SoSLUG is a Linux User Group(LUG) based in Southend. LUGs promote Linux and Free Open Source Software(FOSS) alternatives to proprietary software, such as with the Raspberry Pi educational computer. Some of our members are also STEM ambassadors, able to offer technical assistance to schools and other local community groups. We have successfully hosted a number of events such as 4 Raspberry (Pi) Jams, blending together electronics and computing for all ages. Anyone may drop in to our weekly Monday meetings at TAP in central Southend.
SoSLUG’s most recent push is around the educational potential of the Raspberry Pi and related software, and electronics. We encourage wider usage of the Raspberry Pi, as it is a completely open and flexible platform with a wealth of open software including educational programs, it is a great way to teach children about Computing. We are also gaining expertise in electronics, such as building robots from the ground up using Raspberry Pi or Arduino, another good way to engage children and adults alike.
SoSLUG’s founding principle and continuing concern is Open Source Software(FOSS) such as Linux. Linux is an alternative to Microsoft and Apple Operating Systems, and while still relatively rare on desktop PCs, it has a dominant presence in industry. It is used in the majority of web servers, and in many embedded systems (e.g. televisions, DVD players etc) due to its reliability, flexibility and by nature is free from any lock-in technologies.
Popular Open Source Software such as Firefox, LibreOffice and GIMP runs on Windows, Mac or Linux, and rivals commercial equivalents in quality. This is one reason why governments, schools and universities around the world are adopting Open Source software. In Munich alone, a project started in 2006 is estimated to have saved €10 million.
Funding and development of Linux, comes mainly from Enterprise versions that are sold, with maintenance contracts. It’s built voluntarily by professionals and hobbyists alike, collaborating globally via the Internet, while LUGs act as a support network. That’s how, beyond the commercial aspect of Linux, most FOSS software is available at zero cost. A major advantage compared to the usual option, while still very similar to use.
SoSLUG Membership is open to everyone, from expert to the just plain curious. You can try Linux on your computer in minutes, without risking the system currently installed. Most versions of Linux are bundled with LibreOffice which is compatible with the Microsoft Office suite and works on Linux, Windows and Mac. Linux and FOSS is different (not difficult).
If you need help getting started, or can contribute, why not drop in, or visit our website at www.soslug.org; we can advise you without charge.