Ohio LinuxFest 2008 Recap

Before I get too deep into this, a little disclaimer: As many of you know, I am quite the Ubuntu fan and helped run the booth at Ohio LinuxFest 2008 this year. So, my views may differ from others who attended, but hopefully not by a lot.

For those that missed the event, Ohio LinuxFest is one of the US' larger Linux conferences held at the Greater Columbus Convention Center each Fall. Companies and people from many places gather together to meet up, network, and learn about the latest open-source developments.

I wasn't at the preparty or afterparty, though I did attend the conference from early morning until close. Arrived just before 7 AM after getting a little lost in the convention center. Ran in, set up the booth, and the place was already getting crowded.

Ubuntu & Fedora booths

The floor layout was a little odd: the non-profit area was on the first floor, right past registration and near some of the meeting rooms. The sponsor expo area was upstairs, next to the ballrooms where people were giving speeches throughout the day. While I'm sure most everyone who registered went to both areas, most of the passersby only really saw the non-profit floor.

In terms of distributions, there was openSUSE in the sponsor area, and Foresight, Ubuntu, and Fedora next to each other on the first floor. The distributors and other groups were on the other side of the room. This gave us Ubuntu folk the chance to chat with the Fedora and Foresight groups and see what was going on, and in addition let visitors see what we all had to offer without running around the convention center.


The most ironic thing of the entire show was our location and who the floor was shared with. While Ohio LinuxFest was on one side, the US Fencing Competitions were on the other. Honestly, how much more opposite could you get? We were constantly able to look to our left and see people dueling down the hall. But there was one awesome advantage out of this: A lot of people who had never even heard of Linux made their way through the booths. We saw plenty of people stop by to ask what we were showing, and were awed at the fact that everything displayed on the screens there was entirely free. I was even questioned if the entire conference was illegal since anyone is able to copy and distribute Linux. That was an honest question, too; they didn't know that open-source software could be given out in that manner.

The day ended with a laptop raffle and Jono Bacon's keynote, "Building Belonging," which described how people can really get engaged in a community. There were some other, um, "interesting" bits of his talk, but I won't spoil that here.

Overall, it was an amazing event. Over one thousand attended that day, not even counting those just passing by. If you're in the area next year, be sure to put a space for OLF 2009 when the date is announced. It's a great event for anyone involved in Linux, open-source, and even just computers in general.

Avatar for jacob Jacob Peddicord - http://jacob.peddicord.net/

Jacob is a web developer, student, and programmer from Ohio. He is a staff member at the Ubuntu Forums and is most likely a fanboy of the distribution. He loves to write in code and words, play video games, and rant about topics most would have abandoned long ago. Jacob uses GNOME and is never seen running stable software, much to the demise of his laptop.

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Discussion: Ohio LinuxFest 2008 Recap

  1. Dr Small (guest)

    # Posted on 18 October 2008 at 11:29 PM

    Sounds fun. I wish I could have attended! :D

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