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The organisers of the 13th Australian national Linux conference are making a bid to attract local sponsors to the conference which will be held in Canberra early next year.

Coincidentally, next year will also mark the centenary of the Australian capital.

In a media release issued last week, conference director Michael Still said this was a good opportunity "to get in early and take advantage of sponsorship deals being offered for the conference".

He added that while the conference routinely hosted 500-700 delegates in a different city each year, this year was expected to be even bigger. Canberra last hosted the event in 2005 for 550 delegates.

While a sponsorship prospectus is available, a conference spokesperson said it contained commercial-in-confidence material that was not suitable for use in the media.

Asked whether the publicity surrounding sponsorship was being done because of a lack of companies to join up, the spokesperson said: "Releasing the sponsorship prospectus is a major milestone in the preparation for the conference, and we thought that some journalists might be interested.

"We also wanted to provide an opportunity for smaller business who might not have been involved in the conference before to get in on the ground level."

The spokesperson said the initial sponsors would be announced soon.

Regular sponsors in the past have included IBM, Intel, HP, Google, Red Hat, and Canonical. The conference will be held at the Australian National University from January 28 to February 2.

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Sam Varghese

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A professional journalist with decades of experience, Sam for nine years used DOS and then Windows, which led him to start experimenting with GNU/Linux in 1998. Since then he has written widely about the use of both free and open source software, and the people behind the code. His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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