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Win2K Tour, Chicago Stop Summary

By Simon Epsteyn

Chicago, IL — November 5, 1999 — ChicagoLand Linux Users
Group (CLUG) Welcomes Microsoft to Chicago.

Microsoft Corporation’s Windows 2000 World Tour came to Chicago
on November 3rd at the UIC’s College of Pharmacy. The ChicagoLand
Linux Users Group decided to welcome them to the Windy City by
coming by and introducing Linux to attendees as well as Microsoft
employees, giving out Linux CDs, flyers, and holding a mini-meeting
next to them.

We’ve prepared some flyers for this event, that had some basic
Linux info, some info about CLUG, a bit about Linux’s features, as
well as newly released Windows 2000 pricing.

The Windows 2000 Customer Preview is scheduled to start at 7
p.m., but Microsoft has asked everyone to come by at 6:30 p.m.,
they were using half of the lecture center at the College of
Pharmacy, Room 134-1, CLUG was scheduled to use a quarter of the
same room, Room 134-2.

At about 6:15 some of the CLUGers started to show up, and taking
our positions in 134-2. Quickly we realized that Microsoft has
decided to use 134-2 as an entrance to their room, and all of the
attendees were walking through our room to get to their dungeon. No
problem! We started to give out CDs (thanks to SuSE) and bumper
stickers (thanks to RedHat and LinuxCare) as well as our flyers. We
also set up a table right next to Microsoft’s, just outside our
room in the lobby, that’s when it hits them — they got to get rid
of us — lots of people were very interested in Linux, they were
talking to us, taking CDs, asking questions.

Around 6:30 p.m. John Owrey of the Chicago Computer Society, who
organized this event (including our room reservation), asks us to
move to a different room — 134-3, while running between 134-2 and
134-3 I realize that Microsoft has asked security to move our table
to the other side of the lobby, where it is now located…
Hmm…

It’s ok, there are more tables by them. I set up second table
with flyers and run away to 134-3 to make sure everything has been
moved and setup (including the laptop). By the time I get back I
find Meg, Microsoft employee, standing in front of our table and
directing people away… More Hmm… Meg, who is very friendly,
asks us to move it away from their entrance, so does John Owrey —
we do it, but our table is now in the middle of the lobby, a bit
closer to Microsoft’s.

It’s now about 6:45 p.m., a ton more people show up, flyers,
CDs, stickers are going left and right. I’ve just noticed a pattern
with older people, who were all interested in Linux, they all have
kids that use it already and they want to learn more (World
domination. Fast!).

Microsoft employees (let’s call them Bob and Joan) that are
working the table are very cold, they seem to be afraid of us,
although I did notice Bob quietly grabbing a SuSE 6.2 CD from our
table. At one point Bob complains to Meg about us posting signs on
the walls, she tells him not to worry about it — security will
take care of it. Bob is very cautious while talking to me, avoids
answering any of my questions, while Joan avoids me all
together.

Well before 7 p.m. we run out of CDs, while stickers and flyers
are almost out as well.

At 7 p.m. we settle to 134-3 and do a Red Hat 6.1 installation
demo, while a couple of guys stay at the table in the lobby and
continue to hand out flyers and talking to people.

We are done around 8 p.m., invite Meg (who is the only person
left at the Microsoft’s table) to join us for beer. She seems
interested but can’t leave the table, we walk to a local bar, where
we proceed to drink lots of Guinness and make fun of domestic
beer.

About ChicagoLand Linux Users Group.

Next meeting will be on November 10, 1999. Additional
information about CLUG can be found on http://clug.chicago.il.us

Linux is a trademark of Linus Torvalds. All other product names
are trademarks of their respective owners. Simon Epsteyn likes
jelly doughnuts.