Practical Linux 2003 -- Report

Practical Linux, Gießen

This year, I gave a talk about the installation of Debian GNU/Linux. Usually I delete all partitions on my notebook and run a live installation on it, after I talked a little bit about prejudices and advantages of Debian. Since I didn't had the opportunity to back up my data (I had several system crashes the week before), I bit the bullet and installed Debian in Vmware instead. Although the textual output was quite slow, it worked very well.

When I finished my talk, I went to the workshop room, where I should lead a workshop about different apt-tools. Since I lost the prepared foils and examples I decided to organise it like a BOF (birds of the same feather) session instead. I had asked all attendees by E-Mail, what they know, want to know and expect, and came to the conclusion, that they could answer most questions for themselves.

What I didn't took in account was the workshop room. Communication was very difficult, too, since it was very noisy. No excuses: I didn't do a good job there. I later prepared a script and sent it so the attendees. Although it didn't worked very well, we used the room more than two and a half hours and nobody tried to remove us from the room, so we used the lunch break, too (when I say "we" I mean the first three rows and me).

So much for that, I returned to the Debian booth, cleaned a little bit up. The other volunteer just fixed some posters on the wall which I brought with me, put out his notebook, and started chatting - in IRC, not to visitors. Then we started to answer visitors' questions.

IIRC the orga team told me, they counted about 500 visitors. The Debian booth was very crowded, but I must confess, that it was just the crowd of the Knoppix booth nearby, which stood before our booth. Klaus Knopper himself found his way to Gießen, and signed Knoppix CDs (and, of course, answered questions as well).

Nevertheless: Coming to Gießen was worth the trip, especially when I saw, what Klaus Knopper won in the tombola: A SuSE 9 professional box :-)

After 4pm the exhibition hall emptied very fast. Perhaps because Star Trek was shown at this time in Germany and geeks went to their TVs. I don't know.

Alexander Schmehl