Back from LinuxWorld

I'm back from LinuxWorld. Unfortunately I didn't have time to take any pictures, but the conference was excellent.

It's mostly a business-focused conference, and we were mostly concentrating on promoting the classmate PC, which we will be selling in bulk quantities with Mandriva pre-loaded (the system is that we buy the systems from Intel and sell them on, with Mandriva pre-loaded, at a profit. Well, hopefully. :>). I was there with Walt Pennington and Gaurav Parakh, we were occupying one corner of Intel's rather large area. We had a demo classmate which worked fine except for the little pen reader attachment, and several hundred people came by to take a look over the course of three days. It was my first time seeing the system, and it is a very neat little machine - it's basically a full laptop, although somewhat below the specs of a regular one (900MHz CPU, 256MB RAM) in a small but very ruggedized case that can stand up to quite a bit of abuse (although the Intel guys wouldn't let me drop it for people - boo). The distro is basically Flash with a custom launcher app on top of KDE which displays a set of colour coded boxes on the desktop that let you launch the basic apps (Evolution for email, Kopete for IM, Firefox for browsing, OpenOffice.org for Office stuff and a few media apps). People were generally impressed with the system, particularly the price point (around $200), and we had a lot of people who wanted to know if they could just buy one for themselves :).

We also managed to give away over 150 One CDs and also Linux Pro Magazine's entire stock of spare 2007 Spring cover DVDs, which they came over and dumped on me with about an hour to go on the last day of the conference. I went over to the community section and forced them onto people. Muahaha. I also had my story explaining the Mandrake -> Mandriva name change and Mandriva's subsequent history quite polished by the end of the weekend - it's sad how many people know Mandrake but not Mandriva and assume we just sort of disappeared or went on holiday or something.

I didn't get much chance to just poke around the floor, but I did manage to get a short play with a Neo1973 - the software is pretty alpha ATM, but the hardware is nice, and the screen is just amazing - and had a chat with the guys (and girls) on the Creative Commons stand, as well as donating some cash to the EFF. I also had a quick play with an OLPC, which was interesting - it and the classmate may be aiming at the same sectors but they're very, very different and I can certainly see them co-existing.

We also managed to talk to quite a few press people, which was great, and hopefully they'll follow up on running some articles on the classmate and also on Flash.

Overall it was a very fun experience and also seemed pretty productive. Now I just have to deal with 1000 new Cooker mails, 1141 new bug mails, 188 new Club mails, 61 new personal mails, the entire response to beta 1, and a week's worth of forum posts.

Monday may be quite busy.

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