My Experience at Ontario Linux Fest 2007 – At the Toronto Congress Center.
Woke up at 6 am to get the dog walked and eat some breakfast before heading out to get Cesar. Thanks Cesar for being awake and ready to go!
We had to go up to Seneca first and grab the display material from Mary, who was also awake and on time. Perfect so far. Then we headed up to the airport vicinity where the google map had said the center was and I promptly got us a little lost. After checking at the gas station for direction, we were set straight and arrived on time to the conference center where we signed in, got a bag ‘o shwag and found our table.
Once we were set up, I went to the “Women in Open Source” talk that Angela Byron was giving at 9:30. This was an excellent presentation and I was really excited to meet her in person and to talk briefly about her Summer of Code experience. I have been stalking that site for 2 years now and was never sure if it was something I could do or if only elite hackers applied. Meeting a real person who has done it and can speak to how it worked for her was inspiring. She works with Lullabot and thus, Drupal. After her talk I went to a “Hands on Demo” of Joomla and got to see how the other half lives. Joomla is exciting to me and I look forward to having a little bit of time to test out setting up a simple site with it.
Cesar had dutifully staffed the booth for a couple of hours so I went and took over so he could wander around and go to OpenMoko after lunch. At one point though, we plastered all the tables in both session halls with FSOSS flyers so as to get maximum awareness.
Talking to people about FSOSS was great – a lot of folks already knew about it and were coming. I spent a little time talking with Dru Lavigne and learning about FreeBSD. I even got a few install disks so maybe I’ll be testing it out on a virtual machine soon. A few good networking opportunities presented themselves. I met the guy who does all the Linux on mainframes stuff for IBM and he gave me his card to contact him about IBM online learning.
In the afternoon I listened to the story of a LUG partnering up with the United Way up around Owen Sound and fixing up computers for families in need. I hear that we’re doing some similar stuff at Seneca, so I’m going to be looking into how I could help with that project. What I like about this kind of project is that it can be anonymous – so that people in need don’t have to feel like they are getting handouts. Also, this is a great opportunity to work on making Linux useable to people with ZERO technical skills. That’s something I think really needs to keep being improved if there is going to be wider adoption. It also interests me because I need to become more comfortable with installing and configuring Linux so I can be an evangelist.
All in all, a great time was had and I came away with lots of new knowledge and curiousity about Linux and the community surrounding it plus, some new friendships in the making. I could get used to this conference lifestyle.