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Linux Journal: The Invisible Demo

Feb 24, 2004, 13:00 (2 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Doc Searls)
As trade shows go, Demo is pure vendor sports. Billed as a 'launchpad for emerging technology,' this year it featured 67 new products and services, both on stage and on a show floor that consisted of small kiosks, all the same size, arranged six across and twelve deep. On stage, companies were given no more than five minutes to make their presentations; some had only one minute for their presentations, complete with a stopwatch on screen. This discipline effected results that were highly creative, scripted or simply brief. In every case, they also definitely were rehearsed. The worst were live infomercials; the best ranged from entertaining to mind-blowing...

"As it turned out, the one mind-blowing demonstration was a couple hours away. Total Immersion, a virtual reality company from France, had everybody spellbound while the demonstrator flew virtual helicopters over the audiences heads and directed tanks and cars around a virtual village--all controlled by the gestures of a luminous baton that looked like a light sabre from Star Wars. I didn't find out if Linux was involved. The Web site is served by BSD, which may not mean anything.

"What really blew my mind was what nobody could see and nobody was showing off--Linux seemed to run under almost everything downstairs in the demo pavilion..."

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