LinuxTag and FUDCon 2009, part 1.

Wednesday was the beginning of LinuxTag and as always the efficiency of our Ambassador contingent was plain to see. The booth was in fantastic shape, with plenty of “Four Foundations” decorations and also a projector to show off slides that offered excellent Fedora messages and data about the upcoming FUDCon event. There were also new, free-standing, vertical banners using the “Four Foundations” logos that look simply superb.

I hung around the booth a little from time to time, but as we found last year, having too many staff in the booth is an impediment to actually talking to passersby about Fedora, so I used the time to talk with people like Joe Brockmeier from openSUSE, our own LinuxTag/FUDCon master organizer Gerold Kassube, and of course did some catching up with Max. I also met a number of contributors in person, such as Nicu Buculei, who are much renowned in the community but with whom I’d never had the chance to be face to face. This is actually one of my favorite things about FUDCon — the way it brings people together with social bonds that are stronger than what can be forged over email or IRC.

Max and I recorded a podcast interview with the Linux Outlaws, which you should be able to catch soon on their feed. We had a great time doing our typical tandem routine as Abbott and Costello, talking about Fedora features and about how our community has come together for the FUDCon event. I shared an interesting lunch of fresh cooked gnocchi and some strawberries (shoutz Mo!) with Spot and Joe Brockmeier, where we talked about some of the current misinformation flying around about Mono, as well as cows. (Ahem.)

I managed to find a few minutes to work on some of my slides, and also to talk with the folks at Vanager about their VPS solution that offers many Fedora releases, including Fedora 11. At some point, someone (Gerold?) convinced me that even a married guy is allowed to pick up a girl now and then.

Yesterday I spent some time in the morning doing more slides and email, but then cut loose to help Max with some of the assembly of FUDCon materials. We went over the logistics for the next day and I helped with some of the signage and other odds and ends as I could. We also did another great — well, we sure enjoyed ourselves — interview with Radio Tux. Some of my favorite moments from the broadcast:

  • Max pointing out that Fedora is not about promoting the brand of one person. Any of our awesome Ambassadors at the show could have given the exact same interview and done just as well. We have innumerable rock stars in our community and the point of scaling that community is to turn the spotlight off the one or the few, and onto the many.
  • Realizing that it’s more fun to give several points of view when talking about cool technical features, especially when their impact is wide or complex.
  • Doing a tandem voice-over intro in which Max and I introduced ourselves and proclaimed, “Wir machen Fedora, und wir lieben Radio-Tux!” We’re so hammy it’s a wonder we don’t wear pineapple rings.

Later, returning to the FUDCon space, and in a fit of total abandon, I decided to exercise my minimal artistic skills by gussying up the schedule board. The results weren’t bad, and I had fun contributing something other than talking-head antics to the proceedings. Hopefully people get a kick out of them today while they’re attending FUDCon day 1. More on that in my next post!