Fosscon, an open source conference in Philadelphia PA, Saturday August 10th

FOSSCON 2013 will be held on August 10th, 2013.  Several of our very own staff here at freenode will be attending this year and we are really looking forward to it.

FOSSCON was spawned from the depths of freenode and this will be the 4th event so far.

We are very excited about this year’s keynote speaker, Philadelphia’s own Jordan Miller, who leads a research team at The University of Pennsylvania. Jordan makes heavy use of open source software and is doing amazing work with 3D printing as it pertains to transplant organs.  http://www.upenn.edu/pennnews/news/penn-researchers-improve-living-tissues-3d- printed-vascular-networks-made-sugar.

Listed below is a just a quick peek at some of our confirmed speakers and their topics:

  • Bhavani Shankar will be speaking on how to bring in new developers to open source projects.
  • Elizabeth Krumbach Joseph will be speaking on Open Source Systems Administration.
  • Corey Quinn will be speaking on configuration management with Salt.
  • Brent Saner will be speaking on Project.Phree, a wireless mesh project.
  • Dru Lavigne will be speaking on FreeNAS 9.1.
  • Jérôme Jacovella-St-Louis will be hosting a workshop on cross-platform development with the Ecere SDK.
  • John Ashmead will be speaking on the math and science of invisibility.
  • John Stumpo will be offering a workshop on the Challenges facing FOSS game projects.
  • Walt Mankowski will be speaking on Scientific Programming with NumPy and SciPy.
  • Chris Nehren will be speaking on bridging the gap between development and operations.
  • Christina Simmons will be speaking on starting and managing open source events/projects.
  • Hector Castro will be offering a hands-on workshop on the Riak database engine.
  • Dan Langille will be hosting a workshop on Bacula: The Networked Backup Open Source Solution

If you haven’t registered yet, please do so here: https://www.wepay.com/events/fosscon-2013!  We’ve had such an awesome response so far and are so excited to see how far we can go this year! Invite your friends, your partners, your business associates, and everyone else you know!  We’ll see you soon!

Fosscon 2012, Saturday August 11th in Philadelphia PA

August 11th, 2012 (All day)

Hi everyone,
In just a couple of months we will be hosting FOSSCON (Free and Open Source Software Conference), focusing on the community that has grown around Free and Open Source Software (FOSS), and in parallel to both the Free Culture and Open Source cultural movements.
This is a community-focused live event designed to build and strengthen relationships between Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) developers and users. FOSSCON seeks to raise awareness of and promote FOSS alternatives to proprietary software. Facilitating face-to-face interaction, creative workshops, talks and think tanks, FOSSCON brings developers and users together in a nurturing and dynamic environment stimulating the free exchange of ideas and information while fostering cross-project collaboration and dialogue for innovation.

FOSSCON is a Peer-Directed Projects Center (PDPC) project, organized by the foss community.  FOSSCON (along with Geeknics) is part of PDPC’s desire to bring an already massive online community, freenode that has grown around free and open source ideas, out into the world, to meet, connect, support and challenge each other, imagine, plot and co-develop beautiful, possibly useful and unexpected things.

The people behind FOSSCON are free software enthusiasts, user group members, coders and users – just like you! Free software is all about community and this is a very grassroots event, organized by the community and for the community. Our common goal is to provide a space for us to all come together in the northeast. We hope you’ll join us as an attendee, a volunteer or an exhibitor.

Register

Admission is free and open to the public, but RSVP is required. If you’re able and want to be a “FOSSCON supporter” you can get a gift and thanks for $25. Whether free or a supporter, please register here: http://fosscon.org/attend

Schedule

FOSSCON will last all day. See the regularly updated schedule of presentations (and proposal guidelines) here: http://fosscon.org/speakers

Anyone in the FOSS community with interesting and exciting topics is invited to submit a talk to speak at this event.  As a general event built for the community at large, the range of acceptable topics is broad, however FOSSCON traditionally favors topics with an immediate real world use in home, work, or education environments and broadly categorizes talks under one of these headings.

The program committee invites proposals for paper presentations, demonstrations and poster contributions on any topic relevant to FOSS awareness, accessibility and application. We want to offer something for beginning, intermediate, and advanced learning levels with particular emphasis on the following topics:

  • The Open Culture Movements influence on open source
  • Beginning the FOSS conversion
  • FOSS on a Windows Desktop
  • Fun FOSS projects for your home
  • Plugging into Social Media with FOSS
  • FOSS in the workplace
  • FOSS in education
  • FOSS at non-profits
  • FOSS Government
  • Open Hardware
  • Open Mobile Environments
  • Your new awesome FOSS project
  • Free Network Services

 

Exhibitors

If your group has an interesting project, or event useful to the community, show it to the world at FOSSCON!  We invite you to join us at FOSSCON to show the community what you’ve done, what you’re doing, or what you offer.

  • LUGs
  • Hackerspaces
  • Local FOSS events the community needs to know about

We still have a limited number of spaces available for groups so please get in touch with us to reserve your spot.

Sponsors

We have a limited number of tables available for sponsors so please get in touch with us early to reserve your spot.  We’re very interested as well in any suitable organizations involvement in other ways, such as talks or other interesting ideas you may have. Please see this link for more info (oh, and obligatory but genuine shout out to FOSSCON sponsors here as well): http://fosscon.org/sponsors

Location

FOSSCON will take place at Venturef0rth on the second floor of 417 North 8th Street Philadelphia PA.  The location is just a few blocks from Market east station on the SEPTA transit network, which further provides access to the Philadelphia Airport and 30th street station, where Amtrak can be connected.  The location has central air, and elevator access to the floor we will be occupying.  There are several paid parking lots within a few blocks of the location, and limited street parking is available nearby as well.

Volunteer

If you would like to help out with FOSSCON, let us know!  We need help with things before, during, and after the event, including setup and tear down, announcements, technology, and much more.  We also appreciate assistance in spreading the word via mailing lists and other resources you may be a part of.  Stop by our IRC channel (#fosscon, on freenode) to learn more or read on for other ways to contact us.

Questions?

You can join us on the IRC network “chat.freenode.net” and join the channel “#fosscon” to talk with the planning team and others interested in FOSSCON, ask questions, or volunteer to help us out.  You can easily join the channel using webchat by clicking here: http://webchat.freenode.net/?channels=fosscon.

You can also check out our facebook page, or our twitter feed.

See you all then!

Merry Christmas

It was the day before Christmas, when all across the network not a creature was stirring, not even a troll…

Another year is coming to a close, a year of FOSS, a year of collaboration, a year of getting to know exciting projects and contributors, a year plentiful in conferences and events. A year in which community was at the heart of everything freenode and the PDPC did.

I am sat here in a candle lit room that smells of Christmas spice whilst sipping eggnog and stealing a moment to myself to reflect… when I first started using freenode, the network had around 1200 users — some years on we’ve passed 76,000. It is great to see so many projects make use of the service! The PDPC is doing some exciting stuff, FOSSCON was arranged for the second year running in 2011, FOSSEVENTS is still going strong and Geeknics are being held across the globe. Sometimes it is a bit daunting, everyone involved with freenode (and other PDPC projects) volunteer their time and skills to help the communities — and whilst this is great, the volunteer roster isn’t growing at a rate matching the increase in users. We will be doing another “Call for volunteers” in the New Year and we’re looking to find some awesome people to add to the team.

On a more personal basis, I’ve had the pleasure of participating in some brilliant “real life” events this year – from the always brilliant OGGCAMP, arranged by the amazing people behind the Linux Outlaws and Ubuntu UK podcasts. OGGCAMP is the sort of event which attracts “my sort of geek” — people with which I really enjoy spending time and socialising and I am already looking forward to next years! I’ve also enjoyed a number of Ubuntu-UK events, from the recent release party to smaller happy hours to the rather interesting Christmas meal at Dans Le Noir, where we ate a surprise menu (consisting of glow in the dark scallops, ostrich and blue shark to name some items!) in complete darkness before wandering off to enjoy a few pints of ale. Now, this is where freenode communities are great — I am an avid fan of the Ubuntu project, however, I have never used the distribution (though as a Debian user I am sure I’d get on with it just fine.. right?) but through freenode I have, over the years, come to know a lot of Ubuntu contributors and users, and over time discovered that these are people I really enjoy spending my time and people I am proud to call my friends! And I love their social events, they are a lot of fun! So thank you for letting me be a part of your community despite not really being “one of you” ;)

On the subject of freenode, communities and Christmas parties — as freenode volunteers are scattered across the globe, few of us meet on a regular basis but we tend to try make an effort to get together for dinner and drinks at events such as fosdem. This year, we decided to have a Christmas party, surprisingly we ended up with 21 people attending, most of which had never met each other in person before. Our volunteers flew over from America and Europe and we all had a smashing weekend filled with good food, nice drink and much laughter. Thank you all for coming!

In 2012 I look forward to learning about more projects, old and new. I look forward to attending yet more conferences and meeting more of you in person! I look forward to another year together with our volunteers and our sponsors, and of course our users.

On which note I shall wrap this entry up, thank you for using freenode and wish you all a Merry Christmas!

 

 

Fosscon 2010 Free and Open Source Software Conference.

While talking online is great, meeting in person presents brand new opportunities… and we would like to meet you!

In 4 days (on June 19th, 2010), a number of us as well as members of the community in general will be meeting up for a conference in Rochester, NY, at Rochester Institute of Technology.  We are greatly looking forward to this awesome new opportunity.

Fosscon features 14 talks and 4 workshops. Below are just a few examples.

Free and Open in Education; More than just Software – Charles Profitt

Making the Most of Communities – Bryan Ostergaard

OpenStreetMap – Richard Weait

Linux in Business – Karlie Robinson

Resume Building Workshop with RIT’s Office of Co-Op and Placement

And many others, as well as Bird of a Feather sessions and an exhibition hall full of local users groups and interesting organizations.

We hope to see you there. Visit http://fosscon.org/ for more info or http://fosscon.org/register to sign up.

Happy holidays!

It’s been just over a year since freenode saw it’s biggest shake-up yet, the passing of founder Rob ‘lilo’ Levin. It has been a challenging and interesting year both for freenode and Peer-Directed Projects Center, the not-for-profit organisation which owns and operates the network. There have been changes within the staff, there have been technical changes and soon we will see the change-over of both our Services package and our IRC daemon.

freenode is doing well — we’ve more sponsors than ever, and we’ve gained around 18,000 users. We’ve had interesting projects choose to use our services and we’ve had a lot of input from users on what changes they would like to see. This past year has truly shown freenode for what it is — a service provided by the community for the community. We’ve been joined by new staff, all of whom we’re pleased to have onboard. We’re making progress on the development side, both internally and externally.

PDPC has been more of a challenge. The NFP was fairly inactive previously and the change to having a active board who share a passion for the community we serve has been great, but it has also meant that we’ve had a lot to tidy up. While we are finally seeing light at the end of the tunnel, we haven’t quite gotten to where we want to be yet. However, I am confident that all the hard work put in by the board members, project specific volunteers and of course, our lawyers, CPA and accountant (without whom we’d be hairless by now), we will be able to do some truly spectacular things for the community in the coming years.

It has been a interesting and exciting year — I am proud and happy to have had the chance to work with such an amazing group of people: freenode staff, the PDPC board, past and present code contributors, projects using our services and of course the diverse and incredible user group freenode has.

I’d like to thank the PDPC board for sticking in there and for having the energy and drive to push on with what at times looked bleak and depressing, each and every one of the freenode staff members for the time and effort they have put in to keep the network running, our developers and code contributors for new services and IRCd (and of course, to the original Atheme and Charybdis developers for allowing us to continue work on already amazing services in order to make it fit our needs!), every project which uses our facilities, every single PDPC donor for helping us help the community, and of course our sponsors, without whom none of this would be possible.

I’d also like to thank the OFTC staffers for this year’s collaboration. It has been an interesting journey and one which I hope we will continue together.

And finally, I’d like to wish everyone happy holidays and a great new year!

Bringing people together?

When I first came on board as freenode staff I had no idea what a incredible experience I was in for.

Over the past few years I’ve gotten to know some amazing people, both online and in person, become involved with some exciting projects, learned a lot about cool new stuff.. and it’s all thanks to the community surrounding the network.

Here I am now, starting to find my confidence and getting comfortable in my role as Head of Staff for freenode, and as a director for the PDPC.

I am psyched about the fact that the network continues to grow, we’ve just hit 36,000 users a few weeks back. I’m excited and geared about new projects we’re taking on like FOSSCON, the Free and Open Source Software Conference we are arranging in San Diego later this year.

I am proud to be working with such an amazing team of volunteers, the entire freenode staff is made up from people who share a drive and passion.

“If freenode didn’t exist, someone would have to invent it. That’s how you know that it’s not only an essential idea, but something you can’t imagine not being there.” Those were the words used by a gentleman I met this weekend at Southern California Linux Expo, and it filled me with this feeling of warmth.

We matter, we matter to the projects that use us. Alex Ionescu of ReactOS went as far as to thank freenode for playing such a large part in the success of the ReactOS project, stating that without freenode the project wouldn’t exist now.

That feels nice, having people come up and say “We appreciate what you do,” people thanking us for the time we put down working on this. And more so, it encourages us to continue working on making improvements and offering a even better service.
freenode may not have the ambition to be “the best network IN the world”. But we do strive to become “the best network FOR the community.”

freenode is a value-based network, driven by a curiosity to find and develop new strategies for communicating, learning and collaborating.

We realize that the times we live in demand creative and innovative thinkers and actors with insight, courage and determination. And I believe that these are exactly the sort of people we have on freenode, both my staff and many of the people involved in the wider community.
We aim to provide other projects with a safe space for creative thinking and discussion, a communication platform where you can collaborate and turn small ideas into big explosions.

We are about bringing people together!

I am going to blog soon about some of the changes that are happening with the network and how we communicate with and look for feedback from our users. I am going to let myself bare a bit and tell you how the last few months, following Rob “lilo” Levin’s death has affected us, and how it has changed us.

But for now I am going to simply thank you for using freenode, for helping us make this into what it is, wish you a happy Valentines Day and leave you with a few wise words by my friend Albert.

“A human being is part of the whole, called by us “universe”,
a part limited in time and space. We experience ourselves, our
thoughts and feelings as something separate from the rest.
A kind of optical delusion of consciousness. This delusion is a
kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and
to affection for a few persons nearest to us.

Our task must be to free ourselves from the prison by
widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living
creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty… We shall
require a substantially new manner of thinking if mankind is to
survive.” — Albert Einstein (1879-1955)