The pair got a lot of attention when they released the first live CD showcasing fancy Compiz and XGL technology. A few months later, however, things had to be put on hold when a kernel developer wrote to Smart saying that it was a violation of the GPL to include the proprietary NVIDIA and fglrx drivers in the distribution as these qualify as derived works. By the terms of the GPL, all derived works have to be under the same licence as the kernel. Later versions of the CD had no proprietary drivers.
"Working on Kororaa was a blast! Unfortunately I hit a brick wall when I wanted to take the distro in the direction of a full binary system but just couldn't do it on my own. Work on Kororaa stopped about a year ago, although I'm ever so hopeful that it might resurrect itself sometime in the future," he says.
The idea of setting up a website to help people to move to Linux was born after a programmers' special interest group meeting in Canberra. Such SIGs are part of every Linux user group and the Canberra LUG is no exception.
"After one meeting in June 2006 I raised the idea of promoting Linux before Windows Vista hit the shelves as I felt it
was a great opportunity to present an alternative. We discussed among ourselves (about 10 people) what we felt we could do," Smart explains.
"I wanted to create a website that explained free software and what Linux was all about, in plain simple English. The goal was to have a central place where people could learn about free software and be enticed to try it. We also wanted people to get support and advice if needed, and so we set up the wiki and a mailing list for anyone to email.
"Once this community is established and working well we intend to hold 'installfests' and promote the use of Linux in the community. I'm not sure how it's going to go, whether it will bomb or succeed, but I'm trying to do my bit, slowly but surely.
"On Software Freedom Day each year CLUG members hire a desk at the local computer markets and promote Linux and free software. You will find me standing out the front talking to people on the line waiting to enter the market. I pride myself on offering a CD to every single person who enters the market (well, until we run out that is).
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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.