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Archive for November, 2011

FOSS over Miami

November 17, 2011 4 comments

Here’s a little Larry-the-Free-Software-Guy history for those of you who don’t already know it: I grew up in Miami and didn’t move to San Francisco until I was 29 (and that was the summer of 1987, so you can do the math). More specifically, I grew up in a strip of unincorporated Dade County sandwiched between North Miami and North Miami Beach. So you’ll understand why I have a tendency to pull for the Dolphins and the U on occasion, and I don’t think twice about driving 30 or so miles down Highway 1 into Monterey County to visit The Whole Enchilada because it has the only Key Lime Pie in this region close enough to be considered Miami-class. Listening to Jimmy Buffett puts me back among the palm trees, retroactively sweating in the 80 degree/90 percent humidity coziness for which South Florida is known worldwide.

But let’s put the nostalgia aside for a moment.

While I was reading a Google feed about Linux, something caught my eye — specifically, a Linux-based cafe/tech store called Planet Linux Caffe, 1430 Ponce De Leon Boulevard in Coral Gables. The store/cafe was mentioned on the Miami Linux Users Group page (MIALUG) — another discovery, and I’m glad to see there’s a growing Linux User Group in South Florida, too — and to go to the cafe’s menu page to order KDE or GNOME to go with the Ubuntu you can drink during or after your meal.

[Extra credit points go to the cafe for having a "Bodhi Linux" on the menu as well.]

This is a great idea — a FOSS-based cafe where folks can pick up a Drupal while learning Drupal, where people can get together over Gentoo and discuss the latest FOSS developments. Order me a Debian to go, please.

So if you’re in the South Florida area, either visiting or residing there, the Planet Linux Caffe should be on your list for a visit; multiple visits if you live there. For those of you FOSS folks who live in South Florida, get involved, too with MIALUG.

(Larry Cafiero is one of the founders of the Lindependence Project and has just started developing software in his new home office. Watch this space.)

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Eliminate DRM!

Scaling up for SCALE 10X

November 10, 2011 7 comments

The fall and winter may turn our attention to the holidays — pick whichever one you choose to celebrate in your own way — but the folks at the Southern California Linux Expo are busy putting together what could turn out to be a landmark FOSS event for North America.

The Southern California Linux Expo — SCALE 10X — celebrates its 10th year when it opens on the Martin Luther King holiday weekend (Jan. 20-22). As this is a month ahead of the usual February date for SCALE, things seem to be coming together for the event.

SCALE started 10 years ago with a single day event at the University of Southern California with two tracks and 400 attendees. Considering that SCALE 10X will be a three day event, with as many as a half-dozen tracks and possibly as many as 2,000 attendees, it’s clear that FOSS is alive and thriving.

The response to the Call for Papers — which closes next week on Nov. 17 — has been strong, so get those papers in, if you haven’t already. A winner for the design contest, which allowed artists to design the logo to go on signs, swag and other SCALE 10X items, has been chosen (I know who it is — nee nur nee nur — but a release is going out on it later so everyone will know).

Some of the “usual suspects” for all day events — Fedora with their Fedora Activity Day and Ubuntu with UbuCon, for starters — are already on board, as well as SCALE University being in session again this year. In addition, the annual DevOpsDay LA and PGP Keysigning party are on tap again this year.

What deserves special mention are two things new to SCALE this year: Linux Beginner Training and SCALE Kids Conference.

Linux Beginner Training is targeted for the absolute Linux beginner, or for someone who’s interested in Linux but has no idea how to get started. The course will run all day Saturday and Sunday and consists of a half-day of introductory and overview tutorials, followed by a day and a half of intensive training in how to install, configure and maintain a Linux desktop installation. Not a bad deal for $25.

SCALE Kids Conference — soon to be “SCALE: The Next Generation” — lets the FOSS community leaders of tomorrow spotlight their talents and ideas today. Open to kids 10 and older, the goal of conference is to be as “kid driven” as possible, offering a unique opportunity to see & experience the inner workings of planning a conference. Kids will be able to determine the content and help steer the direction that this mini-conference will take.

As developments occur, I’ll report them, but meanwhile if you want to keep up on your own — not to mention registering early for SCALE 10X (always a good idea) — you can do so here.

See you in Los Angeles.

[The truth-in-advertising small print: I have worked as a volunteer for SCALE for the last three years, and I serve on the Public Relations Committee as a co-chair as well as a press liaison for the event.]

(Larry Cafiero is one of the founders of the Lindependence Project and has just started developing software in his new home office. Watch this space.)

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Eliminate DRM!

Three for the road

November 9, 2011 1 comment

It’s one of those days: Driving a lot today taking family from point A to point B allows one a significant amount of thought that can go into a blog post. But we’ll have to tackle the weightier issues of FOSS another time in order to give you a few tidbits, like

Take ‘er down, ensign: Fedora 16, with the release name Verne (as in Jules, as in “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea” — hence the submarine motif), is ready and available from the Fedora Project. This one is a keeper — a solid release. Kudos to the Fedora Project team once again. Clearly there will be more on this in forthcoming blog item.

SCALE 10X registration opens: Yep, that’s right. It’s only November, but since SCALE 10X happens a month earlier next year — the Martin Luther King Day weekend in January — things are ramping up for the Southern California Linux Expo. Want to go? Head on over to the site and register.

You don’t have to live like a refugee: Michelle Blowers wrote in her blog yesterday about the open arms Debian has for anyone — from developers to users — who are unhappy with the direction Ubuntu is taking to “return home.” Without Debian, of course, there’s no Ubuntu, so keep in mind your lineage, Ubunteros.

Now to go pick up my daughter from her science class . . .

(Larry Cafiero is one of the founders of the Lindependence Project and has just started developing software in his new home office. Watch this space.)

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Eliminate DRM!

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