The first Lindependence project set sail into the history books today, July 14th 2008.
It went well. Extremely well.
Larry, myself and several people from the local Linux Community gathered at the HeliOS Solutions West for a last minute meeting as to who was going to do what. The meeting took place at 2 so as to give us a bit of time to talk before this thing started. Just a little gathering to make sure everyone knew who was going to do what. About then, someone walked into the office and made an announcement.
"You guys got a line of people trying to get in. they're wondering if you guys are going to show up."
We looked at each other and stood up as one and moved to the door.
Lindependence 2008 in Felton California was on.
It never was overwhelming. A steady stream of people came in and out...many spending over an hour with the various representatives in the hall. Many of us often found ourselves with several people around us at once...there were not too many instances when a rep had nothing to do. In fact, as I looked around the room, I can't remember seeing one instance of anyone twiddling their thumbs....not for long anyway.
And we had some pleasant surprises as well.
Many of us had collaborated on this project for months via the internet. Many more of us had collaborated on other things over the years but had never met in person. Lindependence 2008 gave us a chance to finally hug, shake hands and personally thank each other for the help they had provided. After years of emails, phone calls and more emails, I was finally able to meet Cathy Malmrose, CEO of Zareason.com.
I am terrible at remembering names, and in this instance there isn't any excuse for not remembering the names of the people who made this thing happen. I am going to count on my counter-part to identify those pictured here...maybe a memory course online someswhere...
I did have the pleasure of speaking with Rolf Pederson, the Mandriva representative. Here you can see Rolf and Cathy being interviewed on the important issues of the day...or maybe the price of gas in California.
Another huge surprise for myself was the chance to finally meet Steve Rufle. Steve has been supportive of our efforts for three years and many times his contributions to our cause has been the difference in getting things done or not. Steve has a great business he runs on the side called "Open Animals". Steve sells his Tux penguin stuffed toys and once his investment is recovered, he puts the profits back into various open source projects. Steve is a shining example of just what Linux Community involvement is all about and I want to personally thank him for his efforts during LIN08. He rolled up his sleeves and helped with the Linux demos when we got covered up with people wanting to know more about "This Linux Thing." That's Steve seated at the computer, giving a demonstration.
Now let's talk about gratifying. I had the pleasure to speak with one individual, a younger man in his early 20's about Linux. He was concerned that Microsoft Windows just wasn't going to give him the stability he needed when he put his business plan into play. His needs are simple...a machine that just stays on and won't falter or fail for months at a time. He has experienced the "bit rot" of Windows and was hoping Linux would supply that stability. His friends chided him for his silliness prior to coming over to see us. They told him that Linux was "an experiment" and that it wasn't near ready for production use or mission critical usage.
They might want to tell that to the United States Army or The Dow Jones.
After I spent a better part of an hour talking with him, he was truly excited about his choices. He left with a disk from each representative and thanked us for our time.
It wasn't even thirty minutes later.
Two young men approached my table and kind of stood around shuffling their feet...neither of them sure of what to say. I helped them out a bit.
"Can I help you?"
The tallest one smiled sheepishly. "Yeah. We want to know about This Linux Thing".
They were friends of the guy who had come to see us earlier...apparently they had heard that they might just have it wrong about Linux.
Oh really...Ya think?
I had them take a seat next to me and we began talking about Linux. I started at the beginning...I told them about a young student in Finland...
They stopped me often to ask a question or to clarify a point. When I was finished , I asked them if they had any questions and if they would like to take a disk home with them. The answer was yes, but their comments surprised me even more than most. They wanted to know if this was really true...that they could take this disk home, do as I instructed them to do and they could do the things I just showed them...dual booting, choosing kde or gnome...really, really not having to install Norton or AVG on their systems.
I couldn't help but smile and assure them that they could indeed do just that.
And that seemed to be a reaction we saw often on this first day of Lindepenence...that there is no "catch". That there really was a way to run your computer freely, securely and for months at a time if need be. We came a long way in sending people forward with just that message.
And the message will be sent forward in other ways. Christian Einfeldt is doing a spectacular job in documenting the activities of Lindependence 2008. He has interviewed everyone involved with skill and patience...from "Linux Kids" to the old salty advocates...he has brought life to this thing we do and we look forward to seeing the end results. Christian's project is The Digital Tipping Point and I encourage you to support what he does.
It's more important than anyone can measure.
All Righty Then...geez it's been a good day
Monday, July 14, 2008
blather and mumbling provided by Ken Starks at 1:07 AM