After the InstallFest, users who brought their computers along can in many cases go home with working systems installed on their machines, free of charge. The package includes web browsers, word processors, and other usual tools that computer users expect.
PLUG's organizer for the event is William Lindley, a computer consultant. "This is what the Free Software community is all about - helping each other, and we'll be helping folks get started," Lindley explained. "We're all looking forward to this InstallFest."
The software is an alternative to Windows and other proprietary systems. Linux, GNU, FreeBSD and other Open Source and Free Software systems do not require any licensing or upgrade fees, and are said by many experts to be more efficient and secure than Windows systems.
Businesses and home users alike are turning to Free Software which can be freely copied, modified, or examined, and which is considered by computer experts to be more robust and secure than proprietary systems.
Though there is no charge, the term Free Software actually refers to freedom from license restrictions: Users are never asked to click "I Agree" to a list of prohibitions before using it, and organizations need not store "Certificates of Authenticity" in their safe deposit boxes in case of an audit.
The Free Software products are available at no charge through the Internet or as an inexpensive distribution at most local computer stores, but the InstallFest offers users a completed installation by experienced Linux and FreeBSD administrators. Computer users are invited to bring their computers to the event. Usually, only the computer box, monitor, keyboard and mouse need be brought - see the PLUG web page for details.
"Your old operating system can remain as an alternative, or we can replace it entirely," Lindley said, "depending on your plans for the machine and how much disk space you have to spare."
"This is a important next step in development of computers and the Internet -- making them more affordable and more secure," Lindley said. "We are here to show how easy it can be for computer users to move up to the next level." The event will be held from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. in the College's Turquoise Room, at 9000 E. Chaparral Rd., Scottsdale, AZ. A map is available online at PLUG's web site, ( http://plug.phoenix.az.us ).
PLUG members will be available to answer questions about Linux, Open Source software, and the Phoenix Linux Users Group as well. For more information about the InstallFest, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call William Lindley at 480-947-6100.
PLUG is an informal group that holds several monthly meetings, on both the East and West sides of Phoenix, to talk about what they've recently done with Linux, GNU and Open Source software; to share problems and solutions, and to discuss issues in the world of Free Software and computers in general. Knowledge of Linux is neither presumed nor required. Between meetings, PLUG members stay in touch through a busy e-mail discussion list.
More information about PLUG can be found on the website at http://plug.phoenix.az.us/Â .
Scottsdale Community College offers two year degree programs in many disciplines including computers, arts, and science. SCC also offers university transfer programs and special interest courses, and has hosted several Free Software events.
Additional event sponsors are:
Arizona Open Technology Organization - http://www.azoto.org
Red Hat Linux - http://www.redhat.com
Yellow Dog Linux - http://www.yellowdoglinux.com
SuSE Linux - http://www.suse.com/index_us.html
TurboLinux - http://turbolinux.org
Open Source Education Foundation - http://www.osef.org"