[TriLUG] software is free, pizza is not

Alan Porter porter at trilug.org
Thu Sep 10 13:51:31 EDT 2009

At tonight's meeting, we will enjoy a rare treat... PIZZA.
What's different about tonight's pizza is that for once, it is
actually PAID FOR by a SPONSOR.

We should all give Tarus and the OpenNMS Group a big thanks for
picking up the tab for tonight's food.  Well, maybe we should
listen to his talk before we jump in there with pats on the back.
We might be paying for this pizza in a different way!

Anyway, everyone is feeling the pain in 2009, and TriLUG is no
exception.  We're not sure if you have noticed, but we have not
had very many sponsors in the past year.  And therefore, our bank
balance is ZERO.  In fact, our bank went ahead and "fixed the
glitch" in our bank account by closing it entirely.

So that means before most meetings, one of us on the steering
committee gets out our personal credit card and orders pizza and
drinks, to the tune of $150.  And then we *hope* that we collect
enough in the donation bucket to pay us back.

Wouldn't it be cool if we had a real bank account with a real
debit card ... and real cash in the bank?

In the past, we've had big name out-of-town speaker like Mark
Spencer of Digium (asterisk) and Jeff Waugh from Canonical
(Ubuntu).  These days, we could not even buy these guys a Coke,
forget about contributing to their travel expenses.

Meanwhile, let's think about our employers.  Does your company
use open source software?  Does it benefit from the community
that volunteers its time so that we can all have FREE software?
Does your company ever contribute back to the community?

Sure, we submit some patches here and there, and we work with
our upstream projects to make things work this way or that.

But how about asking these companies to kick in a little bit of
cash to help the local LUG?  I know my employer has several LUG
members on its payroll... we have gotten employee referrals from
LUG members, we've benefitted from the informal training and
technical insights from monthly LUG meetings, and we've had
countless questions answered on the mailing lists and on IRC.

Would it be reasonable for these companies to drop a few bucks
into the pizza bucket?

So ask your manager if he has a few (*cough* thousand) dollars
in his budget to help support the community that helps support
his business.

Since my managers are on this mailing list, I just did.  So can


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