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Re: Sharing your free software / quarantine success story

From: Paul Sutton
Subject: Re: Sharing your free software / quarantine success story
Date: Wed, 22 Apr 2020 20:51:06 +0100

Hi All

Firstly sorry for the long e-mail.

Right now, I seem to be doing several things on this front, but more in
a low key / subliminal way.

Firstly I am doing a BASIC it course, (partly just to get a bit of paper
that says I can use a computer), I can try and give examples of free
tools for collaboration, so for example meet, git, etc,  In fact
I think if I mention git, it runs along side github and free software
alternatives such as gitlab, for example.
I don't want to get in to complex detail on things but if I just note
that there is more than simply github,  it hopefully gets a message
over, little by little.

I am also running a local code club at my Local library in Paignton, so
I can try and drop in to the conversation about free software etc,  if
there is interest discuss further, we have a few netbooks so am using
Raspbian desktop on them, so again there is a way to drop in to the
conversation that is just one of many distributions built using free

The code club has gone virtual, so the library are sharing things via
faceobok / twitter (out of my hands).

Also helping to run the South Devon Tech Jam, which is a monthly tech
event,  so again I can do the same, drop free software into the
conversation.  This is suspended during covid19 but it gives me a chance
to perhaps do something that will give the free software communities
more exposure, or figure out how to.

So the issues are:

I feel that I am up against it a lot of the time,  people insist on
using trello (rather than Kanban), ms office or mainstream social media.
There is little thinking out side of that box.

a few things I hear ? (and these arguments may be familar to people)

MS is industry standard (well sure,  but LaTeX is standard to produce
academic and scientific papers).  We need to shout louder in favour of
open document formats, and cite where odt is an approved / used standard.

No one uses x free software tool,  well of course they do, we use it.

Apparently no one uses the fediverse.

Everyone uses facebook or people use it as their friends do,  there are
lots of events near to me that are using facebook live etc, so to be
part of that you HAVE to be on facebook,  which forces people to
surrender their privacy.

It seems there is therefore a cynical barrier to free software and
freedom.  Or the idea the hackers just produce poor code as if it is
hacked together without much thought.  Children / young people are more
responsive to the discussion.  This could be a key thing here.

Some solutions

What I can do is mention free software tools on my personal blog.  I
mostly use LaTeX and overleaf, so the former is free software at least,
so that is being mentioned under collaboration for the IT course.

In terms of a few success stories:

My uncle is running Linux mint,
My neighbours daughters laptop is broken (hardware issue I think), so I
have lent her a spare netbook running Raspbian, I installed google
chrome as I took a guess it would work with her school learning
platform, chromium doesn't cut it for me, scratch runs like a snail.

It does mean she can do her homework from school.  So far no problems.
Which I think shows that children / young people are a real key factor
in the movement they don#t see the OS as a barrier it can be anything
they figure it out.  It also shows free software is perfectly find for
peoples needs.

Once the videos for libreplanet 2020 are out, we perhaps need to start
conversations on the fediverse at least,  tag in people share as much as
possible and use these forums,  that way people on fb etc will miss out,

So far the South Devon Tech Jam has a handful of people (literally) who
attend, despite having something like 30+ likes on facebook.

What I would like to see is more likes on the fediverse (it will add
more legitimacy to my rather unofficial fediverse account and counter
the argument no one uses it.)   But also some sort of conversations
taking place that some how include that account, so the conversation
shows up in the feed.   Or If I share say the libreplatnet videos,
people click like, boost or what ever.

This is more about adding something to our argument, than just having

Ok that is sort of manipulation of things but no where near as much as
the mainstream social media networks manipulate things.

Anyway just thought I would share this,


Paul Sutton

On 15/04/2020 21:44, Greg Farough wrote:
> Hi, everyone,
> As you know, we have been working on making sure everyone understands
> the value of using free software to communicate with their friends and
> loved ones. Now that the vast majority of us are both working and
> socializing remotely, it is now more important than ever that people
> migrate to solutions that respect their freedom. We've already
> described a few in a recent article[1], and are planning to draw more
> attention to this subject in the near future.
> Recently, we were contacted by a free software community member who
> shared the inspiring story[2] of setting up a Jitsi server for a local
> school. It got us thinking and writing an article on the power of
> individual initiatives like this one, which is why we're reaching out
> to you.
> Have you brought your family, friends, or workplace online by using
> free software? Have you helped schools getting started using free
> software like our Spanish community member? Are you 3D-printing or
> collaborating in some other way with people working in the medical
> relief effort?
> No matter what contribution you might have made recently, we're
> interested in hearing about it. I'm sure it will provide us all with
> hope and motivation in a difficult time. Let's get the conversation
> started here, and compare notes on the successes (and good efforts!)
> we've made at bringing freedom to all.
> Best,
> -Greg
> [1]: 
> [2]: 
>  (Spanish)
> _______________________________________________
> libreplanet-discuss mailing list

Paul Sutton
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