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May 1st, 2015

Final Numbers on LinuxFest Northwest, Riding Hurd on Debian & More…

FOSS Week in Review

Normally, I’d race back home after a weekend event like LinuxFest Northwest in order to get back to what is commonly, maybe tragically (okay, it’s not really that bad), known as “life as usual.” But my darling daughter wanted to visit her friends in Seattle and Portland on the way home, which added two days to the trip. Getting to spend some time in those cities was a joy — the Seattle Public Library downtown is a gem, and I got to go to Powell’s in Portland for the first time this decade.

But upon returning to the redwoods, I’m so far behind it isn’t funny.

Hence, in continuing to catch up this week, this end-of-the-week wrap-up is going to be brief. You’re welcome.

'It's Tricky, to compile software that's right on time . . . ' The 'Run GCC' shirt and stickers from the Free Software Foundation were a hit at LinuxFest Northwest (Free Software Foundation)

‘It’s Tricky, to compile software that’s right on time . . . ‘ The ‘Run GCC’ shirt and stickers from the Free Software Foundation were a hit at LinuxFest Northwest (Free Software Foundation)

LFNW by the Numbers: Last week while attending LinuxFest Northwest, the number 2,000 was bandied about as a possible attendance threshold that the 16th annual show had yet to reach — and I take partial responsibility for publicizing that number during the course of the fest on my social media feeds. Mea culpa, folks: When the final numbers were tallied, so says LFNW organizer Jakob Perry, the total number registered for LFNW was 1,850 — short of 2,000, but still a high point in the show’s history.

If there were an award for best sticker/graphic at LFNW, it would have to go to the Free Software Foundation, which had “RUN GCC” stickers and T-shirts available at the event. They’re also available online as well, so grab ’em and take the shoelaces out of your pair of Adidas while you code.

As mentioned in earlier columns, LFNW has taken place in Microsoft’s backyard for quite some time — dating back to when Microsoft considered Linux a cancer, despite their participation this year — and it’s a show that has only good things ahead for it. The LFNW team — Bill Wright, Jakob Perry and the rest — has no reason to be anything but chest-thumping proud of their efforts in the top left corner of the U.S. Thanks again, guys and gals, for putting on such a great show.

Debian community distroMore on Debian 8 Jessie: Much has been made of Debian 8 Jessie’s release in the last few weeks, but one of the things that may have flown unseen under the radar is that there’s a Debian GNU/Hurd version of Jessie that’s also available, according to an article in Softpedia this week. Arguably, this distro is more than three decades in the making, with Hurd finally being a workable option. So congratulations are all around for Debian to add yet another version to its already complete, run-on-anything, Linux distro.

Shameless self-promotion: More will be made of this in a later column by one of us — Christine, Ken or me — but at what they used to call “press time” in print media, we have an announcement. The FOSS Force Indiegogo campaign has just gone on the clock. After five years of providing FOSS news, we’re trying to raise funds to broaden our journalistic horizons — hiring more folks to do more in-depth stories, for example — and generally give you the best of FOSS in pixels instead of in print. Go ahead and check it out.

See you Wednesday.

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Larry Cafiero

Larry Cafiero, a.k.a. Larry the Free Software Guy, is a journalist and a Free/Open Source Software advocate. He is involved in several FOSS projects and serves as the publicity chair for the Southern California Linux Expo. Follow him on Twitter: @lcafiero

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