Gamers, geeks and IT enthusiasts around Wellington will be grouping en mass in the Wellington Town Hall next week to meet a living legend in IT circles.
Free software advocate Richard Stallman is in New Zealand for a limited time to speak about copyright and share his experiences establishing the world’s first free user operating system.
He will be presenting at Unlimited Potential’s Gadgets, Games and Geeks Expo on Wednesday 13th August – an annual event featuring the newest and brightest games and gadgets Wellington's geek community has on offer.
“Gadgets, Games and Geeks is always an amazing event and this year we are delighted to have Richard Stallman present at the showcase. His work in free software has paved the way for computer users around the world to write and share software with each other. He is passionate about the topic and has taken on the big boys like Microsoft to ensure that everyone’s on a level playing field,” says Ruth McDavitt, Chair of Unlimited Potential.
A pioneer in ICT circles, US-based Stallman controversially started a movement based around sharing source code back in the 1970s when programming was still in its infancy and launched the development of the GNU operating system (www.gnu.org) in 1984.
Coined ‘Free Software’, Stallman’s aim was to allow the freedom to copy GNU and redistribute it, as well as to make changes either large or small – unlike single-user commercial operating systems. The GNU/Linux system is now used on tens of millions of computers around the world.
For his efforts, Stallman has received the ACM Grace Hopper Award, a MacArthur Foundation fellowship, the Electronic Frontier Foundation's Pioneer award, and the Takeda Award for Social/Economic Betterment, as well as several honorary doctorates.
Presenting alongside Richard Stallman at Gadgets, Games and Geeks is Brenda Wallace (Catalyst). Exhibitors include Snapper, Bookhabit, Mukuna, Magnum Mac, Altspace, 920, Vision, Tentacle Media, Filibuster Films, Xero, Epic Beer, and Tone Magazine.
The Gadgets, Games and Geeks Expo is happening Wednesday 13 August, 2008 at the Wellington Town Hall Council Chamber. The Richard Stallman seminar runs from 2.30pm - 5.00pm and the main event starts from 4:30pm.