A taste of the future at Benn Partnership Centre’s Software Freedom Day in Rugby

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SOFTWARE Freedom Day 
returns to Rugby with a community day today (Saturday) showcasing the wonders of ‘open-source’ software.

It will be a chance for schools, businesses and everyone else who uses a computer to discover the benefits of open-source software.

The term is used to describe programs that can be modified by the people using them and allows everyone to see how they have been written. Much open-source software is free of charge.

The event will be taking place at the Benn Partnership centre in Railway Terrace between noon and 4pm. Guests will be able to discover how switching to the software can save a significant amount of money, improve the usefulness of phones, tablets and computers, and prevent consumers from being tied down to mainstream software providers.

Nick Morrott, from the organising team, said: “As we become ever more dependent on computers, it is vital we choose transparent and sustainable technologies that empower, rather than inhibit. Software freedom and the adoption of open standards are therefore of great importance to everyone.”

With various workshops available, visitors will be able to try out activities including the graphical Scratch programming language, hardware programming and music production.

There will also be sessions with the Raspberry Pi, a credit card-sized computer hailed by some as the modern-day successor to the 30-year-old BBC Micro.

The £25 Raspberry Pi has been designed to provide inexpensive computing to everyone and help reverse the decline in computing education in schools.

The event will also be providing information to schools, parents and children about the national Code Club scheme. Volunteer-led Code Clubs introduce nine to 11-year-olds to computer programming using the open-source Scratch programme.

The Rugby event is organised annually by the Rugby Linux Users Group and the Benn Partnership Centre.