"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
"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."
"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."