SouthEast LinuxFest (SELF) 2009

The first annual SouthEast LinuxFest is coming up in just a few weeks, on June 13th.  This event is for anyone who wants to learn more about free and open source software, and is a combination educational conference and social gathering, all in one.  It looks to be a very exciting event.  Freenode will have at least one representative at the event and we are already aware of quite a few freenode users who will be there.

The event website is http://southeastlinuxfest.org, and you can also hop on irc.freenode.net and visit #southeastlinuxfest.

We really hope a few of you can make it in.  It really looks like it’s going to be a wonderful event. If you would like to join in, be sure to register on the site.  Hope to see you there!

Summer of Geeknics Off to a Great Start!

After much worry about the weather (and possibly being thrown out of the park by park rangers), the Philadelphia Geeknic held yesterday, Sunday, April 19th, 2009, kicked off for a great day of fun in the (partial) sun, with food, fun, and geeks!  With about thirty people in attendance and plenty of food to go around, there was much to do.  Conversation centered around software, work, and harassing the “windows guy” while children played in the field.  Eventually a handful of geeks wandered off for a game of Frisbee at which they for the most part failed miserably. Despite the slightly cloudy day, the weather stayed mostly warm and comfortable.

Through a grave error, the geeknic cake was misplaced, thus ensuring that the cake was, in fact, a lie.  Fortunatly the selection of desserts did not suffer much from the missing cake, as there were plenty of treats to be found, including adorable ubuntu cupcakes.

All in all, everyone in attendance seemed to have a wonderful time, and we look ahead anxiously to the next Geeknic, in Dublin Ireland next month, and many others to follow!  We hope you can find your way to one or more of them.

If you would like to find out more, or see if there can be a Geeknic in your neck of the woods, send an email over to geeknic (at) geeknic (dot) org and the Geeknic team will see what they can do.

pdpc and the open source community

As we’ve mentioned in previous blog posts, pdpc, the parent organization that operates freenode, is very interested in offering more to the community.  To this end we’ve begun a number of other projects such as the new free-as-in-node podcastand “geeknics“, but this is just a small part of the level of involvement we aspire to.  We want to do more for the projects and users that use freenode every day, and for the community they represent.

With this in mind, you will be seeing one aspect of this here on the blog, as we make an effort to highlight events, projects, and people in the open source community.  You will see references to these here, much like the “pimp my project” section on our podcast, as we strive to bring attention to these well deserving events, projects, and people.  We would, of  course, love to hear from you about any of this, or anything you think deserves a mention, but meanwhile we will be seeking out those that we find interesting and mentioning them here.

Expect to see more in the near future promoting interesting and fun things, along with some more community focused projects from the pdpc and freenode.  We want to offer you and everyone in the open source community even more.  Stay tuned!

Free-as-in-node episode 3 released!

The third installment of  free-as-in-node has just been released! Head on over to http://podcast.freenode.net to listen or download.

In this episode, you’ll hear all about freenodes april fools joke and our exploding growth (currently at around 57,000 online users).  Also discussed is the php testfest with input from mgdm (Michael Maclean) in this weeks pimp my project, and then a bit of soapboxing and the announcement of the new “freenode party” in UK politics, so that we too can partake of free-as-in-shoes-your-taxpayers-bought-you.  Make sure you sign our petition before Christel shuts down freenode!

In addition, we’ll let you know whats going on in the world with our take on the talks between Sun and IBM, Debian eating FreeBSD, the new Gnome 3.0 roadmap, and news on TomTom’s settlement with Microsoft.  We’ll also talk about Fedora11beta with updates on our experience on the next episode.

We also discuss the “geeknic” once again with the announcement of yet another geeknic, this one in the Philadelphia area in less than a week! If you can make it, bring us a canoe or kayak.

This week closes again with a wonderful morsel from Bryn_S.  We’ll see you in two weeks!

Geeknics

When most people think of geeks, they think of pasty white people who never leave their basement. Well, we are aiming to change that… by getting you outside and making you a little less pasty white.

To this end, we’re going to be encouraging and promoting a number of “geeknics”all around the globe.  What is a geeknic, you ask? Quite simply, it’s a picnic for geeks! At the moment, there are two scheduled: One in Philadelphia PA, USA, on April 19th 2009, and one in Dublin Ireland, on May 9th 2009.  At both events, there will be food, fun, and geeks!

We very much look forward to seeing you at either of these events, but if either of these places and times don’t work for you we would be happy to help you set up your very own local geeknic, along with possibly getting a local freenode staffer to show up. More information can be found here.  If you would like help in setting up your very own geeknic, email geeknic@geek[email protected]

PDPC Yahoo acquisition

It is with great fanfare that we announce the Yahoo acquisition of the PDPC, and by extension, freenode. After much deliberation, we have decided to accept Yahoo’s offer to purchase the freenode irc network and associated resources for the amount of  approximately £2,700,000.00 in yahoo shares.  At present it is expected that all current network staff will remain in place while certain yahoo employees will be added to the mix.

Yahoo intends to leverage our large user base and experience with operating large networks to supplement their existing yahoo chat functionality, and eventually replace it with a hybrid ircd designed for the large numbers of users they have in mind.  We are very excited at what this future may hold!

What this means for you, the users of freenode, is that you’ll have access to great new search technology right from irc! With the introduction of yahoo search into our ircd, you’ll be able to easily search the web from any channel on the network and display results right there, saving you and everyone else in the channel the time and trouble of browsing to yahoo, the worlds premier search engine, first.

Additionally, we’ll soon be implementing live phone support with the help of Yahoo call center employees based out of India.  We are very excited about this prospect and about improving response to our users through it!  Once the call center technology is fully in place, the #freenode channel will be shut down and all support requests will be handled via email and phone support.

Stay tuned for more updates, and as always, thank you for using freenode!

free-as-in-node: Episode 2 release

We’re happy to announce we’ve just released our second episode of the new freenode podcast, free-as-in-node!  In this episode, we talk about Gary’s recent offenses, geeknics and k-lining park-goers.  We also meet with Dave “Daviey” Walker from Ubuntu to discuss the Ubuntu COC and Ubuntu Locos during this episodes Pimp my project. We continue looking at the recent Microsoft and TomTom legal actions and share our views on them.

During the new freeform discussion segment of the show, we discuss facebook monitoring (and government monitoring in general) and more broadly all the counter terrorism actions being taken by government, including the bomb-resistant sandwich bag.

Head on over to http://podcast.freenode.net to listen in and to share your comments. See you there!

Update on the PDPC 2008/2009 donation campaign (SUCCESS!)

We are happy to announce that we have in fact reached our 2008/2009 fund raising goals, and as such are no longer in danger of losing charity status.  At present, we have exceeded the required amount (£5,000) by at least £200 and we here are all very excited (and relieved) to have accomplished this with your help.  We would like to offer our thanks to each and every one of you who helped out and contributed.  This truly shows just the sort of thing the community is capable of.  We’d also like to offer thanks Canonical in particular for their help in reaching our goal through their matching of £1,700 of donations by others.

We appreciate all of your help, and as always, thank you for using freenode.

free-as-in-node

We are proud to announce our very first episode of our very first season of free-as-in-node, the new freenode podcast. Now you can let IRC waste your life even when you can’t be online!  The purpose is simple: entertain, inform, and interact, just like IRC. Via the podcast we will be bringing you guests and information from all over the freenode community.

Visit http://podcast.freenode.net/  for more information.

2008/2009 fundraiser campaign update

[UPDATE]

 We are down to only £241.60 needed after matching!  Thank you for your generosity!

[END UPDATE]

So close, yet so far away…
As you are probably aware, we are coming up on the end of our 2008/2009 fundraising campaign.  First, let us thank all of you who have already donated. We appreciate every one of you!  While we are very close to our goals, we just wanted to take a moment to update everyone on just how close, and what exactly it means.

While the goal of £5,000.00 seems rather arbitrary, the reality is quite different.  Our current target will enable us to keep the charity status we’ve had in the past, which among other things enables our sponsers to realize certain tax benefits.  This helps cover the costs they pay in providing us the servers which are of course vital to freenode.  While the graph on the freenode.net homepage indicates that we have £2300 to go, this does not include the potential £1700 of matched donations from Canonical — which means that the actual amount we need you to help us raise totals only £600!  At present, we have just a few weeks left to raise this but we are so very close, so if you would like to be generous now is the time.

Now, while the number is imposed by the charity requirement, our needs are not.  Quite a few users have made it known they would like to know more about what we will do with any funds not used directly for current pdpc costs.  Among other things, we are looking at hosting live conference events in Europe and the US, as well as some efforts to extend the sort of services we offer to the projects currently using our facilities. In addition to this, we would like to look at ways of improving the reliability of the freenode network by hosting a few of our own hubs and backup services systems.

As a reminder, all donations received at this time (up to £1700) are being matched by Canonical, so every donation you send is doubled!  We are hugely grateful for their help and generosity in our efforts, and would like to thank Mark and Canonical, and the entire Ubuntu community once again.

As always, thanks to each and every one of you for using freenode.