open source linux freebsd openbsd netbsd, posted: 4-Sep-2006 13:29
The Waikato Linux Users Group (WLUG), an incorporated society
supporting GNU/Linux and Open Source Software in the Waikato region,
is celebrating the international Software Freedom Day with a public
demonstration of open source software, to be held outside Whitcoulls
in Centreplace, Hamilton, from 9am to 5:30pm on Saturday 16th
Software Freedom Day (http://softwarefreedomday.org/) is an initiative
to make the world aware of the existence, availability, and high
quality of Free and Open Source Software (FOSS), and to encourage its
use by as many people as possible. It is a global grassroots marketing
campaign in which volunteers from around the world are invited to
Software Freedom is not just about software being available free of
charge (though this is usually the case), but that software remains
free to be altered (open source).
Open source software is created through the collaborative efforts of
programmers from around the world, and usually made available at no
cost. It is developed for many reasons; software authors want to
scratch an itch, companies want to develop software, give it away, and
charge for support, and philanthropists, who want the world to have
software free of corporate agendas.
The open source movement has produced a free operating system for
personal computers called GNU/Linux. GNU/Linux is a free operating
system for computers. It has been developed by thousands of
programmers around the world, some working alone, some sponsored by
large computer companies such as IBM and HP. World leading websites
such as Google and Amazon also run on GNU/Linux and other Open Source
Software. Many see that it has huge potential for the "average user"
do to its excellent security record - viruses and spyware are almost
nonexistent problems on GNU/Linux.
Other open operating systems have been produced as well, particularly
based on BSD. These are used in many different ways such as servers,
PCs (including Apple). WLUG supports alll open source software
including the use of BSDs and this is part of it's charter
Because there is no one single company behind open source as a
movement, support often comes from a community. The WLUG
(http://wlug.org.nz), as the representatives of the Open Source
community in the region, wish to provide support to show people the
benefits of free software and to help them as they start using it.
Famous examples of open source software include Firefox, the popular
web browser, and OpenOffice.org, a full office suite available for all
popular computing platforms. Adventurous computer users who want to
take the plunge with GNU/Linux will find their system comes with
dozens of useful programs, including a full office suite, graphics
editors and Internet utilities, free of charge, and hundreds more can
be easily downloaded.
Computers can be configured with both GNU/Linux and their existing
software co-existing, with a menu offering a selection between the two
when a user turns on their computer. This way people can carefully try
new software without losing their existing software.
Free software offers everyone all the tools they need to improve their
computer literacy, without any upfront cost. Computers have become an
integral part of society and now drive most businesses. Computer
skills have therefore become essential to advancing a person's career.
This has benefits for the socio-economically disadvantaged, as
inexpensive second-hand computer hardware is readily available, and
free software gives people access to most applications they are likely
to need - completely for free.
"Our last public event was a great success and an educational
experience for the WLUG, as well as the participants, and resulted in
many people being able to use their PCs in a better way" says WLUG
committee member Ian McDonald. "We look forward to applying lessons
learned last year, and making this one as good as it can be."
For people who are interested in Free Software, but not yet ready to
take the leap into running GNU/Linux, the WLUG will also have
demonstrations of free software for Microsoft Windows, such as the
tremendously popular Firefox web browser and OpenOffice office
We are inviting media coverage of this event. For further information,
contact the media liason, Ian McDonald, by email on
firstname.lastname@example.org or on 021 175 1126.
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