OpenSource is the name of a software development model. See <a target=“new” href=“http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open-source_software”>Wikipedia's article</a> for more information which is not directly about how it relates to PenguiCon. On this Wiki, see also: TechProgramming.
A word to those of you who come from the tech side of the convention.
PenguiCon is a “both/and” “either/or” kind of convention. Some people don't realize *you don't have to be into both ScienceFiction and computers* to have fun at PenguiCon. You don't even have to be into either of them. It's your one-stop geek shop. If you geek out about *something* you'll probably find it here. Linux might be your flavor, or FreeBSD. We offer tons of non-Linux OpenSource. Lots of people enjoy PenguiCon who are not even into computers at all. (And they tend to get a lot more friendly toward your OpenSource project as a result. There is no better gateway.)
That having been said.
What does it mean to software developers and early adopters if OpenSource comes together with ScienceFiction? Maybe you've been to a technical conference and you think that's just the way tech events have to be. Do you expect it to be dry and dusty? What if it shared overhead with a huge party where all the most intelligent, curious, and creative people were hanging out whether they are into software or not? The Jargon Files says:
*“Hackers are generally only very weakly motivated by conventional rewards such as social approval or money. They tend to be attracted by challenges and excited by interesting toys, and to judge the interest of work or other activities in terms of the challenges offered and the toys they get to play with.”*
This niftiness sounds like an all-volunteer, not-for-profit convention done for the sheer love of it. ScienceFiction fans have mastered this form of socializing for eighty years. If you haven't been to one yet, you don't know what you're missing.
A lot of what you find in quality ScienceFiction literature is the story of what you're doing. ScienceFiction involves technological change, and nowhere is it moving faster than in information technology. ScienceFiction also involves the social and philosophical changes that are driven by technology, and which drive technology in return. Nowhere is that kind of revolution moving faster than on the internet. That's why it's probably not a coincidence that so many tech geeks read or watch ScienceFiction. You recognize it. It's your story. Look around you. The future is here, and you're making it. Celebrate it at PenguiCon!