The Flourish Conference, put on by the University of Illinois at Chicago, was a great success. Today had many interesting speakers such as Chris DiBona from Google, Peter Brown from the Free Software Foundation, John Quigley from Cleversafe, Tom Callaway from Red Hat, John Doppke from IBM and others. A special thanks goes out to UIC members such as Samir Faci and Thomas Sakkos. They did an amazing job for their first ever Flourish Open Source business conference.
I would also like to thank all of the Ubuntu Chicago crowd who came out, and when I mean came out, they came out. We knew of 8 of us for sure, but upon arriving the Ubuntu area was flooded with members and visitors. I feel bad for Fedora as they had only 1 guy with some CDs, shirts, hats, and one of the “One Laptop Per Child” laptops. He was pretty much sitting in the den of Ubuntu. Battle of the Distros went off with a hitch, which somehow ended up with me and Tom Callaway from Red Hat/Fedora hugging and showing that Ubuntu and Fedora can play nice together! Tom great hug by the way Special thanks to Freddy and Chad for a great Ubuntu talk, Matthew for letting us use his laptop (even though he had some of the ugliest wallpapers I have ever seen) to show off Ubuntu. During the battle of the distros, Freddy asked the crowd how many were using Ubuntu, and I would approximate 90% of the hands went into the air. I am almost willing to bet the other 5 or so that didn’t raise their hand were running either Windows or Mac OS X. Oh, and then there was Tom running Fedora of course.
I learned a ton today. I got to see the latest Fedora Core 7 update and I must say they are on the ball. The artwork is simply wonderful and the fingerprint scanner to log in was awesome. So if you have a laptop with the fingerprint scanner, you will be asked to type in your password, or scan your finger. How cool is that? Tom also did a talk on virtualization in Linux and I was impressed big time. His talk was brilliant. He talked about VMWare, Xen, KVM, and Parallels. It was awesome to see how Xen uses its own Linux kernel and the hypervisor to communicate directly with the hardware. Good stuff.
There should be images soon as well as video of pieces of the event that I will eventually link to. Before I go though, I want to leave you with what is the quote of the day that occurred during the battle of the distros, by who else, ME!
“I am not a fan of battle of the distros for a couple of reasons. First we have media outlets such as Slashdot, Digg, and OSNews that do enough by spreading FUD and starting flamewars between the different distros. I don’t care which release you use, as long as it is a free and open source solution and you like it. I would rather see the distributions coming together and collaborating more instead of constantly arguing who is the best and who isn’t.”
That isn’t spot on, but it is damn close. I was also quoted for responding to the Fedora presentation when they stated that they are based off of Red Hat which has more than 10 years under its belt, and my response was “and Ubuntu is two and half, and ummm, 8 million plus users, and constantly rated number one!” I had to get a little fun in there. All in all great day and a lot of fun. Hopefully next year we can get some famous Ubuntu speaker (*cough*Mark*cough*) to give a talk
Oh, one more quote that I thought was great from a Xubuntu user, wow there are a lot of Xubuntu users in Chicago, and mostly on brand new hardware. Anyways, when talking about desktop environments, and GNOME, KDE, Xfce, Fluxbox and what not and who was the best, his response was, “same cat, different skin. You can only skin it so many ways, it is still the same damn thing.” So true!