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Welcome to the Silicon Valley Linux Users Group

Linux - The Operating System of the 21st Century TM

SVLUG Candidate Statement

Candidate: Karsten Self
Running for: President (calendar year 2001)
Home Page: http://www.netcom.com/~kmself/
I'm here to ask for your vote as SVLUG President.  Some of you know me
as the Evangelist for OpenSales, now Zelerate.  I've also been an active
member of SVLUG for the past two and a half years.

Thanks to Chris DiBona, Marc Merlin for their hard work and support, as
well as SVLUG volunteers, the installfest and web teams, and others
who've made this a great group.

I'd like to announce a victory.  Actually, it's one that happened a
quite some time back.  GNU/Linux is no longer an up-and-coming operating
system.  It's here.  It's credible.  It's not going away.  It's solidly
entrenched in server space.  It's making inroads on the desktop.  Read
Linux Journal, and you'll see that it *owns* embedded space.  IBM has
committed to putting GNU/Linux on all of its platforms -- old news by
now -- and is considering open source as its default software policy.
Sun Microsystems is trying to work out whether Linux is Unix or not.
Microsoft thinks we're a bunch of mutants....

The problem with winning a war is that you have to figure out what
you're going to do next.  This is a problem that's been growing on the
GNU/Linux and free software communities for the past two years, as
we were acknowledged by the outside world.  And that's what I'd like to
focus on for SVLUG.  There are issues we should address:

  * Open standards and computing freedom.  Both of these are key
    underpinnings of the free software movement.  We've seen attempts by
    such as DeCSS and proprietization of the Kerberos.
  
  * Dealing with business.  We've seen a flush of cash into the free
    software movement.  Some of it's walked back out, discovering that
    this isn't the silver bullet we never promised.  But I would like to
    see support for those who do want to base their livelihood off of
    this movement.   SVLUG's seen strong support from Cisco, VA
    Linux, Netscape, and other local businesses in the past, I'd like to
    extend and embrace^Wexpand these relationships with local and
    global businesses.
  
  * Security.  Most of us have been on broadband at work or home for
    years.  The rest of the world is just getting there, and some of us
    are still making the plunge ourselves.  Showing how to secure
    networks and systems, and sharing that knowledge, is a valuable
    service.
  
  * What you think.  I'd like to see what other ideas there are for new
    directions for SVLUG.

SVLUG has been great as a speaking club.  One of my first SVLUG meetings
featured this guy named Linus talking about a project he'd been working
on for a few years.  I remember the energy I felt in the spring of 1998
as I walked onto the Cisco campus.   I do feel SVLUG has been missing
some of the interactivity it might have -- though this is a challenge
for a group this size.  I'd like to extend the number of activities and
opportunities for people to participate and work with each other.  The
SVLUG mailing list, Installfests, and LSec security SIG are some
examples of what I'd like to see more of.

I'd also like to see more publicity for SVLUG to match the growth of
GNU/Linux beyond the space occupied just by techies -- I've walked into
Fry's and bumped into people looking at various Linux distributions
who've heard of Linux but don't know about the great support group
that's sitting all around them here at the center of the Internet.  It's
time to extend our outreach efforts to match this mainstreaming of
GNU/Linux.

And, with the mainstreaming of GNU/Linux, we're going to have to cope
with the influx of new users.  SVLUG should grow with the popularity of
Linux and free software, and we're going to have to accommodate this
growth gracefully.

Thank you.

 - Karsten M. Self <kmself@ix.netcom.com>

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