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An introduction to The Connecticut Free Unix Group

by Lou Rinaldi lou@cfug.org, CFUG Co-Founder

October of 1996 was when Nate Smith and I first began discussing the creation of a local-area unix users' group here in Connecticut, something we felt the area was desperately in need of. We bantered around some initial ideas; some great, some not so great. Finally we decided on creating a group whose focus was on the "free unix" community. CFUG, The Connecticut Free Unix Group, was born in November of 1996. Both of us had very busy schedules, so all of the time we were going to invest in this project came directly from our ever-decreasing periods of leisure activity. We agreed upon three major goals for CFUG: The first was the wide distribution and implementation of free, unix-like operating systems and software. The second was educating the public about important developments in the evolution of free operating systems. Finally, we strove to provide an open, public forum for debate and discussion about issues related to these topics. After writing to several major vendors and asking for donations of their surplus stock and/or older software releases, the packages began rolling in. (After all, we wanted to create some sort of incentive for people to come to the first meeting)! We then got started doing some heavy advertising on the newsgroups, in local computer stores and also on local college campuses. Finally, after securing an honored guest speaker for our first meeting, (Lar Kaufman, co-author of the seminal reference book "Running Linux"), we were ready to set a date. December 9th, 1996 marked the first official CFUG gathering, which took place at a local public library. We've held meetings on the second Monday of each month ever since, and are now widely recognized as Connecticut's only organization dedicated to the entire free unix community. We've since lost Nate Smith to the lucrative wiles of Silicon Valley, but we continue to carry on with our original goals. We have close relations with companies such as Caldera Inc., InfoMagic Inc., and Red Hat Software, as well as such non-commercial entities as The FreeBSD Project, Software In The Public Interest (producers of Debian GNU/Linux), The OpenBSD Project and The Free Software Foundation. We were also featured on the front page of the Meriden Record-Journal, a major local newspaper, on May 26th of this year. Our future plans include more guest speakers, as well as trips to events of pertinence throughout New England.

For more information, please check our website - http://www.cfug.org

There is a one-way mailing list for announcements concerning CFUG. You can sign up by emailing cfug-announce-request@cfug.org with "subscribe" as the first line of the message body (without the quotes).

Copyright © 1997, Lou Rinaldi
Published in Issue 22 of the Linux Gazette, October 1997