A few months ago I was invited to represent Red Hat and Fedora at a new conference in Bratislava – OpenCamp. All the Open Source/Linux conferences in Slovakia I’ve been to were rather small compared to Czech ones. But OpenCamp was promising a new fresh start. So I registered a Red Hat/Fedora booth and also submitted a talk on the present and future of Linux desktop.
I convinced Jaroslav “Rezza” Řezník to run the booth with me, so we could recall the good old days when we regularly staffed Fedora booths at conferences. Last Saturday early in the morning we loaded my car with Fedora and Red Hat swag, computers, and banners, and headed to Bratislava. Fortunately Brno and Bratislava are connected by highways, so the journey takes a bit over an hour.
EDIT: The original photo had Pepe the Frog and other references to the alt-right movement on the wall behind us. The wall was created by university students and because we’re not anyhow associated with the movement and don’t want the photo to send any unintented messages I just GIMPed it out.
The conference was located in the new building of FIIT of Slovak Technical University. I really liked the large hallway that had enough space for booths and hallway discussions. That’s something we miss for conferences at FIT BUT. In the morning we found out that our booth was located in an area where there was no power plug. So we had to be moved and it was a lucky move because we ended up in front of the main room and got a lot of visibility.
The booth was mostly about showcasing Fedora Workstation. We had a HiDPI laptop connected to a standard DPI display to show people HiDPI support in Fedora. We also prepared 10 features that are the best in Fedora or even unique to Fedora. We picked those which are concrete and easy to show, and tried to avoid something like “Fedora brings new versions of software in a stable form” because it’s too vague and subjective.
Two days before the conference I found components for Fedorator in our office and under the impression that it only takes to assemble it and load a ready-to-use ISO on an SD card I asked Jaroslav if he could get it ready. Jaroslav spent two days and the whole conference day on it, but in the last hour of the conference he was able to create a Fedora installation USB drive with it 🙂
We got surprisingly a lot of attention, e.g. from Ubuntu users who feel the attention to the desktop is not the same any more there and look for alternatives. We were also quite new to people because although we had attended various conferences in Slovakia we never had a booth there. I made several new contacts for mojefedora.cz.
My talk was right in the morning and didn’t start very well. First we couldn’t get the projector up. When it was finally projecting something I couldn’t get any output to it (through USB-C->HDMI adapter). In the end I had to use a Windows 7 computer that was part of the room equipment. And even that didn’t work very well because the HDMI connector was aparently loose and the projector lost signal every time I touch the computer. Otherwise the talk went well and I got a fairly big audience in the room. Because we started 10 minutes late I didn’t have any time for questions and had to tell people to come to our booth if they want to ask me anything.
The only dark spot on otherwise a really good day was that someone scratched my car with another car. I still quite can’t imagine how he/she could manage it because the parking lot was almost empty.