Yesterday I blogged about Ubuntu Release Party Day. It seemed appropriate to publish in my other blog since I covered net neutrality, “throttling” and The Pirate Bay.
Ubuntu is the Open Source operating system software I use to run my writing computer. When I was starting out I loved writing in WordPerfect, and I’d be using it still except my version stopped being supported. It wasn’t long before I couldn’t get printer drivers. Which is why WordPerfect lost my business to Open Office. (Microsoft Windows being the most widely known non-open source operating system. ) New releases of Ubuntu are distributed twice a year, in April and October. Each release is named for an interesting animal, in alphabetical order like hurricanes. The last distribution was Jaunty Jackalope, and the new distribution is called the Karmic Koala.
[Aside: Just did a quick google to find the Windows link and I accidentally clicked the wrong thing, landing on an old Windows updates page that illustrates exactly why I prefer Open Source… My thinking is that since >I< bought my computer, >I< get to decide what software goes on it. This accidental click sent me to an old Windows update page: Thank you for your interest in obtaining updates from our site The page informs the unfortunate Windows user what browser I must use (Internet Explorer 5 or higher) in order to be able to access Microsoft updates.
Or if I really have to use some other company’s browser (you can just hear the condescension) Windows will grudgingly allow me to download updates so that this other browser will work on the Windows website updating the program that >I< purchased from them.
But clearly what they really want me to do is authorize automatic updates. Boy, that was a long time ago. Nowadays you have no choice if you’ve been forced by circumstance to have Windows VISTA on your box. Vista removed all choice about automatic updates, you just get them whether you want them or not. And of course nowadays the only way to keep VISTA from “phoning home” would involve never going online.]
Ubuntu Release Parties
The very first Ubuntu release party I ever attended was at Toronto’s excellent Linux Caffe.
Unfortunately there was a fairly substantial technical difficulty: the people who were putting on the party couldn’t actually attend due to a Toronto Transit strike, so I never did get “Hardy Heron” installed that day. However, it was my introduction to the Linux Caffe. What a great place to go in and plug in while sipping cappuccino or scarfing back gelato.
This year I made it to the Kwartzlab Ubuntu release party in Kitchener, Ontario. Although a “hacklab” that’s just getting started, they have already begun establishing themselves in the community. Recently Kwartzlab members shared their expertise with a local high school who were building an electric car.
One of the Kwartzlab members created laser etched limited edition picture disks to commemorate the Kwartzlab Karmic Koala release party.
Everyone was friendly as always, because the great thing about GNU Linux Open Source software is that it is really about community. That’s why it works. People with greater expertise assist people with less to get the software up and running.
I used my cel phone to take these photos at the beginning of the evening before it got really busy. When it really got going there were at least thirty people there, many of whom I recognized from Ontario GNU Linuxfest. Because my antique laptop’s battery is long gone I stuck close to my wall plug during the busiest time.
There were a few demonstrations to the whole room, but for the most part it was one-on-one as Ubuntu users helped Ubuntu users while munching pizza, deviled eggs and later the Ubuntu Cake. We’re talking about a class act here: the actually had brand name soft drinks on tap and they recycle. We’ll have to make do with a few photos of the Ubuntu Circle of Friends logo being consumed since in my unfamiliarity with my cel phone camera I seem to have neglected to save the photos I took of the entire Ubuntu cake. All is not lost, as there were several others snapping photos so I’m sure you’ll find a shot of the cake on the Kwartzlab site.!
A good time was had by all. Great job Kwartzlab!