SCALE was a great show and the response to my presentation was all i could hope for. the presentation tracks in general were high quality and interesting.
i finally met jono bacon in person after knowing him for ~5 years online. in fact, during our first evening visiting i ended up breaking into a short little kde-themed song in a moment of overt sillyness and jono dared me (with a promise of free beer on the upside) to open my presentation the next day with a simlair performance. so the next morning after being introduced and informing the audience what i was about to present on i shared jono's challenge with them and then followed through with crazy little sing'n'jig that was met with laughter and applause. it was a nice way to wake everyone up and set a fun and energetic tone to the event. however i did not do any encores over the next two days despite several attempts to "inspire" me with promises of beer, pictures and/or appreciation.
over at the booth, daniel and aaron (another one, i'm not speaking of myself in the third person here ;) did an awesome job talking with people and answering all manner of questions. they also brought along a number of systems to show kde of on:
so thank-you to both those guys: i couldn't've done it without you! interestingly, our booth was right in between novell and google; i think they just wanted to emphasize how gheto our set up was compared to their slick corporate presentations ;)
we showed kde 3.5 on 2 desktops and 2 laptops ranging from a meager 550Mhz/64MB system (to show that kde does run very nicely on such kit) to a multi-Ghz laptop w/512MB of ram. composite, superkaramba, scribus and kpdf, koffice sporting the open document format, kontact and more were on display.
lots of kde was to be seen around the other booths, from IT training companies to LUGs. the open document booth was showing an open office writer window with an odt document open on one side and a kword window with the same document open on the other side to show the level of interoperability and, therefore, the reality of the promise of the format. linspire's booth was also quite popular, and the kubuntu cd's i brought (some 300 of them) went in the first two hours of the show.
most of the people who came by reported that they use kde at home and a few use it at work as well. one fellow who works for a certain mexican fast food chain with 5000+ stores noted that they are currently moving from sco unix to linux on the backend (aw, poor sco! not! ;P ) and are currently developing their client solution as well with web, mail and basic desktop. when he informed me they were doing this on kde i showed him how to take advantage of kiosk for certain things and he left very happy.
but it was more than dog'n'pony shows. i managed to get some serious sit down time with the open document people (who are more than appreciative of koffice's support), x.org (who was very impressed with our level of project organization), novell (who were eager to get feedback about community projects) and wikipedia (to de-languish the webservice offerings we want from them for kde4) among others. so it was a very useful event for inter-project networking. brian proffit and i also caught a few meals together, as did jono bacon and i. much thought provoking and positive conversation was had.
during one of the (rare) slow moments at the booths, one of the googlers noted that desktop linux is used extensively internally and that people love it. he reported that the default desktop on the internal google distro (which they made due to various custom internal network services they have to support) is ...... kde =) of course, people use all kinds of interfaces on their open source desktops at google, but it's cool that kde is the default =)
a lot of those who visited the kde booth complimented all of us in the project for our work on kde and were universally impressed about where we are today and where we are going. so kudos to everyone who writes code, documentation, translations, creates art and does promo. we're rockin' in the Free world!
and now i'm back for 6 weeks of coding and enjoying sleeping in my own bed. woooohooo!