The HeliOS Project is now.....

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

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Sunday, February 24, 2008

LINdependence 2008

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, 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"

As previously mentioned, Larry Cafiero, a copy editor for The Santa Cruz Sentinel, constructed the foundation and laid the groundwork for this last summer when opening an office for HeliOS Solutions West. A fire in his office in Felton in November has forced him to work out of his home until now. Larry has found a new office in Felton and is beginning to pull all the parts together that will make this thing work.

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 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 or

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 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 stands to alter the entire landscape of computing forever.


Anonymous said...

I've posted this stuff to the Mandriva Forums.


Anonymous said...

It is really exciting to see some of these ideas that have been kicked around on TheTuxProject become a reality. When I read the new title for this project I was like "Hey, I recognize that." :D Declaration of Lindependence Then I read the post here and was like "I recognize this too." If you are interested in reading some of the very early discussions about what has become Lindependence 2008 you can do so here.LinuxTown
The reason this is so exciting to me is that this is exactly the purpose of TheTuxProject a place to go to think out loud. Where ideas are open and available to anyone to use to promote "Freedomware" aka FOSS. ;) There is nothing like working together.

Unknown said...

Thank you Tracyanne...your help is greatly appreciated. I hope they participate.

Anonymous said...

Blogged about it on Wish I was closer to California - I'd take a weekend and visit and pitch in!

Anonymous said...

>> 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.

Yes, buy a cheap dig cam and some extra memory and start "filming" yourself. Think youtube, but in the end it will make you less camera shy and help focus your thoughts and brainstorm ideas if you "interview" yourself in the privacy of your own bedroom.


[The pronoun "we" below is used in reference to a general "community" that is behind this effort. The intention is not to be presumptuous.]

As for the Distro War for Lindependence that will ensue. Make sure the distros have special LiveCDs (and anything else) for the occasion. We can start a thread on this for basic ideas but otherwise just let the distros build their own forces and surprise attacks.

A mock war (actually real but let's pretend "mock") can be played out during one or more of the days. Not sure what the ground rules would be though.


>> The beginnings of the LINdependence 2008 website can be found here.

A website content wish list: schedule; current developments; contact info; special user contributed items for the event (duel challenges, dares, artwork, essays); some sort of history of Linux; other EULAs vs ours section; external links page; a best of Linux or what's hot in the Linux world section (eg, some youtube vids, LiveCDs, KDE4 hyping, etc); pre-contests (many possibs here but do consider a logo and other artwork contest); section dedicated to Felton and the people living there now (or of city/town XXXX); Etc.

We can also create a website section called "Mission Felton" or something like that where we list and plan out the various activities, tests, pilots, etc, that will be conducted during the event [The imagery is of a space mission event coming up where we are preparing and loading the vessel with (Linux) "scientific" tests].

One Distro War for Lindependence defining moment (and contest) could be which distro community or individual fits into a single LiveDVD the most artwork or other user contributed items specifically for this event (contributors/-ions must be documented).

Also, consider asking the various communities that might participate (eg, distro communities) to designate an official liason. This should help in preparing for the event in a number of ways. These contact individuals may want to make this known publically in a central location for easy access (eg, I want to contribute to a Mandriva team effort).

Anonymous said...

I think it's a very good idea to leverage the distro groups as teams because this way many can contribute through the distros on something specific for a community in which they are already engaged. However, there should still be a global forum allowing participation and planning at a different level, even if most of the planning were to be done mostly privately by some core team.

Some more ideas:

Have individuals and/or teams fax, email, snail mail, etc in a list of individuals across the country (or world) that are using Linux or will be using Linux on that day/week or that were introduced newly to Linux through this Lindependence 2008 program.

Getting a list of say a few thousand, can still be remarkable if presented properly. Imagine one activity being that these names will be read out load (eg, John Doe from Springfield, XX). If the process is done slowly and maybe videoed for the Internet (or Internet radio), throughout that week/month, you will get many to get up and go out and hunt for names or give distros out in order to make it into one of the later readings. You might even want to accept entries like "200 people from zip code XXXXX were given LiveCD on XXXX date". Maybe have a program where people can give away, sell, u/l d/l online, etc LiveCD's with an 800 number or website url that can be used to register their support for this event.

The gathering at and the "conversion" of Felton can provide a lot of motivation/reason for getting Linux out to people at a large scale outside Felton between now and the event month. Maybe even assign unique ID's via a fake "activation key" per LiveCD. Maybe the LiveCD's will all be remasters where applications, advertisements, links, etc will come set up for the end user to make it easy for the user to participate (and likely). Eg, video conference or IRC chat can be set up to celebrate Lindependence (various activities). The distro communities will do this work (but we can help coordinate): building the distros and getting many out. One (very friendly) competition would be some measurement of the level of participation from the various distros.

There is a lot that can be done, but we should allow national/global participation and in a way that takes place leading up to the event. I think engaging users nationally/worldwide through support for local programs will lead to greater bang for buck (ie, greater bang for the event) during July at Felton (as well as elsewhere if coordinated). Especially since Headquarters for many online (national or international) events for that week can be Felton.

Remember that many may feel Felton is too far removed to contribute much or to get too motivated but would love to contribute locally using the heat and energy coming together at Felton if they are allowed to play an important role locally (locally to where they live or work or will reside during July). For example, pledging "names" might be very popular in cases where pledging/donating "dollars" would not be forthcoming.

I'd love to work on this wider scope aspect of the "Felton" event at thetuxproject but obviously would need some cooperation from the Felton coordinators.

[I forgot to submit this comment earlier I think (hope I don't double post):]

If someone is able, I posted here asking for clarification of the vision of Lindependence 2008 and what sort of community participation is desired. In my case, I may not go to Felton, and also I am interested in contributing but not exclusively to a Felton effort.

Let's say that others out there follow along and try to do something similar elsewhere (doubtful, but I hold out some hope), can those individuals contribute to this specific project, yet reuse those contributions without question? Is the name up for sharing or not? If I ended up doing something for that time period but it was much less grand, do you anticipate it being a problem if I made references to Lindependence 2008? I mean the whole idea around that name (held on week of July 4th) seems to be something that all should be able to take and make their own locally. However, wouldn't there be some confusion if the intent here is to make Lindependence 2008 apply exclusively to an event taking place in Felton?

Thanks and good luck.

Unknown said...

I know oyu are a linux supporter, but as former amiga user I tried the open osurce operating system AROS, and found it quite interesting, though there is still a lot of job to do.

It is a system essentially GUI based and most of its things are easier to configure than in linux, the problem is, as usual, that they lack resources and developers.

There are also other open source operating system that follows different paths, like REACT OS that is trying to do a windows nt like operating system, or HAIKU, that follow the path of the BE-os; all those systems are open source and might offer, if adequately developed, a valid easier path to be free from the microsoft only path.

I honestly think that developers, instead of getting each other in their own favourite niche and support this or that distro or alternate OS they like, might need to interoperate, in a way that whatever os or distro you ues, can have the same base set of resources driver knowldege base and programs to use and utilize for interoperability.

What do you think about this?

NinjaPenguinMaster said...

Hello My name is Justin Breithaupt the project leader of Ultumix GNU/Linux and I want to get into contact with the person leading this event. Not only do I want to promote my GNU/Linux distribution but I want to bring down a Rock Band to play at the event if needed. Also I would like to bring a few Ultumix GNU/Linux PCs with me to sell while I'm there in case anyone wants one.

PS I am now able to buy computers in massive quantities and get very low prices! I now have Computers stores in California buying threw me.

Justin Breithaupt
PO Box 485
Pomeroy WA, 99347

NinjaPenguinMaster said...

Well my last attempt at this post didn't make it so I'll try again.

I would appreciate it if I could have a Rock Concert, Video Game Competition, GNU/Linux Ultumix demo in Pomeroy WA with all of the people from Lewiston Clarkston Asotin Pataha Dayton and Walla Walla.

I think this would be more effective because:

There is less Linux exposure here.

High priced Vista computers drive people mad here.

The high population that would be reached.

Microsoft is in WA State.

If you decide to have us stay in WA State and you do yours down in California isn't there any way we can combine media exposure? Can't we skype back and forth using voice and video over IP? The news crews could have access to all our video coverage and Live Audio and Video via Skype. Why Not?

Anonymous said...

was thinking about this and the one thing I don't want to happen is each project starts fighting for exposure and notice. I am thinking that while your town may be ripe for such a project and I would be more than happy to help you arrange it, I am thinking about a 30 day break between the two.


Anonymous said...

Justin --

I appreciate your enthusiasm and you would be far better served to have an event in Washington, rather than coming down to Felton.

In addition, you might want to wait because we are working out a lot of organizational kinks that you might run into. By waiting and letting us fall into the pitfalls that we'll encounter, you'll avoid them when doing your project.

Also, in order to have each event have more impact, it would be best if each event were held on a different day/week. And since we have already started with the week following Independence Day, it would be best if each event didn't overlap.

Further, in Felton we will have Zareason on hand to sell computers if any are to be sold.

But thanks for your interest and good luck with your event.

Larry Cafiero

NinjaPenguinMaster said...

Hey Man, What's Up? I can't seem to get you to reply to me.
509-843-2414 (Mon-Th 3PM - 6AM Pacific Standard Time -8)