Subject: Report - Linuxworld San Francisco 2005
To: None <>
From: Jeff Rizzo <>
List: netbsd-advocacy
Date: 08/13/2005 10:24:06
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NetBSD at LinuxWorld Expo San Francisco 2005

The NetBSD Foundation had a booth at LinuxWorld in the Moscone
Convention Center in San Francisco on Tuesday, Wednesday, and
Thursday of this past week.  The booth was staffed by me,
Christian von Kleist, and Jesse Off - particular thanks to
Christian, who flew out from Florida at his own expense to help
promote NetBSD among the Linux crowd.

The highlight of the booth was, of course, the NetBSD Toaster,
which Jesse put together with the sponsorship of his company
Technologic Systems.  Their press release regarding it can be
seen here: .
The toaster was a HUGE hit and drew in people who were walking past
the booth and gave us an opportunity to explain to them how NetBSD
is an excellent choice for embedded systems development. Over the
course of the three-day event, at least 100 people took pictures
of it (including people from various media outlets), and asked
questions about its construction, and what the motivation for
building it was.  Jesse explained that no, it's not particularly
practical to have a keyboard on your toaster, but it's a great
example project for embedded applications - computers taking input
from the real world, and controlling external systems like the
burner element and electromagnetic latch of the toaster.  And the
development cycle was quite short in no small part because of NetBSD!

Apart from the toaster, we also displayed some other NetBSD-capable
hardware, including the Amiga 2000 (with GVP G-force expansion board!)
that I first ran NetBSD 0.9 on in 1994.  There was also a Sun
Sparcstation 2, a Cobalt Qube 2700, an HP Jornada 680, an Apple Macintosh
G4/466, and a soekris 4521 configured as a wireless access point.  Lots
of people reminisced about old hardware they've known and loved (the
Amiga and Qube were the two biggest draws there), but we made sure
to stress that NetBSD's not just for old hardware.

I had some interesting conversations with various people - one
gentleman has some hardware he's interested in seeing NetBSD support
for, and wanted some pointers on how he could encourage driver
porting.  Another businessman with a product was very interested in
the state of NetBSD's kernel module support, and wanted to know how
he might sponsor some development along those lines.  I also had
a nice chat (though somewhat incoherent on my part, as it was near
the end of the last day! :) with Eric Anholt of - he was
interested in forging some better ties between his project and NetBSD.

We sold NetBSD t-shirts and stickers at the booth, and gave away around
350 NetBSD flyers.  I did not manage to get CD-ROMs together either to
sell or give away - next time I would make a better effort at this, as
there were a number of people who seemed interested in trying NetBSD,
but seemed unlikely to download an ISO image from the website.
All in all, this was a fun event, and we generated quite a bit of
publicity for NetBSD - and Jesse has kindly volunteered the toaster for
display at other NetBSD events - please contact him directly as
joff (at) netbsd dot org.

Here are some links with pictures from the event:
(sorry about the registration bit!)

=2E.. and some of the 'press' the toaster has generated:

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