The HeliOS Project is now.....

The HeliOS Project is now.....
Same mission, same folks...just a different name

Search the Blog of helios and all comments


Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Tell Felton

Well boys and girls, it has happened.....

Lindependence 2008 IS under way.

I would like to take just a moment and thank the relative handful of people that made this project happen. You have my personal and heartfelt thanks for stepping up and doing what you needed to do. Believe me...had one or two of you not participated, this probably wouldn't have happened.

That's how close Lindependence 2008 came to not being.

But Being it is and that being the case, we have a few things we'd like you to do here in the next couple of days. I am preparing to leave for Felton and will arrive there this Friday. I will be able to take part in two, possibly three of the events and for that I am grateful. I would like to stay longer but I'm taking a leave of absence from work and unfortunately, it's unpaid.

This is a new concept for anyone who's spent their computing life running Windows. We are going to introduce them to our world and that being so, I would like you to tell Felton just how important this decision is.

Write a one or two paragraph "welcome" letter. Tell the people of Felton why this decision is important to them and how much better operating their computer will be. Now..this may sound odd coming from me...

Please don't Microsoft-bash. Larry, me and other key organizers have formulated a pretty good way of stepping on their toes without sounding fanatical and angry. It is a narrow fence to walk but we can do this. You can just submit your letters to Felton via the comments to this blog entry and by doing so, you are giving us permission to publish it to the Lindependence 2008 website.

Once again, I want to thank you for all your support, assistance and encouragement. This event can be the catalyst for something is not big in itself but our cumulative efforts can be.

All Righty Then...


devnet said...

Will you be posting these letters (or a select few) here or @ the lindependence site for us to read? :D

Blog of helios said...

Hey buddy...where ya been? ;-)

Anyone who wants to write something posts it here for submission and we pick the best then post them to There will be an entire section devoted to just that. As we do our installfests and hold our meetings, the folks of Felton will have an icon posted on their desktop. It will be their "lifeline". It will be a help site, and a link to the letters published.


WE ARE *NIXED! said...

Residents of Felton,

I would like to take a few moments to thank all of you for recognizing that you do in fact have a choice when it comes to software on your computer. This journey will hopefully open your eyes to a wonderful new world of personal computing. By taking this journey, you will hopefully come to understand that you do in fact own your computer, not the other way around.

--Thomas Holbrook II
--Founder and Editor: THE *NIXED REPORT

Anonymous said...

Hi helios. Here is my comment to the good people of Felton:

Imagine a world where computing is fun again, just like it used to be. Before you needed an anti-virus, disk defragmenter, registry cleaner, spyware remover, firewall, and so on. Well, helios is here to usher you into this new world of blissful computing. Best of all, the software is free! Wow, not only free as in price, but more importantly free as in 'you can alter it and pass it on to your friends'. Double Wow!

Great job helios, from a long-time blog-reader. Keep leading the way!

Richard Kut

Gedece said...

I really love being able to do what I want to do the way I want to do it with my Linux. Please don't close your years and hearts, listen and see, think carefully, ask (no doubt is silly) and listen to the replies, and then take a decision and act upon it, you won't regret it.

Anonymous said...

I put Linux on my wife's machine and after a few months on it I asked her if she wanted to go back to Microsoft Windows. She looked at me, and with a very straight face said: "What? Go Back to the Dark Ages? No Way!"

rijelkentaurus said...

Choice: You have your choice of cars, TVs, restaurants, clothing brands, places to live, gyms to exercise in, jobs to work at (or quit!)...why should you not have your choice of operating systems? Give Linux a try, most people don't choose to go back. And if you do go back, know that you do it of your own choice, and that you need only stay there so long as you choose to. The shackles come off either way. Welcome to Free. Welcome to Lindependence.

Anonymous said...

Greetings from Europe, Felton.

I have a bunch of very 'naive users' all using desktop Linux for different purposes. A writer, a lawyer, a retired machinist, a charity.... These kinds of people. People who just want to get their books or letters written, or their spreadsheets done, or their photos onto their computer.

All of them are connected to the net, none of them have any anti virus installed, none of them have ever got infected or lost data, and I don't expect them to.

They have a few queries when they are first using Linux, about Linux itself, how it works, how to do things. After a very short time though, the only calls I ever get are about how to do reasonably sophisticated things in Office. And that's understandable, and would probably happen if they were using MS Office, if they only had anyone to call!

Its not Windows. It is different. Its probably different in the same way different makes of car are different. So just like you don't get into a new car and expect everything to be in exactly the same place, so it will be with Linux if you are coming from Mac or Windows.

Once you are through this though, the system will vanish, and you will just take it for granted and do your work. People say Linux on the desktop is hard for non-computer people. My experience is the opposite. Its amazingly easy.

There are some things I spent time on when their systems first went in, and these will make the transition easier. Learn how to use multiple desktops. This is one of the big usability differences between Linux and Mac or Windows, and its worth getting to know how to take advantage of it. Learn how to install and remove software on your distribution. Its all free of course, but you do it through a package manager, and this is different. Learn how to find Linux software - where to find out what packages you might want, to do whatever you need to do. You install them through the package manager, but you need to know how to find out what there is available.

Learn how to configure the desktop and preferences for whatever desktop environment you use (Gnome or KDE one imagines, but there are lots more). Learn how to add shortcuts and configure the toolbar.

None of this is difficult, my 'naive users' do it without thinking all the time. But its worth finding out right away, you'll feel more comfortable quicker.

I will close by telling you what my 75 year old machinist said to me a couple of weeks after we installed his system. He had been plagued with malware, and finally came to me in irritation and said, just get rid of it all and put Linux on for me. Are you sure, I asked. Hell yes I'm sure. So we did. A week or two later I saw him, and he said, do you know, I am starting to get to know how my computer works for the first time. Its logical, its simple, its just so much easier. I am never going back.

Good luck to you all. its going to be an interesting and enriching experience. I hope like my machinist you never go back.

limE said...

What if 95% of the world were using linux, would this constitute a monopoly?
No, with linux, it's power lies with everyone. From the bottom, up to the very top of the programming code, can be changed drastically or minimally by anyone, and this is what we call open source software. 'I'm not a programmer, what difference does this make to me?' The answer lies in the results. In just over 15 years, a collection of over 300 different versions of linux exist, that are used in appliances, mobile phones, quite a large number of servers that power the internet, and everything in between.
Open source software, the underlying strength of linux, created a community where innovation, collaboration, and assistance is the norm. I personally fall into the 'i'm not a programmer' list, and I can say, that for myself, putting it on my PC has been one of the best decisions that I have ever made, and I see the strength of that community in the finished product that resides on my computer.

TaNK said...

Welcome to Freedom! This decision literally is the embodiment of the definition, "the condition of being free; the power to act or speak or think without externally imposed restraints," and, "immunity from an obligation or duty." You are free to use this software as you see fit, as long as you do not restrict the same freedoms from someone else. That's it! No strings, no hidden agenda, no government interference, no politicos in someone else's pockets!

What you now have in your hands and computers is powerful. You have the culmination of thousands of developers voluntarily giving their time and energy towards technically excellent software. You also hold many objects in the form of software born from the idea that all people who wish should be free to choose and free to learn from each other without restraint.

Don't be discouraged if you have to learn something new; revel in it! Grab this opportunity with both hands and don't let go! You have the choice of simply being a user or some kind of contributor, and either one is fine. Just be prepared to freely explore and get some new wrinkles in your brain. :)

Bob Robertson said...

When I think of Felton, I think of beautiful streams in deep valleys, redwoods, and gentle curving roads. I miss riding there.

Felton is a community, as is Linux and the people involved in it. I'm pleased to be able to share this sense of freedom with the people there, years ago on my motorcycle, today with Linux.

crashsystems said...

Here is my message to the people of Felton:

I'm sure by now you've heard a lot of people tell you that Linux is so stable, so secure, doesn't get viruses, etc. I agree with all that, but there is another reason why digital freedom is so important.

Imagine you just purchased a car, and the hood was designed so that the user could not open it. In fact, you had to sign an agreement promising that you would not try to open it! How could you trust that this car would run the way it was supposed to? How would you know that the car was operating in your best interests?

In our post 9/11 world, where are freedoms are constantly being trampled upon, it is vital that we be able to trust the machines with which we connect to society. It is a well documented fact that the owners of other operating systems hand the cryptographic keys for those OSes to at least the US government, and possibly others. If you want even more bad news, just search "magic lamp" in Google. When it comes to other systems, the term "Trusted Computing" has rather sinister connotations. However in the world of transparent software, it means just that: computing you can trust!

Anonymous said...

People of Felton,

I would like to welcome you to the Linux community. Using the Linux Operating System on your computer will give you the freedom to use your computer the way you want to use, with the software available to do most everyday things from email, word processing, pictures and many more things. From home, work and school the Linux Operating System will give you the confidence to use your computer and not be afraid that it is controlling you.

Brian Y.

Andrew Magnus said...

Hello Felton,

When I heard about an entire town taking a look at Linux, I thought to myself, "It's about time!"

Because Linux is free, there is no sense in advertising it so it is no wonder you've probably never heard of it and if you have, you've probably heard it was difficult to use. Nothing could be further from the truth. My 80+ year old parents love it.

It goes way beyond ease of use though. When I actually took time to read the End Users License Agreement (the thing you click "I agree" to before you can use the computer)I was amazed at what I was being asked to agree to. Microsoft says they can come into my computer at any time and for any reason and do anything they want to my data. If that is the case, then who really owns my computer? That was all it took for me to start looking for a replacement for Windows. Mac was way too expensive so I settled for Linux. That was 4 years ago and I haven't missed Windows since.

Good Luck,

Andrew Magnus
Austin Texas

hazel said...

There are many reasons for preferring Linux to another well-known OS but here are the three that clinch it for me.

1)Linux is safe! You can surf the net all day long on broadband and never get "infected". No viruses, no worms, no spyware. And no need to acquire and constantly update a load of defensive software such as firewalls and anti-virus programs.

2) It's fairly easy to understand how Linux actually works. You can learn, without much difficulty, how the operating system does what it does. That means that if anything goes wrong, you can usually fix it yourself. You can't do that with Windows because nobody understands Windows except Microsoft engineers.

3) Linux makes computing fun again, the way it used to be back in the early nineties. If you are the sort of person who can't look something up in a dictionary without being sidetracked by other interesting entries, then you will love Linux. There's simply no end to what you can learn with it.

Dan Ford said...

To the Folks in Felton!

This week, you'll perhaps start on an intellectual journey that will change your lives radically. Linux has a way of doing that. You'll be apprehensive at first, cautious next, and soon, perhaps even confident. That's the way it works when you learn something new.

But this week, while you're struggling with terms like "kernal" and "hardware" and "drivers" and such, take a look around you at the people who've come to Felton to help you get started. People like Ken Starks and Larry Cafiero, and dozens or hundreds of others. Take a minute to consider this very cool fact: You're witnessing, first hand, how it's done in Linux Land. Typically, we help each other, and through it all, we learn and grow and contribute. Take the few hours with Ken and Larry and the others, learn as much as you can, and just know there are MILLIONS more of us out here, waiting and willing to help you when you run across a real stumper of a problem. There are Friends For Life among you right now, and watching from afar, and every one of us welcomes you to the Fraternity, (or Sorority, if you prefer.)

Yep, Linux is a new operating system, and you're wondering how it'll all work out. You're going to scratch your heads a lot over the next few days or weeks or months. But there will come a time when something makes sense, and the light will click on, and you'll say, "Aha!" I live for such moments, and so do Ken and Larry and most of the others. And so will you, the first time someone you've helped with a Linux problem gets it. We're all at various stages of learning, and we love it! Stick with it, and start to give back when you can. You'll be glad you did!

By the way, there is a Felton Linux Users Group by now, isn't there? ;)

Dan Ford
Hamilton, OH

Gabrielle Friedman said...

Hello Felton California!

As a person who lived behind the Berlin Wall, I can relate to what freedom really is. Now one would think me daft to compare the brutal treatment of East Germans to those using a proprietary software system so I won't insult your intelligence. I only mention it because I have experienced the extreme of each situation.

You may not equate using a computer to "freedom". You may think you are quite "free" in what you are using now. I assure you that you are most certainly not. Windows cannot be copied, shared, altered or changed in any way. Microsoft has incorporated a seemingly harmless feature called "trusted computing" into their software and aside from the harmless sounding name, trusted computing was designed for one thing and one thing only. It is meant to limit the way you use your own data, files and information.

Linux has no such restrictions and it interfaces nicely with Microsoft software. There is even a program that the people bringing you Linux is offering called Crossover Office. It allows you to run most of your favorite Windows software right inside Linux BUT you don't have to worry about viruses and spyware when you do it.

Allow me to welcome you to a world where there are literally millions of people standing ready to help you. We know of this "experiment" and are waiting for you to join us. If nothing else convinces you to give Linux a try, then consider this.

Using Linux makes using your computer fun again.

Gaby Friedman
Berlin Germany

Ryan Sommers said...

Dear People of Felton,

Three years ago, the man that is helping bring Linux to Felton was the one that brought Linux to me. We as a World-wide Linux Community are watching Larry and Ken as they show you a better way to use your computer. You may think that the way you are using it now is just fine but give these guys and their volunteers a chance to show you a better way. I myself didn't think that operating a computer could be any easier or maintenance-free than it all ready was. Boy was I surprised. Sure it was a system shock at first. Linux and Windows are two completely different animals but I promise you this. If you give Linux an honest try and stay with it for just a little while, you will wonder why you ever used Windows in the first place.

The people that are bringing you Lindependence 2008 are all volunteers and only want you to know you have a choice in how you operate your computers. You are fortunate indeed. And it is us who is fortunate to welcome you to the Linux Family.

You may email me personally with any questions you have about Linux and I will do my very best to answer you. I am currently in Afghanistan but I have access to internet most times. It is my pleasure to help you with a better way.

Ryan Sommers

Bob said...

Welcome to a new world. A world where you have freedom to choose. No more are you limited to "Either/Or" in an Operating System for your computer.

You have already made the choice to explore this new world of Free and Open Source Software. Many more choices now are available to you. Please see them as opportunities and fun adventures, they are not scary or dangerous, although there are some who will try to convince you they are.

Enjoy exploring the different flavors of GNU/Linux through LiveCD's and installs. But remember, unlike 'The Matrix', there is no blue pill or red pill. You always have the option to use any software/operating system you choose, even closed source, proprietary systems. No choice you make in this new world is irreversible.

The 3 things I appreciate the most about GNU/Linux/FOSS.

1 - The people I've met. There are some really great folks who will bend over backwards to make you welcome and help you get adjusted. Seek them out and learn from them, then become one of them, that is what this community needs most.

2 - The fact that when I try software, if it doesn't work for me I can just try something else, none of it cost me a dime. Try that at your local software retailer! Now that's freedom.

3 - The cost difference, it's huge. Consider the fact that you only have to 'buy' 1 copy of any software and can use it on ALL your computers and even share it with friends. Compare that to the other way where you have to, literally, buy a license for EACH of your computers and be prosecuted you if you share it with anyone, even yourself, for another computer.

Enjoy this experience. I hope you will decide to join this new world, based on freedom and mutual support.

God bless,
Amenditman (Bob Pianka Valrico, Florida)

Sharath Kumar R said...

All the best for the project friend!