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Software Freedom Day 2012!

Irenie White

credativ UK once again celebrated Software Freedom Day this month. Although it was one of just 4 registered events taking place in the UK, Software Freedom Day is a global event. A lot of time and preparation went in to making sure it was as successful as last year, and it paid off. Around a hundred visitors passed through the doors, drawn by various press releases, letters to local councillors and schools, and online marketing efforts from the sponsors, who included the local Rugby LUG (Linux User Group), social enterprise Cultivating Communities, and OpusVL, among other open source service providers in the area.. This year, organizers wanted to particularly attract teachers and representatives from local schools, as well as volunteers who might be interested in signing up to host or help with a CodeClub. The event itself proved popular with people of all ages and walks of life. SFD26 entrance#.JPG In the entrance hall visitors were met by experts volunteering advice and information; they could sample free software and enjoy refreshments cooked by the Indian cuisine group held weekly in the Benn Partnership Centre. SFD61 agedinentrance.JPG Craig Barnes, a regular at the Rugby LUG, had designed and built a drum kit with home-made pads and electronics, which was operated by an Arduino using open source software. This was great fun and popular with all ages. SFD17 arduinodrums inuse.JPG SFD03 drumarduino.JPG Visitors enthused about the "hands-on" tech experience in the Arduino, Raspberry Pi and Scratch workshops, which were full for most of the day. SFD43 arduinofull.JPG Working hard in the Arduino room: SFD07 arduino work.JPG Using Scratch to operate Raspberry Pi computers: SFD52 dylan.JPG SFD62 andymike.JPG Scratch was quickly mastered by the kids passing through this room, who then received a certificate: SFD11 kidsteaching scratch.JPG Rugby's local MP, Mark Pawsey, welcomed the opportunity to raise awareness about free software and open source technologies in the town. He appeared in press coverage beforehand and has been supportive of efforts by credativ and the Open Source Consortium in campaigning for government adoption of open source software during the past year. Mark Pawsey with Stuart Mackintosh of OpusVL at Software Freedom Day: SFD44 pawseystuart.JPG Avon Valley School donated 20 PCs for use on the day, which were used to demo Linux based operating systems and open source applications. SFD05 entrance comps2.JPG Visitors thought the event was "well-presented", "inspiring" and an "excellent learning day", run by "very enthusiastic and informative experts". We would like to say thank you to all our wonderful volunteers who did such a fantastic job. Here are a few of them: SFD74 volunteersgroupshot.jpg Based on the success of the event we are planning further events throughout the year.

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