It’s showtime

As you read this — or as least, as I write this — the O’Reilly Open Source Conference, more commonly known as OSCON, is getting started in Portland, Oregon, and will be open for the better part of the week. OSCON is the largest Linux/Open Source conference in North America — though not the best (that still goes to the Southern California Linux Expo, or SCALE) — and if you’re within driving distance of Portland, you should take the time to go to OSCON this week.

I won’t be at OSCON this week representing CrunchBang for a couple of reasons: a.) I have news colleagues covering the Olympics in London and, with the staff being hacked down to bare bones on the news desk, I have to stay here, and b.) because OSCON leans more toward the corporate and less toward the hackers, the spaces for the “dot-org” section were cut, and they were filled very early, leaving folks like Fedora and Ubuntu scrambling for space when they were passed over in the first round of “dot-org” choices. No doubt that’s been settled by corporate masters up a few rungs on the Red Hat and Canonical ladders respectively. But the chances are that we would have probably been shut out of booth space this year. But next year . . .

However, if you’re in the Southwest — Texas or thereabouts — you might want to check out Texas Linux Fest in San Antonio on Aug. 3-4. Again, I’ll be trapped at my desk and won’t be attending, but TXLF is a growing show that is gaining popularity, and if you’re in the area, you should take the time to go.

The reason I bring these shows up is that I think everyone who is near one — by “near” I mean within either driving or bus/train distance over the course of, say, a day’s travel — should go. You learn a lot at the sessions, you get to see vendors who, more times than not, give you more swag than you can carry (for example, I have not bought a T-shirt since 2006: True story) and, of course, you get to meet and talk to other Linux users about about FOSS programs and distros — especially CrunchBang — if the topic is raised.

I don’t know what’s going on in Europe — FOSDEM has passed if I understand correctly, and I know there are other shows there during the course of the year — but I have heard rumor (or rumour, since it’s happening in the UK) that our own Philip Newborough has been coerced into attending OggCamp in Liverpool sometime next month (and presenting, maybe?).

Other than talking to LUGs about CrunchBang for the rest of the year, I think my schedule for expos and shows this year is done. I don’t fly — my arms get tired — and so I’m going to have to miss shows later in the year, like Ohio Linux Fest, but we’ll have a booth at SCALE and Linux Fest Northwest next year. If you’re in the area and want to work the CrunchBang booth in Los Angeles or Bellingham, Washington (north of Seattle), let me know.

(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.)

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