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Baltimore (and debt), here I come.

The plan[1] is that I will be in Baltimore this summer (3 months) and need a summer job. As many of you know, am currently in school, but already have a master’s in information science. That said, being in Baltimore is more important to me at current than having a job for which I’m qualified. I was initially planning on working at a YMCA or something like that. I realize this is probably early for summer jobs, but the post is unlikely to go anywhere so perhaps people will find it closer to time. I can always give a reprise/update on the situation.Aside from the job thing, I’d be interested in getting to know the GNU/Linux community in the Baltimore if anyone stumbles across this.

As to the job situation, I was not that concerned about it until an auto-shop said I needed $810 work done on my car[2]. That spurred me to do some number crunching and I realize now that if I don’t work at all during school that I will end up ~$75000 in debt. This is projecting housing costs and (obviously) some other stuff over the next 2.5 years but at the very least it seems I’ll be $60,000 in debt. This not a number with which I am comfortable. After graduation I do not want to be a slave to some corporation doing things in which I don’t believe. My savings from my former Wisconsin job does not go nearly as far as it needs to in New England.

I have no idea what the job market is like in Maryland, but I’d like something that is more than $10/hour and around 20 hours a week. The hours are flexible. I’m working on an independent project for the summer, so I don’t want something full time, but for the right price/opportunity I would definitely consider it.

Obviously, I’m willing to send a resume but just to give some idea of the breadth of jobs I would consider:
I have experience in film, music, organization development, event planning, podcasting, biology (my undergrad degree), sports (was paid to coach), healthcare, Windows, Mac (though not recently) and GNU/Linux.
Additionally, I’m trying to shed a Teeter Hangup and some other stuff which can be found on flickr. For anyone that stumbles across this that is in Concord, let me know if you know of cheap housing options.
[1] I’m still considering whether I’d like to “work” as an intern for EFF, Creative Commons, SFLC, IBM, Google or Red Hat. It’s unlikely any of those will have me in Baltimore. That’s a decision I will have to weigh if an opportunity arises.
[2] I am going to get a 2nd opinion since I am not having any problems with the car and took it in just to get a flat tire repaired.

 

EDIT: I was substantially (factor of 2) off on my calculation for tuition, meaning the number is probably in the $50,000-$60,000 range, which is still not a number with which I’m comfortable. However, that keeps me in the Stafford loans rather than other loans, so I’m no longer freaking out about it, but I would still like a job. Something to keep my tech skills up or something where I am getting exercise would be ideal.

Xerox and Software Freedom Day

I couldn’t find this suggestion anywhere on the web, so I’ll put it here, even though it has nothing to do with Vista.  We had a problem with Xerox duplexing.  It seems that the drivers for the 6200N “work” for the 6200DP, but the N drivers don’t duplex…such an easy solution once you know that’s the problem.  I hope no one else spends much time on figuring that out!

Additionally, here’s a quote from the Software Freedom Day website:

“The United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights [1] is a set of basic human rights that most people would agree would be a bare minimum. Not often are our basic rights thought of in the context of technology, but with more and more our lives are dependent on technology, it is a rapidly growing concern. Technologies that matter to our freedom are used in our voting systems, our leisure, our work, education, art and our communication. What does this mean to you? It means that the basic human freedoms you take for granted are only as free as the technology they are based on.

Transparent and sustainable technologies are vital to ensuring we can protect our freedoms. Think about e-Government systems such as electronic voting. When the systems running our voting is proprietary or closed, it means that we can’t be sure what the software actually does, so how can we trust the results? The issues with the Diebold [2] voting systems in the US is testament [3] to the need for transparent systems that are trustworthy. Think about other software you use everyday that is proprietary software and apply the fact that you can’t be sure what it is actually doing! Does your email system send copies of your mail to a third party? Is your web browser, logging and automatically sending your browse history to someone? The most interesting case recently was when Sony purposely added spyware [4] to their music CDs that silently and automatically installed itself onto Microsoft Windows systems to search for piracy breaches. This behaviour has spawned a whole new wave of viruses and is a gross breach of privacy.

So what do I mean by transparent? Well some software gives you access to the source code, such as Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) which ensures that you can know (or get checked) without any question what exactly a piece of software will do. It avoids nasty surprises, spyware, result rigging and all kinds of issues that we can’t be absolutely sure to avoid in proprietary software. Proprietary software keeps the source code locked away from public scrutiny which means that there is no way to know exactly what the software actually does, and no way to trust it to safeguard your human rights.

Sustainable technologies are also important, and the best example of the issue is proprietary data formats. Why should the generations of today not have access to the love letters, essays and poems of their youth? With many proprietary applications using proprietary data formats, we can’t access the information in other programmes or even future versions of the same programme. When data is stored in data formats based on open standards [5], there is the ability for people everywhere to easily use and implement the standard and have your data accessible by more applications well into the future.

Software Freedom Day is a global initiative with over 200 teams in 80 countries participating. Come along and meet a wide range of people, all working together to help ensure our freedoms are maintained by the technologies of tomorrow.