[Ubuntu-US-PA] Remix the Future - Update

Bryan Behrenshausen behrenshausen at gmail.com
Thu Sep 10 14:08:53 BST 2009

Hello everyone,

A few months ago, I sent a message to this list, indicating my
interest in bringing an Ubuntu-centric open-source event to
Millersville University in Lancaster in conjunction with the
university's new annual theme, "Remix the Future."  Since that time,
I've been investigating the viability of a number of potential campus
events, and wanted to take a moment to update all of you on my

In late July I enjoyed a wonderful lunch with Bret, during which I
expressed my desire to introduce students to Ubuntu.  I have several
reasons for wanting to do this:

* To help students understand that they have a _choice_ of operating
systems to install on their computers
* To introduce students to the philosophy behind F/OSS
* To mobilize several open-source advocacy groups I suspect might
already be latent on campus
* To expose students to the Ubuntu operating system as a viable
alternative to other familiar computing platforms

Bret suggested a number of potential campus events and activities that
would help me achieve these goals, including:

* Short public talks about the principles behind and benefits of F/OSS
* Ubuntu demonstrations in lecture halls or library lab settings
* Demonstrations of Ubuntu's various bundled apps
* A "hands-on with Ubuntu" table with demos for students
* An Ubuntu InstallFest facilitated by members of the PA loco team
* A cluster of terminals in the library dedicated to running Ubuntu

I recently spoke with a colleague at the university library, who was
most excited to discuss the last initiative: Installing a cluster of
Ubuntu computers in the library's reference cluster so students could
easily access and accomplish daily reference/writing/communcating
tasks using open-source software (currently, the entire library runs
Windows XP).  She informed me that the library recently received
funding to purchase a whole host of new materials to support and
promote the new university theme (see my previous message for more
details).  We are hoping to unveil the new collection of materials in
a public event open not only to university students and faculty, but
also to community members and folks from surrounding libraries.

My colleague and I think this event would provide an excellent
opportunity to also announce the availability of the new open-dource
terminals with brief presentations about the philosophy of
open-source, the benefits of Ubuntu, and more.  We're hoping members
of the PA loco team might be available to attend this event and
participate in any of the following ways:

* Give short informative presentations about Ubuntu and open-source
* Offer demonstrations of Ubuntu features
* Staff the new terminals to guide new users through their initial
interactions with the software
* Distribute informational/promotional materials about Ubuntu and
open-source software
* Hand out installation disks to folks who might like to perform their
own installations of Ubuntu
* Facilitate a "mini InstallFest" for users who bring computers on
which they'd like to run Ubuntu

And, of course, we are open to suggestions for other ways in which we
might enhance the presence of open-source software at this event!

As is the case with all events and announcements of this kind, our
ability to host and run the event is contingent upon proper support
from various parties across campus and financial support from the
library.  My colleague is currently investigating the feasibility of
hosting an event some time this academic semester -- most likely in
late October or early November.

I welcome your feedback, thoughts, and suggestions on ways we can
structure this event and make it as successful as possible.


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