Thursday, September 21, 2006

FOCOS: FOur Corners Open Source

http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/four-corners-open-source-focos/
FOCOS is Four COrners Open Source

This is a group of software users and technology professionals based in and around the Four Corners area of the USA, where Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, and Utah come together.

We welcome software professionals, amateurs, people from business, arts, government, academia and education, and anyone else interested in open source software and in the Four Corners area.

We encourage a wide range of discussion, but we would generally like it to revolve around these areas:

Improving our skills and broadening our experience with open source software;
Using open source software in business, academia, the arts, and government;
Improving our communities, both local and virtual, with our skill and knowledge of open source software.

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I've been thinking about doing this for some time. Probably the original inspiration was when I got stranded in Denver in the dead of winter and met Dave Wegner at the hotel where we were both stuck in the snow. We talked about whether Durango would become another Aspen.

Besides the people I worked with for the first year and half I was here, I kept meeting other interesting tech folks around Durango: the CS faculty at Fort Lewis College, where I gave the Thanksgiving lecture a couple of years ago; smart CS students there; a two-man .NET consulting firm; an XP shop doing telecom work; and a couple of executive-management folks who emailed me after reading one of my Better Software articles.

And all of the non-IT small business people I've met here have software/data issues of one sort or another. See the Better Software article on the site above for a good story.

So I've been to the big city, eh, and been to Chirb meetings and a SQuaD meeting once and a couple of RMTUG meetings, not to mention presented at the STAR Conferences and PNSQC. I'm on a bunch of mail lists so I'm convinced of the value of these things.

If the list can attract enough members, I think it'll be a success. If not: it was a good idea worth trying.

Mesa Verde, Arches and Canyonlands, Great Sand Dunes, Monument Valley
Moab, Durango, Santa Fe
Mountains, Rivers, Desert

and now software. If you have any interest in the area; in rural tech; in Wild West hackers; you are invited to join.