Paw Prints: Writings of the maddog

Universities that do not use Free Software: Time for a boycott?

Aug 29, 2008 GMT

I received an email recently from a young man in Brazil who wanted me to come to his university and talk to the students and faculty about using Free Software. I am normally happy to advise universities to use Free Software, but usually this is done in conjunction with some large conference held at the university or some other venue. I just do not have the time to visit each and every school. But I did investigate the university of the student and found that Microsoft was indeed a sponsor of the University. In fact, the university had a large banner on the front page of their web site talking about Microsoft as a partner. It was the first time I saw a university advertising a commercial...
Jornadas Regionales de Software Libre: Open Source conference in Buenos Aires, Argentina (20/8/2008 - 22/8/2008)

Aug 20, 2008 GMT

I am currently sitting in the main auditorium of the Jornadas Regionales de Software Libre (which I continuously abbreviate to "JRSL" in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Produced by a group of volunteers from various LUGs around Argentina, I was invited to participate by my very good friend, Daniel Coletti of CaFeLug. This conference will be going on during the days of August 20th to 22nd, 2008. While DebConf and Debian Day were focused on the Debian distribution as well as Free Software, JRSL as a three-day event is about the breath and width of Free Software. CentOS, for example, is next on the list of talks that will be given. The event is being held at a University, to keep down...
DebConf is ending, Debian Day is beginning

Aug 16, 2008 GMT

This is the last day of DebConf, but the great things the Debian community is doing in Argentina is far from over. Buenos Aires hosts Debian Day on Monday, August 18th, as a showcase for decision makers who want to learn more about Free Software in general and the Debian distribution in particular. It is an open house event, with presentationas of general interest. The URL for the entire group of DebConf 8 is, and the specific page for Debian Day give all the details.
DebConf 8 - Winter in Mar del Plata, Argentina

Aug 10, 2008 GMT

I am attending DebConf in Mar Del Plata, Argentina this week. Actually I have been here a couple of days attending a previous event called "DebCamp", where some of the Debian Developers get together to do "concentrated" work. Now DebCamp has come to an end, and more Debian Developers are showing up for the main event of DebConf, where presentations will be made on current projects and future paths.This is the fifteenth year of Debian, and the 9th DebConf (they started, in effect, with "DebConf", which you could consider to be "DebConf 0"). For an event and a distribution that is run by volunteers, Debian has certainly carved a place for itself,...
Opportunities with Free Software

Aug 10, 2008 GMT

I work with free software for many reasons, but sometimes I get wrapped up in the things that I do, and lose sight of the most important reasons why I work in this field....until I get a letter like the one below. A few weeks ago I was in Columbia's first "Campus Party", a combination LAN party, conference, technology showcase and idea exchange, and while there I was shown a series of projects that were being developed by some students from the SENA group of colleges and Universities in Columbia. I commented on some of those projects, and used one of their systems in running a small "contest" during my talk. I think it significant that the SENA students wanted the...
Big Buck Bunny

Jul 20, 2008 GMT

A lot of you have heard of or seen "Big Buck Bunny," the latest animated production from the same people that brought you "Elephant's Dream", the Blender Foundation. And most of you know that "BBB" (as it is fondly known) was created with the Free Software named Blender. Some of you even know that not only is the entire movie under Creative Commons license, but that all of the intermediate parts are also under Creative Commons and available for download over the Internet. The Blender Foundation encourages you to change the movie, come up with different endings, different characters, or follow-ons to the movie. What you probably do not know is how much this...
Happy Birthday, Openmoko NEO FreeRunner!

Jul 04, 2008 GMT

The Openmoko project, which was designed to have a completely open phone (both software and hardware), has been going on for some time. They released a preliminary version of the hardware phone in limited quantities about a year ago (called the "Neo 1973"), and it seemed like the final hardware product was taking "forever". Many people did not know, however, how difficult it was for the designers of this phone. In their desire to have a completely open and documented phone, they had to visit (and sometimes revisit) various hardware manufacturers who made the various chip sets in order to get the documentation and "openness" they wanted. While at Campus...
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