Drones, cyber civil rights, coding among topics at LinuxFest in Bellingham

Learn how to build your own drone, discuss cyber civil rights or gawk at robots during the annual LinuxFest Northwest this Saturday and Sunday, April 25 and 26.

Bellingham Technical College will host the 16th LinuxFest Northwest this weekend. The event will feature presentations and demonstrations with the latest open-source computer technology. Linux is a free computer operating system that can be used by anyone as an alternative to for-profit operating systems such as Microsoft Windows.

Organizers expect up to 2,000 attendees to fill the BTC campus, 3028 Lindbergh Ave. There will be more than 80 presentations and 45 exhibits over the two days. The event — which runs from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days — is free and open to the community.

“There’s a lot of fun stuff there besides the real heady, geeky stuff,” said Bill Wright, one of the event’s organizing committee members.

Western Washington University’s Bellingham Artificial Intelligence and Robotics Society will be doing 3D printing at the event. Another demonstration will focus on electric vehicles and show how people to construct an electric bicycle or electric skateboard.

The ACLU and Electronic Frontier Foundation will hold a Saturday afternoon discussion about cyber civil rights, something Wright said generates plenty of discussion every year. Some companies will be there recruiting employees, too.

For more information, including a schedule of presentations, visit linuxfestnorthwest.org.