Started today early with epically bad hotel coffee and a courteous curbside pickup by Jeffrey Tadlock. We drove over to the Convention Center and started setup of the Fedora booth early. We were in a great location, right by the entrance to the hall. We quickly set up a metric ton of media, shirts, buttons, and stickers, some OLPC XO laptops, and a modern high-octane laptop running Fedora 9.
We were soon joined by many other Ambassadors — David Nalley, Pascal Calarco, Clint Savage, Brian Powell, Ben Williams and others. Clint had the great idea of taking our banner and putting it on the wall beside the booth. Later we used it to great effect, taking photos of many users who stopped by to find out about Fedora and stayed on to find out about contributing. I fully expect you’ll see a lot of these photos on this very planet feed soon enough.
There was really no time to catch talks, because between meeting with community and commercial folks, and helping at the booth, the day was pretty full. The Ambassadors did a great job talking about Fedora’s contributions to the FOSS world and our work encouraging upstream growth, features, and problem-solving. A young man named Seth stopped by to talk about multi-seat and multi-head progress in Linux, and I passed on Chris Tyler’s name as someone keenly interested in this subject. Could we have the makings of a SIG? I talked to folks about OLPC and how to develop for Sugar, either through Fedora’s OLPC list. I listened to and answered questions about the Fedora mission and philosophy, about hardware compatibility, and about how to get involved.
I also talked to a couple hardware folks regrding some more Red Hattish matters. There’s a chance that some of those conversations could lead to some pleasant side effects for Fedora, so it was well worth the time no matter which color headwear I had on. ?
I was thrilled that so many of the non-vendor people I met, though, were interested in how to contribute something to free software. We held a small BoF in the afternoon where I met, among other people, Klaatu, one of the hosts of the new and revamped Fedora Reloaded podcast. We agreed to get together at some point in the near future for an interview or other appearance on the podcast. He made a joke about the podcast now being “FPL approved” but really, the only point is that he and his cohost Skirlet took it upon themselves to step up and do something. Great work, guys!
After the BoF I also got to do an interview with podcaster David Yates of Lotta Linux Links fame, which should show up some time next week. Soon afterward the day was over and it was time to pack up the booth. We scooted upstairs to catch the closing speech by Bethlynn Eicher, the mastermind behind the OhioLF conference, and Jono Bacon who was his normal entertaining self.
After the speech we dropped our stuff off and had a superb dinner at The Happy Greek, thanks to Brian Pepple’s good recommendation. Some of the guys headed back to the after-party; I have an early flight so I went back to the hotel to catch some shut-eye. An earlyish flight on Sunday means I have a 6:30 wakeup call, and unfortunately will miss the FADNA event — if I’m lucky, though, I’ll be back in town with enough time to go visit Da Momz who’s still recuperating from her back surgery in a full-time rehab facility.
Somewhere around 1,000 people showed up for Ohio Linux Fest, some driving for hours, despite crazy fuel costs and uncertain economic times, to share the joy of free software. (And some good drinks at the after-party, I’m sure.) It was a great event and I’m happy to have had a chance to meet our new North American community superheroes. Thanks to all these guys for putting together a fantastic booth, and giving Fedora excellent visibility here. I’m looking forward to seeing everyone here again next year!