[brlug-general] A great time at Free Speech Alley.
williamhill2 at cox.net
Thu Feb 22 21:36:50 CST 2007
Blair Smith, a post doc, and myself had a great time showing LSU student
gnu/linux at Free Speech today. We gave away all the CDs we brought and
people wanted more than I could burn on batteries. The weather was beautiful
and lots of people stopped by. They taught us a lot about people's
familiarity with free software.
The porting of a few good applications to Windows and Mac is a winning
strategy. Most of the people who stopped by asked if the distributions we
were handing out came with Firefox, Open Office and the GIMP. It's nice to
be able to tell them that those applications work better in their native
environment. Mac users, familiar with Safari, have great respect for KDE and
are thrilled to learn that Konqueror does even more under gnu/linux. These
applications have introduced them to the benefits of free software and
created brand loyalty. Six click install live CDs are the easiest way for
them to get and keep using their favorite applications until vendors start
selling computers with free software installed at a price point that reflects
it's true relative cost to non free sotware.
I've only scratched the surface at LSU and there's plenty more to be done.
Because few people actually use free software for their primary desktop, most
people don't know what they are missing. Even the power users at ACM who
think they are familiar with gnu/linux don't realize the performance and
feature gains available. Opening a c source file in a new tab from a web
site, sftp transparency and other very nice KDE things surprised some ACM
members when I demonstrated a little hack to them last week. Everyone is
impressed by an E16 desktop with it's transparency, multiple desktops, pagers
and speed, especially when that speed comes from a five or eight year old
laptop. I have to do this again with more CDs, fliers pointing to resources
like the CCCC desktop sig and brlug mailing lists, better power supplies and
more light and magic in general.
Finally, I have to thank all of the nice people who helped make it happen,
especially Michelle Lowery and Susan Reed.
I'll have pictures up eventually.
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