It was raining on Saturday but I decided to get out of the house and join the crew in the city. I managed to find Elspeth and Stephen. As it says in a previous post we were in the heart of the city at Queen Street Mall, handing out Free Software CDs and an information leaflet. It was challenging at first but quite a few people were interested in software freedom. Some of them would stop and chat and thank us for the info and software so that was nice. After a while I was comfortable with chatting to random people, we handed out all the gear and everything went really well. Below is an image from the top of the Mall. You can click on some of the images in this post to see them fullsize or view the sfd 2006 gallery.
Thanks to Christopher Wilkes and Humbug we had a free stall at the Sunday Computer Market. Below is an image of our setup. Most of the people came passed from left to right. On the left we had my system playing movies and used it to demonstrate Edubuntu. In the middle we had Ubuntu installing over and over and used it to explain what a Live CD is and what the GNOME desktop environment is. On the right we had Michaels system running Kubuntu with Xgl/Compiz and a webcam so we used it to demonstrate those things and show the difference between GNOME and KDE.
Below is the left side of the tables.
Below is the right side of the tables, if you look closely at the desktop you can see me on the webcam taking the photo and the rain effect starting.
Below we see Michael.
Below we see Me.
Below shows the posters and we ended up running out of Ubuntu CD’s so using K3b we starting making copies for the people who came near the end of the day.
It was pretty much nonstop from 10am till 1pm and Michael handed out leaflets to the people that lined up outside before the market opened to give them something to read while they wait. Overall I think they day went really well, I think some of the people who use or have used GNU/Linux were happy to see us there and they hung around and helped out by sharing their experience with the people who wanted to know what it was all about. Xgl/Compiz was so useful for showing off the desktop. The other thing that was nice was one guy donated blank CD’s and another put $2 on the table, even after Michael explained Free Software and shipit he refused to take it back, I think it was a matter of principle to him, I thought that was interesting. We also told everyone about HUMBUG so hopefully some of them will turn up to the next meeting.
There was one thing that was kind of personal to me, a science teacher from the first secondary public school I worked at turned up. I’d distributed live CD’s and chatted to him about Free Software before so it was nice to be able to demonstrate Kalzium, Kstars, Celestia and I also played Elephants Dream for him. The friend he had with him was also a teacher but he worked at a private school and he mentioned that at his school there’s equality among teachers and if he thought these resources were beneficial to the students then no one could stop him from using them. The science teacher ended up saying the software looked great and that he would try to install Edubuntu at the school so that was good to hear, I hope he has more luck then I did. It was nice to show them a complete platform thats designed for education.
Some of the things we discussed afterwards were using better hardware, we didnt get photos of all the people or the market mainly because we were busy so it would have been nice if we had someone there to do that and we want to build a freedom toaster just like the one on the site. I’ve probably left out some interesting stuff but hopefully Michael will leave a comment with more info.