DebConf16 Open Festival day 1
Today was day one of the DebConf16 Open Festival and I attended the open hardware panel, part of the talk about Code For South Africa, shirish's experiences and the DebConf new folks session.
The open hardware panel was a wide ranging discussion between bdale, Andy and indiebio. bdate talked about the experiences he has had with his rocketry hardware. bdale said "Make concious decisions about what you are buying", referencing a case where he investigated, found a GPL violation and didn't buy. Various people care about openness of different layers of the hardware. Off-the-shelf products are very strongly integrated, which is great for makers but means that people who care about lower layers like CPU micro-architecture aren't able to participate. Andy said "We are just beginning to come out of the shareware stage [of open hardware]". bdale mentioned the companies who do hardware production as a service from design files. Later in the pub some folks mentioned j-core, an open re-implementation of SuperH processors.
I missed most of the code4sa talk unfortunately, but it was about government services and open data.
shirish covered his journey through life to Debian. His youth, how satellite TV and knowledge of the outside world came to India around the time of the Iraq war. His experience accessing the Internet for the first time, uncensored vs the usual censorship in India's media. His experiences of Windows 95 viruses and crashes. He learned of PCTwist Linux through a magazine cover. His initial install was not a success but eventually managed to break through and install a desktop, but experienced network and other issues. Eventually he encountered Ubuntu and began contributing bug reports. His experiences there led him to Debian. He began blogging about Debian. In the last few years he and others have been going around the country doing mini-DebConfs at institutes around India. The first question was predictably about having a DebConf in India and how shirish might like to get more involved. DebConf in India sounds like a possibility some day and shirish was thinking about getting involved in publicity, marketting and the Debian installer.
The DebConf new folks session was a great intro to DebConf for folks new to the community. There were some quite excellent touches added to this year's version of the event by indiebio and Rhonda.
I also got some things done. Usual spam reporting. Reviewed wiki RecentChanges. Talked to the chromium-bsu/MacPorts maintainer about AX_CHECK_GL brokenness. Filed Debian wishlist bug #829292 asking to update autoconf-archive. Redirected a Hurd porterbox request to the exodar admin and quickly found out I was wrong to do that, rectified. Then we found out the LDAP sync to exodar was broken. Replied to someone who intends to sell Debian pre-installs. Thanked BunsenLabs folks for joining the derivatives list. Applied reproducible builds patch for cats from Chris Lamb. Heard about awesome new terminal-mode screensaver. Moo! Prepared a blog post about check-all-the-things.