Linux Expo offering free IT learning opportunity

Stabroek News
May 29, 2004

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Persons interested in information technology (IT) are being offered a free learning opportunity at the Linux Expo which is being held today from 10 am at the National Centre for Education Research and Development (NCERD) at Battery Road, Kingston.

The Guyana Linux Users Group is collaborating with NCERD to host the expo which aims to give members of the public a chance to see and discuss the use of free and open-source software. There will be demonstrations of software in use, as well as means of networking.

Members of the public are encouraged to visit the expo to learn and to discuss any concerns as well as give feedback on how the Linux Users Group could increase the use of free and open-source software in Guyana, a press release said.

A recent development which is attracting much interest, the release noted, especially in developing countries, is open-source software and the Linux operating system in particular. This type of software goes a long way in helping to resolve such issues as copyright and illegal copying of software, in addition to security and virus problems. Complying with international standards means ending widespread copying of software endemic in most developing countries and the prospect of very high and recurrent software costs.

According to the release, the benefits which free and open-source software brings to Guyana include: low costs associated with free copyright (the cost of such software is usually just the distribution costs or nothing if downloaded); there are no widespread viruses for Linux systems which are also very secure (a large fraction of internet users use Linux, and no anti-virus software is needed); the Linux operating system is very reliable and stable; the hardware requirements are not high, and Linux systems integrate well into networks of computers running Microsoft Windows.

In addition, there are many applications available for Linux systems, and many are free and open-source while others are regular commercial software; and owing to the open and cooperative nature of most open-source programming it is easy for local programmers to get involved in adapting or developing software.

For more information, please contact Wossen Wyatt on 225-1504, Vidyaratha Kissoon on 227-6198, Kerry Arthur on 618-2941, or e-mail