Subject: Great experiences at the Southern California Linux Expo (SCALE)
To: None <>
From: Kevin Lahey <>
List: netbsd-advocacy
Date: 02/14/2005 13:10:51
Executive summary:  

I had a great time working the NetBSD booth at the Southern California
Linux Expo (SCALE).  We spent two full days evangelizing NetBSD,
checking out the other exhibits, and meeting new people.

The whole story:

I only comparatively recently moved to the Los Angeles area, so I was
amazed and delighted at the size of the open source community out here. 
The exhibition itself had something like 30 or 40 booths, including
vendors like IBM and Novell, and open source projects including (a really cool flight simulator), FreeBSD, the FSF,
Gnome, and the Wikipedia folks.  I don't think I saw as many open source
projects at the nation Linux shows I've done!  For more info:

The all-volunteer group that put on SCALE was completely professional
and totally organized.  The booths were beautifully laid out, with power
and networking (and wireless networking).  All I had to do was show up
and set up.  My thanks to Gareth Greenaway (who was my point of contact)
and all the rest of the folks from SCALE who made this fun and easy.

Our booth worked out great.  Jan Schaumann rush-mailed me a whole box
full of NetBSD t-shirts and flyers, which got me started on the right
foot.  I brought down my NetBSD-running Thinkpad as an example of recent
hardware, and a Cobalt Raq2 and Qube to show off a little
retro-computing action.

I was proud of my Qube, but then fellow developer John Klos showed up
with the real big guns -- a VAXstation that kept pulling in our fellow
old-timers, an SGI Indy, and an Amiga.  He also brought out a 32-inch HD
TV/monitor that attracted lots of folks to the booth, and allowed us to
show that our desktop looked pretty much just like any other UNIX (a big
deal from some of the folks there who were new to open-source OSes).

John may have missed his calling as a brilliant marketing guy -- Sunday,
he brought out a bowl of candy and his awesome G3-based Tonka truck (an
old iMac motherboard wedged into a Tonka dumptruck) which which had
plenty of folks stopping by the booth.

The *BSD community of Los Angeles was really helpful, no matter
which of the several BSD varients they usually use.  I was blown
away by the generosity of Pete Wright and Michael Dickerson, who came
out Saturday and talked up NetBSD all day!

I had a great time, and was delighted to find so many open-minded and
enthusiastic fellow open source folks.  Any number of folks seemed
interested in learning one more system, and figuring out the BSD thing. 
They wanted to know where they could slide it into their all-Linux
organizations, what we were planning for the future, and where they
could get more info.

Our fellow exhibitors were just as friendly.  The FreeBSD guys spent
plenty of time hanging out with us, as did Linux folks from all over. 
The Linux Astronomy ( folks were
particularly fun and helpful.

If you get a chance to do a similar booth elsewhere, I whole-heartedly
encourage you to go for it!

[Sorry for making this so long, but I wanted to make sure I thanked
everybody, and, heck, it was fun and exciting and I'm still pumped up
about it!]