Linux Australia is taking free and open source software to the streets with Australia's first Software Freedom Day on September 10, 2005.
Linux Australia expects thousands of people across the nation to participate in the global initiative which is being coordinated by more than 12 teams in all capital cities as well as towns such as Coffs Harbour and Townsville.
Booths will be established to distribute free Linux CDs and other giveaways as part of Software Freedom Day and a Linux Australia spokesman said support will be provided to community centres in disadvantaged areas in a bid to address the nation's digital divide.
Australia's digital divide is growing with home Internet use still dominated by upper income earners, particularly when it comes to broadband access.
Announcing Software Freedom Day, the Linux Australia spokesman said: "Unfortunately, socio-economic divisions have created a significant gap in the access to ICT opportunities within our society. If Australia reduced the percentage of its current ICT-related deficit by redirecting imported software expenditure to computer hardware and services for the average citizen, more opportunities for the population will arise."
The spokesman said free software is particularly beneficial for the socio-economically disadvantaged, as inexpensive second-hand computer hardware is readily available. "Free software gives people access to most applications they are likely to need - completely free."
Linux Australia went on to list examples of free software including a booklet available at http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/FLOSS_Concept_Booklet.
For booths locations on the Software Freedom day, go to: http://maitri.ubuntu.com/softwarefreedomday/wiki/index.php/Australia