Friday, September 12, 2008

Phnom Penh

What a strange way to start it - I mean, what's got a third-world, far-end of the world city do with Linux, or Free Software, or even Computing for that matter?

Well, more than you'd think; first, we have a LUG, as you could guess, named the PPLUG. It's probably only the 1000th to be called like that, but few got two P's I reckon.

PPLUG Mail Group

At 32 members, this is not bad a rate I believe; especially when you notice that there's a fair number of Khmer people among that handful. Not bad, not bad.

Then this is Asia, and for those of you that don't know it, Asia is Tech Friendly; they love it, 85% of all electronics are being built nearby anyway, and these kids, being from Tokyo, Hong Kong, Bangkok or Phnom Penh they love Technologies. To such an extend that we have here a self-advertised NERD community that is organising a BarCamp !

Their Mail List is here & there is 132 guys on the list. yep, 132 dudes who claim being Geeks, Nerds, and so on in a city that far away.

[Yes, I am a member of both. Why'd you ask?]

The last thing that pleases me here, is a little detail I noticed while "shopping" for this new laptop: A lot of them are being sold without the M$ suite; Very few comes with Linux for instance (although I spotted the EeePC with Xandros at 350USD @ Central Market), they are quoted as being "with DOS" (Or sometimes "Linux" but there's nothing inside). Well, basically they are empty, which is god for my purposes, but you don't have to worry for the less tech-savvy customers: actually, when you buy it, they take it away from you for 'setup'. What 'setup'? well, you know, the one that includes popping an illegal copy of the most frequent Operating System on the planet, so that you can actually use your new computer. How nice, isn't that Service or what?

The most hilarious moment was for me when I noticed how shameless it was: in the middle of the "service" area of a prominent reseller here, branded importer of well known hardware, sat a guy so used to this XP disk he was 'setting up' all day long that he actually memorised the key. Yeah, by heart. I don't remember how long it is, since I haven't had to install a M$ product for ages, but I do remember is quite long, and obscure.

Well, I guess after the 1000th time you enter it, you get to know it.

Cheer fun; few perspectives for Free Software Adoption

A last, quick note on which I'll probably come back later:
Check out these two websites, they represent quite an achievement: