On the 20th and 21st April, those of us in the UK were proud to represent KDE at the Linux User and Developer Expo 2004 at London's Olympia exhibition centre. Representatives were Jonathan Riddell, Charles Samuels, Chris Howells, Jeff Snyder, David Pashley, Malcolm Hunter, Richard Moore and George Wright, although Malcolm and Richard only came for the second day.
The show started at 10:00am on the 20th, and the first hour or so was spent getting to know each other, and demonstrating our shiny hardware. Afterwards, we got stuck in to some admin. There was wireless on the stall provided by Adelix network services, demonstrating their content filtering system. We were not too impressed - upon trying to access kde.org we received an "Access Denied!" message! IRC had also been blocked, as well as many other services, so we had to use ssh tunnels to be able to contact the outside world, and to be able to show off our nifty site!
SUSE had been kind enough to provide a demonstration machine for us, running the press copy release of SUSE 9.1 Personal, and also donated a lot of SUSE software for us to hand out - including a highly sought after 2 CD set of SUSE 9.1 Personal! (which we kept for ourselves...)
There was lots of KDE merchandise on the stall, with KDE badges, T-Shirts, polo shirts and countless other wearables. We also had 300 flyers to give to passers by and Jonathan had his Irn Bru; we drank a lot of Irn Bru those two days...
After making the wireless network more usable we started to talk to passers by, making sure that if they didn't use KDE now they would be in the future! Lots of flyers were given out and we hopefully converted a lot of people to KDE!
At about 1:00pm we went to the pub to have lunch - leaving David looking after the stand as a punishment for being treacherous and devoting all his time to the Debian stand, and were greeted with hostile words when we finally returned after an hour or so. Jonathan took an LPI certification exam and we are still awaiting the results.
The main highlight of the day, however, was the prize giving ceremony that evening. Only Richard Moore was able to attend, but he picked up the prize for category "Best Desktop Environment" - beating Sun Java Desktop and Ximian Gnome!
The next day, therefore, we were heralded by a shiny glass plaque stating our victory over the Gnomes and we got back down to business. On the whole, the second day was probably a lot more productive than the first with us being a lot more interactive with passers by!
At 5:00pm it was the end of the expo, with most of us heading off to the pub except myself who had to rush back to school!
Hopefully a few of us will be at aKademy in August - I know I will be!
-- George Wright