Monday, September 22

post SFD wrap

What a great day Software Freedom Day turned out to be in Wellington this year. Thanks to Nat Torkington for coming down to host and again to all organisers and sponsors for their contributions. But an even bigger thanks to everyone who came. It was amazing to see over 215 registrations with most of those turning into attendance on the day.

Brenda will be writing up the event for our global competition entry so send your thoughts about the day through to her so she can include your feedback. We would love to run an event again next year for Software Freedom Day '09, and most of the organisers met this week to ensure that happens.

The barcamp is a phenomenon for the uninitiated and can take some getting used to. I experienced my first barcamp at kiwifoo in 2007. There I met colleagues from the ICT industry, participated in discussions with thought leaders and listened to new concepts and ideas I'd never heard before. I was buzzing afterwards, and that's the kind of reaction I was hopeful at least some of those who attended on the weekend were going to have.

The barcamp is an unorganised conference or 'unconference' where anyone attending can decide on a subject for a session at the start of the day. It is up to those attending each session to contribute to the discussion and raise their own related thoughts and views. It generally works really well and encourages everyone to participate. The photos of all the sessions topics are up on flickr, as are all the photos taken throughout the day.

The hackfest was a hive of discussion, testing and installs, and an addictive place to be. Jethro and Brenda created a casual meeting place with sofas at one end and tables at the other for those bringing serious hardware for the installfest. It was nice that if you felt like it you could break from the structure of the barcamp sessions and chill at the hackfest and drink copious amounts of coffee courtesy of havana and Fletch. One of the highlights of Software Freedom Day was seeing the kids arriving with parents and testing out the latest shipment of laptops from One Laptop Per Child. Next year we hope to have even more activities for the kids (watch out for the bouncy castle).

The giveaways were a huge hit, from the Sun and Fedora CDs, Sun t's and other google goodies, to the webstock prize drawn at afternoon tea time by Tash Hall from the webstock team. Congratulations to Richard Clark for winning the Golden ticket to webstock next year, and to our other two winners of the InternetNZ books 'Connecting the Clouds'.

Thanks again to everyone who helped organise the day, and made SFD Wellington an awesome event!

Thursday, September 18

Software Freedom Day 08

Really excited about Software Freedom Day this Saturday. When I enthusiastically put my hand up to organise it at our Unlimited Potential meeting, its a good thing I had no idea of the volume of work involved, but it has just become this wonderful thing! CWA New Media offered to help design and build a website to take registrations, Don and Chris at Catalyst IT came on board and then Brenda, Jethro and Martin Langhoff from One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) put their hands up to organise the hackfest. Nat is coming down to host from Auckland, and ICT networks from all around Wellington are pulling in together to help organise and sponsor. Suddenly I find myself having to do new things like apply for custom codes to receive goodies from Google and Sun Microsystems from overseas. I am biased but Wellington is really where its at right now for good ICT vibe!

The event is going to feature an ‘open source barcamp’ allowing participants to discuss their thoughts, ideas and experiences with open source software and a ‘hackfest’/'installfest' which will offer participants the opportunity to participate and the SuperHappyDevHouse hack-a-thon, demonstrate open source software to a captive audience, and have open source software (such as Linux) installed on their computer with help from the WellyLUG team. There will be free wifi, expresso courtesy of havana, an afternoon tea and after a short wrap up session at 6pm, pizza and beer!

All those registered for Software Freedom Day ‘08, and in attendance on the day will also have the chance to win an $895 ‘golden ticket’ to Webstock ’09 and associated swag (thanks to the generosity of the Webstock team). InternetNZ have also donated two books which will also be part of the prize draw.

I had some tinny luck myself at mini-webstock last week, with my name being pulled from the hat for a Golden Ticket to webstock. I was utterly stunned and didn't quite know what to do when my name was called. I'm stoked to be able to attend in Feb next year, its a big event and there are some awesome speakers lined-up.

On Saturday, thanks to many of our sponsors there will be a giveaway table with some free goodies for everyone.

Software Freedom Day ‘08 proudly organised and sponsored by Unlimited Potential, CWA New Media, New Zealand Open Source Society (NZOSS), SuperHappyDevHouse, WellyLUG, Ideegeo, Morphoss, Cafenet, Catalyst IT, Sun Microsystems, 920, Grow Wellington, Gen-i, Silverstripe, Xero, Google, Webstock and InternetNZ.

So come along. It's not to late to register here