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|   8   8 8"""" 8"""88   8""""8 8   8 8  8""""8 8""""8 8""""8 8"""88   | 
|   8   8 8     8    8   8    " 8   8 8  8    " 8    8 8    " 8    8   | 
|   8e  8 8eeee 8    8   8e     8eee8 8e 8e     8eeee8 8e     8    8   | 
|   88  8 88    8    8   88     88  8 88 88     88   8 88  ee 8    8   | 
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|            Users of Free Operating systems  --  Chicago              | 
'----------------------------------------------------------------------' 
.--------------. .-----------------------------------------------------.  
|   history    | | History of UFO Chicago                              |           
`--------------' `-----------------------------------------------------'           
 ::::::::::::::                                                                    
.--------------. When I was a kid, I grew up playing with TRS-80 model             
|what's a ufo? | IIIs -- the little computer with the big heart (I just            
`--------------' made that up, actually) -- I graduated to Apples, to              
 ::::::::::::::  Macs, and finally (thanks to DOOM,) the IBM PC. I went            
.--------------. to college, I studied music. I wrote web pages, and               
|  membership  | spent a lot of time online. And ever since I first                
`--------------' heard of it,  had been fascinated by Linux -- this                
 ::::::::::::::  free, "hardcore" operating system. But I was worried              
.--------------. I'd do something wrong, worried about losing my                   
|   calendar   | software, [insert excuse here].                                   
`--------------'                                                                   
 ::::::::::::::  I met Leonard Richardson of Segfault.org fame back in             
.--------------. 1997, when I was writing the now-defunct Nerth Pork               
|  directions  | webzine on a Windows box in notepad.exe and Leonard was           
`--------------' just getting into Linux. I wished I was as adventurous            
 ::::::::::::::  as Leonard -- Linux sounded great... but I was afraid.            
.--------------. A little too afraid...                                            
|mailing lists |                                                                   
`--------------' Jump ahead to 1999. I had graduated and found myself              
 ::::::::::::::  working a full-time job in computers. I met the                   
.--------------. venerable Nick "Crackmonkey" Moffitt through the Tron             
|     irc      | mailing list, and got up the gumption to build a Linux            
`--------------' box out of some leftovers laying around the office. We            
 ::::::::::::::  built it using a combination of rawrite, irc, screen,             
.--------------. kibitz, and the telephone (remember the telephone?).              
|    links     | The first incarnation of 'flynn' was a Cyrix P150+ with           
`--------------' a 350MB hard drive and 32MB RAM. I gave away accounts             
 ::::::::::::::  on flynn like it was going out of style and my friends            
.--------------. caught the free software bug. Die Hard Mac users and              
|   posters    | Java Coders and even Windows Expatriots like myself all           
`--------------' found excitement and new creative energy in the                   
 ::::::::::::::  freedom  and the community that Free Software                     
 ::::::::::::::   provides. As corny as it sounds, finally using Linux              
 ::::::::::::::   and free software was like coming home.                           
 ::::::::::::::                                                                     
 ::::::::::::::   Now, a year and a half later, I still work that job,              
 ::::::::::::::   but my desktop workstation is a Debian GNU/Linux box              
 ::::::::::::::   running XFree86 and vmware, as well as samba to                   
 ::::::::::::::   interface with our NT network and mutt to read mail               
 ::::::::::::::   from an IMAP server. My home machine is a                         
 ::::::::::::::   dual-processor linux box running Debian's stable                  
 ::::::::::::::   distribution, hosting several websites, mailing lists,            
 ::::::::::::::   a free software project, and an space rock opera. My              
 ::::::::::::::   Windows box goes weeks without ever being booted up.              
 ::::::::::::::                                                                     
 ::::::::::::::   This brings us to today -- and UFO Chicago. UFO stands            
 ::::::::::::::   for Users of Free Operating Systems -- we're                      
 ::::::::::::::   mostly Linux nuts, but only because it's what we've               
 ::::::::::::::   been using. What we're really into is the freedom that            
 ::::::::::::::   free software represents -- freedom to modify, freedom            
 ::::::::::::::   to utilize, freedom to innovate*.  Getting your own               
 ::::::::::::::   hands dirty in the OS in ways that you never could with           
 ::::::::::::::   other proprietary OSes. Fixing problems instead                   
 ::::::::::::::   of just reinstalling -- because you can see under the             
 ::::::::::::::   hood -- learning how your machine works, not                      
 ::::::::::::::   just hoping that it does.                                         
 ::::::::::::::                                                                     
 ::::::::::::::   We've been doing this together as friends and coworkers           
 ::::::::::::::   for a year and a half -- but there are others out there           
 ::::::::::::::   interested in and actively using free software -- and             
 ::::::::::::::   we want to meet them and pick their brains and hang out           
 ::::::::::::::   and just have a good time; after all, free software is            
 ::::::::::::::   about community and sharing. And why should we have all           
 ::::::::::::::   the fun?                                                          
 ::::::::::::::                                                                     
 ::::::::::::::                                 -- Peter A. Peterson II             
 ::::::::::::::   			         pedro@flynn.zork.net                                  
 ::::::::::::::                                    President, UFO Chicago           
 ::::::::::::::   			      -- Jack D. Edwards                                       
 ::::::::::::::   				 edwardsj1@tastytronic.net                                    
 ::::::::::::::   				 Vice President, UFO Chicago	                                 
 ::::::::::::::                                                                     
 ::::::::::::::   * Microsoft believes that free software is                        
 ::::::::::::::   Anti-American and Anti-innovation.                                
 
-====================================================================- 
(c) 1999-2006 users of free operating systems, chicago il  
email us: ufo-info@tastytronic.net 
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