tom callaway (spot) wrote,
tom callaway

Fedora Summer of Open Hardware and Fun!

Today (at 12:00 PM Eastern Daylight Time), we're launching a sweepstakes for our Fedora Contributors called the Fedora Summer of Open Hardware and Fun! We wanted to do something nice to thank our Fedora community for all that they do for Free Software and Content, and we thought that giving away a lot of Open Hardware would be a great way to do that.

We're giving away 220 total hardware units, including:
* [50] OLPC XO 1.75 units
* [150] Raspberry Pi (B) units
* [20] Arduino Uno R3 (assembled) units + choice of shield (8 different shields to choose from)

Unfortunately, we don't have enough hardware to give something to every Fedora Contributor, so this is a sweepstakes, and sweepstakes come with all sorts of rules and restrictions.

This sweepstakes is for Fedora Contributors (defined as users in the Fedora Account System who have signed the FPCA and are in one additional group). There are some geographic and age restrictions, the reason for this is that it is extremely costly and time-consuming to determine whether or not it is possible to run a sweepstakes in a given country. Sweepstakes laws and regulations vary considerably from country to country, and many countries have strict registration requirements and fees associated with running sweepstakes. Other countries simply prohibit sweepstakes entirely. As a result, we are only offering this sweepstakes in countries where we know that the sweepstakes is lawful. We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this may cause you.

Also, please note that Red Hat employees are not allowed to enter the sweepstakes.

To learn more, read the full sweepstakes rules, and to enter, please go to:

(You can jump straight to the complete legal sweepstakes rules here: )

And now, a quick FAQ:

Q. Hey, it's not summer where I am!
A. That's not a question.

Q. Why does it say Summer when it isn't Summer where I am?
A. Just close your eyes and pretend it is Summer. Think of the warm fuzzy feeling you'll get from winning one of these sweet prizes.

Q. Where did the money come from for this?
A. I'm going to assume you mean that in a specific way, not in the "Daddy, where does money come from way". If you are really asking the more generic question, just watch this video ( For everyone else, the money for this sweepstakes came from a special allocation from the Open Source and Standards group at Red Hat, and did not take away from the normal Fedora community budget in any way.

Q. Why can't Red Hat employees enter? We contribute a lot to Fedora!
A. Because in the eyes of the law, it seems shady when a company runs a sweepstakes and their employees end up winning.

Q. Why is there an age restriction on this?
A. Because it is a sweepstakes, and that's the law. It varies by region, but our app is clever enough to adjust it accordingly.

Q. I am sad that my state/country/unicorporated region prevents me from entering this sweepstakes. Is there anything you can do for me?
A. We feel sad that we have to exclude you. Much sadder than the time that Tasha Yar got eaten by that sentient oil spill. Short of sending you hardware, money, or other legal impossibilities, feel free to leave a comment on this post with a suggestion on how we can make it up to you. Also, feel free to mention your country. If there are hundreds of people left out in the cold in Luxembourg, we might be able to do a legal review and have it added for future sweepstakes eligibility (no promises though).

Q. What about Fedora users?
A. We love you too, but we really wanted to give an extra-special thank you to those Fedora Contributors who take that next step and help us make Fedora better. You can become a contributor and be eligible when we do something like this again, see:

Q. If I win, how will I get my hardware?
A. We'll ship it to you, on our dime. We'll ask the winners for that information later.

Q. I can't decide which hardware I want, can I pick them all?
A. No. You need to pick one. Just one.

Q. Can I enter multiple times?
A. No. (Actually, I think the app will let you re-enter if you change your mind, but only the latest entry will stick.)

Q. How do you choose the winners?
A. Completely at random from all valid entries.

Q. How did you get so many OLPC XO units?
A. The wonderful folks at donated them for us to give away.

Q. How did you get so many Raspberry Pi units?
A. Black magic. Deep black magic.

Q. Why Arduino? It doesn't run Fedora Linux!
A. So what? It's open, its fun, and you can do all sorts of Open Source geekery with it.

Q. Why didn't you choose to give away instead?
A. Our crack team of Fedora experts (okay, me, Robyn, and Ruth) generated a list of hardware, then ranked them by coolness, cost, and availability. Except for the awesome and well dressed folks at, no one had any cool free hardware lying around (although, I offered to put some old SPARC systems in the mix, which was vetoed), so we ended up spending our money on the coolest things we could get the most of at the least cost. We'd love to do this again, so feel free to leave a comment here with your suggestions.

Q. Hey, I'm a hardware vendor and I want to work with you to give away more awesome Open Hardware to Fedora people in the future, who do I contact to help out?
A. Tom Callaway <>

Q. Anyone else you'd like to thank?
A. Why, how nice of you to ask. I'd also like to thank Ruth Suehle & Robyn Bergeron for brainstorming, researching, and generally being awesome to make this a reality. Luke Macken for writing the app code (and making changes at the last possible minute). Mo Duffy for making it simple, clean and beautiful to enter. The wonderful folks at Farnell, Adafruit, Sparkfun, and for all of my export and ordering related questions. Pam Chestek and Erin Dutton, for helping this sweepstakes be fully blessed and legally awesome. Amy Ross, for addressing our many export needs. Kevin Fenzi and the folks on the Fedora Admin team for making sure we had this webapp running, and sitting in the proper location (except for that brief minute where all mainpage traffic was pointing at the webapp, whoopsy!). And of course, Red Hat and OSAS for paying for it all.

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