It's a good feeling, freeing someone from the shackles of Microsoft...and trust me, if you've ever bothered to read their EULA, you cannot describe your transaction with them as anything less than velvet-lined chains. Oh, and for you MS apologists, read this and then get back to me with your apologies...
I'm anxious to see how you spin that.
But that's not why we're here today...no, we're talking about feeling good...about doing a good thing, about watching the look on someone's face when they see Linux and finally "get it"
Freedom. Real, honest-to-goodness freedom.
It is great...that one-on-one bond that forms when you set someone free. But let's imagine for a moment if you could do the same thing for several people all at once. Oh heck, let's just shoot for the moon and beyond. What if you could do the same thing for say, oh I don't know...maybe large chunks of an entire town?
That would indeed be amazing.
That's exactly what we're going to do...All of us.
On July 4th, 2008; a significant percentage of Felton, California, will go Microsoft-free for one week...maybe an entire month. Since August of 2007, Larry Cafiero of HeliOS Solutions West has established a base and has been discussing the project with residents, business owners and community leaders. Businesses and home users alike are interested in learning a better way to operate their computers. For a week...maybe a month...maybe for good. As Larry meets with other residents and business owners, the number of people who want to participate is growing daily.
Larry has lived and worked in this area for 5 years and is known as well as respected.
"When Ken (helios of HeliOS Solutions) approached me on this, I never even hesitated. It was a good idea from the start. I knew the logistics were going to be a challenge but with a 30-some million Linux User-base, I think we can pull this off."
Just how we will "pull it off"
We have been in contact with several of the major distros, informing them of what we are doing and explaining to them how this is going to be a golden opportunity to put themselves in the public spotlight. We will be asking for Linux people in and around the Felton/Santa Cruz/Silicon Valley area or even further out to come and represent your distro as a "Team Tux" member. You will be representing your distro during one of many installfests, seminars, and media events. NPR is aware of this project and has taken a keen interest in what we are doing. Public speaking skills are not at all necessary but a plus if you have them. It is a distinct possibility that you will find yourself in front of a TV camera or radio microphone, so keep that in mind.
Christian Einfeldt, Film-maker, Author and Architect of digitaltippingpoint.com will be the professional documenting this project from start to finish. His previous work in documenting FOSS projects and events make him the perfect person to record this event. The historical ramifications are obvious.
"Building this effort around the different distros is the only logical way to do this". Said Ken Starks. "Having just a few people with a stack of disks during the pre-installfests, randomly sticking distributions on machines isn't the best way to go here. People who know their distros will serve this community better and besides, a bit of friendly competition will be fun.
When asked about his guess as to their participation he just shrugged.
"I really don't know. the California Ubuntu Locos are pretty jacked about this and I think we can count on them showing big at this event. The Mint folks are talking among themselves as well That's a good thing. If a distro doesn't think this is important enough to send some folks, then there is no one here that is going to represent them. This is where a distribution can take control of their own destiny, or not. The ones that are here will get the media coverage, the others...well, I'm sure it will be discussed in the forums, but a missed opportunity is just that."
A little bit about the town of Felton:
It is six miles northeast of Santa Cruz, California, in the San Lorenzo Valley (the west side of the Santa Cruz Mountains where, on the east side of the range, lies the Silicon Valley). It has roughly 6,000 people and it is home to Henry Cowell State Park (where the giant redwoods live), the Bigfoot Museum, and a solar powered fire station (how Californian, I know). The people of Felton, as are those in the San Lorenzo Valley in general, have a reputation in Central California for being fiercely independent -- so much so that Felton voted overwhelmingly (75-25 percent) to wrest the waterworks from a multinational corporation and put it back in public control.
And you think that now they have read the Microsoft EULA, they want to keep that?
There are thousands of Linux Users that will be aware of this project in the coming month. A single dollar from those interested in participating should be more than enough to get this off the ground. All financial transactions are open for inspection and account details will be posted periodically to show expenditures.
Larry Cafiero, as mentioned above, will be taking care of the financial details. A paypal account has been established to make this thing happen so drop a buck.thirty four in the LINdependence Tux Team donation link on this page.
If you have any questions about what we are doing and how we are going to go about it, please feel free to email Larry Cafiero at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The beginnings of the LINdependence 2008 website can be found here. There you will find the link to make your donation should you wish to support this effort. News of the project and distros that want to talk smack about others that aren't coming can be found on an upcoming link as well. That should be fun...let's keep it clean, no punching on the breaks...no eye-gouging and obey my commands at all times.
If your not a boxing fan, that went right over your head.
We have a chance to make history here and we hope you become a part of this effort...it stands to alter the entire landscape of computing forever.