Wednesday, October 31, 2012

GNIGHTS of GNOME Hackfest Report

We had our first GNIGHTS of GNOME hackfest last Saturday at Pumping Station: One here in Chicago. We had around ten newcomers who came to the hackfest. People had various levels of interest and experience: there were a few professional developers and several students. I've been following up with some of our attendees and helping them get JHBuild environments set up, helping to direct them to projects within GNOME that they are interested in, etc. We are planning to meet once a month going forward, and I think we are off to a good start in building the community around GNOME here in Chicago. Thanks to everyone who came! If you are interested in coming to a future meeting, we will be posting updates on the new Chicago LUG site. See you next time.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

GNIGHTS of GNOME Hackfest October 27

Jim Campbell has been working lately on organizing a Chicago GNOME hackers group called GNIGHTS of GNOME. We had an informal first meeting last month at FreeGeek Chicago's Software Freedom Day (our group consisted of Jim, Brian Cameron, Chris Webber of MediaGoblin and me, with lots of local hackers and FOSS enthusiasts stopping by to hang out, ask questions, and talk about their own projects). Starting on Saturday, October 27 (11 am start time, @ 3519 N Elston -- we'll be hacking until early evening), we are going to be meeting once or twice a month at Pumping Station:One, the local North Side hackerspace here in Chicago.

FreeGeek Chicago has also offered to let our group attend their weekly hacknights. This semester I have classes until late on Wednesdays, but Jim and Brian may be attending these pretty regularly, and I will hopefully make it to a few over Winter Break.

If you are in Chicago, come and hack with us!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Support MediaGoblin :)

GNU MediaGoblin just  launched a crowdfunding campaign!  The Free Software Foundation is providing MediaGoblin with the infrastructure to run the campaign --so rather than donating through a for-profit with a proprietary backend like Kickstarter, you can use the FSF's free software backed tools.
MediaGoblin provides a free, decentralized media publishing service. Chris Webber's vision is that it will be used like WordPress is used for blogging: many people run their own instances and many more will use the hosted service. Why should you donate? The friendly MediaGoblin developers put together an awesome video explaining why the project is so important both to free culture and to us as users (it is posted on the site that I link to above -- I especially like the star wars-ish space laser that obliterates kitten videos :) Why do I think you should donate? In today's climate copyright holders have more and more control over what content we can post on the web, and how that content is consumed. Having compelling, easy-to-use, beautiful free software benefits us a community as well as each of us as end users. Maintaining ownership over our own content is becoming difficult. The MediGoblin project lets us share our personal and professional media with our friends, families, and community. When we use it we are able to share and still maintain our power to modify, disseminate, and own our content. We can use it and therefore avoid automated and fallacious takedowns by media companies and governments. We are able to use the web the way it should be used: to speak freely about the issues that concern us, to express ourselves, and to communicate with people who matter to us...So donate early and often :)