Thursday, May 5, 2011

Linuxfest Northwest and Happy Memories

Bellingham again showed us the beauty of the coastal northwest, and the Bellingham Linux User Group topped themselves with LFNW 2011. While it's difficult to gauge attendance to a free conference, it seemed we had roughly the same number stop by our booth this year, although we gave out fewer free CDs. We had no large pile of packaged free CDs from Canonical, so made do with giving out the last of our old ones, and burning CDs for those who needed them. Thank you to Michael (MJEvans) for donating the blank CDs. Also thanks to our anonymous donor, who insisted on giving us $5 for his FREE cd!

Also new this year, was burning to thumb drives. Not only did I lend out my MultiSystem drive a few times, I also created a couple of them for people, and burned ISOs onto four or five drives as well. Yay for Ktorrent getting me all those ISOs, so they were available for people! Next year, I'll do even more. We had a request for Xubuntu, but I didn't have one, and the bandwidth was not sufficient to download it.

Saturday was a crush, and we were demonstrating Unity and Kubuntu, burning CDs, and talking about Ubuntu-Women and Linuxchix, and the issues surrounding women in Linux, FOSS, and even attending conferences. I enjoyed showing off Kubuntu and KDE and explaining the difference to lots and lots of people.

Also, once Zareason fixed the wireless on my Terra, Thomas put 11.04 32-bit on it, and I set it to the netbook interface. So people could really see the difference between Kubuntu and the new Ubuntu Unity interface. I saw the new Teo netbook at the Zareason booth -- it looks snazzy! We might have sold them a few netbooks, so I hope their good service to me pays off in the long run. :-)

One new feature at LFNW this year: Not that the principles themselves are new; this group has always been friendly and welcoming. But now they are codified for all to see. Kudos to BLUG for this important step!

They know how to throw a party, too! The party Saturday night was lower-key than last year, and more fun, in my opinion. The beer was, if possible, even better too. :-)

The food was nothing special, but after the food, the games came out! Not only Guitar Hero and some Wii games, but also table games for those who wanted them. I think that created a really friendly atmosphere before the beer was poured. Also, the beer cups were smaller. I know I drank less, and felt good Sunday morning. Yay!

Sunday is a quiet day, with fewer sessions, and fewer visitors. However, I think quite a few visitors to our table were new. I was surprised at how many CDs went out. I was having trouble keeping up! I did have time to do two sit-downs with women who wanted to know more about the community, how to use IRC, etc. That was really enjoyable.

All in all, and excellent weekend! Again, the Hampton was affordable, clean, and convenient. The free breakfast also furnished a yogurt, apple and bagel for my lunch too. I look forward to 2012, and plan to speak.