Thursday, March 09, 2006

Who said there are no free lunches?

There's an interesting event on in Belfast next week! Two major international figures, Richard Stallman (see Wikipedia article) and Bruce Perens (see his site) are coming to the FOSS Means Business conference on Thursday 16th March, in Spires Conference Centre.

In the software and business worlds, this is big!

The conference is on why business and government can and should use Free / Open Source software to meet their needs and save money, where it might be appropriate, and how they might successfully and profitably do that. It's not a sales event - these speakers are not trying to sell you their products. It's more of an explanation of what this free stuff is, how it has already been widely deployed, and how it can help bring wider success in the real, commercial world.

And it's not just anybody talking about it - two of the main figures in the Open Source community are travelling to Belfast, and their complimentary perspectives on Free and Open Source will make for compelling listening for anyone with a business interest - or an interest in the software itself - or even an interest in the ethical and technical challenges that the Open Source movement presents!

If that's not enough, there are speakers from Google, Oracle, the Free Software Foundation Europe, and the Open Source Academy too, to add their perspectives on how it has worked for them, what they plan to do with Free and Open Source, and some of the range of resources available to help.

But what's that about free lunches? Perhaps it's symbolic of the whole free software movement ("Free, as in Speech!", they sometimes say, and also "Free, as in Beer!"). But for registered attendees, there will be a Free Lunch! And due to the unique way this whole Open Source and Free Software community works, registration is free too!

Get on over there -

Free, as in Lunch!

Thursday 16th March, Belfast. Be there!


liberranter said...

Man, have I been asleep at the switch! I've trying for years to get to any Open Source gathering featuring Richard Stallman as a speaker (it never fails that they take place in venues that I can't get to on the dates scheduled). I guess I haven't been paying as much attention to the various OS bulletin boards as I used to.

Keep us posted on how this event in Belfast goes. I'm definitely interested in anything Richard has to say on the latest trends in the community from his perspective.

Paul said...

Hey - go to the conference in Belfast, then head down to Dublin for the St Patrick's shindig the next day (it's better than the cross-community wrangling we seem to have about it every year in Belfast). Anthropology, tourism, or an excuse for a party - who cares?

Me? I'll probably be working on St Paddy's day - for the third time in a row...

liberranter said...

I'd definitely take you up on that advice if I could get my tightfisted employer to spring for it. Unfortunately, I'm probably going to dig into my own pocket soon and fly to Mumbai for an RCHE certification class (it costs half of what it costs here in the States, even with airfare, room and board, and includes the exam at the end of the class) since my employer somehow doesn't see the value in paying for tech training for their consultants, despite the fact that they constantly whine about not being able to support the emerging market in Linux-based system security. Gotta love it.

Like I said, though, keep us posted on Stallman's words of wisdom. And Happy St. Pat's Day, in advance!