"Ireland is a small country. North and South, the population
does not exceed six million people. Paradoxically, when it comes to
the IT industry, Ireland is a big player. For years, Ireland's IT
claim-to-fame has been the fact that it is the second largest
exporter of shrink-wrapped software in the world (next to the US).
There are a number of reasons for this, but the main one is Ireland
is the European operations center for a large number of US-based
companies. Microsoft, Symantec, IBM/Lotus and many others have a
large presence here. But, it's not only software that's big; Intel
has a chip fabrication facility an hour west of Dublin. HP, Dell,
Apple and Sun are large employers. And, recently, Google announced
that Ireland would host its European headquarters.
"LinuxWorld came to Ireland on April 3rd, 2003. Sponsored by IBM
in association with ILUG (the Irish Linux Users Group), the
conference never was going to be very big. It was scheduled to take
place on the last day of ICT Expo, Ireland's Information and
Communications Technology Event. The small number of Linux-specific
stands at the show were stuck in the middle of a mix of everything
from data projector companies to accounting software suppliers.
Cyclades was there, as was IBM, whose stand hosted ILUG. Red Hat
boxes were everywhere, and ILUG handed out Knoppix CDs to as many
delegates as they could. An Irish company, OpenApp, was on hand to
discuss how it successfully is delivering IT solutions to clients
using primarily open-source technologies..."