Report about the Open Source Software Booth in the “Olamot” Sci-Fi/Fantasy Conference.

Shlomi Fish shlomif at shlomifish.org
Sun Mar 31 18:07:18 IDT 2013


Hi all,

happy second Passover holiday, and it's also Easter today and April Fools' Day
tomorrow.

I'd like to write a short report about the booth we had for
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free_and_open-source_software at the Olamot (=
"world") Science Fiction/Fantasy/etc. conference that took place this year
(March 2013) during Passover in Tel Aviv. See
http://www.olamot-con.org.il/2013/ for the site - mostly in Hebrew.

First of all, the obligatory photographs:

* http://www.flickr.com/photos/shlomif/sets/72157633111982891/ - from day two -
I didn't bring a camera at the first day, and people challenged my claims on
IRC, so I made sure to bring one along the next day.

Other links:

*
http://www.facebook.com/pages/%D7%9B%D7%A0%D7%A1-%D7%A2%D7%95%D7%9C%D7%9E%D7%95%D7%AA/167055123352441?ref=ts&fref=ts
- the site of the conference on Facebook

* http://www.facebook.com/zingabo - Amir Eldor - helped with the booth during
the first day (thanks!).

* http://www.facebook.com/moshe.nahmias.9?fref=ts - Moshe Nahmias - helped
during both days (thanks!).

* http://www.facebook.com/groups/98034147518/ - Israeli society for Sci-Fi and
Fantasy.

* http://www.hamakor.org.il/ - Hamakor's site.

* http://www.mozilla.org.il/ - Mozilla.org.il.

=================================

OK, here is the report:

#. The booth was mostly well-organised: we had demonstrations of the programs
involved, of the Raspberry Pi (which could run the Blender demo films
adequately, but web-browsing/etc. was very slow), and of other stuff. There was
a lot of swag and merchandise to give away for people who were interested.

#. Many people stopped by and asked questions. If they told me they didn't know
what open source was all about I gave them the Wikipedia as an analogy for
online collaboration and the fact that «Everyone gives a brick, and in
exchange, everyone gets their own house.» and said that that was the case for
open source software too, where one can use a browser from organisation #1, a
video player from organisation #2, an image browser from organisation #3, an
vector graphics editor from organisation #4 , etc.

#. We also ended up telling them that they don't have to contribute if they
don't want to (just happily use the gratis "FOSS"), and that there are ways
to contribute that do not involve coding (such as reporting bugs, trying to
reproduce bugs, helping in the forums etc.) and that they can find help using
web searches or various online forums.

#. As you can see in the photos, the conference was very colourful with many
people coming in costumes, or with various props, or otherwise well dressed,
and lots of cool attractions. Geekery at its best. I recalled there were much
fewer females in the Icon conference I attended back in Sukkoth at one year,
and now they were all over the place.

I noticed that some of the cultural references of the costumes have escaped
me, due to the fact that my popular sci-fi/fantasy culture is stuck somewhere in
2001, but people were happy to tell me what they were dressed as. Very cool.

#. The booth nearby was dedicated to registering people for the
Israeli organisation of Manga/anime, and while they had a computer dedicated
for the registration application (a desktop one written in .NET - :-( - long
story), they didn't have a screen displaying the actual films. I told them
they should in the future, and they agreed.

#. We kinda lacked good business cards or sheets of papers that we give away,
that we could note some URLs at the back. At least some people were able to
E-mail stuff.

#. Self promotion: I got an idea for a new screenplay during the conference:
http://www.shlomifish.org/humour/Summerschool-at-the-NSA/ - «The Hollywood
actresses Sarah Michelle Gellar and Summer Glau conspire to take the NSA (= the
United States government’s National Security Agency) out of the equation. See
how they succeed in doing that. », which I started to write. I decided that my
previous major creative writing project,
http://www.shlomifish.org/humour/Selina-Mandrake/ («Selina Mandrake - The
Slayer (a Buffy Parody)») is now in a mostly usable state, and will be placed
on the back burner, as I move to newer stuff. 

I also have collected four factoids about Buffy the Vampire Slayer so far:
http://www.shlomifish.org/humour/bits/facts/Buffy/ and hopefully newer ones are
upcoming. Girl power!

======================

OK, this is my perspective, which may be skewed beyond all imagination. Thanks
to everybody who helped with the booth. I'd like to share some more anecdotes in
a later post, but this will have to wait, because I am anxious to go outside now
before it darkens. 

Chag sameach!

	Shlomi Fish

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