Last Monday I had the pleasure of attending the Florida Linux Show at the University of Central Florida. The show was sponsored by Red Hat and as such we had both a Red Hat and a Fedora booth. Coming into it, I knew it would be smallish show, being that SCALE had just ended but I really wanted to get a feel for what was going on there and really get a chance to meet some of the community members down there as its not an area we often get to. A special thanks goes out to Kyle Gonzalez for really playing a huge part in coordinating everything. Everyone who attended got a Fedora 8 LiveCD in the goodie bag and many many more CDs and DVDs were given out.
Everything went smoothly, we had a great booth setup with Red Hat along the back wall next to the entrance and Fedora in prime time right at the entrance. The show had, I would guess close to 400 people in and out over the course of the day and the talks seemed really cool, although I didn't get to go anyway because I was manning the booth.
I was very surprised to see the everyone that approached us was very enthusiastic and we had barely anyone come over and give us the usual "you suck because of this and that." Mostly, people came over to tell us thank you for the great work we have been doing, especially with Fedora 8 and all the great artwork recently, to play with OLPC and to check out the Fedora 9 Alpha. I was surprised that so many people were interested in the Alpha, given that it was our first time doing it, but it just proves that our philosophy of getting code into peoples hands as early as possible is really what people want.
I'll go through the show with some pictures and let everyone make their own impressions, but my overall impressions were that this is going to become a very large and very good community oriented conference much like there were in the good old days, because the guys organizing the show really want to keep the focus on the software projects and communities around them as well as packing the show with a good pack of speakers. It's nice to see that things like that are becoming the norm again.