LXNY at Fall Internet World NYC 1998

LXNY had booth 3566 on level 1 at Fall Internet World NYC 1998 from October 7-9, 1998 held at The Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, Manhattan, New York.

LXNY had a very strong presence this year with a booth manned by members and volunteers who talked with scores of attendees around the clock about Linux and free software.

In addition to LXNY, a large contingent of Linux vendors had booths at this year's show, including VA Research, O'Reilly, Red Hat Software, Caldera, SuSE, Pacific HiTech, and Oracle. VA Research is one of the first makers of high quality Linux computers. O'Reilly publishes many fine books about Open Source technologies. Red Hat Software, Caldera, SuSE, and Pacific HiTech all make cd-rom distributions of Linux. All of these vendors, with the exception of Red Hat and O'Reilly, were housed in a special section known as the Oracle Partner Pavilion and handed out free cd-roms of the new Oracle 8 database for Linux.

All of the Linux distribution companies gave LXNY copies of their product to give away for free and this drew multitudes of passersby to our booth. Our special thanks goes out to Caldera who provided us with over 1000 cd-roms of Open Linux and six boxes of WABI software, which we gave out to attendees who correctly answered questions about free software. (WABI enables people to run certain Windows 3.1 applications on a Linux platform.) Crowds formed to receive the free cds and the visually large mob attracted in turn, many others who wanted to see what was so popular. At one point it was necessary for our corresponding secretary, Jay Sulzberger, to stand atop a chair and loudly assert the merits of Open Source software to the soul searchers below.

Corel Computer came to the LXNY booth to show off their Netwinder Thin Client computer. Lightweight, stylish, and affordably priced, Corel offers both a Webserver and a Development Machine model. They all run Linux and Apache and have a hard drive option.

die Linuxbierwanderung
On Thursday night, Linux vendors and enthusiasts met after the show at the Times Square Brewery to share ideas over fine brew. One outcome from this meeting is the new venture scheduled for July 1999, called "die Linuxbierwanderung," which is German for "The Linux Beer Hike." With the assistance of SuSE, a special trip is being planned in which Linux users will bring their laptop computers and hike the hills of Bavaria to learn Linux and visit the local brewpubs. Experts in Linux and the Bavarian outdoors will teach classes to the hikers during the day and enjoy the local pub scene in the evening.

Internet World provided valuable informal soundings of the Linux market. Many large firms, such as Packard Bell, AT&T, Ernst & Young, IDG, Lufthansa, Time Warner, Merrill Lynch, BMW, Hyundai, Chase Manhattan Bank, IBM Research, and Salomon Smith Barney, sought the LXNY booth to learn how Linux can work in their enterprise. Interestingly, many of these attendees fell into two general categories:

  1. If the person worked in the US, they tend run Linux at home and meet tremendous resistance in the office to run Linux anywhere in their company.
  2. If the person worked outside of the US, it seemed that they learned about Linux at their company which already had the free OS running in the enterprise.

Many Americans don't know that Linux is extremely popular in Germany, Sweden, Finland, and many other parts of Europe. Linux figures prominently at CeBIT, a 650,000 attendee computer show, every March in Germany.

Many thanks go out to the LXNY members who helped in numerous ways, mostly with their time, who created a very stylish booth with only minimal resources and who made IW a big success for LXNY.

LXNY (Linux New York) is an organization, founded in 1994 by Bob Young of Red Hat Software, which supports the Free Software Movement in New York City. Our chief objectives are the spread of superior methods of operation of computers and the upgrade of legacy systems to free operating systems.

Jim Gleason
jgleason@electriclichen.com Electric Lichen L.L.C.