Crunchtoberfest

Sometimes I have ideas. Not all of them are good ones, I will certainly admit, but at least none of them have started off with me loudly stating, “Here, hold my beer and watch this” (ending with me in the hospital, or worse).

This morning, over coffee and a bagel at The Firefly Coffeehouse (best bagels in Santa Cruz, bar none), it occurred to me that next month is October, which is the month of Oktoberfest in Bavaria, at least, as well as faux Oktoberfests in non-German locations worldwide (not a knock — you like drinking beer in big steins and want an excuse to drink it that way? Cool with me).

So here’s the idea: Crunchtoberfest.

It might not involve large steins of beer (thought that’s clearly an option, if you want it to be), but it would be a month where we — CrunchBang users, CrunchBang advocates, the CrunchBang faithful, the CrunchBang nation, CrunchBangeros, CrunchBangistas, whatever you choose to call this tribe we’re in — can take the month of October and make it our own.

TL;DR? Crunchtoberfest can be a month-long celebration of our distro.

To celebrate the month, you can:

Introduce/Talk to your Linux-using friends about CrunchBang: Many of us hang with other Linux users. Many of them may not be using CrunchBang — their choice, and that’s cool — but if they’re not, you can offer to introduce them to the goodness that is CrunchBang and why you choose to use it.

Introduce/Talk to your friends who don’t use Linux about CrunchBang: You may know people who don’t use Linux (horrors!) and they might want to know what that mystical operating system you’re using with which you have such a good time constantly. So tell them about it — enlighten them to the wonders of Debian under the hood with Openbox atop it. Don’t think they can handle CrunchBang? Not to worry — Debian will be there in a pinch, or any other distro that gets their foot in the door. Sooner or later, they’ll be back.

Help out around the house: The CrunchBang Forums are a great place to find information and to talk about Linux and non-Linux issues (in Off-Topic, of course) — also it’s a good place to help out wherever and whenever you can, as is the IRC channel on Freenode (but let’s just talk about the forums for the moment). Many of you already do, and it’s deeply appreciated. We’ve made the forums a pretty safe and friendly place to ask questions and find answers, but it only works when folks are helpful and friendly (and that applies to nearly all of you). Up with the positive, down with the negative.

Help out with the new official #! wiki
: In a conversation with corenominal yesterday, we agreed that I would take the reins on something that has been sort of proposed on multiple occasions but never followed through upon: resurrecting the official CrunchBang wiki. What would really make my Halloween at the end of October is if I can dress up for All Hallow’s Eve as the completed CrunchBang wiki — now that would be something. Up for this, or if you’ve already started something in this regard? Comment below or e-mail me at lcafiero-at-gmx-dot-com

Be excellent to each other and to others outside #!
: You can do this for the other 11 months out of the year as well, but whenever you feel that someone’s being a jerk on the forums or on IRC, don’t try to out-jerk them on either the forums or on IRC. Trust me — if I had a dollar for every time I myself should have followed this advice, I’d be rich. In other words, be helpful on the forums and on IRC — most of you are, of course — but some may need this reminder, and that goes to the guy who looks back at me in the mirror, too.

Got any ideas? Clearly, I don’t have the monopoly on good ideas, so if you think of something that might be a good Crunchtoberfest activity, let us know.

We have 31 days — or more — to take our already great distro to a higher level.

Are you in?

Larry Cafiero is one of the founders of the Lindependence Project and has just started developing software at Redwood Digital Research (RDR), a consultancy that provides FOSS solutions in the small business and home office environment. RDR is based in Felton, California, USA.

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#! in Seattle and Los Angeles

In a few weeks, the Seattle GNU/Linux Conference — SeaGL (which, I assume, is pronounced “seagull”) — will take place at Seattle Central Community College. I have a talk to give at SeaGL, which is the standard CrunchBang talk about “the best distro you’ve never heard of,” and while I’ve asked for table space for a booth, I haven’t heard back on that one.

But never mind — with or without a booth, CrunchBang will be in the house on Oct. 11-12 at Seattle Central Community College. Perhaps other CrunchBang users and I can get together in Seattle to talk about our great distro? Let me know if you’re going and we’ll set it up.

But wait, there’s more: In February, the Southern California Linux Expo — SCALE 12X — is held at the Hilton Los Angeles Airport hotel. SCALE is the largest, community-run Linux/FOSS expo in North America, with over 100 exhibitors, about 95 sessions and about 2,500 attendees, according to last year’s numbers.

CrunchBang has held a Birds of a Feather event in the last two SCALEs and we will again at the next one, but because I work for the show I can’t staff a booth (I’m the SCALE publicity chair, which means that I’m so busy before and during the show that I rarely leave the press room). CrunchBang does have a table available for it for SCALE 12X, and if the expo floor geography gods smile down on us (and I ask the right person), we could be neighbors with Debian, which I think would be appropriate.

I’ll have the DVDs burned, stickers printed, and I’ll have a #! laptop where we can make bootable USB sticks for people who have one on which to put Waldorf. What I’m hoping for is for some CrunchBang users who are attending SCALE who might want to take shifts at the booth. Does that interest anyone out there who might be attending?

Needless to say, I’ll be talking about this a lot in the days to come. Meanwhile, hope your CrunchBang experience is a good one.

Larry Cafiero is one of the founders of the Lindependence Project and has just started developing software at Redwood Digital Research (RDR), a consultancy that provides FOSS solutions in the small business and home office environment. RDR is based in Felton, California, USA.

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Starting off on the right foot

There’s no denying that CrunchBang is gaining popularity, and with it a wave of new CrunchBang users come to the forums. The new users are encouraged to introduce themselves in the CrunchBang forums, and many do every day.

If you don’t do so already, it’s a good idea to say “hello” to the newcomers when they introduce themselves to make them feel more at home. Also, don’t forget that when you start using CrunchBang and start participating in the forums, it’s a good idea to introduce yourself as well, if you haven’t done so already.

As a moderator, I plan to include two things in my introductions from now on, just to make sure the new folks have this info only because a.) I think it will be helpful, and b.) I wish I had it when I started. These two items are:

The ** Please read before posting ** thread, which deals with how to find answers about CrunchBang before you ask, and of course how to ask most efficently if you can’t find the answer you’re looking for, and

Forum etiquette, which despite some discussion regarding amending it, still serves as the “law of the land” in the forums.

Larry Cafiero is one of the founders of the Lindependence Project and has just started developing software at Redwood Digital Research (RDR), a consultancy that provides FOSS solutions in the small business and home office environment. RDR is based in Felton, California, USA.

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