April 18, 2006

Programmers' prose sought in Linux essay contest

Author: Jay Lyman

Can you craft a sentence as well as you can code a Linux hack? If so, Intel and the Linux Symposium want to hear from you, with a new competition for the best essay on Linux.

First prize is a shiny new Intel Centrino Duo laptop. Second prize: an iPod nano. Entrants must be registered to attend the 2006 Linux Symposium in Ottawa, Canada, July 19-22, and must be at least 16 years old. The essays are to be no more than 1,500 words, and should be submitted in English as plain text, PDF, or Perl. The deadline is June 30, and winners will be announced during the welcome reception of the conference July 19.

The topic may be anything related to Linux, such as its importance to the writer, great Linux hacks, the experience of becoming a Linux developer, or whether Linux is underlined by "genius or luck," according to contest organizers.

"Tell us what you think about the importance or impact of Linux, its technical or social aspects, its impact on your personal or work life," says the contest site. The essays will be judged by the Ottawa Linux Symposium (OLS) committee and "select Linux community members," according to Intel spokesperson Barbara Grimes.

Topics to avoid might include "The year of ..." themes, discussions of free versus open, or why Tux is a good mascot for Linux.

Grimes says the contest arose from brainstorming among OLS organizers and Intel. "The OLS committee's objective is to encourage participation, ours is to promote one of our new platforms," she says, adding the company wants to focus on its new Core platform.

The first-place notebook prize will not come with any special software, as the winner is expected to be a Linux kernel developer who would most likely want to install a favorite Linux distro and applications, Grimes says.


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