[lug] CU-boulder install-fest

Chris Riddoch Christopher.Riddoch at colorado.edu
Mon Jun 9 13:58:43 MDT 2003

Glenn Ashton <gfa at idiom.com> writes:

> I don't know what the ECE Capstone area is.

It's one of the electrical engineering labs on campus.  I've not been
in there in quite some time.

> When we did a mini-expo (years ago), we worked with Chuck Johnson at
> the CU Bookstore.
> He set up the rooms and internet access.

When I contacted him last year for his help in setting up space and
network for an installfest, he brushed me off, saying, "We don't make
any money with Linux."  Maybe I caught him on a couple of bad days,
but speaking from my own experience, I don't think we can expect much
help from the bookstore.

I can't say I'm terribly surprised -- The new posters up in the
student center advertising MS software in the CU bookstore have the
attention-grabbing text that says, "If you could get software for any
less, it'd be illegal."  If they're not making any money from Linux
sales, perhaps it might have something to do with misunderstandings
and preconceptions.  Their server for selling books online is running

> I imagine that you would need to contact UMC scheduling, but if a
> professor, or academic dept, or student group or the bookstore decided to
> help it makes things so much easier.

A couple years ago, I set up a student group for BLUG on campus for
exactly this purpose. I know people in scheduling, and can work with
them on setting things up.

> Also, though money is a problem for poor college students, if we had
> to pay some nominal fee for connectivity on campus for a one day
> event, I think some folks might be willing to throw in a couple of
> bucks.

This is the real catch. Student groups can get classrooms for free,
but it costs $120 to use a projector for one hour, through the
official channels. Network access is about $150/hr, last I asked.
They nickle-and-dime student groups pretty hard, outside groups worse.
I could pass around the hat, but I'd rather not have us in the
business of handling money.

> So, asking around first is a good thing.  You're right in thinking that
> folks at CU should have an interest in presenting what Linux and Open
> Source are to students.  There are so many excellent tools in the average
> Linux distribution for a wide variety of uses in an academic setting.

Should, yes. Individual professors have done a great deal with
Linux. Free software even has its advocates among some faculty in the
law school here. But as far as the university as a whole is concerned,
it's thoroughly indifferent.  ITS, the telecom and network people on
campus, don't support it at all and seem to have no interest in
changing that.

In all fairness, the university has its silver linings - the law
school has very different policies from the rest of the campus.  They
let us use their projectors for free, even if they sometimes reserve
every room in the building for conferences (like next month) and are
much easier to work with - they'll let us plug in access points or
switches or whatever into the ethernet jacks at the front of the
rooms, no cost.  The only reason not to do installfests there is that
power cords are sparse.  They prefer legal pads. ;)

We've had network access at previous installfests in the engineering
center by bending the rules, and I'd rather not have to do that again.
Getting people into and out of the rooms is a mess, because the place
is such a maze.  Parking is terrible on campus, and the bureaucracy
just gets in the way.

Even if someone really feels like dishing out some money to pay for
network access at CU, which would come out to several hundred dollars,
I'd *still* rather hold installfests somewhere else.

Suggestions gladly welcome,

Christopher.Riddoch at colorado.edu
 - epistemological humility -

More information about the LUG mailing list