a "hunt" for information
  on the web, with some info planted here and there by us.

* We could also organize Aktionstage (events) for specific things.
  Those would require quite a bit of cooperation.

  If anybody feels like contacting the people at his local school
  where kids between 12 and 18 hang out, we could get something
  together.  If the IT department has only Windows, we use a
  Knoppix/LUGBE CD already mentioned, and some other things.

* We also talked about blind people and the administration.  If you
  have Windows and buy JAWS for around USD $900, it will probably work
  well.  When you are using Free Software such as lynx, eflite, etc.,
  JavaScript is a problem again.  But we soon moved on to proprietary
  formats, and Daniel reminded us to look for documents available only
  as Excel files, because the files by stzh.ch discussed on this list
  have all been converted to PDF.  This is good work by the web team,
  but Daniel would like to have this discussed by the Stadtrat or
  Kantonsrat (I can't remember) and for that he needs now needs a new

* We also talked about the so-called "Microsoft Tax" on computers, and
  how difficult it is to buy a cheap computer without M$.  We talked
  about this because when talking about the TCPA we said that it would
  still be possible to get non-TCPA chips from China or other places.
  The real problem is when we are no longer allowed to use the chips
  we buy...  This is an area we have to watch.

* We also talked the Parlamentarier-Mappe, and how this might be of
  use for us in the future.  But more thought is required.  Will we
  make a newsletter?  Will we use this for dedicated information?  We
  did not talk more about it...

Anyway, that is the stuff I remember, I hope the others will add their
own views, too.

Next 14th is a good date to meet again.  What do you say?