Earlier History written by Rob McCready
Some people have asked me to compile a history (as best I remember it) of
the Cal Poly Linux Users Group. This will by no means be complete as I was
not there for every single event, although I could often be found nearby.Fall 1996-1998:
Netscape was king, Internet Explorer was that crappy knockoff
Microsoft licensed from Spyglass. The Internet boom was just starting and
no one knew how crazy it was going to get. To give you an idea of where
technology was at I built a new computer to take with me to Cal Poly for

  • 32MB EDO RAM
  • 2GB SCSI2 HD (this plus the controller card broke the bank)
  • 2MB Video card
  • Combo 10BaseT/10Base2 network card, and yes I used 10Base2
  • 2x CDROM (not writer)

Man, that computer kicked ass. During the the Week of Welcome (WOW) I found a flyer about a Free Your Machine (FYM) event for that Saturday. I didn't know at the time but this was the first FYM. I installed Slackware which was on par with RedHat at the time. The first FYM announcement.

This was not CPLUG, but the Underground Student Support Network (USSN) as far as I can tell the grandfather of CPLUG. I am unclear on who all was involved but Daniel Kerry Hiltgen seemed to be the ringleader and deserves as much credit as I can offer. USSN website archive.org: http://web.archive.org/web/*/http://toocool.calpoly.edu/

1997-1998: The world was starting to catch on to Linux. The USSN was still active on campus with FYMs every so often. IEEE-CS seemed largely Linux based and was (in my opinion) the center of Linux activity on campus where the core foundation of CPLUG was meeting and conspiring. My personal recollection of IEEE-CS puts Matthew Dupuy and Chad Tindel near the center at this time. Paul Reed showed up in 97/98 (might have been 98/99), Kevin Kress, Philip Shuman, Brian Kurotsuchi and of course myself were are involved in varying ways. I am certainly forgetting some people as well.

1999: There was talk of a CPLUG starting in late 1998 and I am sure some of the paperwork was filled out then. The first meeting was Febuary 1999 we had the people that rendered Titanic (on a linux cluster) do a presentation in the B5 room of bldg 52.

Announcement: Because of the early IEEE roots of CPLUG the web/mail server was initially hosted off of an EE subdomain, back when the EE department had unix machines and admins that had a clue. For a long time the server was a donated frankenbox running hiden in the SDL (20-115) room.

Early website archives: http://web.archive.org/web/*/http://lug.calpoly.edu http://web.archive.org/web/*/http://lug.ee.calpoly.edu Chad Tindel was the first president of the LUG, I can't remember the other officers. Most likely some combination of the people named above (except me, I never served in any official capacity). In the early years we had Rasterman (The Enlightenment guy) from VA Linux at the time, and others do presentations, since Silicon Valley was flush with cash sending people to CalPoly to present and recruit was not a big deal.

2000-2001 Paul Reed served as president, Kevin Kress as VP, Phil Shuman as just about everything else. Also was the hay day of the SDL before the EE students reclaimed it for pathetic activities such as studying, tutoring and other academic trivialities. I also wandered away from Cal Poly in June of 2001 so things get fuzzy afterwards. 2001-2002 John Kew was Prez, Paul as VP?, Caleb Clarke as treasurer and lead guitar.

2002-2003 Ryan Joseph as prez? So others will have to correct where I am wrong and fill in what I'm missing so far. Its been a long fun 10 years so far. :) Rob.