[svlug] Linux booth at GTC West 2003 (Government Tech. Conference, Sacramento)

Bill Kendrick nbs at sonic.net
Sat May 17 05:16:16 PDT 2003

Hello SVLUG'ers!

The Linux Users' Group of Davis (LUGOD) [1], with some help from members of
the Sacramento [1] and Roseville [2] LUGs, exhibited on the expo. floor of
this year's Government Technology Conference (GTC West 2003) [4].

Originally, the GTC organizers had offered us booth space for a discounted
price of only $1000.  Being a non-profit club with no membership dues,
only voluntary donations, and being an organization looking into possibly
buying our own projector, we obviously couldn't afford that! :^)

However, we persisted, and were able to take over some space that was
made available when another exhibitor had to cancel (I believe), so we got
the space for only the cost of electricity.  (About $100, I think.)

We had very little time to prepare, though, since it was very short notice
at that point.  We only knew we were going 2 weeks in advance...
and the weekend before GTC, LUGOD was scheduled to put together a booth
at the yearly Whole Earth Festival [5], that takes place at UC Davis.

Regardless, we were able to put together a pretty darned good booth!
An army of volunteers burned CDROMs for us to hand out, we scrambled to
get flyers and business cards printed and photocopied, and some members
lent us their chairs and a table to go along with the two folding card
tables we have.

We were able to get CodeWeavers CrossOver Office [6] (trial version)
installed, and put the free download of MS Internet Explorer and a copy of
MS Office 2000 (which was donated for this event) on the Linux box we use
at our semi-regular hands-on Linux demos.

Shawn Gordon from theKompany.com [7] sent us a copy of Rekall, their graphical
database administration tool, and tkcRekall, their embedded version for the
Sharp Zaurus, to demonstrate at the event.  (Sadly, I didn't have time to
set it up, and we didn't do too many Zaurus demos, since most people were
only vaguely familiar with Linux, so we had to explain it, first. :^) )

Marsee Henon from O'Reilly & Associates [8] sent us a set of booklets and
catalogs to give away, and gave us two copies each of six of their Linux
titles which we raffled off.

We also had some leftover Oracle9i-for-Linux evaluation CDs from one of
our past LUGOD meetings [9], so we gave those out, as well.

The main things we were giving away, though, were:

  * Hand-outs explaining who LUGOD is and what we do
    (mailing lists, lending library, installfests, regular meetings, etc.)

  * Hand-outs describing Linux and Open Source, and discussing their benefits

  * Copies of Knoppix [10], a bootable CDROM version of Linux that
    doesn't install on the hard disk.

  * Copies of GNUWin II [11], a CDROM containing a compliation of
    Open Source software (like Apache, PHP, MySQL, OpenOffice.org, Mozilla,
    The Gimp, Tux Racer, GCC) built for the MS Windows environment

  * Copies of OpenOffice.org [12], the Open Source office suite
    (closely related to Sun's commercial StarOffice product)

We had our main demo system (Pentium II, 200Mhz with 128MB RAM, Debian Woody)
set up with a live mirror of our LUGOD.org website running (under Apache/PHP),
and demonstrated:

  * Mozilla web browser
  * OpenOffice.org office suite
  * The Gimp graphics manipulation tool
  * MS Internet Explorer browser for Windows (via CrossOver)
  * MS Office 2000 office suite for Windows (via CrossOver)
  * Sharp Zaurus Linux-based PDA (wireless + VNC was useful, here)

By far, the thing people were most excited by was Knoppix.
Most of the people we spoke with had heard of Linux, and were interested
in trying (or had tried it, or planned to try it, in the past).

We collected business cards (partly for the daily raffle of O'Reilly books),
and ended up with about 75 cards from people representing a total of
40 different organizations or companies, 30 of which are government
(i.e., state-, county- or city-) agencies.

Since LUGOD's so close to Sacramento, the state capitol, I'm sure we'll be
seeing quite a few people show up at meetings thanks to our booth at GTC.
While most people had heard of Linux, most of them didn't know about the
three LUGs in the area.

Anyway, this has gotten extremely long-winded, so I'll just end it by
shouting out a big "thanks!" to everyone who helped make this possible,
and point everyone to the collection of photos from our booth:



root at lugod.org
Linux Users' Group of Davis

[1] Linux Users' Group of Davis:

[2] Sacramento Linux Users Group:

[3] Roseville Area Linux Users Group

[4] Government Technology Conference

[5] LUGOD at Whole Earth Festival

[6] CodeWeavers  (CrossOver Office)

[7] theKompany.com  (Rekall, tkcRekall)

[8] O'Reilly & Associates

[9] Oracle talk at LUGOD

[10] Knoppix  (Bootable Linux CDROM)

[11] GNUWin II  (Open Source compilation for Windows)

[12] OpenOffice.org  (Open Source office suite)

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