It's All Go For Open Source Events
Open Source events tend to be rather spread out across the year. linux.conf.au starts things off in January, followed by Linux Journal staff favorite Penguicon in May, two of the major yearly conferences in July, the Linux Symposium and O'Reilly's OSCON, the new but integral Linux Plumber's Conference in September, and wrapping it all up, the Linux Congress in October. Added to that, just days from now, is the inaugural LinuxCon and the Geek High Holy Day, Software Freedom Day.
If you've been following along for the past few months, then it will come as little surprise that the date for LinuxCon is closing fast. Beginning this coming Monday, geeks from all corners of geekdom will descend on Portland to learn about Linux straight from the mouths of the masters, including a beardless Bdale Garbee, Ubuntu's Mark Shuttleworth, and the man himself, Linus Torvalds. They schedule also includes the obligatory sessions and seminars, networking opportunities, discounted certification exams, a Penguin-based bowling tournament fundraiser, and the (melo)dramatic unmasking of the Fake Linuses Torvalds.
For those looking to get in on the fun, there is much that can still be done. Though the Early Bird rate has flown the coop, standard registration is still available for $499, with a 30% discount for Linux Foundation members. (Thats a $50 savings — $150 off the conference price minus the $100 membership fee.) Those pursuing higher education can avail themselves of the $199 student rate, as well. Likewise, those interested in the training courses on the schedule — September 19 - 20 — can still register and receive a 20% discount off the $1099 registration fee.
Before the festivities begin in Portland, however, is the all-important Software Freedom Day, arriving this Sunday, September 20th. Advocates around the world will be spreading the word of the wonders of Open Source with all manner of events, from small local gatherings to nationwide gatherings. One such gathering is the New Zealand celebration, a free celebration convening at the Wellington Convention Centre in Wellington on Sunday from 9:00AM - 5:00PM. Event organizers have planned a festival for all ages, including an introduction to programming and Barcamp for those of primary-school age, sessions for older students on careers in the tech industry and the job-enhancing aspects of Open Source expertise.
The always-popular Install Fest, a staple of SFD celebrations, will be underway, with users having the opportunity to have Open Source software installed on their systems, with expert assistance and advice as well as popular Open Source applications available to take home. Those with a love of code can participate in the SuperHappyDevHouse/One Laptop Per Child/DigitalNZ-sponsored Hackfest, which will also include demonstrations of OLPC systems by the OLPC team. And, of course, what would a gigantic gathering be without vendors — locals using Open Source in their work will be showing off their crafts, gadgetry, and other goods in the Makerspace.
Full details on the event, including the official schedule, are available from the New Zealand Software Freedom Day website. Interested parties can register on the SFD site — though the event is free, organizers need some idea of how much food and space will be needed.
Memories of the event may spark a bit of déjà vu in local residents come January, as Wellington will be home to the 2010 linux.conf.au.
Justin Ryan is a Contributing Editor for Linux Journal.