Nairobi GNU/Linux Users Group

A lively community of GNU/Linux enthusiasts

Meetup Summary (July, 2015)


So, this month, only 4 people showed up in person, but the meeting turned out still interesting. Below is a summary of the things we talked about in no particular order:

Linux (duh...)

As usual, we spoke about Linux, giving various experiences, some of which were particularly funny. As such, I will note one such experience, which was interesting, while he was still a noob:

There is a common trend on forums and irc for the more experienced folk to respond to noobs with RTFM, which each of us has at one point or the other experienced. The trouble with nixes is that rtfm could for all intents and purposes, be a valid nix command - so, in this case, our hapless noob went ahead and typed rtfm on his terminal emulator. As is to be expected, we laughed our heads out... still, could there be a faster way to assist our noobs?

Education in Kenya

This topic was especially volatile, seeing as the four people who showed up were all patrons of the system. As it were, we all railed on the (perceived?) failings of our education system, especially it's insistence on papers, without actual skill acquisition.

Someone pointed out how in his Engineering studies (in University), practicals using the lathe involved standing in a semi-circle watching the lab technician operate the device. As is expected, that was a blatant exaggeration to make a point, but it was not far from the truth in this case, seeing as most Universities in the country focus on earning money, without much focus on upgrading the equipment required for teaching the technical courses like Engineering.

Someone also pointed out that one of the Universities is still teaching HTML 2.0 officially in it's Computer Science Curriculum - go figure.

Hackathons, Conferences, etc

There was a slight segway into talks about various conferences, and how in Kenya, there seems to be a dearth of information on things like venues and times. Someone suggested that the organisers might be afraid that the NairobiLUG might criticise them as it did BRCK.

We laughed that off as unlikely and quickly moved on.

Computer Security

There was an anecdote to the effect that the security organs in the country might be frowning upon discussions on computer security.

It was also stated that a lot of banks in the country might be using ciphers that are known to be broken and vulnerable for years now, but raising that with the concerned parties is likely to land you in jail, rather than having the issue fixed.

On that chilling note, we moved along swiftly.

The Kenic/CA Farce

There was a discussion on the news in this article regarding Kenic and the Communications Authority requiring registration of gadgets to access Wi-Fi.

There was a general consensus that the people who came up with these kind of rules do not understand how the technology works, and willfully refuse to consult with and listen to those who do.

Conclusion

While this is the least attended meetup in a really long time, it turned out to be really fascinating and fun.

I encourage people to show up to the next meeting on 01 August, 2015.