[TriLUG] TriLUG Frequently Asked Questions

TriLUG FAQ Maintainer lovelace at wayfarer.org
Wed Jul 5 03:00:00 EDT 2006

This is a monthly posting of the Frequently Asked Questions
of The Triangle Linux Users Group.  More information about TriLUG
can be found at http://www.trilug.org/mailman/listinfo/trilug and 


  The TriLUG FAQ
  Maintained by Tanner Lovelace <lovelace(at)trilug.org>,
  v1.9.1, 05 Jan 2006

  The TriLUG mailing list has become rather successful as a channel for
  discussion of all aspects of Linux and free/open-source software.  As
  is often a result with such lists, increased in the volume of traffic
  has prompted users to call for a FAQ to help maintain the signal-to-
  noise ratio.  If you would like any help from the TriLUG mailing list,
  this is the place to start!

  Table of Contents

  1. Preface
     1.1 About the Document
     1.2 Contact

  2. TriLUG in General
     2.1 What is TriLUG?
     2.2 What does TriLUG do?
     2.3 Who can join TriLUG?
     2.4 Why join TriLUG?
     2.5 How do I join TriLUG?
     2.6 Who "runs" TriLUG?
     2.7 Where is the member services FAQ?

  3. TriLUG Mailing Lists
     3.1 What are the TriLUG lists?
     3.2 What is "appropriate content" for each of the TriLUG lists?
     3.3 Somebody said my post was spam but I don't think so.  Who is right?
     3.4 If the lists aren't moderated, how can there be any rules?
     3.5 Are jobs-posts welcome?
     3.6 Are other advertisements welcome?

  4. TriLUG Meetings
     4.1 May I request a topic for a talk?
     4.2 How do I become a sponsor?

  5. Miscellaneous Questions
     5.1 May I have a shell account on the TriLUG servers?
     5.2 Why don't the mailto links in the HTML version of this FAQ work?

  6. Information about this FAQ
     6.1 Maintainers
     6.2 Changelog


  1.  Preface

  1.1.  About the Document

  This document is a collection of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) for
  the Triangle Linux Users Group (TriLUG).  It is mainly intended as a
  helpful reference point for the TriLUG mailing lists, though it is a
  good starting point for anyone interested in TriLUG in general.

  This document is also available in a variety of formats: HTML, text,
  Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF), Postscript, and SGML (Standard
  Generalized Markup Language).

  1.2.  Contact

  If you have any suggestions, additions, or corrections for this
  document, please contact the following:

  o  TriLUG Steering Committee (steering(at)trilug.org)

  o  The current FAQ maintainer, Tanner Lovelace

  o  The main TriLUG List (trilug(at)trilug.org)

  2.  TriLUG in General

  These are general questions about TriLUG.

  2.1.  What is TriLUG?

  TriLUG is the Triangle Linux Users Group.  It is an educational
  nonprofit (incorporated as a 501(c)3 for tax purposes) in the State of
  North Carolina.  Our primary point of contact is our web site at
  www.trilug.org.  For further information including a copy of our
  articles of incorporation and bylaws, please visit our web site at

  2.2.  What does TriLUG do?

  As an educational nonprofit, TriLUG devoted to teaching and otherwise
  helping people use Linux and other free/open-source software.  We have
  monthly meetings, active mailing lists, and installfests.

  2.3.  Who can join TriLUG?

  Under our current articles of incorporation, all North Carolina
  residents are invited and welcome to join!

  2.4.  Why join TriLUG?

  In addition to our mailing list (which is open to everyone, not just
  members, and is an EXCELLENT source of free linux-related tech
  support), membership provides voting privileges and discounts at many
  local vendors.  See our web pages for further details.

  2.5.  How do I join TriLUG?

  To join, come to one of our meetings and and we'll gladly issue you an
  official membership card, member number, and further details.

  2.6.  Who "runs" TriLUG?

  Monthly meetings, our webserver, quarterly installfests, the treasury,
  and other organizational and day-to-day issues are handled by an
  elected Steering Committee (steering(at)trilug.org) on behalf of the
  members.  The function of the Steering Committee is not to "run the
  show" or to set policy, rather the committee tries to bring the
  members requests to fruition.  Every effort is made to openly discuss
  and bring about the events, talks, and other ideas that the members
  put forward.  If there is something that you (as a member) would like
  to see happen (i.e. a talk topic, a fundraiser, a mailing list change,
  or any other idea) then please feel free to propose and discuss it on
  our general discussion list, on the steering committee list, or at a
  meeting.  Essentially everything that TriLUG now does began as an idea
  on one of our email lists!

  The steering committee is elected by majority vote once per year at
  the May meeting of the general TriLUG membership.  Though all
  committee members have individual addresses, it is a good idea to send
  official correspondence to the steering committee list
  (steering(at)trilug.org) since this generally results in a speedier
  response.  The Steering Committee is comprised of a Chair
  (chair(at)trilug.org), Vice Chair (vicechair(at)trilug.org), Treasurer
  (treasurer(at)trilug.org), Webmaster (webmaster(at)trilug.org), and
  Public Relations Officer (pr(at)trilug.org).  Steering Committee
  members must reside in the state of North Carolina.  For more details
  on the Steering Committee, please see the Articles of Incorporation.

  2.7.  Where is the member services FAQ?

  The TriLUG Member Services FAQ gives detailed information about the
  services available to members such as shell accounts and mail server
  access.  It can be found at http://members.trilug.org/services_faq/.

  3.  TriLUG Mailing Lists

  Questions and "Netiquette" for the mailing lists.

  3.1.  What are the TriLUG lists?

  Currently, there are several TriLUG lists.  Information about most of
  them can be found at http://www.trilug.org/mailman/listinfo.

  o  the main TriLUG list
     (http://www.trilug.org/mailman/listinfo/trilug) is for open
     (unmoderated) discussion of all things Linux, *BSD, Free Software,
     and/or Open Source related;

  o  the steering committee list (steering(at)trilug.org) is the place
     to go to contact the current steering committee members;

  o  the announcement list
     (http://www.trilug.org/mailman/listinfo/trilug-announce) is for
     announcement of TriLUG events and activities. This is not a
     discussion list, and only the admins for the list may post messages
     to the list.   Subscribe to this list if you are not a member of
     the main discussion list, but want notices of upcoming meetings and
     special events.

     All the lists currently run off of our mail server.  The only
     current list archived is the main one at

  Several historical lists are still archived at the following URLs:

  o  The dev list  (http://www.trilug.org/pipermail/dev)

  o  The hosting list (http://www.trilug.org/pipermail/hosting)

  3.2.  What is "appropriate content" for each of the TriLUG lists?

  The rules for "appropriate content" on the TriLUG lists are simple:

  o  Be courteous to others in your postings (no personal attacks on the
     list please and no profanity)

  o  Try to stay on topic, or at least post items that are of interest
     to the group

  o  No advertising, and no spam.

  In addition, the following guidelines are also a good starting point:

  o  As stated above, the main TriLUG discussion list
     (http://www.trilug.org/mailman/listinfo/trilug) is for the
     discussion of all topics related to Linux or Free/Open Source
     software.  Everyone is welcome to join!  Please feel free to join
     the list and ask any questions you may have as either a Linux
     beginner, intermediate, or expert.  We currently have all levels of
     experience subscribed and you are likely to find someone who can
     either help out with answers or point you towards further help.

     Occasionally the list will drift slightly off-topic, it happens.
     This is a community.  The best thing to do in those occasions is to
     just wait and let the thread die.  Past experience has shown that
     attempts to squelch a particular topic usually result in a flame
     war that dwarfs the off-topic thread.  Before you respond with a
     'THIS IS OFF TOPIC' sit back and read your response.  Does it
     contribute?  Is it merely prolonging a thread that would otherwise
     have died?  Will it cause the list to errupt in flames (most
     likely)?  If so, don't post it.  If you really feel a need, send
     your response to the steering committee.  They'd be happy to chat
     with you about it.

     In general, the TriLUG list stays on topic.  We have great
     discussions and question & answer posts that help not only our
     membership, but others that read posts via the web archives (thanks
     to Google).  It's a great list, it's a community.  There is some
     noise, for sure, but the signal far outweighs it.

     So please, don't take it upon yourself to tell people what they can
     and cannot post.  People are generally smart enough to think before
     they post.  Occasionally, when someone hits the send button a
     little too early, or cannot find a better outlet, something way off
     in left field will slip through.  Just let it go.  If you really
     feel a need, send it to the steering committee
     (steering(at)trilug.org).  If it's way out there, the SC will
     likely send the original poster a direct e-mail, politely
     requesting they stay on topic.  Please, don't take the law (as it
     were) into your own hands. :)

  o  The steering committee list (steering(at)trilug.org) is meant both
     as a place to contact the steering committee and as a place for
     committee member discussions.  All are welcome to send messages to
     the list, but only current committee members are subscribed.
     Please send all communication to the steering list or one of the
     TriLUG "role" emails accounts instead of the sending them directly
     to the personal emails of steering committee members.

  o  The trilug-announce list
     (http://www.trilug.org/mailman/listinfo/trilug-announce) is open to
     everyone (all are welcome to subscribe) and is meant to be a very
     low volume channel.

  Finally, before asking a question on the list, it might help to read
  How To Ask Questions The Smart Way
  (http://www.catb.org/~esr/faqs/smart-questions.html) by Eric Raymond.

  3.3.  Somebody said my post was spam but I don't think so.  Who is

  Spam is many different things to many different people.  There are
  several different kinds in particular that will get you in trouble:

  o  Unsolicited Commercial Email (UCE) - Mail is sent individually or
     in bulk to a list of recipients that never asked for this email.
     The nature of the email is typically commercial advertisement of
     some sort.

  o  Spam-For-Cause - Mail is usually sent in bulk to recipients so that
     the sender can share information about their cause.  It may be
     political, social, or religious in nature (among other things).
     Like UCE, the major offending factor here is that this is
     unsolicited mail.  This organization exists for the promotion of
     open source and free source software, and to champion any other
     cause in this forum would be highly inappropriate.

  o  Chain letters - You've seen them before and you know what I'm
     talking about.  A chain letter may be a message of friendship, or
     one that promises good fortune will come upon you if you send it to
     seven other people.  The plain truth of the matter is that
     propagating chain letters is a great way to lose friends online,
     and certainly a good way to offend the members of a forum that the
     message is broadcast to.

  3.4.  If the lists aren't moderated, how can there be any rules?

  Well, good question...  *grin*

  In practice we have had very few problems with off-topic posts,
  flames, and other list annoyances.  If they do become a more serious
  problem, the steering committee will first remind the offenders.  If
  the problems persist, various defenses including moderation and
  banning of abusers may be implemented.  We hope that it won't be

  3.5.  Are jobs-posts welcome?

  In the past, jobs posts were not allowed on our lists.  More recently,
  the new steering committee has voted to allow posts under specific
  circumstances.  Thus, if the job post in question meets the following

  o  the position is primarily (that is, 51%) Linux or Free Software or
     Open Source related;  and

  o  the position is advertised only *once* (absolutely no repeat
     spamming will be tolerated)

     then it is welcome on our main discussion list.  These posts are
     not welcome on the announce list.  If there are any questions or if
     these policies need clarification, please feel free to contact the
     steering committee and we'll be glad to help.  If you decide your
     job post is not appropriate for our mailing list, you might instead
     consider posting it in the triangle.jobs newsgroup.

  3.6.  Are other advertisements welcome?

  General advertisements to the TriLUG discussion list are strongly
  discouraged.  Note that other kinds of "ads" are possible through
  sponsoring pizza and soda for our monthly meetings.

  4.  TriLUG Meetings

  4.1.  May I request a topic for a talk?

  Absolutely!  If you have any ideas for a future talk, please post them
  to the main discussion list.  Even better, please post if you think
  you might like to give a talk.  We're always open to suggestions.

  4.2.  How do I become a sponsor?

  We're always looking for sponsors!  Please contact the Steering
  Committee (steering(at)trilug.org) if you or your company would like
  to be an official pizza sponsor for a meeting.  In return for your
  sponsorship, we will allow you to give a 10-15 minute talk at the
  beginning of the meeting.  If you have further questions or any other
  proposals, please contact us.

  5.  Miscellaneous Questions

  5.1.  May I have a shell account on the TriLUG servers?

  Any official member is welcome to an account on TriLUG's servers.  To
  request an account, have your TriLUG membership number and e-mail
  address you specified when signing up and go to
  https://members.trilug.org/accountrequest/.  Use your membership
  number as the username and the specified e-mail address as the
  password.  More information about accounts on TriLUG's servers and
  other member services, please see the Member Services FAQ

  5.2.  Why don't the mailto links in the HTML version of this FAQ work?

  The mailto links in the FAQ have been munged to prevent easy
  collection by spam bots.  Looking at the the addresses should make it
  perfectly clear what needs to be modified to make them valid

  6.  Information about this FAQ

  6.1.  Maintainers

  o  Tanner Lovelace <lovelace(at)trilug.org> is the current maintainer.

  o  Ed Hill <edhill(at)eh3.com> originally created and maintained the

  6.2.  Changelog

  o  Thu Jan 05 2006 - Tanner Lovelace - Updated information on
     requesting a TriLUG shell account.

  o  Thu Jan 05 2006 - Tanner Lovelace - Removed old lists, BN card,
     updated smart questions link

  o  Thu Jun 05 2003 - Tanner Lovelace - Clarified a bit about the
     Barnes and Noble card.

  o  Thu Jun 05 2003 - Tanner Lovelace - Added Changelog and reference
     to member services faq.

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