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LinuxWorld Summary!

Everyone I am SURE has been waiting anxiously for me to tell you ALL
ABOUT LinuxWorld and all the fun and the disasters had there.  I waited
to be sure that everything that needed to be announced before I wrote
this was.  That's done now, so here goes nothing:


  Even though I was not there to help with setup and whatnot, the
  experience begins on Monday for me.  I'll include it for your
  amusement, skipping to Tuesday if you're just after the Debian related
  stuff and don't care about the full experience might be good if you
  really want to.

  Okay, it's 15:50, slink is supposed to be released in 10 minutes!  I'm
  ready to go out the door and get to the bus stop.  15:55, at the bus
  stop.  The driver should be here within the next five minutes.  At
  16:20 I realize I have 10 minutes to be downtown to catch my shuttle
  bus to get to the area.  I run across the street and hit the payfone to
  call the bus people.

  I explain to them and they put me on hold after I explain everything. 
  5 minutes later someone else picks up the fone and I have to explain
  again and the person did not have the slightest what to do...  I'm like
  "WAIT, there's a 37 out there at the corner" which wasn't the stop I
  was at but it was going downtown "I'm going to get on it..  Please
  radio the shuttle and 37 drivers to wait so I can actually do this..."
  She agreed and I hung up.

  I run to the corner from 7-11's fone booth and didn't notice I left a
  black nylon covered notebook (paper, not hardware) sitting on top of
  the booth.  That thing was important!

  Anyway, the light changed just as I got to the corner and the bus had
  not started moving yet and so I'm running across the street here..  The
  driver pulls up to the corner I was originally standing on and I run
  back to it...  He tells me the stop he just made was the regular stop
  for that bus, not where I was headed---in other words, I ran across the
  street looking like an idiot and left my notebook (which I still didn't
  realize at this point) behind for nothing.

  Get to the bus station and get to the bus I need to get on (the
  shuttle) and the driver tells me that even though it's now 16:45 and
  they told me to be there at 16:30, the bus only leaves just now anyway. 
  I was almost floored!  The bus pulls out and I suddenly realize I left
  the notebook which has instructions to get to Joey Hess's house, the
  info on how I was supposed to take the BART train to get there when I
  got off the shuttle, Nathan Myers' number, Joey's number, etc..  So I
  was going to do this without fone numbers and only memorized

  Figured out the BART thing.  Made it to joeyh's house after a bit of
  wandering around---the directions would not have caused me to wander
  less, he said the streets were "all in just a normal grid pattern" and
  they were---except for the one I was supposed to be walking on.  Once I
  found the right street to turn off to, memory got me rest of the way
  there.  I met joeyh, gecko, and wichert--Nathan got there later.

  And thus ends the first day....


  Here's where the cool stuff starts happening.  Well, kinda, there was a
  Corel thingy first and it was REALLY suit-targetted.  Their progress on
  WINE and a few of the comments people made loud enough to be heard on
  stage and by everyone were cool, but generally it was boring and as is
  typical for boring presentation speeches the air was cold to keep
  people alert and it kinda made my neck a bit sore.  I was fine once I
  got out of there though, no worries..  =>

  Found trade mags out front, grabbed some.  Linux Journal looked
  interesting.  Network World seemed better than others, the rest sitting
  there were suit targetted (Infoworld had an article on FIRING SOMEONE on
  the front page for gods sakes!)

  Made my way to the exhibit hall and wandered around that looking for
  Debian booth..  Didn't see anyone I recognized in it and walked right
  by it four times!  Neither it nor Slashdot had anything big and logoish
  up that I could see from a distance really and they had no idea I was
  actually looking for them sooo...  Eventually found them though and
  took a look at the booth.

  Did quite a bit of irc that day, keeping people informed with what we
  were doing durring the morning.  Realized the shirt I was wearing
  (thick, black, long-sleeved) was a BAD idea and bought a Debian shirt,
  one of only 2 left in XL size!

  Talked to FreeBSD people in the Walnut Creek booth.  Explained what
  we've been arguing about whether or not to try to port our userspace to
  a BSD kernel..  They agreed NetBSD would be unfriendly to the idea most
  likely, OpenBSD would be more open, and as for FreeBSD they had a
  simple answer: "COOL." They were generally impressed with Debian as a
  Linux distribution and genreally considered it to be the best one of
  the lot available now as far as technical quality and attention to
  important details.

  We were giving out CD sets but the day's supply was GONE by noon..  We
  ate pizza for lunch and by afternoon it was plainly obvious that the
  booth was too full for me and irc updates had to become real infrequent
  because the machines were needed otherwise.  I left the booth in search
  of free stuff *grin* and of course to tell people how cool Debian was. 
  They should have sent me off with a Penguin mint (more about that

  The Linus keynote was AWESOME!  We noticed that he was extremely
  nervous at first and even went home durring the thing to change into a
  bit nicer clothes than when I saw him walk by earlier...  I think the
  totals were like 7000 people in attendance at this thing, 9000 made it
  to the show overall.  Go do the audio/video thing or find a transcript
  and read it, I can't do Linus justice this late after it.  If you find
  a real transcript of what he said (I know liz paraphrased it on LWN)
  please do let me know.

  At some point I put my hand on one of the 19" monitors on the VA
  Research machines and said "I don't know how yet but one way or another
  I'm gonna find a way to take thing thing home with me..." This is
  important later.

  The party after the keynote was uninteresting at first..  The pizza
  wasn't that good (the hawaiian wasn't TOO bad) and while I didn't have
  any beer (only 20) it was free and nobody was being carded and of
  course it was all American beer so it sucked I'm sure.  =>

  The party got amusing when they had someone get up and say he was a
  M$NBC reporter (everyone boo'd him and hey answered "hey!  At least 3/5
  of us is still NBC!") who had an interview with a BillyG impersonator
  who claimed Linus was a Bill Gates clone and was supposed to be helping
  M$ but something went wrong and he was bitten by a radioactive
  penguin...  It was amusing, but not exactly really funny except in a
  couple small parts.

  After that was over with, this "band" started playing...  "Man or Astro
  Man?" was their name and IMO they _SUCKED_!  They literally cleared the
  place save only a hundred or so who must be as tone deaf as the people
  playing the music..  Someone asked me if that was a white noise
  generator they heard and I suggested it sounded more like black and
  blue noise...  (I can't say that with a straight face still but wichert
  claims to have heard worse..) It was kinda this industrial techno
  thing, if you hated the music to the movie Hackers this would probably
  make you vomit.  If you LIKED the music from Hackers it probably would


  Well by now we had the Empeg working so things got busy fast.  There
  were around 40 people in and crowded about the booth, checking out the
  Empeg, the Mac SE-30 under it, and asking bout the Atari Falcon,
  Netwinder, and the Ultra-5, all of which were running Debian alongside
  the i386 machines..  I had a penguin mint and once I recovered from the
  slight headache it gave me (happened quickly enough) and I was hyper
  enough to be out there in the front of the booth answering questions
  from the hordes of people there..

  I grabbed a few CD sets that morning and set them aside, making sure to
  save one for myself.  Later on I went out and AbiWorded Debian to some
  people, bringing it to them out in between booths and even giving some
  of them to a few people IN OTHER PEOPLES booths---not any of the other
  Linux vendors though, that would not have been right so I didn't do it.

  DEF:  AbiWord /Abee-word/ 1. n. A cross-platform word processor
        released under the GPL 2. v. Marketting a product in a manner
        similar to that employed by those in the AbiWord booth.  Market
        tactics including trying to catch people who have not even
        stopped at your booth in addition to those who have, employment
        of gimmicks such as real source code from the program on the
        backs of flyers and the like, and making lots of noise or other
        distractions to an exhibit floor in order to be more easily
        noticed will qualify as AbiWording.

  The Debian dinner was cool but nobody could read the key fingerprint
  printout I had once I found it so I didn't get many sigs.  The Redhat
  party, well, too many people got a little too drunk and were just being
  weird.  Many from the Debian dinner showed up..

  Over the course of the Debian dinner I managed to find out that at
  least in some cases, supertwist plastic can treat part of the vision
  problem I have.  It's spendy, but hey if in a year or two my vision can
  be even partially corrected without surgery I'll be happy.


  More AbiWording, no CDs this time  Shorter day, went fast.  The
  highlight was around noon which Jim Pick and I spent most of talking to
  "Mr. emacspeak" T.V. Raman..  I'm a joe/vim user and this thing was
  cool enough to make me consider installing emacs for.  If you're in to
  wearables you SHOULD check it out sometime.

  Got to be time to take stuff apart and the Debian booth just had too
  many people to actually get anything pulled apart, just exhibitors
  even..  To help with the congestion I went to the VA booth to help
  them.  I didn't touch the rack-based stuff though, heavier and more
  expensive and I did NOT want to risk dropping any of it..

  Found out that VA had donated their machines in the Debian booth to the
  project and the hardware will get used for cool stuff.  Found out that
  one of the 19" monitors was going home with me since I quite litereally
  could not read the monitor I had except in text mode and even then only
  at about 3-4" away from the screen...  Not very comfortable I assure
  you.  But it's cool that they did it and everyone should know that VA
  is great and stuff..  =>

  Was all ready for the geeks with guns thing, but due to a series of
  mis-communications things did NOT happen that way and ... well it was
  just a mess.


  Well, a few complications getting me home related to the previous
  night's mis-communications and complicated further by wichert having an
  infection..  I understand that he'll be fine but we should all still
  send healing thoughts out to our Glorious Leader, wounded in battle
  (battle with a table or something?)

  Turns otu the notebook was returned which was good because there was
  more than directions in there that were important not to lose.  I came
  from this thing with 4 tshirts, a few magazines, an older IDE cdrom
  drive (I didn't have one before (thanks again rcw)), stickers,
  bumperstickers, a license plate that says "Live free or die  LINUX" on
  it, a monitor cleaning brush from HP, vendor square thingies for cases
  from VA and Walnut Creek for FreeBSD (am collecting these things), a
  foam penguin from the SAMS/Que people, Stuffed Tux in 3 sizes (Large,
  Medium, and Cute), tons of contacts personally and for things related
  to Debian, a Linus Torvalds for President button, and of course the
  monitor from the nice people at VA..

  I also brought home one very tired and sore Knghtbrd who thought his
  feet would fall off, but that hasn't happened yet and he's recovering
  nicely at this point.

The ultimate destination of the new hardware from VA is still being
worked out I think.  There's talk of a non-us server which seems to sound
good to most I think.  We'll see what happens when it does.  Hey, I can
actually read this without being hunched over a keyboard with my face
against my monitor so I am THRILLED...

There's other cool stuff but I don't want to say too much about that till
after there have been press releases and stuff.  All in all it was a
GREAT show with approximately 9000 people total and I hope to see some of
you again at the next one.  Disasters and all it was worth it.  Do it
again?  YOU BETTER BELIEVE IT!!!  I spent too much money but some of that
was being somewhat unprepared for many things.  This is now not the case,
next time I will be ready for them.  =>

I'd like to personally thank joeyh, gecko, Nathan Myers, VA Research, and
LinuxCentral, and Slashdot for one helluvan experience!

Joseph Carter <knghtbrd@debian.org>            Debian GNU/Linux developer
PGP: E8D68481E3A8BB77 8EE22996C9445FBE            The Source Comes First!
To boldly go where no bunch of geeks have gone before :)   --Joel Klecker

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