Another year, another Software Freedom Day…
Scrub that. That sounds far too mundane.
Software Freedom Day rocked!!!
I could not attend last year (since it coincided with my mum’s birthday), but this year I dived in head-first as an official helper on the A/V Team. I was assigned to do video editing and encoding, which basically entailed cropping the beginning and end off the recorded presentations and then encoding to Ogg (Vorbis and Theora) format. I had a wicked rig set up in the UNSW Law theatre that we were using for the talks, consisting of two laptops and a DV camera. The DV camera was originally intended to serve as a backup to a DVD camera we had set up elsewhere, but due to some technical glitches it rose in importance. I ended up being solely a cameraman, since we weren’t able to read our recorded DVDs on the day (it later turned out to be a simple matter of finalising the disc).
Although it was tiring keeping an eye on the camera for the entire day (through all of the talks), I must say that I enjoyed myself immensely. Pia did a fantastic job of organising and co-ordinating the event, not just in Sydney but also globally (as President of Software Freedom International). Silvia had the A/V Team well organised, and despite some minor setbacks I think we are well-prepared for LCA 2007.
What impressed me most was the speech by Senator Kate Lundy. She proved that it wasn’t orchestrated in an interview with James Purser a few days later. She truly understands what free software is about, and she does not fall into the common traps of seeing free as gratis, or open source as only having a cost benefit. She’s set up her own Joomla-based web site, and she uses Audacity to record her audio.
It’s striking to see how Senator Lundy differs from her former nemesis (while she oversaw the Communications and IT shadow ministry), Richard Alston. That is a man who was labelled ‘The World’s Biggest Luddite’ by several international news outlets during his tenure. It is shameful to see how underappreciated she is in her party. Would it not best serve the interests of the country to have a (shadow) minister who actually knew something about their portfolio? Maybe so, but that would interfere with the politicking