“Don’t Bollock the Normal User” is the message that sticks in my head after Stuart Langridge’s (aka Aq, of Lugradio fame) talk for Manchester Free Software, most likely because of the slide illustrating parts of the male anatomy. He’s right: Someone tells you about their latest software experience, and then some zealot like me comes along and says “that’s not free software, don’t use it.” Some free software zealots are worse than me. Instead, as also presented by Aq, we should be going for the people who cause this to happen, the people like nVidia and Broadcom, who develop hardware that requires software components that are not freely distributable.

I thoroughly enjoyed Manchester Free Software this month, and Aq’s a good speaker. He managed to get his message across, and involved the audience. Not a large audience, but reasonable for the fledgling group of people centred around free software and having a different target to most LUGs, which by being the first such group we know of in the UK (not counting those LUGs that are very much free software groups), became known as a UK Free Software group, and even got stretched to Europe (despite the existence of FSFE).

After (and before), we went to Fab Cafe just a few doors down. They have free wifi, but noone felt compelled to use it, either because they couldn’t or we had some interesting conversation. I had some Guinness.