Originally Published: Sunday, 13 June 1999 Author: Deepak Saxena
Published to: featured_articles/Featured Articles Page: 1/1 - [Std View]

The Linux Demo Day Project

Over the last eighteen months, Linux has been getting a very large amount of press coverage. This enormous coverage hasn't been limited to just computer industry publications such as Network Magazine or IEEE, but has also included more mainstream publications such as Time, Forbes, and CNN....

Over the last eighteen months, Linux has been getting a very large amount of press coverage. This enormous coverage hasn't been limited to just computer industry publications such as Network Magazine or IEEE, but has also included more mainstream publications such as Time, Forbes, and CNN.

This means that the number of people who are aware of Linux's existence is much higher than ever before. While all this exposure is wonderful, most of the people who read about Linux have probably never actually seen Linux in action. Some of the readers may not care, but there are definitely those that would be willing to give Linux a try with a little more exposure to it and a support network to help them. Reading about Linux is a good way to pique someone's interest, but the best way to get the word out about Linux to the non-geek world is to have people actually see what it can do.

Enter the Linux Demo Day Project

To help expose more people to Linux and more of Linux to people, the Linux Demo Day projected was created. The goal of the project is to get LUGs throughout the world to go into schools, malls, bookstores, or where ever else they can/want to and setup demonstrations of Linux. By demonstrations, I mean one of two scenarios:

Setup a table ("booth") in a public location such as a shopping mall, bookstore, or library. At this booth, have a number of Linux machines running different applications such as office productivity, games, graphics, and other compelling programs. In addition, have some brochures about Linux for people to take with them. Most importantly, have LUG members on hand to answer questions that visitors may have.

Go into a small business, school, or other place that is heavily dependent on computers and budget-restricted and give a presentation/demonstration of Linux and talk about why it may be a viable alternative for them, as either a server or desktop platform.

The goal of the project is not to convert every person who sees Linux into a new user. Even if not a single person tries Linux after seeing it during Demo Day, the project will still be a success as more people will know that there is an alternative to running Windows on their PC. They might not be to excited about Linux right when they see it, but maybe next time they get a Blue Screen of Death, they will think about giving it a chance.

Project Organization

The www.linuxdemo.org web site serves as the central coordination point for Linux Demo Day. On this page, the Linux Demo Day team will make available suggestions for LUGs to help them get their demos set up. This includes a list of different applications that might be good to demonstrate, suggestions on what to do and not to do, instructions on how to advertise the demo, and other issues pertaining to running a successful public Linux event. These suggestions on the site will not be set in stone; they will be guidelines to help LUGs prepare. More ideas are welcome from all who are interested in making this event a success.

In addition, the site will also contain information information for new users that LUGs can print and handout to their demo visitors. This includes a a Linux information brochure covering topics such as what is Linux, where can one learn more about Linux. Also included will be an application list that lists software that runs under Microsoft Windows and their equivalents in Linux. The brochures and all other information on the Web will be posted in English and will be translated into other languages as LUGs from non-English speaking countries get involved and translators volunteer. Currently there are already teams formed that will provide German, French, and Spanish translations.

Finally, the project is lining up a list of Linux companies as sponsors who will send out brochures about their products or sample copies of their software to participating LUGs so they can show them to visitors.

When is Linux Demo Day?

Linux Demo Day will be sometime between September 12 and 18. We have not picked one specific date so as to let LUGs have flexibility in scheduling. Again, like everything else about this project, these dates are not set in stone. If your LUG can only do this a week earlier or later, does not mean you can't participate! The reason this week was picked is because kernel v0.1 was released sometime in the middle of September, so we thought this would be a good way to celebrate Linux's birthday. :)

How can I help?

There are several ways you can help with the Linux Demo Day project:

  1. If you are involved with a LUG, get them to participate in the Demo Day.
  2. Join our mailing list and help us with ideas about how to pull off a successful Linux demonstration.
  3. Even if there's no LUG in your area, find a few people to show off Linux to during the Linux Demo Day time frame.
  4. If you work for a Linux company, we are looking for sponsors that would be willing to provide product brochures for LUGs to handout.
  5. If you speak any foreign language, we are in need of translators for the Web site and for various documents we are creating.

More Information

For more information about the Linux Demo Day Project, visit the project Web site, send me some e-mail, or join our mailing list.

Deepak Saxena is an employee of Intel Corporation. The opinions expressed in this article do not represent the views of Intel Corporation, and the Linux Demo Day project is in no way affiliated with Intel Corporation.