Happy Halloween?

I keep seeing this message over and over as Boston moves into the week before samhain, you know that Irish/Celtic time of the year when the vale between the living and the dead is at it’s thinnest. When you’re likely to hear the wail of lenanshee or be visited by long lost relatives.

this is the time to be scared our of your pants, mourn the passing of friends or respect the life of the spirits. There is very little jollity in this Christmas sense to be had. And jet these plastic jerks keep trying to make Halloween into some Clinton card picturesque event that you’ll remember with nostalgia when you’re all grown up.

If you want to have a chilly spine this samhain then pop on over to Celtic Darkness and read some of this years stories: http://celticdarkness.com/stories.html

And comment here about what you think about plastic eventing.

Ubuntu and the FSF Ideal

Efrain of Ubuntu-ve posted A question to the loco contacts mailing list about their relationship with the FSF people in Venezuela.

Ubuntu-MA is home of the Free Software Foundation’s HQ and we get on fairly well with the FSF on a personal level. Though they have levelled criticism at us about Ubuntu containing non-free, I have in tern criticised the FSF in Boston of taking no positive action in the local community, they are far too concerned with gradios world politics to get down and dirty with installing and supporting Free Desktop machines and perhaps learn some of the reasons for being a little bit practical.

It’s an interesting relationship, but I think we all understand where each of us is coming from. The FSF seeks to be a defining entity that stands for a very precise ideal and raising awareness of that ideal through appealing to people’s politics. Ubuntu seeks to increase awareness and use of Free Software by providing products that work. So long as we in Ubuntu never forget to mention the ideals, philosophies and principles of the Free and Open Source ethos that gives us the great fortune of being able to make computers work better, then I think we have no real conflict.

Consider this flyer. An entire 1/6th of the flyer is dedicated to explaining FOSS in a friendly way and it’s certainly not trying to make light of the importance of freedom. This weekend I think people appreciated a helping hand explaining what it all means in clearer language as well as lots of practical tips.

But would the FSF appreciate that balance? Depends on the person from the FSF I think.

Your Thoughts?

LoCo: Keep Things Open

Recently I learned that an event we’d tentatively been expecting to attend as a group, didn’t happen. But all was quiet and as leader I’d assumed that the organisers has decided that the event couldn’t be run properly so had dropped the idea. but the problem was that we didn’t know.

The problem it turned out was a series of private emails between the two principle organisers who had managed to cross wires and misunderstand each other. Add in complexities of personal histories and the fact that they’ve never met in person and we ended up will a killed event.

So my thoughts were, should the organisation communication have been held in public, on the mailing list? Should that be a standard part of the procedure?

At least if it’s going on in the light of the list’s mailing list we can identify potential conflicts and attempt to defuse problems. If things do explode, then we’d be on hand to help pick up the pieces and salave what we could.


Anime Boston: First Goal Reached

I want to thank everyone who’s donated to our Anime Boston event. This first milestone means that the Massachusetts LoCo team are guaranteed now to attend the event in force, have our own table and be able to promote Ubuntu and Free and Open Source Software to everyone that comes. Thank you everyone!

The next goal is to keep on raising money to be able to buy print outs of all the information we want to communicate with attendees. So if you’ve not yet, please do consider sending $10 to our marketing campaign, after all it’s not often that we get to do marketing events of this size in the usa and we’d love to have print outs of the Ubunchu Manga to give out.

If you’ve also got good ideas for the kinds of material we should be giving out, let us know. Comments and emails are very welcome. We want to make this awesome event really go down with the very best marketing materials we have.

Donate Here

Ubuntu MA at 4Pi-Con

Once again this year the Ubuntu Massachusetts Local Community team was invited to take part in Pi-Con (not Py-Con), it’s a local science/fiction/geek/nerd conference with a ton of different stuff going on. At well as the boat loads of authors, book sellers, comic artists and geeks. There was also shadow cast opera, LRPGs, board and card games, a console games room as well as the meat of the con which was all the very informative and well executed panels.

Our team comes to inform and give out cds to people who are geeks and nerds, but might not be aware or confident in using/install Ubuntu. Since last year was so successful we decided to do it again. My thanks goes out to Jonathan Prigot who organised and held the fort at our table all of the time.

People came to our table, but the dealers room was fairly out of the way this time. So I went out a few times to give out CDs and go around with my t-shirt on (ubuntu t-shirts for the win at geek cons). Lots of people I talked to were already using it or had already tried it, those left over were genuinely interested and took CDs and stickers.

The weekend was 3 days long and I do admit to being less than planned, I ended up bringing my printer in order to get some posters, biz cards and some other stuff (printer always useful) and that worked out ok but I would have rather had our banner (where ever it’s gone) and some larger posters and such. The laptops worked out great, we didn’t have any desktops with us, but the one netbook and two laptops were very useful in showing and demoing features.