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COSI Projects

Proposed projects

Open file formats


UNC to support/enforce use of a set of open, FOSS-software-readable file formats.

problems with status quo

  • archival. Proprietary formats can become orphaned.
  • lockout. Users with FOSS or even older proprietary software are denied access to newer proprietary formats unless they pay to install or upgrade.

suggestion from cmpalmer: point to Google Apps for Education.

CCI FOSS support


UNC Carolina Computing Initiative to support hardware running FOSS OSs.

status quo

Currently CCI provides (mostly sells, in some cases gives away) only Lenovo hardware running Vista, and provides the following services only to the boxes they sell:

  1. extended warranty/insurance against theft or damage. This is valuable primarily to students, e.g. those without renter's insurance.
  2. onsite hardware support. This is important for departments as well as students.
  3. installs a "custom software load": this is essentially [TODO: confirm]
    • M$ Office
    • Symantec Antivirus
    • commercial windows versions of various GNU/*nix tools


CCI should either

  1. Sell/support Lenovo hardware running with no OS installed. Note that
    • Lenovo is already their vendor.
    • Dell's N-series boxes come with only FreeDOS "installed."
  2. Sell/support Lenovo hardware running one or more FOSS OS. Note Lenovo already sells SLED boxes. [TODO: check for other distros.]
  3. Sell/support one or more other vendor's hardware running one or more FOSS OS. E.g. CCI could
    • sell {Dell linux, Apple OSX} boxes
    • obtain certification to provide support for the chosen vendor(s)

If there is value in the "custom software load" [TODO: confirm], they should also provide a CSL for the supported FOSS OS(s). This would not be difficult for, e.g., linux: a linux CSL would consist of something like

Provide Direction for "standard" UNC Distributions


Examine what FOOS OS's are in relatively wide use, and provide feedback to ITS, OIS, and other campus IT groups. This is parallel to the objective of getting support for FOSS OSs as part of the CCI, but would yield some immediate benefits for groups already using these distros and for individuals interested in getting started.

status quo

Currently, a variety of distros are in use, esp. Redhat, SUSE/Novell, and Unbuntu.


  1. Hold informal meetings demoing various FOSS OS distributions
  2. Provide guidance as to which distros work well in the UNC Chapel Hill environment.
  3. Recommend specific distributions for various purposes, eg. fileservers, laptops, and workstations.
  4. Provide UNC specific ad hoc support for same, primarily in documentation.

Current projects

UNCbuntu, the ideological successor to LUNCCH.

Building a list of open source software and reviews to form a repository for interested parties.

Building a list of health open source software.

Wikimedia Conference of the Americas

MediaWiki is open source software and runs with PHP and MySQL, both open source!
host city released October 6th, so vote early and vote often...or something like that.

Helping ibiblio celebrate its 15th birthday!

Continuing Projects

Maintaining our SLICE site.

SLICE uses the open source project Joomla!

Past projects

Software Freedom Day was a great success!

Promoting ibiblio's hosting of Bob Young on October 30th.

Videoing monthly TriLUG (Triangle Linux User Group) meetings, 2nd Thursday of each month at 7pm at Red Hat in Raleigh.

Recruiting members and giving out software at the Really, Really Free Market in Carrboro.

Older projects.