The Bazaar Day Wrap-Up, Wednesday, December 15thDec 16, 1999, 23:15 (1 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Emmett Plant)
By Emmett Plant Editor, Linux Today
Everyone thought today the 15th would be a busier day at the expo. They were disappointed. By noon, guards and show staff appeared to be waving in anyone who appeared interested, even if they didn't have a badge for the show. It was another slow day, but there was the ever-present promise of good partying to be had later in the day. I have a sneaking suspicion that Nerf gun sales tripled in New York City last night, because today I saw a gaggle of the famed foam weapons being fired in every direction. The community made the best of a slow situation and turned the tables yet again, turning a slow day into a great opportunity to network with other community illuminati and media representatives.
One of the great boredom breakers was Matthew Furman, who performed magic tricks on the tab of Andover. I have seen countless up-close slight-of-hand magic acts in my life, and I have to admit that Matthew is one of the best I've ever seen. When it comes to card tricks, there were no punches pulled. I have more than a working knowledge of how most card tricks are performed and Matthew impressed me greatly. I even checked his decks for the standard markings and gaffes; They were non-existent. He has the ability to take pedestrian 'pick-a-card, any-card' tricks and the linking rings to incredible new levels. Great show.
The exhibitors were doing nifty things to pass the time, including Nerf gun duels, and occasionally breaking into song for the benefit of anyone who cared to listen. While the business card trading that usually happens between exhibitors and potential customers was nearly non-existent, the trading was happening between exhibitors and other members of the community, which can only help to strengthen the binds between the Free Software community and the commercial entities -- in the end a very good thing, especially to the commercial organizations that put their business plan on the line by specializing in releasing Open Source software.
The parties were fantastic. Andover's 'Free Beer' party was the only time that the expo appeared to be filled. One of the exhibitors in the booths toward the back of the expo noted that the Andover party was the only time that people walked past their booth. The instant proposed solution is that they should've put a bartender in their corner like at the party. The music was nice and just loud enough to be enjoyed. The food was great, too. Conversation and alcohol flowed free, which is the way it should be.
Big Blue rented out all of FAO Schwarz for its party, and after a long bus ride and a short wait in the rain, the community raided the store for free alcohol and toy lightsaber duels in the 'Star Wars' section of the store. Again, DJ's in 'The Dollhouse' played danceable tunes and the three hundred or so geeks danced with the twelve or so women who showed up. I got to satisfy my musical curiosity by playing a toy accordion that I found in the music section of the store and I got a little applause.
Tomorrow is the last day of the show, typically the slowest of the days. Journalistic integrity forbids me from making references to glaciers and molasses when it comes to predicting tomorrow's foot traffic into the expo. Still, I have every faith that the community will make the best of it. Even if there weren't a single attendee, the community will always converse, communicate and party. I look forward to it.