Irssi 0.8.13

Piping hot and straight from the oven! The Irssi core development team has been hard at work, hunched over their computers for many moons, tapping away till their hearts content! Bruised and blistered, they’ve just set off to put their sore fingers around a few bottles of cold beer and have a well deserved rest! Thank you all and keep up the good work!

All this, to make our IRC experience better! Everyone’s favourite IRC client, Irssi, v 0.8.13 has just been released! Head over to http://www.irssi.org to get your copy now!

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.

freenode t-shirts

As you are probably aware, the PDPC re-incorporated in the UK and to that end we are trying to meet the threshold for being registered as a charity through the charity commission — a status which would allow us to continue offering tax relief to hardware and bandwith sponsors, in addition to cutting our costs.  To this end, we are in the process of designing several cool t-shirts which will be available on the pdpc’s website for purchase.  The proceeds from these sales will help supplement donations which we already receive from some of our users.

Well, this is where you come in.  We need help!  Freenode is full of people with cool ideas, doing cool things, and we want to embody some of this on these t-shirts. As such, we are looking for some great designs we can take forward and use for these shirts. If you have an idea for a t-shirt design you would like to see us offer, send it on over  to [email protected] for our review.  As we proceed, further details (including a link to view and purchase shirts) will be made available via the blog.

Thanks to each and every one of you for your support, and as always thank you for using freenode!

Who Are freenode Staff? (Part 2 of ?)

It’s been a while since we posted Part 1 of our series on “Who Are freenode Staff?” – which makes it about time to post a bit more.

Gary – Since today is Gary’s birthday, it’s only fitting to discuss his deep-seated desire to be helpful to others! Although he has been on numerous irc networks since he first discovered irc in the late 90s, he found himself on freenode and wrangled into doing what he does (and loves) best – helping others. Luckily, freenode staff had no need to brainwash Gary when he joined up – he was already completely sold on the network and its philosophy. Gary was, however, christel’s biggest proponent in painting the network pink! If he had his choice, Gary would paint all the network trolls pink and then put them on display for others to laugh at them, rather than allowing them to bog things down.

LoRez – LoRez has been on staff nearly as long as Santa Claus has been making rounds. Although he was formerly considered immortal and omnipotent, he had to come to terms with having had “normal” roots – he first came to freenode via openprojects. He’s never lost his edge though; he once wrote perl code and had hippie hair, now he’d rather quit his job and sell gas to everyone for $1!

wimt – Though some may think of wimt as being somewhat pathological, don’t hold it against him – it’s his degree that causes him to be that way. Though he seems to consider himself somewhat uncreative, he considered throwing the contents of his desk across the room when he left his last position. wimt first came to freenode via wikipedia and has stuck around due to the friendliness of people on the network.

Happy 15th!

15 years ago, on January 29th 1994 Rob (lilo) Levin first joined the channel #linuxneo on the EFNet IRC network. This date has since been referred to as the conceptual moment, the foundation, the cornerstone which later led to the network you now know as freenode.

Since that January evening in 1994 — the original channel made some network moves before it became it’s own network; irc.linpeople.org in 1995 — a few name-changes later and we’re freenode. Peaking at just over 52,000 daily users, spread across FOSS and other peer-directed communities.

We (freenode staff volunteers) have the pleasure of working with exciting projects ranging from the Wikimedia Foundation to various Linux distributions (Fedora, Gentoo, Redhat, Suse to name but a few) to the Free Software Foundation to .. the list goes on and on and on.. It’s fantastic to see so many people sharing our passion, all in one place — yet scattered across the globe.

So, to each and every one of you, to each and every project on the network, to Free and Open Source Software, to the exchange of ideas and information, to the memory of lilo — A very happy 15th birthday to freenode!

And to each and every user and to all the volunteers, past and present — thank you for making this possible!

2008/2009 Fundraiser.

We’re slowly climbing towards our target of £5,000.00 in donations by March 2009. However, as the pie-chart shows we’re still quite a way off. If you appreciate what we do and want to see the PDPC provide further services to the communities, why not head over to http://freenode.net/pdpc_donations.shtml and see if you are able to help us reach the target! Any donation, small or large is gratefully received and a massive thanks goes to those who have already dug deep and helped us climb up the ladder in this instance!

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Another year is coming to an end, for freenode and the PDPC it has been a year of change. We’ve made a lot of progress on development, the NFP is branching out and starting to slowly move towards providing more services to the FOSS communities and we’ve grown in size and now peak at a whooping 51,000 users! It feels amazing to see so many FOSS enthusiasts together in one place.

I hope that you all have a fantastic holiday season and that the new year brings you all you wish for! And a massive thanks to each and every user for making it worth our time to provide this service! And of course, thanks also go to all our fantastic volunteers, past and present for the time and effort they put in day after day for free. I look forward to another year with you, and another year working to bring FOSS developers and users together.

[Maintenance] Downtime warning — lem, orwell

Hi all,

Tomorrow evening, November 3rd 2008, at 22:00GMT we will be undertaking some routine maintenance on two of our client servers, lem and orwell, both servers have already been taken out of rotation. The downtime window is set to one (1) hour, but we anticipate that the upgrades will take less time. At time of posting we have approximately 2,000 users across the two servers, and while we will urge users to connect to a different server prior to the upgrades we realise that not everyone will be able to act on the notice in time and as such we expect to see some disturbances on the network at the time of the upgrade.

Thank you for using freenode!

Fundraising for Charity Status!

As you may be vaguely aware, we have been working on some structural changes to the operations of the parent organisation behind freenode. And I am happy to announce that Peer-Directed Projects Center Ltd is now incorporated as a company limited by guarantee in England and Wales.

This makes the administrative and organisational side of things a lot easier and manageable for us and will not in any way disturb the services we provide to our users currently.

However, we wish to register as a charity with the Charity Commission, but in order to do this we will need some help! We need to be able to meet a minimum support threshold of £5,000.00 per annum in order to be eligible for charity status.

While we historically raised a fair amount of money through various online fund raisers, we have not actively solicited for donations in the last two years, causing a massive drop in donation levels leaving us well below the threshold.

Now, there are several reasons for us not actively soliciting, for one our outgoings have over the past two years been a lot lower than previously as we no longer have any paid staff — all members of freenode and the PDPC are involved on a volunteer basis.

If you are considering donating, you will no doubt have some questions, some of which we will try to answer here:

  • If you are no longer employing anyone, what outgoings do you have, why do you need money? — Our outgoings are fairly low indeed and limited to hosting one server, registered office fees, telephone/fax, stationary expenses, domain renewal fees and other administrative overhead. We do intend to put any amount which exceeds our administrative expenses to use for the community.
  • What plans does freenode/PDPC have for “giving back to the community”? — There’s a few different programs we would like to be able to add to our current services, top of the list currently is arranging ‘live conferences” in Europe and America (if you are interested in learning more about this, helping out with planning, during the events or corporate sponsorship please drop us a line to live at freenode dot net).
  • Do I get any tax relief if I donate? — When we meet the treshold for charity status and enter the register, you will be able to write off tax on any donation made to us, and we will be able to claim tax relief of 28% per donation made from a UK tax payer!
  • Do you provide any receipts of donations? — If you donate through paypal you will automatically receive one then, however, for donations of £30.00 (approximately $50.00) or over we will also provide a separate receipt electronically or as a hard copy if you prefer.
  • Why do you want to be a charity anyway? — We want to be able to provide the services we currently provide to our community, we also wish to do future programs and we wish to get involved with working to “promote FOSS in the real world”, as a registered charitable organisation we can also apply for various grants and other support in order to reach these goals and provide a better service to the community.
  • Does this mean you will start spamming us with global notices begging us to donate all the time? — No! We believe that global notices should be reserved for messages relating to the status of the freenode network, not for soliciting funds. We may mention our fundraiser in #freenode and #defocus or other freenode owned/operated channels, and we may in future blog again and talk about it in our channels.

You can make your donation here.

While we only mention “freenode live” as a future program above, we do have other irons in the fire and if you’re curious about them, or have a suggestion for how we can better help our communities, why not come have a chat with us either over in #defocus or drop us an e-mail to ideas at freenode net

Any help, however big or small will be gratefully received! Thank you for considering donating, and to those of you who have supported us in the past and those continuing to support us a massive thanks for helping us help the community! If you have any questions, or want to discuss other levels of donating or other ways of helping out freenode and the PDPC — or getting involved with future programs, why don’t you drop me a message on IRC? You can find me online as christel.