As I’ve mentioned ad nauseum on the CrunchBang forums, I have arranged for a booth at Linux Fest Northwest this year, being held at the end of this month in Bellingham, Washington. For those of you keeping score at home, here’s where we are with the CrunchBang booth at LFNW.
Booth: The booth — table, actually — has been secured and we have a listing on the Sponsor page (though we’re really not sponsors in a monetary sense — like other dot-orgs, we’re designated as “community supporters,” which is pretty obvious ). Also, I’ve already had a few folks from near the northwestern Washington area — CrunchBang users all, along with a spouse — sign up to help out at the booth and attend the show.
Presentation: The presentation “An Intro to CrunchBang,” given by me, has been approved, though it has yet to be scheduled. I am working on the slides for the presentation now and, so there are no surprises (“I swear I don’t know how that slide got in there!”), I’ll be running the presentation by the CrunchBang faithful and, of course, Philip Newborough just to make sure I get his imprimatur on the slides. Once they’re ready, they’ll be used at Linux Fest Northwest and they’ll be available to anyone who wants to use them for any CrunchBang presentation at a LUG or any other gathering, should anyone want to do a presentation.
Birds of a Feather: Linux expos here in the U.S. have gatherings called “Birds of a Feather,” or BOFs, because — say it with me — “birds of a feather flock together.” These usually happen on the Saturday night of the weekend show, and it’s usually a chance for distro or FOSS program users to get together around their chosen software and discuss things. At the Southern California Linux Expo SCALE 10X in January, the CrunchBang BoF was fairly successful — about 10 people, most of whom were at my presentation about smaller distros — came and I gave away around 4 or 5 USB sticks with CrunchBang on them (that’s all I had in my pocket and backpack, sadly). We’ll be having a CrunchBang BoF, yet to be scheduled, sometime over the course of the weekend at LFNW.
Media: Ah, media. I am currently burning CDs of the latest Statler image, plus we’ll have one of my laptops that will be specifically set up to make live USB sticks (provided to us, of course, by those who have them and want a copy of CrunchBang). To be honest, this part is going slowly — it’s like cooking a hot dog with a match. However, I would like to think we could have 200 CDs burned by the time LFNW rolls around. Since the show has about 1,000 attendees, this will probably mean that the “loaves and fishes” trick will have to come into play sooner or later, but we’ll see how long the media holds out. When we’re out, we’ll start making USB sticks.
Materials: I’m open to suggestions on this. I have a sticker that I’m making up for the event, a copy of a meme that SaltStack used at SCALE this year (copying with their blessing, of course). I will probably spring for a 50-pack set of stickers from the CrunchBang shop. Fliers — anyone have any ideas here? Otherwise, I’ll make up some of my own. I’m also making up a banner to go with the booth patterned after the rectangular sticker — very basic #! CrunchBang Linux, white lettering on black background — but for future shows, I’d like to use a tablecloth with the CrunchBang name and logo, taking a page from Fedora’s playbook.
Other stuff: ZaReason, a Linux hardware maker in Berkeley, California, has asked if they can share the table with us, providing a couple of their laptops running CrunchBang. I said yes, but if anyone has any objections, I could always shelve that plan. There’s a good chance I’ll be traveling to Bellingham by train — now that Amtrak’s Coast Starlight route has wireless (thank God!), I’ll be on line for the better part of the trip.
In case this is a concern, because it’s bound to come up sooner or later: This is not costing CrunchBang anything — I am doing this on my own (and on my own dime, so to speak) because I believe that CrunchBang is an excellent distro that, despite the fact it’s not for everyone, deserves to reach a wider audience.
(Larry Cafiero is one of the founders of the Lindependence Project and has just started developing software at Redwood Digital Research, a consultancy that provides FOSS solutions in the small business and home office environment.)