Back in the saddle again

September 22, 2013

A few of you e-mailed me and/or pinged me on IRC last week and said, “Hey, Larry the Free Etc., where’s the blog?” Sad to say, a variety of things kept it from happening last week — apologies all around — so I hope to make up for it with the outstanding piece of literature that currently graces your screen.

Included in these happenings that kept me from doing a lot of things I normally do, like blog for example, are the following: Software Freedom Day went off without a hitch around the planet, and I’m going to touch on that next week as the tales of great feats filter in and will be regaled at that time; and we started the AFE School’s first Python for Web Development class, which went well.

But more importantly, getting to this week’s more important announcements and observations, we have this:

Game on! The SCALE 12X Call for Papers is open. Last year, we turned it up to 11. This year, it’s an even dozen. The 12th annual Southern California Linux Expo – SCALE 12X – takes place on Feb. 21-23, 2014, at the Hilton Los Angeles Airport hotel.

The first-of-the-year Linux/Open Source software expo in North America – and the largest annual community-run Free/Open Source Software conference on that continent – SCALE 12X expects to host more than 100 exhibitors this year, along with nearly 100 sessions, tutorials and special events (if memory serves, there were 96 last year).

You have options at SCALE 12X, like presenting — see CFP above — or attending, with the same hotel discounts available this year as every year (registration opens tomorrow); or sponroring and/or exhibiting, with sponsors and corporate exhibitors contacting, and dot-orgs contacting Also, you can get involved by volunteering — e-mail

But if you can’t wait until February . . . .

SeaGL flies in Seattle: Silly Pacific Northwesterners . . . it’s not enough to have one great show in the region in Linux Fest Northwest in Bellingham, Washington. Nope, there’s an encore — FOSS advocates in Seattle want to bring that springtime Bellingham goodness down to the Puget Sound area by forming their own second regional show for a FOSS-starved area in Microsoft’s backyard. It’s called the Seattle GNU/Linux Conference, or SeaGL (I’m going out on a limb and assuming that’s pronounced “seagull”). Yours truly will be giving a talk there on Friday (on CrunchBang, of course), and thanks to these guys and gals for wrapping up the expo year with a show in my favorite area of the country.

If you’re nearby, come on over to Seattle Central Community College on Oct 11-12. Even if you’re not, come anyway.

Thanks, Gabe: “It feels a little bit funny coming here and telling you guys that Linux and open source are the future of gaming,” said Valve co-founder and managing director Gabe Newell said at LinuxCon in New Orleans last week. “It’s sort of like going to Rome and teaching Catholicism to the pope.”

According to various reports, including this one from Ars Technica, Newell acknowledged that while Linux gaming generally accounts for less than one percent of the market by any measure, Valve is going to do its best to make sure Linux becomes the future of gaming by extending its Steam distribution platform to hardware designed for living rooms.

Wow. Now that’s a huge boost for wider acceptance of Linux, clealry eclipsing by a light-year or two a nonexistent, community-funded super-ultra-mega-smartphone. Further, no Indiegogo donations were harmed in the making of this revelation.

See you next Sunday, if not earlier. Honest.

(Larry Cafiero is one of the founders of the Lindependence Project and develops business software at Redwood Digital Research, a consultancy that provides FOSS solutions in the small business and home office environment.)

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Eliminate DRM!

  1. September 22, 2013 at 11:13 pm

    Larry, I’m sure SCALE is largest in North America, but I believe that and FOSDEM are both larger community-organized free software events elsewhere. Since Embedded Linux Conference is moved to the end of April, I hope to attend.

    • September 23, 2013 at 6:23 am

      You are correct: SCALE is the largest community-run Linux expo in North America, which is what is implied when preceded by the words “in North America.” But I’ll edit to make that more clear. Glad you’re able to attend next year.

  2. September 23, 2013 at 3:10 pm

    Dear Uncle Larry,
    Colonel Panic sends his best. Haven’t spoken to him lately, but I understand he continues to mend.

    Now, does this steam revelation from Steam mean I’m going to have to beg, borrow, or buy another computer?

    Looking forward to it.



  3. Colonel Panik
    September 24, 2013 at 8:40 am

    One foot in the grave and standing on a banana peel I send you this:
    The Software Guy missing a week sent me to the hospital.

    Linux moving forward, paso a paso. Not checking the webs for 5 days
    made me apprehensive about what I would find. Everything looks okay,
    Linux moving forward.

    Community trumps hierarchy.

    • September 24, 2013 at 9:32 am

      Holy crap, Colonel — are you OK?

  4. Colonel Panik
    September 25, 2013 at 9:50 am

    Now that you are posting again I will mend quickly. Thank you.

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