I'd promised a Milton Keynes Perl Mongers technical meeting for some time, and on Thursday we finally got round to holding one.
We've found that the Perl Mongers group has plenty in common with the local Linux User Group so we decided to hold a joint technical meeting. We've had joint social meetings for several months.
The meeting started with Dave Cross, our guest speaker, giving an Introduction to the Template Toolkit. Dave did a great job of showing what TT does well. I'm already a fan, so I hope Dave prompted other listeners to discover its wonderfulness.
Adam Lowe told us about some of the projects he's working on at The National Museum of Computing at Bletchley Park. They have some scarily huge machines - some of which work! - that can't even store an MP3 file on their tape drives. As Dave pointed out, this seems strange given that we used to store music on tapes not that long ago. Adam's talk made me want to revisit Bletchley Park and see what the Computing Museum people are up to.
Oliver Gorwits told us about Oxford University's network and how it works. There's lots of Perl, Linux and other open source in there, as you'd expect. I particularly like that SNMP::Effective plays a role in there, as Jan and Oliver have bounced around ideas for its development on the #miltonkeynes.pm IRC channel.
I've put all the slides online at http://miltonkeynes.pm.org/.
Conveniently, we found a real ale festival after the talks. We enjoyed a few beers and met up with Tony, who hadn't been able to make the talks.
So, for a group that's just over two years old, I'm pleased with what we've done. I'm looking forward to some great meetings in 2008 with the regulars, our old friends (I'm expecting visits from Birmingham.pm and Matt Trout), and hopefully a few new visitors too.
It's also great to watch the open source community grow in the city where I live. It seems we have lots of people doing interesting things here, but mostly we're not talking to each other. We're slowly improving this.