I am honored to have had a chance to interview two of the most dedicated Freedomware and GNU/Linux advocates. Ken Starks and Larry Cafiero answered a number of questions about Lindependence 2008, an ambitious, multifaceted new advocacy project they have started recently. So, let’s get right down to it!
1. Could you tell a little bit about yourself?
Larry Cafiero: I’m a newspaper editor by profession, at least until I get my Unix/Linux Administrator’s certificate. I teamed up with Ken Starks to form HeliOS Solutions West — the West Coast arm of Ken’s entity HeliOS Solutions — last fall. My avocation is a Free/Libre Open Source Software evangelist, with an emphasis on the “free . . . as in free speech” aspect of FLOSS. I blog as Larry the Free Software guy at http://larrythefreesoftwareguy.wordpress.com. What might be more interesting is how I came to use and evangelize for FLOSS: I was the Green Party candidate for Insurance Commissioner in California in 2006, and I found that I didn’t need proprietary software to run my campaign. During the course of the campaign, I kept thinking about the paradigm and how important it is to implement FLOSS in today’s world, so I gave up politics and started advocating for free software.
Ken Starks: I’m the founder of Lobby4Linux and the author of Blog of helios. My involvement in Linux was more of an event than it was an evolution. My business was attacked by a variant of the sober worm and after having just replaced all my antivirus software, I decided enough was enough. I brought in our tech guy on a Friday morning and when my people came in on Monday, Linux was running their desktop and our servers. It was Kanotix…that was our first Linux system. I became an advocate for Linux when I realized just how many people were not aware they had a choice…I mean I really didn’t know I had a choice. Linux was just a word that was running around loose in the back of my mind and I knew it was an operating system. I really didn’t think of it as an alternative until I was forced to. I am also the founder and owner of HeliOS Solutions. It became apparent that people on their own might need some help in getting Linux installed on their computer and at the same time, our charity Komputers4Kids needed a funding mechanism. (www.fixedbylinux.com/about). HeliOS Solutions was the obvious answer to several problems and we are in our initial growing stage now. I live in Austin Texas with my long-suffering wife Debbie and my 14 year old daughter Amanda.
2. Could you briefly describe what Lindependence 2008 is about?
Larry Cafiero: Lindependence 2008 is primarily about exposing people, first, to the concept that they have a choice in their computing. If you ask some people, they will tell you that they use Windows (or MacOS) because it’s what came with their computer. Secondly, Lindependence 2008 hopes to bring the idea that the digital experience can be free — both in “free speech” _and_ “free beer” way. Most people have no concept that they “paid” for for the right to run Windows or MacOS when they bought their computer, but they don’t really own it. They own a license to use it. So think back about the first time you realized that GNU/Linux was free, and GNU/Linux didn’t exist under the threat of an army of viruses, and GNU/Linux was as easy (especially now) as using Windows or MacOS, et cetera, and I think that when people anywhere — here in Felton or around the world — know their options, they will chose the best option. That option, for personal computing of course, is GNU/Linux and the wide variety of FLOSS software that one can substitute for the proprietary software that is already out there. So I’m actually banking on people’s common sense and sense of maintaining their freedom to choose which OS and software to use to make this work.
Ken Starks: When I tell people that a disk exists that not only allows them to run an entire operating system on their computers, but comes complete with just about every piece of software they might ever need, most of them don’t believe me. When I actually show them and I convince them that it is completely legal, they are stunned. Now Larry is a bit more optimistic when it comes to human behavior than I am. I’ve seen too many people struggle with antivirus garbage and infected computers because they are too mentally lazy to learn something different. In fact, I believe that’s more the norm than it is the exception. LIN08 is about knocking people out of their comfort zones and showing them there is a better way. I equate learning Linux to a trip to the dentist. You put up with a toothache only so long before you finally break down and go get the offending tooth pulled. Sure it hurts like hell for a bit but once it’s over, you have an entirely new perspective on life and a big pain in your life is gone.
3. Who or what organizations are the primary organizers of this event?
Larry Cafiero: Ken Starks and I had been planning this project since last summer and it has been discussed with a wide variety of people. Most of the gestation and birthing of the idea was formulated in The Tux Project, an organization that promotes GNU/Linux is a wide variety of ways. But it’s actually Ken and I who are taking this from idea to reality, with the full realization that it’s not completely our idea — in the spirit of FLOSS it actually belongs to everyone, and it is my hope that others will follow our lead and do the same thing in their communities. We are utilizing the offices of HeliOS Solutions West — my partnership with Ken in converting people to GNU/Linux — as a base of operations for this project. We will be meticulously documenting our experience, to the point where we have two documentary makers interested in filming what we are doing here.
Ken Starks: (Ken gestures with his head in a quick jerk upward) “Yeah, what he said.”
4. How are you going to convince the citizens of Felton to install GNU/Linux on their machines for that week? What are your persuasion methods?
Larry Cafiero: My persuasion methods? Bribery. Just kidding. I don’t think it’s difficult to show people they have a wide range of problems using Windows (and I’ll talk about MacOS later), so I think people will welcome options to the long legacy of Windows shortcomings, too. Again, I think that when people are shown they have a choice, they will generally make an informed decision. There’s also a political subtext at play in Felton as well: The people of Felton — as well as everyone in the San Lorenzo Valley area — generally speaking have a pretty wide independent streak in them. The latest example of this is that the town of Felton overwhelmingly voted to take back their waterworks from a company owned by German multinational RWE, so the concepts of placing what should be in the public domain in public ownership is very clear here, to say nothing of how ingrained the concept of freedom of choice is.
How we provide GNU/Linux to the community will be another study in group dynamics. We plan to hold a series of “town meetings” and installfests to introduce people to GNU/Linux — have them try it, have them ask questions, et cetera — and give them either a thumb drive or LiveCD, at the very least, with which to run GNU/Linux. I hoping that we make some converts during the meetings and installfests to take the plunge and dual-boot — or single boot — GNU/Linux so they can try each OS side by side. After a week, if they wish to go back to Windows, they can, and vaya con dios to them. However, if they choose to convert, I can help facilitate their change by being on the ground here in Felton.
Ken Starks: Here is what has worked for me 95 percent of the times it has been used. I present it in a series of questions and let the individual come to their own conclusions. I lead them to an obvious conclusion that THEY verbalize…that’s the important part. Make them think it’s their idea. It goes something like this:
“OK…here is the deal I am going to offer you. I am going to sell you a product you need. Now, what I am not telling you is that after I sell you this product, you are going to need to either purchase or obtain at least two other products in order for the product I just sold you to work. In fact, it is going to come as an abrupt and rude surprise. How are you going to feel about that? In fact, if you don’t purchase or obtain the other products, I can guarantee you the product I sell you will cause you more damage than good.” The majority of the people tell me that they would be angry with me. When I ask them what they would do about it, they mostly say that they would confront me and demand their money back or that I be the one to pay for the additional products. Some say they would report me to the law enforcement officials or at least the Better Business Bureau. I then explain to them that they have already been subjected to this very situation with their computers…that the antivirus and antispyware shareware on their new computers is exactly the additional products they are being “channeled” into purchasing. I also show them the Dell billing breakdown that shows them in black and white that they absolutely do pay for Microsoft Windows on a new computer, it is by no means “thrown in free.”
What it comes down to is fear and laziness. People are generally frightened of their computers. To them, the computer represents this mystical place where magick takes place and they see themselves as amazed and sometimes frustrated bystanders to the computing event instead of the manipulators and Master of their machine. We hope to appeal to their logical side…to their independent side. We think that once they see that they are indeed in control, and how much control they relinquish by using Windows, then they will make the obvious choice.
4. Is the goal to convert 100% of the town or as close to it as possible? What if only half of the citizens or less actually switch?
Larry Cafiero: That’s a lofty goal — 100 percent — but to be honest, I don’t think we’ll get everyone. If only half the citizens switch, it will be a miracle. But frankly, however many we get to convert, it will be a victory. First and foremost, this project is about choice, and while we’re going to be contacting everyone in town — at the very least, all the residents will get a letter outlining our project — it will be up to those who wish to change to step up and change. The project already has some buzz in the business and residential sectors of the community, so this close-knit town knows what’s going on. And I understand and respect that some may just not want to change from Windows and MacOS — I may not agree, but I respect that person’s choice and do what I can to persuade him or her otherwise. So we’re not holding a gun to anyone’s head, obviously, but let me say again that I think most people, given the choice, will choose the better of two or more options, and that’s where our strength lies.
Ken Starks: If only two people convert their computers over to Linux here, we’ve done our job. See, again I point to human nature as the thing that fails here…not the system. Windows is where it is because it gained OEM status at a crucial point in computing history. It was the perfect storm of circumstance and physical presence…all the pieces were in the same place at the same time for this to happen…and make no mistake, this was as political of an event as it was anything else and Microsoft payed millions to insure it “happened”. If two people change over to Linux, it will achieve what we want it to achieve. those two people influence kids, family, friends and neighbors…it is a microchasm of the entire Linux experience. We win by ones and twos. I fully expect to convert hundreds during this project.
5. What will be done when encountering proprietary software with no free equivalents? Will you use only free drivers or will some non-free drivers like nvidia or fglrx be used? Will it be allowed to use ndiswrapper and ntfs-3g (fuse fs) for using proprietary devices and ntfs storage or will you convert already existing ntfs storage by moving all the data to open file systems? (question from the community)
Larry Cafiero: Some distros choose to use non-free drivers and there’s not much I can do about that, as much as I might disagree with that direction. But I don’t think we should “not allow” a distro because it may have proprietary software — to do so would limit us to, like, four distros: gNewSense (which I use and like), Ututo, Blag and another that I can’t think of off the top of my head, all of which are 100 percent free. So if the question is, “Are we going to bar distros that use non-free drivers?” The answer obviously is “No,” because barring them would defeat the purpose of the project. However if you’re asking “How are we going to handle non-free proprietary software on GNU/Linux distros?” I can answer that we will be talking about proprietary software that exists in some GNU/Linux distros, their inherent dangers, the progress in free drivers being developed to be used in their place and make people aware of their options in steering toward the ideal of completely free-as-in-freedom computing.
Ken Starks: Pragmatics before politics, period. I know people that run what I consider crippled machines because of their political and social views on free vs proprietary software. Now, propware as I lazily call it isn’t inherently evil as some would have you think. I don’t begrudge anyone making a living from their labor or ideas. What I do have a problem with is people that brow beat others for using closed-source software but do absolutely nothing to support or perpetuate the development of an open source equivelant. Case in Point. Where is this Open Source Graphics Card? Where is it? It’s being “invented” for years now but those who damand one uses the open source drivers cannot tell you the status of that project and even more of them won’t contribute financially to “free software”. They won’t lift a finger to help the project financially or with their own talents, then what gives them the right to dictate someone use an inferior product because it aligns itself with a political ideal? No, I will use and advocate the software that gets the job done. Like Larry, I will inform my customers and clients of their open source alternatives and the benefits of using them, but I won’t beat them over the head with my politics. We will offer what works until something from FOSS sources emerges. No Gentoo pun intended.
6. What about Microsoft makes you want to liberate people from it? Are you also pushing to liberate Mac users enslaved to the Forbidden Fruit? (question from the community)
Larry Cafiero: I’m going to let Ken handle the long laundry list of Microsoft’s many shortcomings. As a long-time Mac user who still runs Debian on iMacs at home and Xubuntu on an iBook, GNU/Linux is a perfect fit for many Mac models that are still in operation but have “outlived” the latest MacOS, which is not available to them. In fact, those who know me hear this a lot, but let me say this yet again: A smart distro will keep developing for the PowerPC platform because Apple hardware, with a couple of exceptions, is rock solid and will outlast anything anyone else makes. Debian realizes this. Various BSD distros, especially NetBSD, realize this because you can run Macs that are 15 years old on NetBSD. But to get back to your original question, I don’t consider GNU/Linux “forbidden fruit,” but yes, we will be inviting Mac users to convert as well.
Ken Starks: Microsoft has proved to the world that they are not responsible enough to handle the wealth and power they’ve achieved…not in a way that really helps the world. Now sure, Bill and Melinda are doing amazing work with the Gates Foundation and on that level, I salute their efforts and their motives..but to my mind, I am wondering how many people have been enslaved to MS software in order for them to go forth and do good work. Look, Bill Gates is the most powerful man in the world. Make no mistake…In the right circumstances, the US government will want every computer user to use Windows. We can be controlled that way. I’m not saying it’s that way now, but I am saying with 90 percent certainty that the machinery is in place right now to insure every computer connected to the internet can be disabled if it is NOT running Windows. You are just going to have to trust me on this. And no, I won’t name my source, but I know for a fact that the plan for such an event is in place should it ever be deemed as necessary. When Bill Gates is the first person to meet and greet the Chinese President and the actual president of the US doesn’t get to see him for 36 hours after he arrives, what does that tell you?
And that’s my politics coming into focus so take them with what ever measure of salt you wish. Microsoft has had the plan to control the Internet since 1999. their initial goal was to have the “Microsoft Internet Welcome Portal” in place by 2012. I may have said too much but that’s not uncommon. The fact that they have worked unbelievably hard to stifle the growth of Linux is my motivation. You cannot provide a product then actively work to destroy a market alternative to that product. Anyone else would have done the perp walk by now…but after all, we’re talking about Bill Gates here.
You bet I want every computer user to know they have a choice. Mac, Windows…everyone. They need to know the choice is there whether they choose to use it or not. That is what LIN08 is about and that is what GNU/Linux is about…choice
7. How do you think will this project help GNU/Linux or Freedomware adoption in the long term?
Larry Cafiero: Clearly the more people who are exposed to GNU/Linux and FLOSS — Freedomware, if you prefer — the more people will accept it. Getting it out there in this way — and with people reproducing this project in their own communities — can only help promote GNU/Linux and Freedomware. And again, let me emphasize that we encourage FLOSS/Freedomware advocates in other communities to hold the same kind of events in their areas, and we’d be glad to allow them to draw from our experiences and we’ll be glad to help.
Ken Starks: A person doesn’t contribute anything to a cause or a physical thing if he doesn’t know about it…I mean in any meaningful way. The more people we have using Linux, the more people we have to draw from a technical sense. It is simply a matter of percentages…the more within the pool, the greater the chance that some of them will become interested in the technical aspects of FOSS. It’s a matter of numbers.
8. When you say you will make people “Microsoft-free”, doesn’t that mean that dual-booted systems (which still run Microsoft Windows along side GNU/Linux) do not fit this vision? Does this make your proposition an “either Windows or GNU/Linux” one? (derived from a community submission)
Larry Cafiero: I hate to keep harping on this, but once people compare the two operating systems — even if they have them both installed on their machines — they will see which operating system and programs are superior. So I think dual-booting eventually would become a moot point. People may keep a partition with Windows on it for a variety of reasons, but I believe that if they use GNU/Linux for a majority of their daily computing, Microsoft has lost its monopoly — in fact, when people have a choice and they don’t use Microsoft, Microsoft loses, period. So are they Microsoft-free? Technically, no. But as dual-booters, do they continue to be enslaved by whatever Windows OS and proprietary software is on their machine? Not anymore.
Ken Starks: It will be a process for most people. They will find themselves booting into Windows less and less until one day they start eyeing that Windows partition as wasted space for their Linux machine. GTParted anyone?
9. How has this project been received by the Free Software communities, media and public at large?
Larry Cafiero: I have been out in the community since last fall, and the reception in the residential and business community has been a positive one. We had a short delay in the project when I was burned out of the office space I rented, and working out of my home was not the same. So we’re back in Felton and we essentially haven’t missed a beat. The local media — for which I work — has shown an interest, and I think we have piqued the interest of some national publications.
Ken Starks: The “Linux Community” such as it is, is pretty non-reactionary. We are so spread out it’s hard to know just who is getting the news and who is just not interested. It’s my contention that most of the Linux Community could care less about the spread of Linux. They have their free beer and as long as no one messes with that, they pretty much close the rest of the world out. Fortunately, we have what I refer to as the “two-percenters.” People like Richie Chapman and Ken Jennings…Gene and Wanda Lake…man there are lots of people who care, but in the grand scope, they are out numbered by those who can’t see past the needs of their own cpu’s. It’s that two percent that will make this work…The others will climb on the wagon once it gets to where it is going, but that is with everything, not just Linux.
I have a few people locally looking at this, from an “Austin man makes a difference” point of view. Newspapers and the such. NPR will be looking at this and once the project hits critical mass, it will fill the news cycle the way it needs to. Getting it to critical mass is the trick.
10. Why was Felton chosen?
Larry Cafiero: I live in the next town over, Scotts Valley, and I shop and do business in Felton. I spend a lot of time here because I like Felton — it’s the home of Henry Cowell State Park, home of the giant redwoods in central California, and there’s an excellent small-town vibe here, if you’ll forgive me for sounding like a Californian. Also, as I mentioned earlier, Felton has shown that it has an independent streak a mile wide, and in my opinion, it’s a natural place for people to exercise their freedom of digital choice. Another aspect that makes Felton attractive for this project is that we are just over the hill from the Silicon Valley, and there is a wealth of knowledge and expertise that we can draw from on “the other side of the hill.”
Ken Starks: I had the original plan taking place in a small town outside of Austin called Manor. With the fact that half the town still using dial up and most of them still referring to hard drive space as “memory”, I thought we might need to go someplace a bit more “tech-connected”. With Larry so close to Felton, it became the natural choice. He’s doing all the hard work there and he deserves much more than he’ll ever get for his efforts. He’d done amazing things already just on the logistical side of this project. He is to be applauded for what he’s done.
11. What will the media events include?
Larry Cafiero: It depends on what you mean by media events. If you mean press conferences and the like, we have a full schedule of press releases and press conference slated between now and July. I also plan to dress up as Thomas Jefferson on July 4th, but that’s another story. If you mean what local events will be taking place, we will be holding “town meetings” and installfests around GNU/Linux and FLOSS programs throughout the month of June — so far we’ve scheduled one weeknight and one weekend day (probably Saturdays) every week in June — where representatives from distros can show their wares, where people can listen to speakers talk about FOSS, where people can participate in the Steve Ballmer Chair Toss competition — it will vary. All of this leads to July 4th, where we’re still discussing whether to have an event on that day to kick off the week of proprietary-free Felton, or whether we should just be available to start fielding questions when they arise.
Ken Starks: I will be the “Paul Revere” character. Some have suggested that chicken little might be more apt, but then again, that’s coming from a section of the community I spoke of earlier. I have named them in my blogs as the IDGAC Group. Sounds really cool and technical doesn’t it? IDGAC? I-don’t-give-a-crap.
I’ve been in contact with NPR, MSNBC, CNET and a few other news organizations and they all express an interest in knowing more about this project as it evolves. I am sending them progress reports and updates as we go.
12. How long will media events last?
Larry Cafiero: Until they end. There is no set time for the events to end, and we will also be holding assessments in late July to see how we did, and where this will happen next.
Ken Starks: What I am hoping for is that this event will draw some official Linux “happenings” like the Linux Foundation Summit here in Austin this April. I will be in attendance for that by the way. Now that event is by invitation only so we don’t want to put that restriction on any Linux event that happens in Felton, but I see it as a perfect place to hold such events should they need to occur in that time frame. this is also a golden opportunity for behavioral scientists to observe the physical mechanics of computer users as they interface with a new system. I have volumes of empirical data compiled from the hundreds of installs I’ve done, but again, it is empirical. Non of the settings were scientific or controlled. anyone interested in doing any studies or social experiments should contact Larry or I about setting it up. Christian Einfeldt will be the professional Film Maker documenting the whole thing so I am hoping some of his footage will be helpful in that area as well.
13. Do you have a website that will report daily the events of Lindependence 2008?
Larry Cafiero: Yes, we will. We are in the initial stages of setting that up and should have it up and running in the next week or so. Certainly before the end of March. Currently we have a temporary site up athttp://faq.fixedbylinux.com-a.googlepages.com/lindependence2008-bringinglinuxtothemass
Ken Starks: The site Larry mentions above is active but not really being developed yet. Landy DeField made a template for the LINdependence 2008 site that looks like the Declaration of Independence. Stephen Rufle has parked the domains, but we will need someone to step forward and volunteer to develop the site. Hopefully, someone reading this will be able to help.
14. When do you estimate will the Lindependence 2008 site be launched?
Larry Cafiero: That site’s active now, right, Ken?
Ken Starks: It is active now.
15. Will there be a live stream of the events online?
Larry Cafiero: That’s a possiblity I hadn’t considered, but there should be. Again, it would be just the events leading up to the week of proprietary-free use. Bear in mind, too, we are keeping a pretty thorough account of what we’re doing here and we have two documentary makers interested in videotaping our project, so there will be no shortage of information about what we’re doing, and we’ll use whatever technology at our disposal to get it out to the rest of the world.
16. What are the ways the Free Software communities and others can contribute?
Larry Cafiero: Well, first and foremost, the folks in Felton — and just about everywhere else — need to draw from the Free Software community’s vast wealth of knowledge and I hope that is forthcoming. Secondly, I believe that the distros and FLOSS programs which plan to be involved should be ready for a wide variety of questions and promotional opportunities. Third, there’s the money aspect — this is going to cost in the area of $25,000 by our budget when factoring items like in hall rental space, advertising in the local media, postage for at least four (possibly more) mailings and other organizational factors, and we’re asking for donations from both GNU/Linux distros and from individuals in the GNU/Linux community. When distros or FLOSS programs donate over a certain amount, we will list them on the Web site, and we’re asking individuals who are donating to donate on behalf of their favorite distro, and we’ll put the money in that column when calculating the donations.
Ken Starks: This is an area that makes many in the Linux Community uncomfortable but at this point, we are asking people to step out of their comfort zones and lend a hand. This is going to cost a lot of money but the benefit of a successful event will not be able to bear a price tag. This could be the turning point for Linux…I mean historically. For people to just sit on their hands without putting a couple bucks into this would be ten points past sad…but then again, it’s the Linux Community we are talking about here and that kind of apathy would be completely expected. Also, the fact that this is happening in the US will cause many in other nations to ignore it as well…they have no vision of how far-reaching this project is going to be. Historically, they haven’t really been interested in their own computing survival. Fortunately, that two percent I spoke of earlier will carry the rest of them on their backs and this thing will get done
17. What distributions are involves so far?
Larry Cafiero: Ken has been in contact with a couple of distros, and I just sent out invitations to distros and FLOSS programs to join us. So we don’t have a firm list to give to you. I can say, however, Ken and I had an opportunity to have this project sponsored by one of the larger distros, but we decided against it because it would mean the project would be distro specific, and we want to emphasize that people have a choice in the variety of GNU/Linux distros out there. Ken might be able to explain that a little better.
Ken Starks: Yes, Larry is correct. There was a commercial Linux Distro that absolutely salivated at the chance to do this but in return it would have been “X distro all the time.” That’s not what we are after…then again, there is the chance that we made a bad decision. The communities reaction and support will answer that question for us in time. It may occur that we might need that funding, but to be honest, I think it’s time the Linux Community stopped asking Mommy and Daddy to quit doing things for them and start doing things like this for themselves. Many will, trust me, but many more will yawn and click to a story about python scripting…it’s just the nature of the beast. Again, time will tell.
18. I understand this event was also intended to serve as a blueprint for other such events in other cities of the world? Will you release material which would help others in the world learn from your experiences with Felton?
Larry Cafiero: Absolutely. I would encourage everyone to do what we’re doing in their communities, whether you’re in the U.S., Europe or elsewhere. We will gladly share what works and what doesn’t with everyone, both as the project develops and after it’s over. In fact, to put it in historical terms that people in the U.S. would understand, Ken and I both feel that Felton is the Lexington and Concord of the new digital revolution. For those outside the U.S., that probably doesn’t make much sense, but Lexington and Concord are the towns where the first battles of the American Revolution took place. Despite what you might think of present-day America, the colonists throwing off the chains of the British monarchy was a significant development in human liberty. So I like to think of this as an act of liberation.
Ken Starks: Yes, this will act as a blueprint for other events like it. Hopefully, our mistakes will be learned from and even better projects will evolve from our efforts. We can have a lot of fun with the Declaration of Independence thing if only others join in the planning and building of this. This will be known by many as The Battle of Felton.
19. Is there a preliminary program for the events?
Ken Starks and Larry Cafiero: We need to have a better idea of what distros and what FOSS programs are going to be involved before we set any kind of program. E-mail invitations have been sent out to about 35 distros and about 10 FOSS programs. If we missed you, e-mail Larry at lcafiero [at] fixedbylinux.com. While we’re arranging things here, we’re also waiting by the phone and by the computer for an answer. We’ll be sending a second e-mail out next week, and if we don’t at least hear an acknowledgment from a particular distro/FOSS program, we’re going to assume that they aren’t interested and we’ll go forward nonetheless.
If a distro/FOSS program believes in what we’re doing but can’t make it to Felton, we can arrange some sort of presence, although we can’t represent the distro/FOSS program ourselves. They would be best to contact Larry at the e-mail address above. When we have a better idea who is coming and who isn’t — which distro/FOSS program talks the talk AND walks the walk, so to speak — then we can present a program on our Web site.
XX. Something I hope I can ask you sometime mid-July: Can you describe the look on Microsoft representative’s face when they realize they just lost a town?
Larry Cafiero: I can’t describe the look on his face, but I’m sure it would be one of surprise. And I will have a tape measure and see how far Steve Ballmer throws whatever chair may be in his way at that time. 🙂
Ken Starks: I actually have a news person interested in covering that aspect…but I fully expect the MS representative to “no comment” the whole thing…that would be their safest bet anyway.
Thank you Ken and Larry! Also thanks to kdean06, WaterSoul and Jose from Nuxified and Libervis communities for question submissions.