Monday, June 23, 2008

Linux User Group

The first Linux User Group between Morocco aand South Africa held its inaugural meeting tonight. Six of us met up at a local Internet cafe - Bastien, a French man working with a local environmemtal NGO, Aguinaldo from the local telecomms company (CST), Aguinaldo the owner of the Internet cafe (Club Tropicana), Bernardina from the National Meteorological Institute (NMI), Valentim the director of a local primary school and myself.

We didn't actually do very much except have a few drinks and chew the rag. It turns out that we are mostly Ubuntu (in its various versions) and Debian users. As well as its inevitable Windows machines, the NMI has a Debian machine and Bernardina has had some experience of Ubuntu whilst on training courses in Brazil. She got me to download OpenOffice a couple of weeks ago via the Synaptic Package Manager – given our slow Internet connection I left it running and walked away ... the next day she told me it was working perfectly. Valentim has a legacy machine (donated by my employer) running Xubuntu. Aguinaldo from CST says his company is planning to transition to Unix/Linux servers, Aguinaldo, owner of Club Tropicana and partner with the owner of our national domain (one of Sweden's largest ISPs), is a great fan of Ubuntu but has been limited by non-Linux support for the thin-client boxes he has been using to set up thin-client networks around the country. I discovered last week that the company making his thin-client boxes has just produced beta Linux software to support these. Bastien has managed to procure a laptop for the NGO he is working with and it is now loaded up with Ubuntu and he says the users are having no problems at all using OpenOffice. I descrbed how I had just got my US Robotics “Windows” Skype phone working on Linux. Valentim asked me to look into a Portuguese spell-checker/dictionary for AbiWord. I showed Bastien Slax running off a USB pendrive.

All-in-all it was a great success.

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