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Organic Linux at the Farmers Market

July 11, 2010

Among the strawberries, nectarines, kettle corn and other fresh fruits and vegetables — and since when is kettle corn NOT a fresh vegetable? — the Felton Linux Users Group has set up a table offering Organic Software each Tuesday afternoon at the Felton Farmers Market; Linux, GNU/Linux and other Free/Open Source Software programs and information about FOSS, all with no artificial colors or preservatives, and software that’s healthy for the well-being of your computer.

In the first installment of this endeavor last Tuesday, we introduced Fedora, Ubuntu and OpenSUSE to a number of people who ranged from unenlightened to Linux-curious to the most experienced. We also had on hand the OpenCD from last year’s Software Freedom Day, which has Windows versions of FOSS programs on it.

Something significant occurred during the first tabling event last week: Most everyone curious enough to stop at the table knew what Linux is (one woman, an engineer for Google just over the hill in Mountain View, said that she had better know what it is. “Google . . . interesting name. What do they do?” I asked in mock curiosity). Those who were just curious — “How can software be organic?” — went away with a little more knowledge, at the very least, and some with a live CD to try out at home.

This was done a couple of times in 2008 and in 2009; in 2008 it was a lead-up to Lindependence 2008 that year in July. It seems the seeds sown in Lindependence 2008 are beginning to bear fruit.

Special thanks go to Bob Lewis for the table and for the time he spent; Frank Turner for the excellent signs, the Linux Journals and time he put in at the table; and Karsten Wade, who brought a significant amount of OpenSource.com items to help explain what it is we’re all about.

If you’re in Felton on Tuesday, come over to the Farmers Market at St. John’s Church, which is about a mile south of the light on Highway 9 (which is all the directions you need in Felton).

[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. July 11, 2010 at 11:26 am

    So, what was your answer to “How can software be organic?”

    • July 11, 2010 at 11:41 am

      Well, Gordon, it’s not really “organic” in the sense that fresh fruit and vegetables are organic. Having said that, we tell folks who see us in the farmers market setting that the software is “organic” because it’s unfettered with unnecessary “additives” or “preservatives” (i.e., bloatware, anti-virus software, etc.) that you might find in proprietary software, not to mention the approach in developing FOSS is holistic. Once we reach that point, we emphasize how it’s community based and how it uplifts everyone who participates.

  2. Colonel Panik
    July 11, 2010 at 2:00 pm

    Free Range Linux?

    Farmers market in CA, gun show in NM, gotta wonder what
    will be next.

    Waiting to hear how a “weekly” event will work out.
    Feral marketing, what a great idea.

    • July 11, 2010 at 3:25 pm

      There’s something to be said for taking GNU/Linux and FOSS out of the church — so to speak — and do missionary work outside the common places where geeks congregate. So if it’s farmers markets, gun shows, monster truck rallies, etc., it’s gets Linux/FOSS in front of people who may not normally see it.

      That’s good.

  3. July 12, 2010 at 4:36 am

    Brilliant idea; Ihope that you also had literature to hand out and a few computers set up to display a few distros and desktops?

    • July 12, 2010 at 7:26 am

      We had literature from opensource.com and from the FSF, as well as a laptop (an old one — ThinkPad R40 — running Fedora 13 KDE; my laptop). I’m hoping this idea inspires others to do the same in their communities.

  4. Colonel Panik
    July 14, 2010 at 5:48 am

    Larry said: “We had literature from opensource.com”

    Can you give me a link for that literature? Thanks.

    • July 14, 2010 at 7:38 am

      I don’t know if the literature is on the site, but you can check. If not, I’ll send you some. It’s an interesting post-card sized handout that outlines other facets of life outside tech where the open source philosophy and techniques can be applied.

      • Colonel Panik
        July 15, 2010 at 10:50 am

        Larry, Yes please send me a copy of that post-card
        thingy. You can send it digitally to:
        colonelpanik AT linuxmail.org.

        If you need my PO address you can ask on #lindependence

        Once again I thank you!

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