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Linux Journal: LinuxWorld Coverage

Sep 03, 2001, 08:29 (2 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Doc Searls)

Day One:

"LinuxWorld Expo just started, and it looks like a neutron bomb went off. The back wall, I am told, used to be booths. They're gone. So is FreeBSD, with their pretty girls dressed up like devils, handing out little devil horns and hugging geeks for cameras all over the floor. So is Lineo, which actually is here, but not as an exhibitor. My colleague Don Marti tells me Lineo just put on a great press conference that featured software for detecting GPL violations, or something like that. LynuxWorks is boothless, too.

"It's less of everything," says James McHugh, the alpha geek I've known for years and ran into unexpectedly last night standing in his back yard, which is next to the back yard of my buddy's house, where I'm staying here in San Francisco. Small world.

"Less how?" I ask.

"Penguin's not here. Slackware's not here. And Eric isn't here. Geeks with Guns won't be the same without him."

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"Walking around the floor of the show again later, I didn't get quite the same down feeling that I got yesterday, and even earlier today. The Borland folks were quite pleased with the level of interest in Kylix, which they say is high. Transvirtual as usual had a crowd of geeks surrounding its PocketLinux booth. IBM and HP are all over the place, handing out tickets to stuff and seemingly on the fringe of every conversation.

Blessedly muted is the customary obsession with Microsoft. Linus and others (I am told) poo-pooed the Great Threat of Passport in a panel this morning. More significantly, Microsoft hasn't been what Donald Norman calls a "conversational black hole" into which all energy flows and no light escapes. Its mass is clearly diminished--at least in the conversations I've been around."

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