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Archive for the ‘TOS’ Category

Public Software Rides Again? – Maybe

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A couple of years ago, Todd and I started a little side project called the Public Software Foundation. But like lots of good intentions, it didn’t quite make it off the ground.

It’s not that we didn’t give it our all, we just couldn’t sustain an altruistic side project as the economy was beginning to tank. After all, there are little men with big appetites around here.

A few days ago I was being my normal busy body self and butted into an IRC conversation on #TeachingOpenSource and ended up blabbering about PSF even though the site had been down for who knows how long.

Well it’s back up now due to that initial conversation and I’m wondering what you think about a project like the Public Software Foundation?

I’d appreciate it if you’d take a look around and give me your feedback.

~Karlie

Written by Karlie

February 4th, 2010 at 10:51 am

It’s official – Stallman @RIT Feb 23

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The good news – It’s official – RMS will be at RIT on Tuesday, February 23 from 10:30-12:30 am.

“Richard Stallman will speak about the goals and philosophy of the Free Software Movement, and the status and history of the GNU operating system, which in combination with the kernel Linux (sic) is now used by tens of millions of users world-wide.”

Click on the image to the right to see a larger version. You can also download a PDF version of the flier.

The bad news – his talk will be in the Innovations Center and it’s going to fill to capacity before 200 people get in the door.

I asked and was told that they will be setting up video in other rooms, but I’m going to suggest you contact RIT and ask them to find a bigger space and/or stream the talk live.

I would also suggest that you not let the space limitations and time of day stop you from making plans to attend or prevent you tweeting, forwarding, etc to anyone you think might want to attend.

~Karlie

Written by Karlie

January 29th, 2010 at 8:23 am

Project updates at RIT

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I made it to class last night and lucky for me, I was able to catch some project updates.

They all seem to be coming along and are starting to get in the groove. Though I still had to remind them that while everyone loves how well RIT does a wiki page, they still need to put themselves out there a bit more. Although I didn’t see it until this morning, there was a mailing list post and a reply before we left class. (More please!)

We also showed his video.

I first saw it when Greg DeKoenigsberg posted it on Facebook, and was instantly taken with it and suggested it be shown in class. It’s such a great way to show the development process. It’s humble beginnings, contributors fading away and explosive growth when they switched from CVS to GIT repos.

It’s sort of a crash course in FOSS community and project development. It showed in a little less than 4 minutes what I’ve been struggling to articulate in the past 3 quarters I’ve helped with the course.

Written by Karlie

January 22nd, 2010 at 11:58 am

Project proposals at RIT

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The third quarter of RIT’s Open Source Development class made their project pitches last night. As each one was made, there I was poo-pooing all the ideas.

It’s not that the ideas weren’t good, on the contrary, some were shockingly well thought out and could be the start of some very great projects. It’s just that my critiques, while trying to be helpful seemed to be continually negative in nature.

Regardless of how I came across, I was trying to give direction and allow the students to think a little further into development process while there’s still time to work out who’s working with whom and on what.

So besides pointing out that snowball fights might not go over well with children living in tropical climates and war, fighting, and demons can be very inappropriate in some cultures, we also had some good conversations about where to focus their energy right now.

The first focus is Research. What’s already out there? Is there anything similar being done?

The second, which ties into the research is my new favorite phrase “Begin with the finishing touches.” Is there anything “close enough” to what you want to do? If two or more components were coded together, would that get you to your goal faster?

The vibe I got last night was that the kids might still be transitioning their thinking about what’s appropriate to copy and build upon. After all, one of the things that makes this class unique is the whole plagiarism aspect. While we can’t disregard licenses and copyright completely, there’s a whole slew of great code out there just waiting for someone to modify.

It will be interesting to see what the kids end up working on. I’ll keep you updated on the progress.

~Karlie

Written by Karlie

December 16th, 2009 at 2:39 pm

FUDCon Toronto Follow-up. Day 1

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Like a lot of this year’s FUDCon participants, I haven’t been writing much. Heck, I didn’t get more than a couple of dents and tweets out, but that’s ok because we were face to face for a change.

We got started Saturday morning at Seneca@York with an unconfrence/barcamp style pitches.

Right after lunch, Remy DeCausemaker and I did a joint presentation covering the class we’re involved with at RIT.

I kicked things off with the presentation (download) I did for the Ontario GNU Linux Fest a few weeks ago. I didn’t quite fill the 50 minutes at OGLF, and I managed to whip through all of them in about 20 minutes on Saturday.

Then Remy brought us up to speed on how he got involved with the class and how his new position as a fellow at RIT fits with his ongoing work with organizations such as the Sunlight Foundation.

We then tag-teamed questions from the group. Everything from gaining a foothold in universities, to the kids getting excused from class on Tuesday if they attend Remy’s upcoming Hack-a-thon.

The rest of the day was full of Fedora goodness and most of the presentations, Including Paul Frields‘ keynote should find their way to the Fedora wiki.

After the keynote, we all made our way to Dave and Buster’s. I had never heard of the place, but I liked it. If you haven’t been, it reminded me of a grown-ups Chuck E Cheese.

On my way back to my hotel, I was passed by a police car… Then an emergency truck, then a fire truck… “Must be an accident somewhere” I mused to myself.

However, all 3 turn on Wilson Ave… in the direction of my hotel.

Why yes, there was a fire truck parked in the driveway when I arrived moments later.

It was only a dryer fire and I was able to get into my room about 30 minutes later.

I’ll cover Sunday’s hack fests in my next post so look for day 2 soon.

~Karlie

Written by Karlie

December 7th, 2009 at 8:29 am

NYSCATE 2009 – Bringing Open Source to Education

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NYSCATE 2009 was, in my opinion, a big success. At least as far as short notice, first-time-out, events go.

We had lots of SWAG, thanks to everyone’s help. Even some more last minute Fedora SWAG by way of Charles Proffitt. And I would be remiss if I didn’t thank Mike Lee. Not sure why I didn’t mention him in the last post, but he did send some print collateral ideas. It was his email that gave me the graphical layout for the Sugar Spin discs we printed and burned for the booth.

So Mike, and Chas – Thank you again.

Now as far as the action in the booth, Monday was a much busier day than Tuesday. We gave out lots of Sugar Spins and lots of openSUSE Edu Li-F-E discs.

Of course the topic of Sugar on a Stick, getting involved, Freedom and free downloads were covered over and over again. All good stuff and I don’t think explaining it ever gets old for me. In fact, when I left at 2:30 on Tuesday, my voice was hoarse.

The OLPC XO-1 laptops were such a big hit and I knew they would be. After all, when you have educators, and an education tool, what would you expect?

One thing I didn’t expect was that about 10% of the booth visitors thought it was a toy and/or hadn’t heard of OLPC. So it’s a good thing they stopped by so we could introduce the possibility of truly open and interactive learning.

On the other hand, those who were familiar (having at least heard of OLPC), only a few had ever seen one in person.

The very few folks I spoke with who knew lots about OLPC commented that they still weren’t sure how to introduce the learning environment into their schools or lessons.

Almost no one knew about Sugar on a Stick as an inexpensive alternative to an XO deployment. (and yes, I’ll give them that one, as SoaS is still a fairly new concept)

In contrast, almost everyone I spoke to at Ontario GNU Linux Fest knew of OLPC and seen an XO in person.

I don’t know about you, but I’m seeing a big red flag here.

We should all be wondering why this knowledge gap between FOSS and Edu has formed. Is it because bunch of geeks, hell-bent of freedom and open communications are avoiding local conversations about topics that would have a positive effect on the children in their community?

I might be wrong, but that may be more than a rhetorical question.

In my opinion, by staying in our own geek community, no matter how international that may be, and rarely taking FOSS into the local community it seems we’re being counter productive. I’m not sure if it’s fear of being too geeky for the average citizen, or what. Regardless of the reasons, I’m now seeing that it’s an area that should be addressed.

Now to get off my soap box and walk the walk, here are two examples of how I’m trying to bridge gaps locally.

First I offered to help a rural school district in Wayne County NY hold an install fest. I’ve even gone so far as to say I’d help find computers to install Linux and FOSS applications on. Why? Because the 2 teachers I met with casually mentioned that they have children without access to basic word processing at home. (Lucky for me, Chas Proffitt is also the meeting coordinator for the LUG of Rochester and we had a chance to talk about volunteers from the LUG to help should this get rolling)

How big of an impact could we have by installing Linux on a few “EOL” computers? I don’t know yet, but the digital divide doesn’t need to exist when Puppy Linux and other light/fast Linux distros can bring 10 year old computers back to life.

Second, and high on my list, is the opportunity to reproduce the RIT class at a local Catholic High School. The school’s Director of Technology told me he bought an XO through Give one Get one, but hasn’t seen too much excitement in the school yet. He also told me there’s a desire to do more computer science type classes. Can you see how I was starting to get excited as we spoke? I love it when two problems can be addressed with a single solution.

And yes, of course I’ll post an update if there is more to report as a result of my time at NYSCATE.

That’s all for now,
~Karlie

Written by Karlie

November 24th, 2009 at 1:11 pm

Stuff We All Get

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SWAG, as it’s also known, is the story for me this week and it’s been one of those good news, bad news kind of situations.

The good news — Tuesday morning I received an email from Steve Jacobs saying he’s been granted a booth at NYSCATE 2009 and asking for SWAG and Volunteers.

It’s a big opportunity to show NY State Educators the monstrous amounts of work being done at RIT with OLPC, SugarLabs.org, the Fedora Project, and TeachingOpenSource.org. Especially since we won’t be “preaching to the choir.”

Now don’t get me wrong, I love FOSS conferences, and I know there are lots of like minded people who want the scoop on what we’ve been up to. It’s just that there’s something special about giving free software to someone who isn’t all that familiar with what we do.

The bad news — I had 5 days to scrounge up enough SWAG for our booth. If you consider shipping times, then yes, the phrase “oh crap!” would be appropriate.

So at this point I need to thank the flowing people for going above and beyond and getting boxes of goodies in the mail, simply because I asked.

I also need to give special thanks to my dear sweet husband, Todd, for spending his Saturday making openSUSE Edu Li-f-e and Sugar spins for us.

I do have to correct the fabulous Mel Chua when she said — “Short version: Karlie is Magical.”

No, Mel, the community is Magical. Without their quick action, we’d have a very poor presence at NYSCATE.

Written by Karlie

November 22nd, 2009 at 8:39 am