The HeliOS Project is now.....

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

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Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Calling All Distros

It's not often that the opportunity to get some real publicity comes your way. Heck, even if you decide to make it happen yourself, it's a crapshoot as to whether or not anyone is going to give you that publicity.

Until now.

Larry Cafiero, Copy Editor for the Santa Cruz Sentinel and owner of HeliOS Solutions West has been busy putting together what may possibly be the biggest Linux/FOSS promotion ever.

Simply put, the FOSS Community has the opportunity to switch an entire California town to Linux.

Born from an idea at, LINdependence 2008 is a bold attempt to let the world know they have a choice in how they operate their computers. With the dismal failure that is Vista, and the growing public awareness of Trusted Computing and DRM, now would seem the time to make this sort of thing happen.

This event is going to receive national and international coverage. Ironically, a google search for LINdependence 2008 shows as much positive activity internationally as within our own borders or even in the Ubuntu LOCOs in California itself. In a recent google alert, it was amusing to see that several prominent Chinese blogs are watching the project closely. This is a golden 0pportunity for the leadership within Linux and FOSS to take control of their own destiny.

One would think. published a comprehensive interview with Larry and myself, answering almost any question that anyone might have concerning LIN08. Carla Schroder, Author and Linux Guru also posted a widely-read announcement of LIN08. Blog of helios also posted a complete announcement and explanation of LINdependence 2008 about a month ago. Most any and all of these articles/announcements made the circulation of LXer and Linux Today. Most of them hit the newsvac of It's not that there wasn't circulation. Several articles were submitted to Slashdot but all were summarily rejected. There have been many complaints about Slashdot's refusal to cover this event. Quoted from an email received 9 days ago...

"...and it's ridiculous to think that a super news site like Slashdot would ignore this story..."

Well, there's your problem right there.

Referring to Slashdot as a legitimate news website is like referring to a whorehouse as a modeling agency.

Larry, in his excellent personal blog, comments on the lack of response from "the community" and it is well worth the click to read it yourself. He raises some points that need to be examined by everyone who honestly cares if the rest of the world can enjoy the computing freedom that we do.

I have grudgingly agreed to Larry's call for patience...a virtue I personally see as frivolious, but necessary at some point in time. Larry says this is one such point and I will defer to his cooler head.

For now.

Distro Leaders/Developers and Project Leaders...? This is a platinum-core opportunity to get what you do in front of the entire planet. It won't take much effort on your part to make it happen, in fact the mechanics are in place now to insure all you have to do is just show up.

Distro Users...? This is a good time to go onto the forums of your particular distro and ask why your distro isn't participating. Sure we can do it, and we have but the obstacle we run into is that some buffoon inveritably responds with stuff like "quit spamming our forums!" Obviously some people haven't learned the difference between legitimate news postings and spam. I'm sure they are quite popular in their respective workplaces.

About 40 emails have been sent out to key people in Linux/FOSS and to this point, there has been a dismal response. Patience helios...patience.

Ok...but for how long I can't even say....passions larger than myself await their release.

All-Righy Then


kozmcrae said...

I didn't really need another reason to not read splashplop, but if they're going out of their way to give it to me, I'll take it.

Anonymous said...

I can't be the only linux user that is embarrassed by such a stupid idea as this one. Most people think we are lunatics as it is, why on earth try and confirm it? Better to just let people migrate to linux in their own time than appear to be forcing them into using it. Linux is about freedom and not dictating to others. There is no need to turn to the dark side as it just makes us look foolish and hypocritical.



Khan Md Ashraf said...

I agree with the previous users comment that GNU/Linux need not be forced down anybody's throat. But I disagree with his idea that this event can be categorised as such. I don't see anybody forcing anybody to do anything here, they are free to try GNU/Linux for a week or month or longer at their choice. If they don' t want who can make them? I don't think California borders Tibet! I also think the organisers of this event should not worry too much about the non-participation of 'Distro's' cause GNU/Linux is about freedom. That should be the message. That you are not tied up in those velvet lined chains that 'companies' want you to be in. GNU/Linux is not about making a profit! It is about helping people (I think that makes for a better world doesn't it?).
So I say RIGHT ON and don't waste your time worrying about distro's, slashdot and what else not.
Here's to a successful event.

Unknown said...

"I can't be the only linux user that is embarrassed by such a stupid idea as this one."

This should be easy...I said should be...given the fact I have to even explain this nudges me to use one syllable words.

I am standing ten feet away from you and I am watching you work. You are struggling with the task to the point that you spend more time altering and fixing your tools than you do actually getting the task done, in fact, had you not had to tend to your tools so much, you would have the task completed by now and would have moved on to other things.

I have two choices at this point...I can simply stand there and watch you struggle with your task and inwardly giggle at your plight, or I can come lend you my hand and show you a way to get it done quickly and with much less effort.

The fact that you seem to be one that would pick the first option makes it clear to me why you posted this as anonymous. I would be ashamed at my selfishness and mean spirit as well.


Unknown said...

"I also think the organisers of this event should not worry too much about the non-participation of 'Distro's' cause GNU/Linux is about freedom."

You bet...and the organizers should then pick the distros THEY think are the ones that should be used by these people? OK...should no one else bother to attend, the organizers will take two distros that have never seen the light of day at Distrowatch...I dunno...let's say BubbaLInux - The South Austin, broke-down-pickup-truck-up-on-blocks-in-the-front-yard distro and Gag-Me Linux...made especially for 17 year old girls who hang out at the mall with their rich daddy's credit card distro.

So be it...sounds good to me. We'll go with your plan.

In all seriousness, I do see your point and maybe there is something to it...I think my partner has a better way of looking at it...something I need to take a closer look at myself.

kozmcrae said...

"I can't be the only linux user that is embarrassed by such a stupid idea as this one. "

Yes, I checked on that. My research indicates that while no "linux user" except you would characterize LINdependence Day as "a stupid idea", there were numerous Microsoft users, employees and partners who would characterize it as such. I don't think I've ever said this before to a "linux user", but maybe you're using the wrong operating system.

e2 said...

Fair enough, I apologise. Perhaps I has having a bad day after enduring yet another half a day of torment on a windows box. I'm all for whatever distro that suits the users purpose and hardware myself. I find the windows experience to be generally depressing, time consuming and unpleasant. I'll do my best to coerce the troubled windows user into at least using open source applications if I can't persuade them into trying a linux distro.

I think where I was coming from when I made that anonymous post was that I was having an I hate windows users moment and was pretty sick of helping them fix their self inflicted issues. Most of us at times are forced into using a version of windows at some point which we do under duress. I know if someone told me I had to use mac or windows only on my own boxes I would tell them exactly where to go.

So ok, maybe it's not a stupid idea at all. I'm just not keen on forcing people to do anything or it's that the event could be mistaken as an attempt to force people to use linux, rather than a way of demonstrating just how far linux as an OS and the apps that run on it have come.

Anyway it was just a thought that I had at the time, most likely I should have kept it to myself. I can honestly say that I hope the event goes very well. It was just the worry that it might backfire on us that caused my outburst. I don't really hate windows users, I just sometimes feel like leaving them to their self inflicted hell of an OS.

Although I do my best to spread the word and I am pretty good at converting people I don't always have the patience that I should have and I prefer to offer my assistance to people who express an interest. So you shamed me into apologizing for being so mean, I was bad.


Anonymous said...

Well, this seems like the time to do this and I really don't know where else to do it, so here goes.

Ken, this is Andrew...the Andrew that spent two days with you last week. I have something to tell you that has been eating at me for days now and its time I came clean. I better explain so others will understand.

I live in Austin and I made it a point to find helios in the flesh and check him out. I am ashamed now to say that I was one of the people that sided with Penguin Pete during the Tux500 thing last year. I was convinced that Helios was a thief and a liar and now that he is involved with this Felton thing, I thought I would kind of go under cover and give Pete something to hit him with. If I kind of hung out with him, I would be able to tell if he was really doing all the things he said he was doing. I called him a few times and got him to tell me where he lived and I just kind of showed up one Saturday and said I was here to help him do his Komputers4Kids stuff. If he was really doing this kind of stuff, he should have tons of parts and computers around. If he didn't, I could email Pete and say that we just busted him.

Ken, I am sorry I deceived you. I know what I did was crappy but let me tell you. I've spent an entire year thinking you were a con man and a scammer. I've told people that I work with that I was going to expose you for the liar you are. All I can say is the things that I saw you do this past weekend made me utterly ashamed of myself. the love those kids have for you and that other guy at the youth center touched my heart to the point where I had to come here publicly and say all this.

I don't know what Pete has against you and I don't know why he thinks you are crooked but I now know what you say and do are true. I will do anything as one of your volunteers for as long as you want me to just don't be mad at me.

I want to finish by saying this. If Penguin Pete ever met you and saw what you did, I think his opinion of you would change immediately. I know mine did and I am hear to help you any time you need me to.

Andrew Magnus

Larry the Open Source Guy said...

Actually, no one is forcing Linux down anyone's throat in Felton -- people can choose to use it or not use it. That's part of the "choice" that we're offering: People can choose to do nothing.

To emphasize what Ken said earlier, if you're struggling with something, it's my duty to give you a hand. If you find people are oppressed, it's your duty to help them overcome their oppression.

Dante said, and I'm paraphrasing here, that the hottest places in hell are reserved for those who, in times of great moral crisis, maintain their neutrality. Or it's pretty close to that, anyway.

Unknown said...

Dante said, and I'm paraphrasing here, that the hottest places in hell are reserved for those who, in times of great moral crisis, maintain their neutrality...


Microsoft happens when good men do nothing.


I need some time to digest some of what you said and I'm not sure I have a clear idea of what I want to say to you about this. I'll call you in a day or two.


Anonymous said...

Who dares bring up my name associated with this nest of scum???

I was already riled last year by people who would not leave me alone, when I was minding my own business. Are these con artists at last so stupid that they cannot learn a lesson even after the flaying I gave them last year? Must we repeat it again?

There are plenty of other people asking the right questions about all of Helios' operations and associations now, thanks to my groundwork. I have previously retired, seeing as how other people are doing just as good a job. Lies have a way of being found out by somebody, somewhere.

It is only by my grace and mercy that you are not all doing jail time. Do not abuse it.


PS If I saw Helios face to face, the first thing I'd do is to challenge him to say to my face that which he so gleefully says from behind a monitor. Somehow I doubt it would come out the same way.

Proverbs 28:1-4

Anonymous said...

Hey pete I'm the one that DARED mention your name. I did so because I have come to know this guy, unlike you. You are so full of crap man. I've dug and dug into your "fraud" accusations. Everything you say comes right back to a link you posted in the first place. Let's put Ken in Jail...that's a good idea. Let's do it this way. A friend of helios says you should launch an investigation on Ken, and I agree. He says he will be happy to even instigate the investigation but he will do it his way. He will submit your earlier post to this blog calling helios a lying bastard and insulting his wife to your home town newspaper. Surely your hometown newspaper would want to investigate Ken after you said such things about him. Stay tuned my friend. I think this is going to happen.

You may have persuaded a bunch of non-thinking idiots pete, but I've learned who Ken Starks really is. You're just pissed you can't be the guy he is. He does just run your mouth. Let's contact your paper and get to this.


Anonymous said...

Oh, OK, Andy M. Let me get this straight: You're gonna SPEAK FOR ME on here speculating what I would do were I to see what helios does. I show up just to say, "Leave me out of it." So now you're doing the same thing your little cult always does, threaten, threaten, threaten. Blah blah blah. (What did I supposedly say about his wife? Didn't know he was married.) Funny, if you're so secure that your cause is just, why do you have to threaten?

You know what you'd do if you could see what *I* do? If you had to threaten me to my face? You'd wet your pants. But hiding behind that monitor is comforting, isn't it?

Isn't it, all you members of the helios cult of personality? Hey, where's helios' tutorials on programming? Where's helios' articles on how to do something new on Linux? Where's helios posting in forums helping new users by answering questions? Huh? Where's an open source program written by helios? Where's some artwork donated to a Linux distro done by helios? Where's a documentation project hosted by helios? Where's all of helios' work released as GPL and Creative Commons? Where's helios' kernel patches?

What does helios do? "Gimme money gimme money gimme money!" As long as you search the world far and wide, that's all you will ever find under helios' name. Don't tell me "if I could see what he does..." I can see 100% from right here. Lots of money in, not much delivery out. Why can't the rest of you just keep your money and use it to market Linux directly? Do you not give your own kids computers? Do you not donate your old computers to the community? Do you not bring up Linux wherever you can in the business world? Is your money not legal tender without filtering it through helios?

So you sit there and let this fake go "hottest places in hell are reserved for those who, in times of great moral crisis, maintain their neutrality..."

I'm not maintaining any neutrality. We of the Linux community have been building it a piece at a time for 15 years, before helios ever heard of it. We'll be here a lot longer after the carpetbaggers have taken their fill and moved on. Perhaps these carpetbaggers could at least have the human decency to not condemn everybody who was ever a part of Linux to hell just because they didn't give them money. You know, the people who gave you this nice operating system in the first place, for starters? Like IBM, to refer to another post on this site? 8.3% of the kernel development sponsored by IBM, and you guys are going to kick them in the teeth for it because they don't give YOU money? Well? Who the hell ARE you that anybody owes you any money at all?

"You're just pissed you can't be the guy he is..." he says. When I see a line of code by helios, I'll think about it. When I see so much as a stick figure drawn by him, I'll debate the point. When I see him do a blessed thing but fleece the Linux community, I'll change my impression, perhaps. The same goes for his followers. Do you do ANYTHING but shake a can and beg for spare change, while posing as "the Linux community"?

But all I ask: leave me out of it. I don't care what you people do, as long as you don't accuse my beloved community of being hypocrites fit to burn in hell just because we didn't give you money. That's all I ask. It's really not so difficult. I see thousands of charities out there that manage to go about their business without making half the enemies that your group does. When you make enemies while claiming to speak for all of Linux, that hurts all of Linux for your own gain of a few dollars.

Do I make myself clear? Summary:
(a) The rest of us bust our ass for Linux. We ask for no donations. We ask for no recognition.
(b) You guys want to throw on a penguin shirt and scream for money, be my guest.
(c) Leave us alone and we leave you alone.


(d) when you threaten and harass and insult, that's where the problems begin.
(e) When you discredit the good name of Linux by claiming to speak for all of us, that's where the problems begin.
(f) When you spam forums, that's where the problems begin.
(g) When you bring me up and try to leech off my good name in the community by implying that I'm on board with you, that's where a big problem just began.

Don't start nothing, there won't be nothing. But you keep looking for a fight, you get one. You look for a fight with me, you get war. Don't they, helios?

P.P. again... naturally.

Unknown said...


That will be quite enough...we've talked about this. You've made amends so there's no use in defending that which needs no defense. It is quite obvious he hasn't a clue what we do here by his posting. Just leave it be, it's distracting from what needs to be done.

Call me when that Litton Springs install is done. I need to send Ryan out there and get the optical guides set up in tune with the breathe tubes and the chair gyro. I'm on cell.


Unknown said...


Drop me a line if you want: