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Byte.com: Big Blue Penguins At LinuxWorld

Feb 20, 2001, 20:54 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Tom Henderson)

"Unlike last year's edition, LWE seemed to be hopping in ways unlike other computer-industry trade shows held in that venue. I took along a friend who's been in the trade show business for more than a decade, but never to the LWE. I heard her explanation of the show, and as John Lennon once sang, I fell into a dream."

"The Dream: a trade show in New York in January with hardly any sales personnel, their eyes reddened with that look of "if I don't make quota this month, I'm doomed;" fewer than three mindless booth babes -- total; no one blocking the aisles with a stack of flyers held in the left arm making it impossible to pass without grabbing one. Instead, there were coders, hackers, engineers, their families, start-ups, and a handful of really large organizations permeated the landscape."

"IBM was one of them. In fact, instead of Linus Torvalds on the stage promoting Linux at the event's initial keynote, it was none other than the president and CEO of IBM, Sam Palmisano. My initial reaction, after years of IBM-loathing, was to consider who had let the fox into the hen house. Getting up on stage for keynotes is clearly something that Torvalds doesn't like to do, no matter how fawning the audience. But presidents of IBM divisions do. Instead, Linus was milling through the crowds."

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