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Ubuntu Maryland Install Fest Update

It was pointed out to me recently by Celeste that no one had done a write up on our recent install fest. The reason for that I think was the low turnout of those wanting to get Ubuntu installed on their systems. Kind of a downer.

It’s always tough to spend time and energy getting an event like this together then have a small turnout. The time spent developing fliers. Taking those to shops and libraries in the area with gas prices being what they are and the time it take to ask for space to put them up. Finding sites to post the information on wondering if anyone will read and act on it. Then the day comes and you get up bright and early. Pack the car with the gear and make the trek in. An hour to set up and then over the next six hours you have three people show up.

For some it would lead to the question of ‘Why bother?’

Then I get an email from one of the gentlemen* who dropped in. It was simple and read:

Enjoyed the event. I had Ubuntu put onto a flash drive, and I can boot from it (given a computer new enough to boot from usb flash – I am learning alot about that). Thanks, and looking forward to the next event.

That got me thinking. We had three people come in to have Ubuntu installed on their systems. The first was a home user who had come across our website. He wanted to see what Linux could do for one of his old PCs. Then we had [The Other] Chuck from the local LUG. Recently he’s become interested in giving back to the community through his knowledge of computers. He took time to collect up some older hardware and spend a few hours of his Saturday installing Ubuntu on them. He’s going to take those five machines and either give them to a charity that can use them or sell them inexpensively and donate the profits to (I think it will be) Hackers for Charities. Then we have the gentleman who came in and had a flash drive Ubuntuized. Now he can try this wonderful system out and show it to friends easily.

I think at the end of the day all the volunteers can say we had a great time. We got to hang out and chat with friends. Discuss various technologies and geek out a bit. All of us with common interests. Marco Figueiredo dropped in with his daughter to discuss some of what our host, Loyola College Center for Community Informatics, was doing and researching. All great stuff to hear and start to conceptualize what can be done with free software to help people.

So even though we didn’t do a whole lot of installing we did quite a bit. Two new Ubuntu users, one person who we’ve helped with a charity project, learned a little about what’s being done with Free Software to help people around the world learn and enhance their lives and we had a good time together. I’m looking forward to seeing what we do next time!