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Free Software Events in Europe and Australia

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  • The FSFE at FOSDEM 2022 - FSFE

    This year's edition will be kicked off by a talk of Masafumi Ohta, teaching on Free Software license and compliances at the University of Electro-Communications in Japan at 13:00 CET. In his talk, Ohta addresses the issue on "How to teach OSS licenses and compliances at a university".

    At 13:30 CET, Italo Vignoli, a well-known Free Software advocate and a marketing and public relations consultant, gives a presentation on "Why the pandemic could help FOSS, but was a win for proprietary software".

  • FOSDEM 2022 schedule with embedded Linux, IoT, automotive... sessions - CNX Software

    While typically taking place in Brussels, Belgium, FOSDEM 2022 will take place online just like FOSDEM 2021 due to COVID-19 restrictions. The good news is that it means anybody can attend it live from anywhere in the world, and makes it more like “FOSDIM”, replacing European with International, in “Free and Open Source Developers’ European Meeting”.

    FOSDEM 2022 will take place on February 5-6 with 637 speakers, 718 events, and 103 tracks. I’ve made my own little virtual schedule below mostly with sessions from the Embedded, Mobile and Automotive devroom, but also other devrooms including “Computer Aided Modeling and Design”, “FOSS on Mobile Devices”, “Libre-Open VLSI and FPGA”, and others.

  • Talking digital with Brian Kernighan | Opensource.com

    Brian Kernighan has written many popular books about programming, computers, and technology. My own bookshelf includes several books authored or co-authored by Kernighan, including The C Programming Language, Unix: A History and A Memoir, The AWK Programming Language, and others. I just added another book by Kernighan, Understanding the Digital World: What You Need to Know about Computers, the Internet, Privacy, and Security, Second Edition, published in 2021 by Princeton University Press.

  • Australia/NZ Linux Meetings « etbe - Russell Coker

    I am going to start a new Linux focused FOSS online meeting for people in Australia and nearby areas. People can join from anywhere but the aim will be to support people in nearby areas.

    To cover the time zone range for Australia this requires a meeting on a weekend, I’m thinking of the first Saturday of the month at 1PM Melbourne/Sydney time, that would be 10AM in WA and 3PM in NZ. We may have corner cases of daylight savings starting and ending on different days, but that shouldn’t be a big deal as I think those times can vary by an hour either way without being too inconvenient for anyone.

    Note that I describe the meeting as Linux focused because my plans include having a meeting dedicated to different versions of BSD Unix and a meeting dedicated to the HURD. But those meetings will be mainly for Linux people to learn about other Unix-like OSs.

Brian Kernighan on the origins of Unix

  • Brian Kernighan on the origins of Unix

    Once again, the COVID pandemic has forced linux.conf.au to go virtual, thus depriving your editor of a couple of 24-hour, economy-class, middle-seat experiences. This naturally leads to a set of mixed feelings. LCA has always put a priority on interesting keynote talks, and that has carried over into the online event; the opening keynote for LCA 2022 was given by Brian Kernighan. Despite being seen as a founder of our community, Kernighan is rarely seen at Linux events; he used his LCA keynote to reminisce for a while on where Unix came from and what its legacy is.

    He began by introducing Bell Labs, which was formed by US telecommunications giant AT&T to carry out research on how to improve telephone services. A lot of inventions came out of Bell Labs, including the transistor, the laser, and fiber optics. Such was the concentration of talent there that, at one point, Claude Shannon and Richard Hamming shared an office. Kernighan joined Bell Labs in 1967, when there were about 25 people engaged in computer-science research.

    Early on, Bell Labs joined up with MIT and General Electric to work on a time-sharing operating system known as Multics. As one might have predicted, the attempted collaboration between a research lab, a university, and a profit-making company did not work all that well; Multics slipped later and later, and Bell Labs eventually pulled out of the project. That left two researchers who had been working on Multics — Ken Thompson and Dennis Ritchie — without a project to work on.

    After searching for a machine to work on, Thompson eventually found an old PDP-7, which was already obsolete at that time, to do some work on filesystem design. The first Unix-like system was, in essence, a test harness to measure filesystem throughput. But he and Ritchie later concluded that it was something close to the sort of timesharing system they had been trying to build before. This system helped them to convince the lab to buy them a PDP-11/20 for further development. [Brian Kernighan] The initial plan was to create a system for document processing, with an initial focus of, inevitably, preparing patent applications. The result was "recognizably Unix" and was used to get real work done.

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