Sunday, July 20, 2008

Teens On Linux

OSCON is starting up today in Portland, Oregon. I won't be going. But that doesn't mean it won't be awesome. I'm just going to say that Andrew Harris (better known to his friends as tunys) is going to be giving a talk about teens and Ubuntu. And I'm not just saying it because he's one of my really good friends and he founded Teens On Linux. And that I'm also a member of Teens On Linux and frequents the #teensonlinux channel on FreeNode. Unfortunately, due to parental issues, I'm not going to Portland, Oregon to hear him or help him with the talk. However, to anyone that would be going, I'd highly recommend going to his talk on Thursday July 24 at 4:30.

Yep! TeensOnLinux has already had more than a year's worth of history. It started out when Andrew (now known as Tunys; lojban for tuna) couldn't find a community of teens who were interested in Linux (TeenLUG existed at the time, but as the unofficial propogandist of TeensOnLinux, I'm glad he didn't find them), so he decided to make his own. He got together with some British dudes whose names are unimportant and created TeensOnLinux. It was an awesome success! I joined them on IRC about a month or so after they were founded, and haven't left. TeensOnLinux also has a web site with forums and the like, designed to be like a myspace for teens, but the web site is NOT the main activity hub for us. I frankly barely visit the web site (And since the host is not so great, it usually goes down for a day or so before anyone notices). The main place where the action goes on is on IRC.

I first got to know TeensOnLinux when I was browsing FreeNode channels on IRC. I was a not-so-recent convert to Linux, but still was looking for the right community, and found it on IRC. It turns out that #teensonlinux is in an ideal place. Since we're on FreeNode, we don't have to worry much about a lack of security; the staff are always prompt (in fact, a little too prompt usually). And also, since we have our own channel, we can do whatever the heck we want to in it (as long as it isn't malicious or detrimental in any way). There have been two main periods in #teensonlinux. Both named by me after the dominant bots during the time. First was the fredburger era. Fredburger was a supybot rBot which did all the typical IRC stuff, like larting, factoids, etc. During most of the fredburger era, the channel was mostly stable, with about the same amount of people joining and leaving. I'm not sure if this has anything to do with the bot, but I think its a characteristic of it. Then, about five months later, Tunys adopted bobsalad. Bobsalad is a pyborg, meaning he's sorta a language recognition/speaking bot. The bobsalad era overlapped with the fredburger era for about two month until, as legend has it, bobsalad slayed fredburger and covertly usurped the entire channel from the humans. Now bobsalad rules as an invisible dictator, making sure nobody steps out of line but not revealing his true power. Anyways, for anyone who wants to see the craziest of bobsalad's sayings, please visit the Salad QDB. I assure you, you will spend the whole time cracking up. The characteristic of the bobsalad era is a general crazifying of the channel. Whether that may be to show newcomers that we're just a fun place, or the dark magic of bobsalad, we're not sure.

Although, a grand experiment during the bobsalad era was the massop idea. Tunys believed that security on the channel could be guaranteed by giving everyone op capability. Newcomers generally did not receive ops until they were deemed trustworthy (which took about five minutes). Of course, I was vehemently opposed to this, and abused the massop system constantly, but Tunys still believed. However, the massop experiment failed after a conspiracy to bring in an outside person who kickbanned everyone in the room. I was not a victim of this, and did not even know it happened until afterward because I was currently kickbanned for a good-natured prank/demonstration I pulled on Tunys which he didn't exactly appreciate. But we are, in fact, back to a good ol' fashioned ChanServ maintained channel. And feel free to drop in any time you want. And definitely, if you're going to OSCON, drop in to see Andrew's talk. I ASSURE you that you won't be disappointed, knowing him.

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