Melbourne SFD celebrants go for world record

In keeping with the philosophies of Software Freedom Day (SFD), three Melbourne teams are inviting the public to participate in their events for free on 16 September 2006. The teams join 12 others in Australia and about 150 teams worldwide in celebrating the virtues and availability of Free and Open Source Software.

SFD 2006 will be the third time that Linux Users of Victoria (LUV) take Software Freedom to the streets since the annual event was made a tradition in 2004. This year, LUV will host a free installfest and barbeque at the Unitarian church in East Melbourne, providing expert assistance to Linux newbies wanting a first taste of open source technologies.

At Melbourne Town Hall, Computerbank Victoria is organising a Software Freedom Day Bazaar that features a kids' software demo zone, a geek fashion show, a world record attempt at having the most laptops running from Live Linux CDs at one time, and, of course, the opportunity to network with important members of the Melbourne-based FOSS community.

"It's a great way to find out about Free and Open Source Software," said Donna Benjamin of Open Source Victoria, one of the Melbourne-based organisers of SFD 2006. "It's a great family activity, a non geeky end of things. It's fun and informative.

"The most exciting thing about SFD this year is the fact that I'm hearing about stuff that's happening around the world - in Kenya, Nepal, New Zealand, South Africa - it's fantastic to be involved in such a grassroots, community driven event."

The third team will be celebrating SFD at Victorian School of Languages in Box Hill, where the Dutch class will commemorate free software, such as Audacity, that has assisted their learning of languages.

Other schools taking part this year include St Michael's Grammar School, and Westall Secondary College.

"Westall is one of the most disadvantaged schools in Australia, so for them, Free and Open Source Software is fantastic," Benjamin said. "St Michael's is one of the more privileged schools, and they've been using Free and Open Source Software for teaching programming."

The participation of these two schools demonstrates the spectrum of FOSS users, she said.

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