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Tuesday afternoon

Astute readers of Larry the Free Software Guy might notice a trend in this week’s blogs, and if you said “pop music references,” you’d be right. Yesterday’s “Monday, Monday” is the title of a song by The Mamas & The Papas, and today’s comes to you from the Moody Blues. OK, kids, go ahead and hit Wikipedia to look up those bands we old folks continually talk about . . . .

Tuesday, of course, is farmers market day in the People’s Republic of Felton, the town that had the unmitigated audacity to buy its waterworks back from a multinational and put it back in town hands. And at the ring of the bell at 2:30 to signal the start of the market, Felton LUG was set up and ready to go, with both Frank Adamson and me staffing the table.

That’s Frank in the photo in the article linked above. Frank, an octagenarian, takes a walk about a mile down the hill every Tuesday to staff the Felton LUG table (not to worry, folks — we make sure Frank gets a ride home up the hill, usually with indefatigable FOSS evangelist Bob Lewis or sometimes his wife drives down to pick him up). An Ubuntu user, Frank has been a FOSS advocate for about a year.

With his work with Felton Friends of Locally Owned Water (FLOW) and other activities in Felton (like the Friends of the Library), Frank seems to know everyone in Felton. People come to the table and say hello to Frank, and immediately Frank starts off into his pitch about FOSS and GNU/Linux.

This farmers market table seems to be working well, not only for the LUG — which had nearly 20 people attend the meeting last Saturday — but also for FOSS in general.

People have a general sense of what Linux is — it’s that operating system thing, right? — and seeing it in an arena that’s not normally a “tech environment” makes it a lot less threatening, for loss of a better term. So I would strongly urge everyone who wants to promote FOSS, GNU/Linux and Linux (for those who want to make that distinction, which I don’t anymore) take the word forth to places where you might not normally find tech talk; like farmers markets, or tractor pulls, or gun shows. Anywhere where people congregate is a place where FOSS can be pitched.

Also, one of the funniest things today was handing out stickers to kids. One kid asked for one, and then her friends came up and said, “Excuse me, can we please have stickers, too?” (Such polite kids we have here in Felton.) At one point the kids had come back several times, and they had stuck the stickers on their shirts, so they were wearing Fedora, OpenSUSE, WordPress and the GNU/Linux “Dynamic Duo” gnu and penguin superhero stickers on their shirts. Sure, I bet moms wanted to strangle me, but one dad commented to me about his daughter, “You know, she looks like a stock car,” which I thought was funny.

So Tuesday’s down and Wednesday’s next. Watch this space.

[FSF Associate Member] (Fedora ambassador Larry Cafiero runs Redwood Digital Research in Felton, California, and is an associate member of the Free Software Foundation.)
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  1. August 11, 2010 at 7:05 am

    I switched to Linux for my own curiosity and personal needs. I think it’s brilliant!

  2. Vikram Ulaganathan
    August 11, 2010 at 12:02 pm

    I recently installed ubuntu to a couple of IT people in my office who previously ridiculed me as “Ubuntu Ulaganathan” and said that i was too stupid to use GNU\Linux and GNU\Linux was not user friendly. Now they accept why i was so addicted to it. Everything works like a charm. They were fed up with the start up of their system in Windows. Now its a blazing fast laptop. My room mate was about to throw away his DELL as he got a lot of BoD. I installed GNU\Linux and now he forgot that he got a partition called windows. The system was riddled with bad sector.

  3. Vikram Ulaganathan
    August 11, 2010 at 12:06 pm

    Its like they got their freedom. Only when you have freedom you dont care how it gets resolved. Previously everone asked me do you have anti-virus. I ask them what it means as i dont use it as long as i am in GNU\Linux. This freedom is what they are experiencing now and surprised that a thought of freedom can create a problem free solution.

  4. LMGuy
    August 11, 2010 at 1:05 pm

    My niece is now 9 and has been using Linux since she has known about computers. She is pretty good at it and will ask if she can’t find something or needs to install a certain app and if I didn’t know we would google for the answer then we both read the instructions and go from there.

    Today we were at one of her little friends birthday parties that happen to get a laptop with windows on it. They plugged it in and fired it up right away and I hear my niece say “Where is the package manager, there are a lot of cool programs in there.” I was so proud…lol. After explaining how windows isn’t like Linux she was ready to go home to play World of Goo.

    • August 12, 2010 at 7:46 am

      LMGuy — That’s a great story and it’s amazing how kids take to Linux and FOSS. My daughter Mirano, now 12, started using GNU/Linux when she was 8 when she, under my watchful eye and occasional instruction (“type ‘y’”), net installed Debian on her iMac. Though I’m primarily a Fedora user, she’s now using Ubuntu on her ThinkPad (as I mentioned in an earlier blog).

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