Originally Published: Monday, 4 September 2000 Author: Stan Shivell, Emmett Plant, Chris Campbell, and Matt Michie
Published to: featured_articles/Featured Articles Page: 1/1 - [Std View]

On Tour with Linux.com Live! - Installfest San Jose

The sun was shining all week in beautiful downtown San Jose. At the OSDN booth at LinuxWorld Conference and Expo, conference attendees got their first taste of Linux.com Live! As guests settled into comfy bean bag chairs, Linux.com volunteer Jessica Sheffield and the Linux.com Live! team led attendees through the installation of Red Hat Linux and Debian GNU/Linux.

The sun was shining all week in beautiful downtown San Jose. At the OSDN booth at LinuxWorld Conference and Expo, conference attendees got their first taste of Linux.com Live! As guests settled into comfy bean bag chairs, Linux.com volunteer Jessica Sheffield and the Linux.com Live! team led attendees through the installation of Red Hat Linux and Debian GNU/Linux.

Linux.com Live!, the newest addition to Linux.com, is charged with organizing live events for the website and the community-at-large. Not only did the event take place in sunny San Jose, it also took place online, as people on IRC networks logged in and took part in the fun worldwide. Armed with two VA Linux workstations, a projection system, a plasma screen, software and a microphone, Linux.com Live! came to life at the very first step in a Linux user's journey - Installation.

Any maiden voyage will have unexpected problems, but the Linux.com Live! crew solved them with community spirit and hardware know-how. As the event started, the CD-ROM drive on one of the workstations was not cooperating and refused to give back a CD. ThinkGeek, another OSDN exhibitor, came to the rescue with a gadget that contained a small metal rod for dealing with just these issues. They were able to manually open the CD-ROM drive, run through the checklist again, and begin the show.

Packing an assortment of laptops and wireless network cards, Linux.com staffers relayed information to the various volunteers online, describing what was going on and at the same time getting feedback from them. While this orchestra of technology was occuring, Stan Shivell wandered around the audience. His goal was to get people in the audience to ask questions about what was going on during the install. These questions would then be logged into a Palm VII wireless unit and sent to an IRC channel where the volunteers in the channel would answer the question. Once the question was answered, it would be displayed on the IRC window projected on the whiteboard. Jessica Sheffield, would occasionally stop and read off the various questions and their answers. High-tech!

The crew managed to resolve a lot of installation issues for people in the audience. Most experienced Linux users might scoff at the ease of repartitioning and configuring X, but these can be difficult and scary tasks for a lot of new users. One audience member approached a Linux.com Live! volunteer and asked if he could bring his laptop in the next day and perform his install along with the presentation. All things considered, the Linux.com Live! team did a fantastic job at creating a live event to help new Linux users take the first step to Linux hackerdom.

Be sure to check out the great questions & answers that were generated from the IRC sessions. Start with basics, such as, "what is a partition?", on to more in depth questions, like X modes, and kernel settings. You can also follow the install procedure with actual screenshots of a Debian installation, starting from Windows 98, through bootup into X.