History of the Kalamazoo Linux Users Group (KLUG)

Submitted by Anonymous on Tue, 06/21/2011 – 20:25

The following are excerpts from a history of KLUG compiled by founding member Robert Brown. The complete unedited history can be found at XXXXXXXX.

In the fall of 1997, a number of individuals in the area were already using Linux, and others were examining it to see if it was ready to be used. One of them was a software developer that had been using various commercial UNIX systems for a number of years. Another was a family man who did not want to spend lots of money on commercial software, was something of a do-it-yourself person and discovered Linux and was writing articles about it for Linux Gazette (and online journal for Linux users). Others were students or junior-level technologists, and still others were network and systems administrators at various organizations in the area.
Through USENET newsgroup comp.os.linux.annouce and a couple of websites meant to draw linux users together (notably http://www.luglist.org), 6 people initially got in touch with each other in September. One of them, then a high school student, was running mailing list software, and agreed to start a list for the small group of local Linux users.
The first KLUG meeting was held on a Sunday Afternoon, at Bimbo’s Pizza on Westnedge Avenue in Portage, late in October of 1997. KLUG was announced on some websites and on the above-named newsgroup in mid-November, a week before Thanksgiving, and more people appeared at each Sunday afternoon meting. Also, people were appearing on the mailing list as well,and by late December meeting attendance was often 15 or more, often not the same people each week, since many could not attend every meeting.
In January, there was some issue with the owner of (the current meeting sight) and KLUG needed to relocate. Fortunately, one of the more interested KLUG members at the time expedited KLUG’s new home, a conference center belonging to Pharmacia and Upjohn (now part of Pfizer), with excellent facilities.
In 1998, Bob Brown and a few others formally organized KLUG, with bylaws and officers.
In early 2000, the KLUG meeting place moved from Pharmacia and Upjohn to the renovated Kalamazoo Central high school for about 4 months, and in the early summer KLUG took up residence next to the Computer Club on the campus of Western Michigan University.