UPDATE: Sorry folks, I had to remove the inline photos as jonobacon.org was getting hammered by the traffic. I have instead put links in. Offers of hosting to the usual address 🙂
Well, that was LinuxWorld. The last two days have been extremely busy, but productive and great fun. I figured it would be worthwhile to provide my own account of the event, and this will be of interest for the ever incredible Ubuntu, Jokosher and LUGRadio communities.
I got down to LinuxWorld late on Tuesday, headed over to Canonical HQ for a meeting with Matt Zimmerman and then over to LinuxWorld to help with setup. The stand was already done, so I hooked up with the MythTV and Bytemark guys and headed out for dinner and drinks. Got to bed at about 3am having met up with Sladen and Matt L for some late beers in the hotel.
Up early, down to LinuxWorld, and met up with some Canonical people I have not met before. Also met the excellent Ubuntu UK and Jokosher teams who are bravely manning and womening the stands at LinuxWorld. Good to meet a bunch of new people who are taking part in the stands, and good to put names to faces. I was heartened by the energy and excitement of everyone who took part.
The Ubuntu UK stand was filled with laptops, free CDs, stickers and posters, and they were also selling rather nice polo shirts with the Ubuntu logo. The stand was inside the .org Village and was packed for the entire event – there was literally a bubble of people around the stand at all times. To help promote the Ubuntu love I grabbed a roll of stickers and went around the entire .org Village stamping stickers on laptops that were running Ubuntu. A huge amount of computers at LinuxWorld were running it.
Click for image! The Ubuntu UK stand with a fraction of the volunteers
Rather conveniently, next to the Ubuntu UK stand was the Jokosher stand. Again, filled with laptops and infosheets, the Jokosher boys were demoing the latest bleeding edge Jokosher and got lots of really great feedback. It seems people are getting pretty damn exciting about Jokosher, and are looking forward to our 0.2 release in November which will allow you to do real recording and editing with it.
Click for image! The Jokosher team, spreading the simple yet powerful audio love at LinuxWorld
The Canonical stand, on the edge of the .org Village was heaving from start to finish with excited and interested vistors keen to know about Ubuntu and Canonical. With the rumours about Oracle and Ubuntu, we were inundated with questions about this too. The Oracle support announcement was eventually posted later that evening.
Click for image! The Canonical stand was always hectic
After meeting the troops, I was scheduled to perform my Ubuntu Update talk on the IBM stand. The IBM stand had 18 seats on their platform, and I was pleased to see a big crowd waiting for me there. I was informed by a pal of mine from IBM that over 180 people attended the talk, the biggest of the day, and the crowd literally blocked the gangways and walkways around the stand. The talk went down pretty well, and it was a fun crowd. Lots of great questions afterwards too. Thanks to everyone who came.
Click for image! Me speaking at the Ubuntu Update talk
After that it was off to the Great Linux Debate where I participated in the debate with a bunch of other guys. The topic was Virtualization and it generated some fun and interesting questions.
I then grabbed lunch, met up with the stand folks and then headed off with the Ubuntu UK team for an Ubuntu UK meeting. The meeting was incredibly productive and we discussed a huge range of areas and ideas for getting Ubuntu UK up and running. It was well attended and everyone is psyched about Ubuntu UK and just how much cool stuff we can do. Nik is going to post the notes when he gets some time.
Interspersed in this busy day, I spent time at the Canonical booth talking to people and gauging the interest. People are hugely interested in Ubuntu. There was one guy who came over though and accused us of copying Windows, including all the problems. His venom was impressive and despite my attempt at calming his concerns, he left rather worked up that the Linux world is not going the way he wants it to. Well, we have choice, use another distro. His issues were really not with Ubuntu but with KDE and GNOME and their supposed “copying of Windows”.
As the show closed, we headed to the pub for a quick pint and then I got back to the hotel, threw on my tux and headed off to the UK Linux & Open Source Awards. I was really pleased to meet up with Ton Roosendaal there and we caught up on Blender and their presence at SigGraph. The awards were predictably swanky and I had a great time. I was really pleased to see Michael Meeks get a recognition award for his involvement in free software. He is a real example to us all, and Ton accepted the award for Elephants Dream, another well deserved accolade.
Relevant to me, Ubuntu bagged the award for best distro (voted by the readers), and LUGRadio Live won an award for Best Marketing Campaign. Let me explain what happened here, as I was a judge. When we did the judging conference call, the subject of the marketing award came up. Many of the judges were entirely unimpressed with the entries, and one judge suggested that LUGRadio Live be considered. At this point I made clear I was not going to vote (to ensure objectivity), and pretty much every other judge agreed that LUGRado Live should win it. Now spin on to the awards evening. I was very concerned that people are aware that I did not vote on the award and that it was entirely legit. When it came to the award, the first nominee was read out and the room was silent. Then LUGRadio Live was read out and the entire room erupted with cheers and applause in support for LUGRadio Live. I was fucking gobsmacked. I know we have a hardcore of fans, but I never expected so much support from inside a crowd so representative of the industry. We were then announced as winners and I went to the stage to pick up the award. Thanks everyone, my gob is still well and truly smacked. The objectivity of the award was also explained as I picked up the award and Graham Taylor commented on my embarrassment at winning. You know, I don’t get embarrassed much, but it was quite strange, and I am pleased that the award’s objectivity was communicated well. Of course, some jokers figured some wind up was in order, and the gags flowed in the bar after the awards. Like the rest of the team, I want to thank our awesome community and the many people who have supported our little show over the years. This award is not just for us, its for the legions of incredible people who have helped us. We will never forget your involvement and always ensure the show is what it is – a grassroots show by the community, for the community. 🙂
The awards finished, I met up some other old friends and then as the night drew to a close, I hung out with my old workmates from OpenAdvantage as well as the legendary Paul Sladen. At about 2am I headed back to the hotel, checked my mail, fixed up some Jokosher stuff for the next day, and hit the sack at around 4am.
Got up, grabbed breakfast. Matt Zimmerman was in the same hotel so had breakfast with him, then headed off to the venue, met up with the stand dudes and dudettes and got talking to people. I then headed off to give my Cracking Open The Open Source Desktop talk – it was well received and they were a fun crowd. As soon as that finished I dashed out to The Great Linux Debate which was on the GPL. Some great discussion, a bit more lively than the day before. Was good to hook up with Brian Behlendorf again. I was not expecting him there, so was good to hang out with him again.
Grabbed some lunch, back to the stands. An amusing chat with an Oracle dude about the news. Demoed the volume fades code to the Jokosher guys, and spent a lot of time talking to the legions of people who fed into the stands I was part of. It really was genuinely hectic, and I never expected the Thursday to be as hectic as the Wednesday, but it was. It was nice to see people come over and say hi.
As the show closed, we took an awesome picture of the Ubuntu UK team at the main Canonical/Ubuntu stand:
Click for image! The Ubuntu UK crew in all their glory
We then headed to the Hand and Flower for a quick pint, and then Chris Procter and I got the train back to wolves and chewed the fat on the way back about jobs, Jokosher, Linux and everything else in-between.
All in all a great few days, and a real testament to the community. This year was much more community orientated, and the .org Village was certainly the most dominantly populated part of the show. It was busy, I helped run three stands, did two talks, two panel debates, one community meeting, judged awards, hooked together relationships and took part in endless discussions, but every drop of energy was worth it. I am intensely proud of Ubuntu UK team and the Jokosher team, and their excitement and enthusiasm shone through to the visitors who visited the stands. Good work folks, now lets see what we can do. 🙂