Greetings to all.
This is in reply to @saky and @siddharth and after reading all other comments. Having started using Linux in 2000 and having installed Apache webserver in an AT386 PC with 128MB RAM (Yeah, these existed then) and not knowing where to go for help when you got struck was frustrating. Today, when abundant information is available on the Web and there are experts who are willing to share their knowledge for the benefit of the community, it is confounding when people (your friends/batch mates/others) do not show interest to learn and adopt Free software by attending GLUG sessions.
I know and have experienced the difficulty of generating interest in Linux among users and in open source in general because of fear of unknown & failure and resistance to change. People would like to just grab a pirated version of MS Office and use it when the excellent LibreOffice is available for free. Adobe Photoshop is pirated when very capable GIMP is available - you get the point. Even CSE students prefer using Windows as the desire to explore and work on Linux seems daunting. A Meetup group that I started in Hyderabad quickly grew to over 50 members - but after joining no one seemed to keen to attend the Sessions.
Swimming against the current
Please remember that you’re swimming against the current and getting your friends/batch mates to attend GLUG sessions and getting them to show sustained interest is a big challenge and a test of your perseverance. But, please keep up your motivation because at the end of the day, you’re actually helping them experience something new and wonderful - they are not realising it now but after attending some sessions, they will realise what they’ve been missing and thank you for pushing them to attend your GLUG sessions.
As a person who is 52, but pretty fast on a QWERTY keyboard, when I decided to shift to COLEMAK, it was an up-hill task and quite frustrating. But I am getting used to it because I know the advantages of COLEMAK for my fingers and I am pursuing it though it is difficult because the benefits are immense.
You are in the same situation - trying to get your friends/batchmates using Windows (QWERTY) to shift to Linux (COLEMAK) is indeed difficult but please keep up your spirits and don’t abandon your efforts because slowly you will see positive change in them.
Oh, and just tell them that using Linux and other open source tools is not only Geeky but Cool as well.
Why not start with this
I would like to suggest that you demonstrate installation and use of Ubuntu in a VirtualBox so that they do not have to abandon Windows completely while they learn and pick up skills in using Linux. That way they will be able to experience both OSes and slowly shift. Perhaps this strategy may get them to attend your GLUG sessions.
I am based in Hyderabad, so I unable to personally meet you and learn something from you all.
Keep up your good work.