Computer geeks will descend on LVL1, Louisville's new Hackerspace, on Saturday September 18, for a public demonstration of the power of open source software and the importance of open communications systems in a world that is becoming dependent on electronic communications to function.
Software Freedom Day (SFD) is a worldwide celebration of Free and Open Source Software (FOSS), coordinated by the non-profit organization Software Freedom International. Worldwide, almost 400 events are planned for the day. The Louisville celebration is being presented by LVL1 and the Kentucky Open Source Society (KYOSS).
Louisville's event will take place from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., September 18, at the LVL1 Hackerspace, in the rear of 814 East Broadway. Parking is available in a lot on Shelby Street behind the Hackerspace building.
Free and open source software (FOSS) refers to software whose underlying source code has been published in such a way that it can be used by anyone without cost and can be enhanced or altered by anyone without restriction. Some FOSS is software that has been placed in the public domain by its authors, while much is licensed by its original authors in a way that guarantees its continued openness to all.
Many FOSS programs and systems are maintained and enhanced by organized corps of volunteers, working in a free but coordinated manner. Some examples of FOSS software include:
Linux, a Unix-like operating system that has been popular for some time on business server computers, but is now being adopted around the world as a desktop system that rivals Windows.
Open Office, a word processor/spreadsheet/presentation system similar in function to Microsoft Word.
Apache, the web server software that powers much of the Web.
Highlights of the Louisville event include:
Geeks Without Borders presentation. Geeks Without Borders is a new "international coalition of passionate problem solvers working together to assist people whose survival is threatened by lack of access to technology or communications due to violence, neglect, or catastrophe."
Linux Install-Fest. The public is invited to bring their computers to the event and install Linux on them. Various versions of (free) Linux software will be available, along with advice and assistance from LVL1 and KYOSS volunteers.
Demonstrations of Open Source software in action:
Open Office and other office software
Boxee home video streaming system
Open source graphics
Custom business "Web applications" based on open source software
Audio and video streaming broadcast systems
[Others are being added daily. Please call for the latest listing.]
The event will include free refreshments, compliments of LVL1.