Year of Open Source

One year of trying to use only free software, libre hardware, and option source options for all aspects of life.


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Ways you can help!

Thanks for all the messages of support over the last couple of days, although the initial crowdfunding campaign has finished, you can now donate using flattr and BitCoin (my address is 1EFmHdKYV5oEx9wfT67MvARgyjaB9SahTv -there will be proper buttons & links etc on the new website up tomorrow). I’ve quit my part-time job to focus on this full-time, but I’m only just scraping by!

If you like the idea of the project and would like to help out, there is all sorts of non-financial help that I need:

I would like to make the project accessible to non-English speakers, so if you can help me with translation of videos or texts into your language, please let me know! I can provide transcripts to each video as they come out. I’ll be filming in various parts of Europe over the year – I can translate from Spanish or German into English, but not the other way around – I wouldn’t want viewers to have to put up with my crappy grammar errors.

Any suggestions for a good online video multi-language subtitling resource?

I don’t have the resources to be able to buy an open source phone, computer or camera, or even to buy the parts and put them together. If anyone can sponsor me with an open source product, or if you know anybody developing an interesting open source hardware project who might need some publicity, I would love to be able to at least borrow a test version to play with and discuss, even if only for a month or two.

If you’re based in Berlin, there are plenty of ways you can help. If you:

a) have some experience shooting with Canon DSLRs, or would like to learn

b) have some editing experience or would like to learn, and are keen to join me in getting to grips with open source NLEs

c) are experienced with Blender and would like to show off your skills (and Blender’s capabilities) with a little animation/compositing

d) have experience with open source audio programs and sound recording

e) are good at organizing and planning, and could help me make a timeline and organise some projects, visits and interviews to help me tackle this huge task (Native speakers of German would also be very helpful).

Berliners, you can also come down to Open Design City in Kreuzberg on Monday night at 19.00.  Come meet others interested in open source making and have a brainstorm about projects we can undertake throughout the year. There will be snacks. I’ll post more info tonight!

There are plenty of other ways people might be able to help, just send me an email if you think of something you can offer. The more skilled people who can help in any way, the better this project can be. If someone you know might be able to help me out, tell them to get in touch! I want it to be as far-reaching, entertaining and thought-provoking as possible, and I can only do so with your help. Thank you very much for all the suggestions so far, we’re currently working on turning this blog into a navigable, multi-functional website, so keep checking back!

in the meantime, feel free to contact me: sam at yearofopensource.net

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This last open source hero sure can fill out a speedo…

9 hours to go, and the IndieGoGo campaign is just over $6600! thanks so much to everyone who has contributed so far, it has been an amazing experience getting the word out and hearing back from so many helpful and generous people around the world.

So, who’s the last open source hero going to be…? wait for it…

it’s….

the community!

aww.

Open Source users, developers, writers, funders, engineers, and organisations, drawn by Judith Carnaby for the 2013 Open Source Calendar (Swimsuit edition)

There are enough dedicated and inspired individuals working, discussing and tinkering on open source projects to fill thousands of calendars. We’ve tried to highlight some of the core individuals leading by example and spreading the word about open source, but the movement’s greatest asset is and has always been the community, and they need to be honored too.

And you can get the calendar in the next 9 hours by donating $25 or more for the digital download, or $60 or more for the physical version!


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Last 24 hours of crowdfunding!

The IndieGoGo campaign has just 1 day left, so time to reveal the last few heroes for the calendar…

One of the most mind-blowing and inspiring projects of the open source and open hardware world is certainly the 3D-printing revolution, and this is lead by the original, evolving, self-replicating 3D printer, the RepRap. I’ll be investigating the RepRap, its evolution and its community throughout the year, but here’s its inventor, Adrian Bowyer, to whet your appetite.

There’s a nice quote from the Guardian in his Wikipedia entry: “[RepRap] has been called the invention that will bring down global capitalism, start a second industrial revolution and save the environment…”

Here’s Adrian talking about his invention (the video’s a few years old, I’ll be covering some of the more recent breakthroughs over the coming months).

Also, of course, none of the current world of open source would have been possible without the World Wide Web, and its inventor, Tim Berners-Lee:

As well as, you know, bringing you the internet as you know it and giving away his idea royalty-free, he’s also an important advocate of open data and net neutrality.

So that’s 11 heroes in swimsuits, the final drawing will be up sometime in the next 24 hours… but who will it be?

In the meantime, you can get your calendar or check up on the campaign’s progress on IndieGoGo!


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A Double Hit of Handsome

Two more fine men for you to feast your eyes upon:

First, the man who best put into words just what made the Free Software working method so fascinating, and who also helped to give the idea two new words… ‘Open Source’.

It’s Eric S. Raymond (in a bazaar), author of the movement-defining The Cathedral and the Bazaar, one of the coiners (could you really call yourself a ‘coiner’?) of the term ‘Open Source’ and a founder of the Open Source Initiative.

 

And next, it’s Nicholas Negroponte, founder of the influential MIT Media Lab and the One Laptop Per Child project, designed to bring education and empowerment to children worldwide, through open source software and hardware.

You’d best get in quick to get your calendar… 35 hours left!


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While we’re celebrating epic triumphs and awesome robots…

I (finally) got Linux installed, and here’s Limor Fried (aka Ladyada) as the Metropolis robot!

Limor Fried is the owner and generally awesome electrical engineer behind Adafruit Industries where you can get all sorts of amazing DIY open source electronics kits for learning, playing and experimenting. Or you can get severe soldering burns if you’re anything like me.

Limor and all the other bespeedoed studs are still available for the next (hang on, just checking)… 58 hours, as I write this!

Anyone who contributes more than $25 gets a digital download of the calendar, and anyone who contributes $60 or more gets a real one! in real life! We’re almost at $6K, which is getting closer to being able to occasionally have a camera operator – so please let everyone know about the campaign on twitter, facebook, walk down the street yelling in your dressing gown, whatever you need to do. Or you could consider contributing yourself, perhaps? (this is not an all-or-nothing campaign like Kickstarter – the project still gets its funds if it doesn’t reach the goal)
In other news, though, what would have been one small step for most tech-savvy types (installing the simplest, most user-friendly distribution of Linux) proved to be one giant leap for me this week. I’ve lived two years with a broken CD/DVD drive on my MacBook Pro and never once needed it. It sure would have come in handy this week though.

As it turns out, Macs don’t like you fiddling around switching operating systems, they’d prefer you just use Mac OS, thanks. But if you must, then you’d better damn well use a CD to boot and install another system. So what I assumed was going to be one of the least painful switches of the year actually resulted in an awful lot of of swearing, fist-shaking and forum-combing, and every type of dead end imaginable.

Only after using 5 different techniques with 7 different disk images over a 5-day timespan, and having many a terse cup of tea, was I finally able to boot Ubuntu from a USB. No small thanks to my friend Martin who stood by and told me which keys to jab, even patiently explaining what some of the commands I was typing meant. Martin claims it was using the right choice of alternate .iso which solved it in the end. I want to trust him, but I can’t deny that sacrificing 3 goats, 6 virgins and a chicken felt pretty good too.

So, bye bye Apple, as far as software goes, at least. Final Cut Pro has been deleted, so the next video might be another few days away – got to find me some open source editing software first. I’m going to try OpenShot, Cinelerra and Novacut. any other suggestions?

I’ll fill you in on a little more of my progress very soon, in the mean time have a look around Shareable.net – I’m doing a regular blog post there about this project, so keep an eye out!


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Another month, another hunk…

Next up in the 2013 Open Source Calendar (Swimsuit Edition)

Law professor, anti-corruption and transparency advocate, initiator of the free culture movement, and one of the founders of creative commons, it’s… Lawrence Lessig!

Lawrence Lessig drawn by Judith Carnaby for the 2013 Open Source Calendar (Swimsuit Edition)

What’s Creative Commons, you say?

Also, here’s Larry explaining a few of the problems with current copyright law.

Thanks so much to everybody who has donated so far, and I’ve had plenty of offers of help too – the past few days has been wonderful for meeting interesting people doing amazing work in various fields of openness. Also things are ticking along with the crowdfunding, we’re almost at $5K, and I’m currently backing up all important documents and photos etc for the big switch to Linux on the 1st of August. 2 days to go til the project kicks off! Anyone who donates over $25 to the project gets themself a digital download of the calendar, and $60 or more will get you a real paper version to stroke lovingly!

A couple more interviews this week: here’s one with Kay Alexander on EDUKWEST. EDUKWEST is an educational partner of IndieGoGo and they’ve chosen Year of Open Source as a campaign worth supporting, so now you’ll see a little ‘PARTNER’ tag for EDUKWEST on my IndieGoGo page.

Also, if you were in New Zealand and you and the family were gathered around the wireless on Saturday, you may have heard me on This Way Up on Radio NZ. I may be back on later on in the year, talking about, amongst other things, my snuggly successes or blistery failures in creating open source socks.


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New Perks! Copyleft Cookies and a Foxy Lady

Every supporter will receive a recipe for their own Copyleft cookies to make and share with friends!

Not everybody’s a multi-millionaire, and now you don’t even need $10 to contribute. If you like the project and feel like contributing, whether you contribute $1, $5, or $1000, every supporter, included those who have already donated, will receive a recipe for Copyleft cookies to make at home. (I can personally attest to their buttery, chocolaty deliciousness). And if you’re feeling greedy, just rotate them to create copyright cookies, and eat them all yourself.

mine. hands off.

Feeling peckish? head over to IndieGoGo, check out how the campaign’s going and give a dollar to a crunchy, sweet, chocolate-studded cause.

There’s also a new edition to the Open Source Calendar (Swimsuit Edition) – Mitchell Baker, Chief Lizard Wrangler, trapeze artist, and spokesperson for the Mozilla Foundation.

Mitchell Baker, Foxy Lady – drawn by Judith Carnaby

One of the key people behind the Firefox web browser, and a board member of the Open Source Applications Foundation, she has been one of the strongest advocates for widespread adoption of open source software. To find out more, check out this interview for Wired!