Date: Thu, 31 Jul 2008 07:55:02 -0700
From: Larry Cafiero <larry.cafiero(a)gmail.com>
Subject: Re: [Ambassadors] Event Report: Lindependence 2008
To supplement Karsten's thorough report below, I will take some items
from an earlier report made on the first two Lindependence events (so
if some of this seems familiar, I apologize).
Karsten is right about the third event: There was a different feel to
the 7/26 event than the first two. More people were "just shopping"
rather than bringing their machines in for installation (and as for
Kai, the 12-year-old Mandriva "advocate," he is a member of the
Cabrillo College GNU/Linux Users Group and gets the passion for his
distro from his uncle. We like to have him around because it shows how
even kids can use Linux -- even though most kids don't code in Perl,
but I digress).
Also, we had the Red Hat "Truth Happens" video looping on the main
table during the course of the event, something we hadn't done on the
But about the first two events:
Two of the three Lindependence events took place on July 13 and July
15 at the Felton Presbyterian Church in Felton, California. For a very
short recap of the project, Lindependence is introducing GNU/Linux to
the town of Felton during the month of July with the intention of a.)
introducing Linux and FOSS to people and convert folks one town at a
time, and b.) inspiring other GNU/Linux and FOSS advocates to do the
same project in their own communities, with our help of course.
We had originally planned to hold a Microsoft-free week at the end of
July (this week, actually), however we found that so many people
converted to GNU/Linux that it made the "comparison week" moot. More
on this a little later.
Four major distros -- Fedora, Mandriva, Ubuntu and Debian -- had
representatives at the meetings, as well as OpenOffice.org
About 150 people came over the course of four hours on Sunday (July
13) and perhaps the most interesting facet of the project was that
people were asking to have their laptops and desktops converted from
Windows -- they had had enough of Microsoft and they were looking for
something new. By our estimation, 10-15 people left with GNU/Linux on
their computers which personally I found astounding. Live CDs flew out
the door. Frankly, I thought people would be apprehensive about trying
GNU/Linux and FOSS, but there was such a groundswell against the
Redmond product that it was awe-inspiring.
While I was doing most of the oversight of the project as its
organizer, I also represented Fedora and answered questions, showed
Fedora 9 on both a iBook G3 and a Dell 5000 Inspiron laptop, and I
handed out some Fedora 9 live CDs -- the live CDs were from the
Cabrillo College GNU/Linux Users Group -- with my card in case they
needed support. Were I not responsible for the entire event, I would
have had more time to represent Fedora solely, and Frank Turner of
Cabrillo GLUG helped at the table (Frank also did the signage and
professional-looking CD stickers for Fedora 9 Live CDs). While we
handed out a significant number of live CDs -- 20-30 by my estimation
-- I don't think any of the
computers that left the building on Sunday or Tuesday had Fedora on them.
On Tuesday 7/15, about 50-75 people showed up to check out GNU/Linux,
and with it being more low-key, I was able to talk about Fedora more
with folks who attended, giving away a significant number of live CDs.
The tone was pretty much the same: We've had enough of Windows -- we
want a change. Another 10-15 people left with GNU/Linux on mostly
laptops, but at least two desktops were converted.
Again, one of the things about this project that is very surprising is
that people more fed up with Windows than I had thought, to the point
where they don't even want to consider dual-booting or just trying
Linux from a live CD -- many people during those two days wanted to
"get this s**t off my machine" and install Linux straight away and
have it solely as their operating system.
At final count -- those who converted on site and those who contacted
me to say they converted -- there were 28 converts to GNU/Linux and
FOSS. Of these, two had trouble with their new OS: One fellow hosed
his grub while tweaking it, and that required a house call to fix (and
specific instructions NOT to go under the hood until he learns more
about the system, which he promises to do), and the second had
problems during her install on Tuesday and, from what I hear (I can't
reach her directly, so I'm getting this second-hand), she may go back
As for the project itself, it is moving about 6 miles north to Boulder
Creek, California, and requests have been made for a town near
Portland, Ore., and others.
2008/7/30 Karsten 'quaid' Wade <kwade(a)redhat.com>:
> I missed the first few events, so will rely upon Larry put something
> together on those. This is my report from the final Lindependence 2008
> day on Saturday 26 July.
> The event was held in a church hall in the town of Felton, as part of
> the effort of teaching and transforming a small town to using FLOSS:
> I set up a table for Fedora, with banner, posters, and two laptops. I
> spent a chunk of my time trying to get a live USB to work; there is
> either a problem with the batch of USB keys I have, or my T41 laptop was
> messing it up. From all of that I was able to show a few Fedora
> features, mainly the live USB capabilities.
> Over the course of the day, there seemed to be up to several dozen
> people there, including a documentary film maker, and several kids.
> One of them, a 12 year-old boy, was a full-on Mandriva freak. Whatever
> they do for him, Mandriva has earned a good proponent. :)
> As an installfest, this event was not highly successful, in that people
> brought questions instead of machines to install. :( Of the questions
> about existing or upcoming Linux installs, the majority of discussion
> went to Ubuntu. There was one person who came late-ish to represent
> Ubuntu, he was quite knowledgeable about Fedora as well. I added his
> Ubuntu ISO to mine for an install server, but no one ended up using it.
> As an education event with an equal or greater focus on moving people
> along toward freedom and open source, it was a fair success. For
> example, I talked extensively with a person from a small ISV interested
> in being in Fedora. I also explained open source, business models, etc.
> Across the series of events (three separate days, iirc), up to one
> hundred people came in contact with the FLOSS advocates at the event.
> That is a sizeable % of the town population, and word of mouth seemed to
> be in effect.
> Outcomes from this (series of) event(s):
> * The forming of a new G/LUG in Felton
> * Another Lindependence in Boulder Creek
> * Potentially another Lindependence in a town in Oregon
> What interests me about this methodology is the focus on small,
> relatively insular communities that have a higher than average number of
> people passionate about freedom.
> So far I've spent about $50 of the $500 budgeted to me for this event
> series. That was used for making three vinyl banners of 'infinity',
> 'freedom', and 'voice' that are joining the (Western reagion) event
> Larry and I thought it was a good idea to save the rest of the budget to
> support the Lindependence event in Boulder Creek. We'll get a Fedora
> sponsorship for that, and I'm planning to give a general FLOSS talk at
> one of those events, as well as providing installfest support.
> - Karsten
>  http://www.digitaltippingpoint.com/
> Karsten Wade, Sr. Developer Community Mgr.
> Dev Fu : http://developer.redhatmagazine.com
> Fedora : http://quaid.fedorapeople.org
> gpg key : AD0E0C41
> Fedora-ambassadors-list mailing list
Fedora-ambassadors-list mailing list
Thank you for both the reports, they are impressive!