It's not often that I post verbatim someone elses blog. In this case, I will and only because it is important for people to know and see.
Lindependence 2008 has had its twists, turns and has been more successful than we ever could have hoped. Larry Cafiero, my partner in this effort; has published a post in his "Felton Diary." A historical bookmark in this event for if nothing else the sake of posterity. I will post it now for your information. There are things and people mentioned here that you need to absorb into your "Linux Side".
The side of you that makes this whole thing work.
[With apologies to the San Francisco Chronicle columnist Scott Ostler, who often starts off an occasional sports column with "Random thoughts, cheap shots and bon mots." I'm leaving out the cheap shots.]
So while we gear up for Saturday’s out-of-the-starting-blocks finale, I thought I would catch up on things I haven’t caught up on (yet), and to give you a couple of random thoughts about how things are going and where they are heading.
Incidentally, I said both “out of the starting blocks” and “finale” above for a reason: As far as the events for Lindependence in Felton go, Saturday’s event might be Lindependence’s last event before the formation of a LUG and an on-the-ground GNU/Linux presence in the area, but the spirit of Lindependence and movement itself are currently snowballing into something that will be felt in these parts, and happening at a rate faster than I had expected.
First things first: A lot of people made this happen so far, and are making it happen as we go forward. Someday soon I’ll get to all of them. Locally in Felton, Bob Lewis and John Detke have been invaluable with their guidance, having lived here a lot longer than I have. David Eisenberg and Jim Griffin, college professors at different schools, also lent a huge hand. Daniel Gimpelevich, Sean Kellog, Grant Bowman, Rolf Pedersen, Jeremy Sturdivant and Kai Tamkun all represented their distros of choice, and then some. Same for Steve Rufle, who came up from Phoenix for this, GPLed stuffed penguins in tow. Frank Turner made name tags, posters and signage which are so nice, I finally have something to put on the walls here in the office when we’re not using them in Lindependence events. Christian Einfeldt not only took miles of videotaped footage, but also helped on in an install or two.
Gurus and greybeards, all. And if I haven’t mentioned you, I will. I promise.
Fedora, Mandriva, Ubuntu, Debian – those are the big distros on hand here, and we’d like to add more. A special mention to two outstanding distros that couldn’t be here, but support us as well: Wolvix, straight out of Norway, is a Slackware based distro, and lead developer Wolven is a new Dad (congratulations) and offered his support for Lindependence 2008 when first asked; the other distro, AntiX, is a great distro based on Mepis for older machines, and like Wolven, lead developer anticapitalista also gave us a nod early on. Both these guys couldn’t be here, and both do not (yet) have communities large enough for someone to come up and participate. But as the project goes to other areas, there will be other chances.
Developers stepped up as well. I haven’t said enough about Codeweavers during the course of their support, and I am grateful they are around. Codeweavers allowed us to provide those who convert to Linux to be able to use their software so the newbies can use their Windows software on Linux. OpenOffice.org also gets special mention, not only because they are a more-than-viable option to Microsoft Office (even on other platforms), but they gave the project a significant boost in their community. On several occasions, I got calls from people who said, “I saw Lindependence on an OpenOffice forum . . . .” Tod Landis of dbEntrance, from just up the road in Boulder Creek, was on hand with his outstanding MySQL browser. On the hardware side, Zareason always deserves special mention for providing such great machines that are Microsoft-free, and even newcomer Sustain Computing gets a nod for supporting our efforts*-.
As for Lindependence, we’re moving northward. I got a call this morning from someone (other than Tod) who wants to organize the same kind of events in Boulder Creek, a small town about 6 miles north of here on Highway 9; the last town between here and the summit (and over the summit in question lies the valley — the Silicon Valley). Not only this, as I mentioned in an earlier blog, we may be on the road to Portland shortly, bringing Lindependence to a town near that Oregon city.
So far, I have come away with several interesting realizations, the more important of which are these: That people are more ready and willing to distance themselves from Microsoft than I had originally anticipated, and translating that into getting them to use Free/Open Source Software will have a huge effect on the digital landscape in this area and elsewhere — and let me emphasize the elsewhere because if it can happen here, it can happen elsewhere.
So who’s ready to make history in their community?
Oh, and if you have Microsoft stock, I’d sell. Fast.
[Okay, so maybe I threw in a cheap shot after all.]
77 and gloriously sunny.