Software Freedom Day 2013 @ Virtusa

This last week, the fine folk at the Virtusa Open Source SIG organized an event to celebrate the Software Freedom Day where my good friends Mifan and Suchetha made keynotes. Also in attendance was Arunan, so it was a re-union of sorts with some old friends. It’s been a while since I have participated in anything open source / free software, and it was great to see the old flame is still alive at Virtusa, and I hope it helps in shaping their worldviews and brings as much purpose to them as it did to me more than 10 years ago.

The last SFD I attended was in 2008. I blogged about it here with some photos available in my surprisingly-still-around flickr account. It was in Chinatown in Boston and I drove up from Pennsylvania, mostly to get my mind off things. It was there that I purchased a copy of “Free Software, Free Society”, a collection of essays by Richard Stallman. Five years later, I picked up the dusty book from my shelf and re-read the GNU manifesto, to get my mind back to the core principles.

 Image

Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/aweeraman/sets/72157600555500824/

It was there, as I was flipping through the pages, that I saw RMS in a whole new light. His uncompromising tenacity in the face of control and oppression and unfaltering stance on ethics and morality of freedom. He is a true freedom fighter. His message sometimes gets lost in all the pandemonium we go through daily but the spirit of the freedom he preached is very much alive every time we believe that knowledge should be free and that everybody should have access to it. I hope this message continues to inspire folks for years to come.

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Software Freedom Day 2008

An event to mark the Software Freedom Day was organized by the Free Software Foundation and held in Boston over the weekend. I felt that a long drive was just what I needed to get my mind off the series of mini catastrophes that have been taking place at work during the week.

By the time I reached Chinatown, it was mid-day on Saturday and the event was nearly over. Helped myself to some GNU memorabilia, and briefly spoke with Mako before being distracted by Stallman’s voice singing the Free Software song.

GNU celebrates its 25th anniversary this year, and a small 5-minute short of Stephen Fry endorsing Free Software was screened. Happy birthday GNU, and many more!

Some photos from the event can be found here.