there were 1438 registrees by the time i arrived and over 700 of them showed up to pack the event booths and talks.
the booth itself was simple but functional with both kde 3.4 and 3.5 on display. we had three people come out to help keep the booth running: ryan of superkaramba and plasma, jaison of kjots and
steve who's a dedicated kde user/fan and poly sci student at the local university. another kde hacker showed up, madpenguin8, who works on amarok. so we had 4 kde hackers there, three from the columbus area. that number alone surprised and impressed me.
we had our hands full though as the kde booth was one of the busier ones with everyone at the booth talking about kde and related topics pretty much the entire time. some of the more notable visitors included:
- a sys admin from the local noaa office who had questions about deploying kde since the noaa has mandated a move to kde and linux on the desktop. the noaa is responsible for weather forecasting among other things in the usa, so this was great news to hear.
- people from the ohio state university and a local library who were deploying kde for the staff
- a group of people from devry who were doing reports on open source, including one fellow who's a recruiter for the national guard and getting his CS degree. his topic was a comparison of kde and gnome, though he is really only familiar with ms windows. by the time he left the kde booth some 20 minutes later he was thoroughly impressed and excited and said he was going to install kde when he got home.
- hundreds of others who had amazing things to say about kde and their experiences with it...
people were particularly impressed with things like kiosk, kstars, koffice, system:/, the add network folder wizard and the overall power, polish and integration of kde. we also blew a few of the developers minds by showing them icecream in action:
if you're a kde contributor and haven't done one of these kinds of shows before, i really recommend you do so in the near future. there are few things as satisfying as having people come up, one after the other, and say "thank you for kde. it's amazing and i love it."
we also managed to smash some people's perceptions of the whole "kde versus gnome" thing when jorge castro delivered a kick ass presentation on ubuntu and gnome and then popped up a slide titled "kubuntu" with my name on it and asked me to take the stage for a few minutes to fill people in on the kde-ified version of ubuntu.
jorge's talk was after mine, which took place in the morning right before lunch. my kde talk was very well attended and the room packed with people. i covered kde 3.5 and what was in it from multimedia to groupware to educational software to file management and more. my slides were really simple: the first slide asked the question "what is kde" and then the remaining slides simply had the name of the area of the desktop i was going to talk about next with the icons of the apps i was going to demo. then i'd switch desktops and demo those apps. people loved the live demos and i loved not having to type a whole bunch of text for my slides ;)
after the talk a lot of those who were in the audience commented on how they were not aware of many of the features and applications i had shown. there's audio (and maybe even video?) of my presentation and i'll be putting them up online when i get my hands on it.
and of course, we also partied hard. i didn't get much sleep while there, as i went out on the town with ryan the first night (got home at 03:00) and then hit the cool afterparty the linuxfest crew threw on saturday. let's just say i didn't get to a bed until i disembarked the plane on sunday.
i would be remiss to not say "thank you, thank you, thank you" to ryan for sharing his house and car with me, and his wife for letting me keep him out to all hours of the night. dude: you rock.
and to everyone who was there at this year's ohio fest: i look forward to seeing you again next year. and to those who didn't go: you missed an awesome venue, don't make the same mistake twice. =)