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August 13, 1999
Day Two, August 11, San Jose Convention Center: Now is the time to check out in detail the hardcore stuff at the LinuxWorld Expo.
The news of the day, of course, is that Red Hat stock has shot up to $52 after opening at $14. In one day Red Hat is worth $3.2 billion!
Anyway, roaming the exhibit floor I find a company called Rebel.com. It has taken over the development of the Corel Netwinder computer which is a small footprint computer running Linux.
Talking of machines, the buzz of the show is the PIA or the 'personal Internet appliance'. The specs on the machine are: Intel Celeron 333 processor, 32 MB RAM and 4 GB hard disk. And the machine costs an unbelievably low $199! Without monitor, of course, but what a price! As Svenson would say 'Yumpin 'Yimminy!
The people at Linux World magazine are really cool. I met Chief Editor Nicholas Petreley and he is very interested about the growth of Linux in India. He is surprised to know that I have been using Linux since Version 0.99 in 1991.
They are covering the show in great detail and have also announced prizes for best products. The winner is HP-OpenMail! A company called Alpha Processor Inc is running a quiz show on Linux and giving away prizes.
Talking about prizes, the biggest, and I mean literally, the biggest prize at the show is sponsored by LinuxCare. It is a huge EuroVan car! So, there went another business card of mine... accompanied with a prayer.
The easy part of registering at each stall is that every attendee is given a magnetic card with his address and email info copied on it. So all I do to register at any stall is take out my card and swipe it at the machine they have at every stall. All my personal information automatically gets uploaded into a database. Indian conference organisers could sure take a tip or two.
Lunchtime is a couple of colossal hotdogs and a beer! Hic!
The guys at TurboLinux are displaying a Chinese version of Linux. I mean even the shell is displaying Chinese characters. I typed in 'ps fax | more' and Chinese spewed on to the screen. Hey! When are we going to have a Hindi version of Linux? Though I don't know if that makes sense. Hmm... Maybe my company will do that... someday...
I know I have been talking a lot about hardware but I intend to cover software tomorrow... the last day.
I also got to attend some seminars. One by Eric Raymond, author of the Cathedral and the Bazaar. Let's see if I get to talk to him later...
OpenMail by HP is neato. A wow product. They are demoing it on a wireless PDA. You can get access to your email wherever you are. I can file these reports while I am sitting in contemplation in the loo. Every spare moment can be productive. Think about those long elevator rides.
Another notable feature about LinuxWorld Expo is not just the absence of Microsoft but also the presence of so many women!
Women are a major force with Linux and boy, am I glad! No... not for what some of you might be thinking but simply because women are interested in Linux.
I saw a woman from a software development company and the designation on her badge read 'Garden Mother Goddess'!
The average age of the attendees and the exhibitors must surely be around 24.
Of course, there were much older guys around... I saw some of them in business suits, talking to some longhaired kids at the .org pavilion. I wonder when an analogous sighting will happen at shows like the Indian Comdex.
Okay... now time for me to hit the bash organised by VALinux, at a club called The Usual... lots of beer... pizza and dancing. sync sync sync reboot...
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