Tomorrow is Software Freedom Day... here's how this is celebrated in Toronto... what about Cleveland?

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Fri, 09/15/2006 - 11:43.

I'm on Wireless Toronto while up here (very cool free social change program) and saw on their events calendar that tomorrow is Software Freedom Day, and the core activities in Toronto are being organized out of our building on Spadina... here are the details below. I checked the Software Freedom Day site and there are teams in Ohio in Wooster and Dayton but not in Cleveland (OMG!)... if I'd known before I would have helped organize one there... a must for 2007... for now, if you want to get up the curve on free open source software (FOSS) and declare social software freedom, set up an account at realneo and comment here and we'll get in touch with you to help. Read on...

Software Freedom Day
Saturday, September 16, 2006

10:00 AM - 2:00 PM

Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) enthusiasts around the world will once again take to the streets for the third annual Software Freedom Day (SFD) on September 16th. The movement towards Open Source Software has been gaining momentum through the increasing popularity of Linux computer operating systems. Open Source software has freely available source code that encourages the user of the software to improve, develop and share their improvements.

In Toronto, the Linux User Group (LUG) called Ubuntu Toronto will be handing out free Ubuntu CDs and providing demonstrations at the Centre for Social Innovation, 215 Spadina Ave. Suite 120, between 10am and 2pm. Following this event, Ubuntu Toronto members will be providing online, real-time support via a web-based chat, found at

Ten teams in Canada will join 137 teams from more than 100 countries around the world in celebrating software freedom through installfests, free CD distribution, demonstrations, workshops and talks. Celebrations are planned for Melbourne, Mumbai, San Francisco and Victoria, B.C, as well as many more places.

Ubuntu is a free, open source, Linux-based operating system that starts with a stable operating system and adds regular releases every six months, a clear focus on the user and usability, and a commitment to security updates with 18 months of support for every release (and with the most recent Long Term Support release, you get 3 years on the desktop and 5 on the server!). Ubuntu ships with the latest technology release as well as a selection of server and desktop software that makes for a comfortable desktop experience off a single installation CD.

The Ubuntu community includes members who identify with both the free software and open source camps and many who identify with both. The philosophy of free, open source software fits well with the name Ubuntu, which is an African concept of “humanity towards others.”

People who are interested in obtaining a free copy of the Ubuntu operating system software can speak to the members of Ubuntu Toronto Software Freedom Team who will be at the Centre for Social Innovation, 215 Spadina Ave. Suite 120 on Saturday, September 16th at 10am-2pm or they can go to the linuxcaffe at 326 Harbord Street, Toronto, or online at

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Making Material Matters open

In celebration of Software Freedom Day, today Material Matters will set up a computer system for their gallery and run Ubuntu and other open source software for their significant business. For the owner, the inspiration to go FOSS (Free Open Source Software) was the realization she could buy a 17" Mac with lots of sex appeal  for $1,100 or have a cheapy PC built at one of numerous streetfront computer shops around Spadina and College for $600, bundled with a 19" LCD monitor, wifi, and color printer (and saving $500 matters to her)... but, with a WinBox she'd have to spend more than that for Microsoft XP and Office. So, I told her today is Software Freedom Day (and it is organized out of her building) and we can pick up a Ubuntu disk and she doesn't need to spend a penny on monopolist Bill Gates. So she and Material Matters are going FOSS. I'll let you know how it goes.

Disrupt IT

Newbie installing Ubuntu

Phase one of installing Ubuntu on a new noname computer went well. Load the Live CD and the computer starts up in a running version of Ubuntu. Click on install on the desktop and run through six questions (the mouse stopped responding when it was time to load the time infobut was able to keyboard prompt through) and the system loads in about 20 minutes. Reboot and you are up and running. Where I am hung up now though is getting the wifi card to respond - when I configured and activated it I thought I was doing the right things but when I restarted the computer it locked up on detecting network settings, so either I did something wrong or there is a hardware problem with the card... I'm not sure, so will just keep working away at it... progress report shortly.

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Not me but the card

I called the shop that built Material Matters computer and asked if the wifi card was Ubuntu compatible and they said probably not, I could run Nwrapper but I'd rather swap out the cards with something that works out of the box... so delayed until tomorrow when I can get a D-Link or Linksys - lesson is not all cheapy stuff will work out of the box with Linux. More tomorrow.

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I know the feeling...

That's the only grievance I have with Ubuntu. Do you still have the same card you had when I was there? 

Other than that, the install was smooth, wasn't it :-).


Derek Arnold

Update on Ubuntu wifi issues

Hey Derek - good to see you on realneo. I have a newer IBM laptop now and Ubuntu and all devices worked perfect out of the box. Unfortunately, for Material Matters, we had a cheapy box built which has a processor that isn't compatable with Ubuntu and any wifi devices we can find, so that is something people need to watch out for. We're going to get a different computer for the gallery and use that one on enternet somewhere else. It is sad that there are devices that still do not work well in the open source world. Eventually I'm sure that will change, and there will be more drivers. What wold really help is if there were open source computer shops that built the best possible machines for running Linux and if more computers came preloaded with Ubuntu instead of Windows... so much opportunity ahead in this space for smart entrepreneurs.

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A great idea...


   This would be a great idea.  The thing is how could users become acclimated to Ubuntu.  I (and every Ubuntu evangelist on the planet) has probably been thinking the same thing.


BTW - What processor did you buy?

Derek Arnold -

Hey Derek, I'll have to check with Phillip

Very good question - Phillip hacking through the problem and could get the wifi working but slow - did some research and found it is a common issue. I'll ask him to post details. BTW - good thoughts on your blog, as always

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