"Installfests are often a newbie's first exposure to Linux
and its surrounding community. Will such formative
community-building meetings become a thing of the past if OEMs
begin preloading Linux?"
"I was recently re-reading an Emmett Plant article from last
November entitled "The Welcome Wagon"... that discussed the very
real sense of community Linux enjoys. For an Army brat like myself
who was the new kid on the block every couple of years while
growing up, and who has probably seen more welcome wagons than
most, the analogy hit home. And even though Plant was writing about
the helpful spirit exhibited by many of the community's best-known
individuals, I think the analogy holds true for installfests as
"Installfests have been part of the alternative OS scene for a
long time; I first encountered them when I became enamored of OS/2
in the early '90s. Although OS/2 installfests are no more, Linux
has definitely picked up where OS/2 left off. It goes without
saying that if it were easy to buy OS/2 or Linux machines
preloaded, as is the case with Windows, most of us would have never
heard of or enjoyed these strange techno-social gatherings."
"This week I'm going to write about a recent installfest held by
a member of the Austin Linux Group in his own home. I chose the
Austin LUG (see Resources for a link) because of my long
association with it and its history of hosting such events.
According to Stu Green, one of the ALG's founders, the group has
probably hosted 20 installfests to date."
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