Liberating Software is a project initiated in 2014 by David "Lefty" Schlesinger, a two-decade-plus veteran of Silicon Valley software development at both Apple and Palm. Active for a number of years in the open source/free software community, Lefty saw a disconnect between the idea that software was freely available to people, but the knowledge of how to work with it was much harder to come by.
One of the tenets of the open source software movement is that people should have the right to modify and use code as they please. But the "right" to do so doesn't mean much if you don't have the ability. "Free" software is only really free if you're in a position to do something with it. We want to put you in that position, if that's where you'd like to be.
Thanks to the generosity of our local supporters, and the efforts of national organizations like Girl Develop It! and Code.org, we've got the resources to get started. It's a big project, but it's one of the most worthwhile ones we can think of.
For starts, we have a broad knowledge of a wide range of software. Freely-available tools like Scratch, Processing, and the ability to bring new usefulness to "useless" computers in our lab enables us to do a lot with a little. Currently, we have a good start on collecting equipment for students who are unable to supply their own to use, including the following:
We've got a good start, but to really hit the ground running, we could use some help.
We'd like to be able to bring the best learning experience to as many people as we can manage, and we're still short a number of things.
Can you help? If so, please contact us.
We can always use more PCs, especially laptops! If you have an old Windows XP, or Windows 95 machine that's taking up space in a closet, please consider donating it to us instead. If it won't run, we'll recycle it responsibly. If it will, we'll completely wipe the hard disk and install a Linux-based operating system on it, and put it to use in our classroom. If you have other equipment, please get in contact with us.
Dreams, we have them. In time, we'd like to build up to being able to cover more areas than only code. Building custom hardware is another way of bringing code to life, and with boards like the Arduino, it's easier than ever before. We'd love to be in a position to provide more comprehensive education around electronics, work on "the Internet of Things", and maybe take on a major project.
Want to get involved? If so, please contact us.