Technology Bonanza Blooms in Bellingham

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A broad spectrum of educational and networking opportunities for techies, business users, educators and novices just starting to explore the advantages of free and open source software. The Fest is a fun, informative, low-key way for people to explore Linux and other open source products. There is no charge to attend. All ages are welcome.

The seventh annual Linuxfest Northwest takes place from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on April 29, 2006 at Bellingham Technical College in Bellingham, WA. The free event is presented by volunteers from Washington, Oregon, and British Columbia, and draws attendees from throughout the region. It features internationally recognized speakers from leading companies and well-known open source projects, as well as exhibits and demonstrations for a wide range of interests and technical abilities.

Linuxfest Northwest provides a broad spectrum of educational and networking opportunities for techies, business users, educators and novices who are just starting to explore the advantages of free and open source software. The Fest is a fun, informative, low-key way for people to explore Linux and other open source products. There is no charge to attend. All ages are welcome.

Previous Fests have included presentations by leading open source experts such as Jon "maddog" Hall, Rasmus Lerdorf, and Brian Aker of MySQL and Slashdot. According to Fest pioneer Mark Ashworth, "The 2006 LinuxFest is one of the best ever. Ideas for K12 education. A talk on digital freedom from the Electronic Frontier Foundation. The latest in Linux for business from Novell, Sun, IBM, MySQL, Oracle and others. Dee-Ann LeBlanc makes Linux simple for the average person. Practical solutions for non-profits and small businesses with limited IT budgets. Medical applications. Music, games, digital camera software. Most people would be fascinated by George Dyson's history of technology. There's something for everyone." This year's presenters and exhibitors.

This year's LinuxFest includes several programs for students, parents and educators to help develop knowledge in technical subjects. Long-time Linux supporter Adrian Klaver said, "We want to encourage kids' interest in developing skills in science, engineering, mathematics and especially the low cost benefits of open source computer technology."

As always, Linuxfest Northwest will close with its world famous raffle of valuable computer products, books, and novelties. "The raffle this year is going to be great," said Bill Wright, a festival organizer. "There are t-shirts, books, and software galore. Proceeds from the raffle help to pay the Fest's expenses. One year, a raffle prize was used to start a local business."

After LinuxFest, the party continues with April Brews Day, a benefit for the Max Higbee Foundation, which provides community-based recreation programs for adults with developmental disabilities. LinuxFest Northwest is proud to be a sponsor; several LinuxFest exhibitors will be giving away tickets.

Open source is a collaborative approach for developing high-quality software. Open source software solutions are available for most computing needs at little or no cost. They are comparable to and compatible with most common computer applications. Two of the best known open source projects are the Linux operating system and the Apache web server. Other examples include:

  • Office applications - wordprocessing, spreadsheets and presentations
  • Email, calendar, contacts and other personal information management software
  • Accounting, bookkeeping, personal finances
  • Games
  • Educational software
  • Desktop publishing
  • Database management
  • Collaboration; document sharing
  • Web browsers
  • Image editors
  • 3D graphics
  • Digital camera imaging and image managers
  • Programming tools, tutorials and courses

For more information, please visit the Linuxfest Northwest website. To download the LFNW 2006 poster, visit the promote link.

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Carl Symons
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