Southeast Linux Fest 2016

Southeast Linux Fest 2016 10-12 June 2016
The event was located in the Sheraton by the Airport Charlotte NC. As expected the booth location was the same as the previous years while at this venue. Booth placement plays a vital role in visibility and accessibility, thus when presentations were finished the attendees would come out and the first booth that is visible was Fedora.

Attending Ambassadors; Ben Williams (kk4ewt) event owner, Cathy Williams (cewillia), Andrew Ward (award3535), Julie Ward (jward78), Nick Bebout (nb), Hal Leggette (aelaric), Striker Leggette (strikerttd). Corey Sheldon (linuxmodder) was unable to attend due to unforeseen circumstances.

Day 1, 10 June
Our day started with the setup of the booth prior to the opening of the expo. Ben Williams had already set the table cloth and banners up the night before and scoped out the venue for the next day’s events. Julie and I showed up at 8 a.m. to get things rolling along with Ben and Cathy Williams. The booth was prepared and ready to go by 8:30 a.m. Shortly after the booth was ready, Ben and I began the strategy for the day and what needed to be accomplished. The most important item that needs to get accomplished was media production. We decided to commence producing a master copy of Workstation, KDE, LXDE, Cinnamon, XFCE, and Mate, once the media master was produced, we verified the media and its operability. I wish to thank Red Hat and Remy Decausemaker for the purchase of the duplicator and blank media, what a fantastic tool and great help to Fedora. Once the media was verified, Julie began using the duplicator producing media for distribution from our table. She first began with Workstation, producing 25 copies with 20 minutes, then moved on to KDE, LXDE, XFCE, Cinnamon, and Mate. Once patrons and event enthusiasts began showing up we were ready with enough media to get started. Julie continued to produce media for the table by tracking the spins that were leaving the table with interested patrons. To our surprise on the first day the popular media was Cinnamon and Mate. Julie must have produced 100 copies of Mate and 50 Cinnamon that left the table. Workstation and KDE were also popular and leaving the table as well. Julie continued to produce media throughout the entire day. Normally we have media that is produced and packaged for these types of events but due to the forth coming release of Fedora 24 we were uncertain on the release prior to the event. As it turned out F24 was not released and ready for our event. Southeast Linux Fest has always been scheduled close to the release cycle of Fedora, so there always has been a decision for us to either bring/produce previous release or produce new released Fedora. Just the day before we had the release information of No-Go for F24, so we then realized that we would be producing F23 media.
Also something we tried differently was to produce a few copies of KDE, XFCE, LXDE, etc…. and have that media available as well. That decision in my opinion was a success. For example we always have individuals that come up to our table and ask for Fedora KDE and all we had was Workstation, we would gladly produce a DVD or if they carried a USB create the media for them on the spot. Thus having a few copies on the table was a HUGE success. Also we had several patrons ask if they could take one of each to that they could try them at home and see what the rest of the family would like to use. This type of situation provided great opportunity in spreading Fedora into more homes and the community was successfully accomplished.

Cathy Williams comments on the Yarn Crawl;
The knitting track seemed to be a big hit. Remi, the owner of Charlotte Yarns was on hand with yarns to purchase and the kits for them learn how to knit, the magic loop and the Tardis sock/chart classes. We had a few come in just to shop which was great. Carrie Stokes and I taught 9 people to knit. Sandy of Charlotte Yarns taught 5 people the magic loop technique, I taught about 4 people to read a knitting chart and on Sunday Nicole Tobias taught lace and how to block your work to about 6 people.

We shut down the table at 5 p.m. and locked up the event box in the storage room until the next day.
Day 2, 11 June
Day two began with booth set up at 8 a.m. We noticed that the media we had left on the table after we shut down for the previous night had gone down significantly. The expo hall schedule closes at 5 p.m. The schedule showed that the last set of talks we ongoing until 5:30 p.m. with some event sponsor gatherings ongoing until approximately 8 p.m. So leaving some media on the table overnight also proved to be successful in distributing Fedora. Julie immediately began to produce more media with the duplicator, restocking the spins that were low. The event began to pick up around 8:50 a.m. with the Keynote and first set of speakers kicking off the second day of the event.
Although the day started off slower than the previous day, we still went through quite a bit of media. As the previous day also pointed out the same we all noticed that the interest was not focused on Workstation but had a wide variety of interest in the other spins. Nick pointed out that even the hard core Ubuntu folks became more interested in the other desktops Fedora provided as he talked to individuals throughout the day.
One of the high points of the day was when a young Ladd (about 7 years old) walked up to the OLPC and began using it. He was truly fascinated with what it could do. With his father standing in the background he asked if this was available outside of the OLPC. I then demonstrated the SOAS on the demonstration laptop with the updated media. Once the media ran up and we got to his age group, you could see the amazement and joy with what he was doing. His father asked if we could get them a copy of the media. Ben was already on it, and had them me back in about 20 minutes and it would be ready. We they returned the SOAS was ready and we asked if there was anything else we could produce media wise and any other questions that you may have. Truly and interested individual and the next generation of Linux users had begun.

Throughout the day Ben had been collecting registration for the Amateur Radio exam and preparing for his talk on the same subject. To his surprise there were more attendees this year than the previous year. If I remember there were 30 registered to take the exam that day. Nick was also busy preparing for his talk and the key signing event scheduled later that evening.
During the day we fielded a lot of questions regarding installation, dual boot, and UEFI. We did experience one load problem with and interested Linux enthusiast. Ben was assisting with a loading problem with a new laptop in loading any version of Fedora. A new ASUS with Skylake and NVidia video proved to be a difficult adventure. He tried all versions and the only one that seemed to work. Ben tried creating special media with the drivers loaded so that the PC would at least run the live media. Ben was determined to figure out the issue but ran out of time, and I believe that he is still helping the individual get through this problem.
During both days the ever popular 3D printing demonstration at the Red Hat table presented by Tom Calloway (spot) always draws the attention of all ages.

As they day began to wear down, Nick was preparing for the Keying sighing as well as Ben preparing for the Amateur Radio Exam that was at 5:15 p.m. Fedora Booth was shut down at 5 p.m.
Day 3, 12 June
Normally on the third day of this event most of the vendors have already packed up the night before, but there were a significant number that did not leave. That morning there were a few more talks scheduled and a few more that day. The expo was only scheduled to be open until 3 p.m. The morning began with a few visitors and steadily increased until about noon. Most of the vendors then began to pack up for the event. We decided to stay open and did not shut down until 2 p.m. We all believe that the event was again successful for Fedora and overall successful for all attendees. As always I have a questionnaire that I have visitors fill out if they so desire. This tool also gives me an opportunity to recruit new interested people to help us out with the project. Most individuals don’t realize just how vast the project is and how they would be able to contribute. I will generate and submit a separate report for those specific questionnaires.
———Ben Williams’ Corner——–
We had several people complaining about the following issues:
a) Bluetooth not working (pointed them to the current bugzilla issues with Bluetooth
b) One Gentleman’s brightness keys would not work; we tried several things to troubleshoot
1) boot with a updated F23 Live– brightness keys worked
2) boot with a F24 live iso and brightness keys worked
Result: recommended that he remove the kernel-debug and test, handed my Business Card and have not heard anymore from him.
My Talk was listed in the Program as Hamming it up, but my Title was Amateur Radio -Past-Present & Future. I was pleasantly surprised that my first talk had 50-75 attendees.
I was also involved in registration and Administration of the Amateur Radio Exam on Friday Night. We had about 45 register for the exam and 25 showed up to take said exams, The Results we ended up 8 people earn the Technicians License, 3 earned the General Class License and 1 person passed the Extra Class Exam.
As always Southeast Linuxfest is a great show that I completely enjoy and I enjoy representing Fedora at such Linuxfest.
——————————————–

In summary; as usual the event was popular, informative, exciting, and as an Ambassadors we all enjoyed interacting with people and their professions. For metric purposes here is some data;
420 DVD Media distributed during the event of various spins
Talks were very well liked and informative
5 USB keys with F23 Workstation given out to genuinely interested individuals
1 SOAS produced for a very enthusiastic Ladd
Numerous GPC keys signed during the signing party

Southeast Linux Fest Event Comments;
– Well scheduled and coordinated always a pleasure to attend and work with such fantastic staff
– Hospitality rooms well stocked and a wide variety of snacks and drinks available to Sponsors and Vendors.
– Lunch was provided by SELF Staff for sponsors and vendors on Saturday and Sunday, an unexpected and welcomed benefit.
– Power and Connectivity was good.
– There was more than adequate storage and locked storage space.
– Scheduling was very efficient and supportive.
– In light of Venue problems Event Coordinator handled situations efficiently and professionally.
Venue (Sheraton Hotel) Comments;
– Most of the area outside the event rooms and venue were under construction and made it difficult to move items in and out of the event area.
– Other meetings and events were over scheduled into the area causing the event coordinators to move several talks and events out of rooms to other parts of the hotel, very UNPROFESSIONAL on the Sheraton’s part. This effected two events Fedora Ambassadors we speakers and examiners.
– Sponsor BBQ (customer paid event) catering was 90 minutes late delaying the event past scheduled times.
– Venue was trying to push the event out earlier than expected on Saturday/Sunday very UNPROFESSIONAL
Attending Sponsors and Vendors Comments;
– All were professional and helpful (including the Ubuntu folks)
– Platform and company information was readily available and accessible
– A wide variety of vendors that included data services, cloud services

Andrew Ward and Julie Ward (award3535/jward78)
Fedora Ambassadors

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