Well, the title isn’t 100% true: I went to a couple of LUG meetings for the University where I work, but you don’t get the same kind of diversity in applications that you do when you just walk into a public meeting at the local library.
At the university, there’s diversity in terms of department: people in physics, math, psych, genomics, molecular biology, and of course computer science all use Linux – but it’s basically all research/scientific computing, really. There’s nobody there with a corporate mentality who measures downtime using dollars or anything like that. There’s also no mainframe COBOL developers, for example, because departments in the university generally don’t have their own mainframes. In fact, I believe the last mainframe was retired at Princeton in 2004 or 2005.
Anyway, the meeting was great. They had all the essentials: coffee, and cookies were there. They had a real projector for use by a real speaker. They had a place to hang your coat, as well as a nearby restroom. It’s a nice meeting place. And the talk was great — RSS, ATOM, OPML, and all that stuff. And the meeting had some degree of organization. Very nice indeed.
The last meeting I went to for this particular LUG was in probably 2001. There was an overhead projector, about a dozen attendees, no snacks or refreshments that I can remember, and the talk was about the finer points of the “cut” command. I kid you not. Having traveled over an hour to get to that meeting (I live about 10 minutes away now!), I felt somewhat jipped, and this is the first time I’ve been back. I’ll be returning for sure.