SPUG: The SPUG Report, 19 October 2004

Andrew Sweger andrew at sweger.net
Wed Oct 20 17:41:10 CDT 2004

Last night's meeting was the first to be held at the Amazon.com Pac-Med
building near Rizal Park at the North end of Beacon Hill. About 16 people
turned out with approximately a third of them there specifically to get an
introduction to Perl by C.J. Collier. Following C.J. was Patrick Galbraith
of MySQL AB who showed how the Perl-MySQL DBI interface (DBD::mysql) is
advancing and taking advantage of advances in the MySQL database server
and its client protocol. The biggest development in the works that has me
excited will be support for embedded MySQL via DBI. I'd like to extend
thanks on behalf of SPUG to Patrick for giving his time to share with us
(in fact, I did just that).

I'd like to encourage all SPUGgers to take some time to lavish some well
deserved gratitude upon C.J. Collier. Not only did he give a Perl
introduction, but he's the man behind getting SPUG the privilege of
meeting in such a fine location. He also sought out and arranged for
Patrick to present at the meeting. And to top it off, he even got
permission for us to use the Amazon network to access the Internet. Oh,
and he's responsible for designing and printing some snazzy fliers
advertising the meeting to the Amazonian crowd. And convincing next
month's speaker into giving up some of his precious personal time.

Our meetings at Amazon are currently probationary to make sure it's a good
fit. Based on the meeting last night, I'd say we're doing very well so far
(again, many thanks to C.J.). Our next meeting will be at the same
location. Presently, Jonathan Swartz is scheduled to speak on his
creation, Mason, a powerful Perl-based web site development and delivery
engine. We're going to try asking folks to RSVP for the November meeting.
I'm looking for suggestions or experience on how to conduct that
efficiently (evite, meetup, etc.). The RSVPs will help the facility's
security personal prepare the appropriate number of badges required and
speed the check-in process. I don't think RSVPs will be required, but will
certainly help make things more efficient. According to security
personnel, free guest parking is available after hours on the building
lots. It should not be necessary to park on the street.

I took a quick attendance survey, partly to see how the location effected
turnout. I don't really see anything significant in the numbers. The
number of Amazon employees at the meeting was seven. The following are the
number of people who attended SPUG meetings at these past locations in
attendance last night:

    Geospiza (Interbay)        6
    Safeco (U-District)        4
    N2H2 (Downtown)            3
    FHCRC (S. Lk Union)        2
    E-SPUG (Bellevue)          2
    Ballard? Community Center  1

Of the following top reasons to attend last night's meeting, the following
number of people raised their hand:

    Topics                     1
    Speakers                   4
    Location                   6

    (Note the similarity in the number of people citing location as the
    number one reason and the number of Amazonian's in attendance.)

I would like to hear feedback on why *you* weren't there (if there was a
chance that you would have attended in any event). Were there problems
with the directions? No wheels? Other problems? Thanks.

The November meeting will Tuesday, 16 November 2004 at 7:00 p.m. PST at
the Amazon.com Pac-Med building featuring Jonathan Swartz speaking on
Mason. More details to follow.

Andrew B. Sweger -- The great thing about multitasking is that several
                                things can go wrong at once.

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