Open versus Free Resources and Software

The participating Wikipedians-in-Residence on the Open Advocate Training Course, #OpenAfrica14, enjoyed having Jonathan Carter on the programme to discuss Open and Free resources and software.

Jonathan Carter works with the Praekelt Foundation, which is based in South Africa. He is the Technical Manager of the Foundation. Jonathan is a long-time software programmer who has been programming since the age of six. He loved to play with programmes which, in those days, had to be connected to TV screens to be used.

More than two decades later, Jonathan works with open operating systems. He switched from Ubuntu to Debian in 1999. He considers himself an artist in everything he does.

Carter, wearing his Python-branded t-shirt, talked and explained the beginning of Free Software since Richard Stallman. He then went on to chart the rise of free software and why we should be using a Debian Operating System.

To give a taste of how open software operates, Jonathan helped the five students in attendance to install Virtualbox and run the Ubuntu Operating system, a well-known distro of the many Linux-based operating systems in the world.

Jonathan also pointed out that many devices today (excluding desktop computers) have been and are using the Linux operating system (including Samsung devices and their Smart TV).

We then went on to discuss the launch of the Wikipedia SMS service, that Jonathan has been working on for the WIkimedia Foundation. If you are in South Africa, dial *120*8864# to access Wikipedia from a non-feature or non-smart mobile phone. This SMS service enables users to learn and research on Wikipedia for free. Jonathan was a key player in developing the system.

Without a doubt, Open Software has had a significant impact on the community around us.

For full details of what the #OpenAfrica14 training course entailed, please Read More.

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