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March 6th, 2015

Free Bassel Day, Bodhi Linux Chromebook Giveaway & More…

FOSS Week in Review

As the week finally becomes Friday, here are a few things that deserve mentioning in the FOSS realm:

Bodhi Chromebook Giveaway: What’s better than having a Chromebook? Having a Chromebook with Bodhi installed on it, of course. We’ll let Jeff Hoogland explain:

“Whenever I am done working with development hardware I picked up for Bodhi Linux, instead of letting it rot in the corner of my basement I would prefer to give it back to our users,” Hoogland writes in a post on the Bodhi website describing the giveaway. “Last year we gave away an ARM powered Samsung Chromebook and this year I find myself with a spare Acer C720 Chromebook after recently upgrading to the i3 based version.”

Bodhi Linux logoSo on May 15, some lucky Bodhi contributor — key word here is “Bodhi contributor” — will receive “a gently used Acer C720 Chromebook powered by Bodhi Linux.”

Says Jeff: “If you have already donated or contributed to the Bodhi project in 2015 no extra effort is needed on your part. If you have been thinking about getting involved or sending a donation our way now is a fantastic time to do as you might end up getting something back!”

Details on the giveaway are on the Bodhi site.

But wait, there’s more: FOSS Force’s Christine Hall will have an article on Monday looking at current activity around the 3.0.0 release in which she talks to Jeff about it.

I Want You…: Like the old Armed Forces recruiting posters with Uncle Sam pointing a bony finger at you, it looks like Linux techs are a sought-after species. Demand for skilled Linux professionals continues to outpace the supply of qualified candidates, according to the Linux Foundation. This week, the foundation released its 2015 Linux Jobs report, which they’re providing as a free download.

EWeek went into more detail about the report, quoting the Linux Foundation’s Amanda McPherson, who said, “Linux is being used in so many places in so many ways that its pervasiveness in computing is growing faster than the pool of Linux talent.”

So get that resume polished and out there….

Free Bassel Day 2015: Sunday, March 15, marks the third anniversary of the arrest in Damascus, Syria, of Bassel Khartabil (Bassel Safadi), a computer engineer who was Creative Commons lead in Syria and who started a hackerspace, Aiki Lab, in Damascus in 2010. This is only a small part of Bassel’s resume, which includes numerous other open source and free culture projects.

Bassel Khartabil

Bassel (Safadi) Khartabil
Photo: Joi Ito, CC-BY-2.0

In support of Bassel, the plight of Syrians, and in efforts to raise awareness of both, #FreeBassel day events are being held around the world to mark this date.

Closer to home — at least closer to my home — the Electronic Frontier Foundation will be hosting a community-building event at their San Francisco offices, organized around a Wikipedia edit-a-thon in Bassel’s honor. They’ll be working to improve and add articles and media content related to Bassel and articles of interest to him, while discussing his case and brainstorming about new projects and ideas to help bring awareness about his plight.

One more thing: I said I wasn’t going to mention SCALE 13x again, but I have to go back on my word for musical reasons. At the Fedora Project booth at SCALE 12x and SCALE 13x, Fedora guy and Biblical scholar Scott Williams had musical instruments in the Fedora booth for those who wanted to play. In conversation this week, it was suggested that following Scott’s and the Fedora Project’s lead, perhaps there should be a FOSS band — maybe Scott on guitar, Red Hat’s Paul Frields on bass…heck, I’ll even break out the old trumpet and join fellow horn player Lance Albertson, of the OSU Open Source Lab, in the brass section. We can even let Jono Bacon — no longer at Ubuntu, but still a FOSS guy — play guitar or drums or whatever he plays in his San Francisco Bay Area band.

Can you think of anyone else who should be part of Sgt. Torvalds’ Lonely Hearts Club Band?

See you next week.

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

1 comment to Free Bassel Day, Bodhi Linux Chromebook Giveaway & More…

  • Uncle Ed

    Running short on talented people to support Linux. This one hit me this morning. For the past several months (how long?) a lot of Linux news has been just about non-newsworthy.

    Yeah, yeah, somebody did a big installation for a big corporation. Some city started switching over to Linux. Big deal. The next version of some distro came out with some interesting features and a bunch of people like it. Ho-hum. Yeah, Ken gave computers to a bunch of kids or fixed up some computers in a retirement home and some lady in her 80s is taking care of them. Somebody will throw something at me if I mention my wife or the 74 year-old guy handy-man in my small town one more time. We’re getting a population of Linux geeks who look like civilians! Just people!

    But running short on technical support to take care of these installations? The running line has always been that support won’t be as big a problem because there is so much less of it required for a Linux installation than for Windows. But yeah, there has to be somebody somewhere in case a hard drive goes bad or something.

    I’m confident Linus never thought this would be a problem.

    —————

    Sgt. Torvalds’ Lonely Hearts Club Band. I like it. But remember these people have day jobs taking care of us (see: shortage of talented Linux tech) and they’re not allowed to quit them or go on tour just too often.

    Next challenge: get enough Linux bands going that they get to be boring. Let me know, Larry. I’ll bring my 12-string guitar.