Meeting Recap 4/13/2017
We had a very successful meeting on Thursday! We had a much bigger turnout than our last meeting with about 10 people there and as I hear there are quite a few other people interested that just couldn't make it. 

We got started with an introduction to the club as I'm thinking we will probably do at the beginning of every meeting so long as there are new faces present. I've already written all that out in the notes from our previous meeting, so if you're new and want that information follow this link to the previous post. Something I've been asked a lot lately is about what level of skill or knowledge is required to participate in this club. So lets get that out of the way right now. You need absolutely NO prior knowledge or understanding of IT to join this club, only the desire to learn! The whole reason we are here is to teach and to learn, so if you have interest but no experience come join us and we'll happily help you learn!

Then we talked about the logistics of club meetings. I was hoping we could decide on a set meeting schedule and time to persistence but it seems we are in no such luck. As such we have decided that we'll have to figure it out the week before the meeting. To do this I will post a poll in the announcements section with options for days and times and we'll pick the day and time based on the poll results. If you are interested in joining us but haven't registered for this forum please do so! Registering gives you access to voting in these polls as well as access to our mailing list. I have the ability to send out mass emails to all users of the forum so it works like a mailing list. I will use this to send you important information about upcoming meetings or when polls are available to decide the next meeting times. So get registered so you can stay informed!

We have also decided that we should try and meet at least once a week so we can keep the ball rolling. For those of you at the meeting I decided this after the meeting when talking to a few of the members. We think it will be best to try and meet as often as possible and it will give us plenty of opportunities to learn!

With most of the administrative stuff out of the way we started to talk a little about what IT is and the kinds of things it can do. Quite simply Information Technology is the technology that we use to transmit, store, and communicate information between multiple parties. It is a very broad topic because IT serves all other fields. IT is present in everything from large businesses to emergency response agencies, and even out with forestry crews. IT is even present in your own homes! If you have internet in your home you have an IT network. If you use WiFi at home you have a slightly more advanced IT system too! The point is that IT is everywhere. Once you learn to recognize it you'll begin to see it everywhere you look. With that in mind it seems like learning about these systems would be an excellent idea, and that again is why we are here!

After that I gave a few examples of the kinds of abilities and tools that IT can give us. One of my favorite examples of this is tracking system usage in a large number of systems. There are free and easy tools that allow IT administrators to track the processor and memory usage (as well as a ton of other details) on each and every system they have in use. This helps to map out high traffic times and also gives operators a chance to prevent system failures by seeing the precursors to the problems and acting preemptively. There are lots of other things IT can do as well! IT allows us to communicate very quickly and over vast distances very easily. It allows us to store Petabytes of data in a manner that nearly half of the hard drives could fail yet we would not lose any data. We can use it to decide which users can access the WiFi and even decide which WiFi channel they will use. We can use it to perform mass updates of connected systems to keep an entire enterprise up to date with security updates. The list just goes on and on!

With that thought in mind I then asked the members present what manner of things they wanted to learn about. I've added those topics to the official topic request list. If I missed something please let me know so I can add it! We also talked about putting together a road map for people to figure out what they know and how to get to what they want to learn. I'm hoping to start working on that tonight and I'll post it as I work on it.

That's about it for this meeting! It went really well and I think everyone had a good time! We're already working on planning the next meeting in which we'll hopefully start going over some of the basics of networking so keep an eye out for that announcement!

Again if I missed anything please let me know so I can add it. I'm not perfect and it's been a few days so I'm sure there are things I've forgotten.

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