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2004 Feb 28 21:49

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[vox-outreach] Today's Linux demo - No linux!
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[vox-outreach] Today's Linux demo - No linux!

So, Mike didn't come out this way for the demo today, so I was only
armed with my WinXP laptop and a stack of Knoppix discs.

After finally discovering that Ctrl+F10 gets into the Compaq Armada M700's
BIOS (it gives no indication, and F1, F2, F8, F11, F12, Del, and Esc do
nothing but fill up the keyboard buffer til it makes irritating 'beep!'s),
I was able to suggest it try booting off of CDROM rather than harddisk.

Unfortunately, it never happened. :^(  However, my work laptop has
OpenOffice.org, Cygwin, Mozilla and The Gimp installed, so at the very
least, I could show Open Source software, if not Linux itself. :^)

I showed up a little late (closer to 2:30pm than to 2:00pm), and eventually
people started coming up to talk to me.  There wasn't a high quantity of
visitors, but most who dropped by spend a LONG time talking.  (I didn't
end up leaving until after 7:45pm!)

One visitor is being pushed towards Open Source software, and hence is
becoming interested in Linux, because his work is moving away from
Microsoft software (partly due to licensing issues; e.g., worrying about
whether copies of stuff are 'legit'... they obviously can't legally
just give /everyone/ a copy of everything without buying it).

He was curious as to how KDE and Gnome fit on top of Linux, so I tried my
best to draw little charts comparing the different layers to each other,
and to the more-glued-together layer that is MS Windows.

One fellow I spoke with has looked into Linux and is interested in
learning Qt or GTK+, so I talked a LOT to him about libraries.  (He was
listening in on my attempt at explaining API layers.)  I showed him some of
my games, and now he's very interested in learning SDL, too. :^)

The last person I spoke with is from the Czech Republic, and is interested
in the use of Internet technology for social and business networking.
I explained the general difference between the web, IRC, usenet, IM and
email, and how they can sometimes interact (e.g., Google Groups bridges
Usenet with the Web; Hotmail bridges Email with the Web).

I think that helped him understand what I was talking about, when I tried
to explain that things like Usenet and IRC might be good tools.
He seemed quite pleased with what LUGOD is doing, and suggested we
consider doing some more 'basics' classes (not even necessarily on Linux)
at the Co-Op's conference room.

I don't think it's a bad idea, honestly!  I kind of see it selfishly
(for the club), as a way to 'evangelize' the Open Source and Free Software
concepts in the community at large, without limiting ourself to an
audience that ONLY cares about Linux.

Of course... finding volunteers... :^(

Anyway, all in all, a great demo.  Hopefully the new official demo box
will be ready for /March's/ demo (Mike!?!?), and maybe some more folks
from LUGOD will show up to help out...  I think that'll be a slightly
busier demo that these last two, since it will have been announced in
that month's Co-Op newsletter...


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