Wednesday, February 21, 2007

The Great Ubucon Write-up

After the fond greetings and farewells, and after everything has been said and done, another Ubucon has gone down in the history books. About 100 people, much more than assembled for the 1st Ubucon in California, came together to learn more about Ubuntu Linux, community-building, and free software. The more I do these events, the more I'm always intrigued by the spirit of those who are present and the positive feelings such events engender. Somehow, folks were kind enough to forgive my inability to remember names and faces.

I started things off with my usual "tell us your Ubuntu story, because I don't have enough things to say to make this interesting." I try to get people to speak up, because really, the success of the event depends on people sharing their stories for everyone else. For those who were present, we were privileged to have Mako Hill, who brought the latest prototype from the OLPC and gave the audience an overview of the Ubuntu community. Gerals Carter, SAMBA man extraordinaire, presented on interoperability with SAMBA. Rocky had a nice session going in the breakout room on command-line tools and debuggers. Mako had a breakout session on Debian packaging, which I'm sad to have missed, as I could use some pointers! Selso had a great session on Linux graphics tools - Gimp, Inkscape and Blender. Bradley Kuhn was kind enough to come by and talk about the Software Freedom Law Center. Fabian Rodriguez led a question and answer session on Ubuntu support. At some point, we had a bit of controlled chaos called a key-signing party... speaking of which, I need to sign my keys and send them out! Somewhere in the breakout room, Joey Stanford led a small group of brave people in a breakout session on Launchpad. And while that was still going on, Jay Sulzberger decided he had waited long enough and started in on his talk - on free software history and how it came to be. It was a perfect way to end the day.

Actually, the perfect way to end the day would have been over drinks with the others, but alas, I was unable to follow directions and I'll have to take a rain check for next time.

It turns out that some folks are interested in creating an Ubuntu LoCo team for New York, and I hope that comes to pass. Another good thing is that one individual managed to make good use of the event to become a card-carrying certified member of the Ubuntu community. And that, my friends, is what it's all about.

I'm happy to tell you that there will be more and more Ubucons in the future, with one in Sevilla currently in the works.

For now, you can still take a look at the wiki pages for the Ubucon New York. It won't be there forever, so visit it while you still can. There will be videos posted in the very near future, and I'll update this blog once those are online. If you're interested in putting on your own Ubucon, there are folks willing to help out. Come on down...

-John Mark

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