While I never tire of general chit chat about Linux and the broader free, libre, open-source software ecosystem, it is always nice when a meetup goes beyond that. This month we were lucky to have a few new faces drop by and shake up the monotony a bit. ;)
A few teachers and trainers from the Tunapanda Institute came by and talked about their work in the community. As a bonus, they brought their CubieTruck single-board mini PC which is running a modified Edubuntu, and is packed with a few hundred gigs(!) of open course content. Once booted up the device creates an open Wi-Fi access point that allows anyone to access its content via a built-in web server.
They've even got some of the nuts and bolts for provisioning and managing this process on their GitHub account!
After last month's discussion of BRCK's GPL violation BRCK reached out to us and resolved things amicably. In addition to posting source code for their BRCKv1 a few of their people came to the meetup to talk about OpenWRT, single-board computers, and fried chicken.
Furthermore, we discussed the role that the community can play in getting the word about companies that are friendly to open-source hardware and software. Simple things like how to flash vanilla software for devices, where to get source code, how to set up a build environment, unbricking, teardowns, etc. In that light, BRCK has donated one BRCKv1 unit to the LUG so we can pass it around, hack on it, and write about it.
Here's an unboxing video we shot to kick things off...
We'll post more when we get time!
Open All teh Things
We briefly discussed the closed-minded culture of information and data sharing in science, but how things are changing because donors who fund research — like the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the Department for International Development (DFID), etc — are calling for the results of all new research to be free and open. Even so, in April the Elsevier group of scientific journals announced their new sharing policy which requires publications to be licensed Creative Commons, but with the restrictive no commercial (NC) and no derivatives (ND) clauses.
We were reminded of the late Aaron Swartz's Guerilla Open Access Manifesto.
Until Next Time
As per our schedule of meeting on the first Saturday of the month, the next meeting should be on July 4th. Until next time, wathii!