Hamburger Computer Tage 2003 -- Report
The Debian Project was invited to attend this exhibition and participate actively at a shared booth kindly sponsored by New Media Markets & Networks (NMMN). Next to our booth were (in no particular order) the KDE Team, the GNOME Project (represented by Christian Meyer) and PingoS (from the Gesamtschule Winterhude). Klaus Knopper demonstrated new features of his Knoppix CD directly inside of the NMMN area.
Friday, January 24th, 2003
The Debian booth was set up on Friday. However, setting up the booth was not an easy task. Visitors didn't exactly give us time to complete basic configuration and settling down. Instead they were so nice and asked questions and emitted requests for installation, help, support and suggestions from the beginning.
On Friday we managed to help 4-5 people to install Debian on their laptops with the most desperate configuration and hardware problems (such as cdrom not working, unknown and unsupported network cards etc.). During the day we also streamed video over a wireless network demonstrating how this works on GNU/Linux. Unfortunately the wireless environment was too much polluted so we weren't able to keep it up and running during the entire weekend. During the evening the Debian team met most of the other guys from the entire booth to share a really nice dinner.
Saturday, January 25th, 2003
On Saturday Debian conquered all the scenes . We were really the only booth that was always surrounded by an incredible amount of visitors. This time we also had a really nice toy for demonstration: an SGI Indy that was running our favourite distribution, of course. The most exotic hardware, however, was the Playstation Andreas Müller brought with him. Some kids from the Gesamtschule Winterhude joined us at the booth and they got the possibility to play with some games. Tuxracer was the most popular one.
A remarkable note needs to be done about a little girl who was able to create silence among all other visitors around her. Everyone just stopped talking and doing things only to look at her and what she was doing. The pictures we took are the only medium that have the power give an expression of her playing with gcompris coming from the Debian Jr. Project.
Saturday evening was also very nice with a meeting organized by LinuxTag e.V. and the Free Software Foundation. They invited many people from GNU/ Linux projects for dinner. George Greve and Nils Magnus gave short talks during the dinner. All people got the possibility to discuss issues, solutions, problems, directions and ideas. The GNOME Project, after a long talk with Klaus Knopper, decided that it would be a good idea to create a new Knoppix CD that uses GNOME instead of KDE. Jan Palic discussed about the future of GNU/Linux on desktop systems, for office and home environments. OpenOffice.org emerged, of course, as one of the most important software that should be present in such environments. It was a long evening and the last people left the restaurant around 1am heading to other parties.
Sunday, January 26th, 2003
Sunday was another extremely busy day for the Debian team during this exhibition, with additional support by Martin 'Joey' Schulze. He gave two 2 talks, representing Debian. The first one covered the development process and the structure of the project. The second talk demonstrated the installation of Debian GNU/Linux on an average x86 based computer. Andreas Müller performed the installation while Joey explained each step and answered questions. Even though he was running out of time at the end of the 45 minutes presentation the system was completely installed with X and KDE.
NMMN also did several presentations, some of them discussed OpenOffice.org. As a consequence Jan Palic got much attention since he is one of the people working on OpenOffice.org. on a regular basis. Other representatives from OpenOffice.org also got in touch with us at the booth and after the talks.
The next HCT will take place in fall 2004, because of some reorganisation. I'm pretty sure, that we will see us there again.