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Re: My trip to FOSDEM 2005

On 2005-03-06 04:19:46 -0500, Erinn Clark said:

> > I soon found Hanna Wallach (I was cheating and had looked at a picture
> > before I left) and we spent a lot of time walking around talking to
> > people.
> Eh, no DW keysigning party?!

Well, almost. I am not that used to keysigning parties, so I was  bit
perplex when someone started handing me passports when I was just using
the only slip of paper I had with my email address (a gpg slip) on it to 
give to someone who wnated my address :) Which reminds me I actually
have to sign those keys.

> Yeah, more women definitely need to give talks -- not just social ones,
> also technical ones. I think as time goes on (and the members of Debian
> Women feel more comfortable and/or innovative regarding technical issues),
> this will change for us. Attending conferences is always the first step. 

A problem I had with this conference was that I didn't know much about
how it was organized and what opportunities there actually were. The
information on the FOSDEM web page was poor, and I guess a lot of
conferences simply lack information about how to get into the conference
schedule - at least outside the main tracks, which are often "reserved"
for bigger names than most women have, at least women (or persons) who
don't know much about conference life at all.

(Ok, I know that phrase looks like I don't think women are good enough
pr famous enough to speak at conferences or something like that. As you
hopefully can imagine, it's not what I intend to say. Blame it on my
linguistic skills or something, or ignore.)

> I do notice a commonality among a lot of people, though, which is that,
> regardless of sex, they think they have nothing to talk about. This is
> certainly true in some cases, but even within Debian, there is *tons* of
> stuff to talk about -- some of the more 'interesting' stuff (to other
> Debian people) requires a fair amount of specialized knowledge in some
> sub-field of Debian, but for conferences where you'll be presenting to a
> more general free software audience, there is plenty of stuff to cover. 

Everybody have been beginners at one (or more) stages in their life. So
also for Debian people. I guess there should be room for some general
talks even at Debian events; not everybody are interested in or have
knowledge enough to get the most out of a very specialized talk (even if
a lot of people find them very interesting as well).

> Free software people are occasionally much better in person. :)

Yes :)  And that may make them less scary in more electronic
communication as well, it's easier to forgive or ignore if you know
something more about how they actually behave or speak or act. Or drink.

I guess this is part of the reason why I feel I have never experience any
sexism in the Linux/Unix User Groups or computer clubs I have been part
of. I have always known the participants in mailing lists in person, and
even if some of them say stupid things I know how s/he would have said
it in a real life conversation, and that's often quite different from
how the words came out in the email. 

> > Another nice thing would be t-shirts. I suck at t-shirt design and related
> > stuff, so I won't say more on that :-)
> Yes, we want t-shirts. Currently, besides getting the design -- which
> should be fairly trivial -- there's the matter of how to get them. There
> are online shops like cafepress and zazzle which will do them, but
> cafepress isn't very high quality and ideally we'd have something screen
> printed, which is costly up-front. I suppose we'll need to think more in
> depth about this.

And postage and tax is also a problem/challenge.

> > sash is very good for you.
> BTW, what is sash?

ii  sash           3.4-8.2        Stand-alone shell.

Very useful when you mess up glibc or something, and everything,
including the package manager, is statically linked with glibc. 
(It has a good range of built-in commands that makes it easier to
de-mess a broken system.)

Magni :)
sash is very good for you.

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