LinuxFestNW 2008 bigger and better than ever

LinuxFestNothWest is an annual gathering of the Linux community in Bellingham Washington at the Bellingham Technical College. There is an expanded booth area, which has grown into a second room, with many different groups sharing information about projects, activities and products. There are some big hitters there like Google and HP. There are many local Linux groups with booths as well. One of the vendors that I had not heard of before, but who caught my attention was ZaReason which builds and sells Linux based hardware. They are out of Berkley working with ASUS to build systems with Linux integrated from the start. They were demonstrating some laptops with Ubuntu 8.04 on them.

Saturday also featured a raffle that is used to fund many of the group activities. There were some books and software given away. But some very nice systems were also included in the Raffle. I think that if you go next year, you need to plan to be there for the Saturday Raffle. There was a new building added to the event, which had some demonstrations including some robotics as well.

Silicon Mechanics sponsored the fine party at the American Radio Museum Saturday night. Fine local pizza, lots of cool radio gadgets and tubes to look at, and a Tesla Coil to play with, all with a great band playing.

There are several talks from all over. Eric Promislow from Active State in Vancouver BC gave a talk on Komodo. I had not realized that Komodo had been open sourced. Andrew Becherer from Tacoma gave an interesting introduction to using Amazon EC2. There are over 44 talks about many interesting topics. This year is the first year that they had a Linux Lab that they provided hands on tutorials. Several of these tutorial sessions were full to the point that all of the stations were occupied.

This event is drawing vendors from Maryland, Texas and California. It drew local participants from Oregon to Vancouver BC. It is a great opportunity to explore the current state of Linux in the region.

For people who can not get there, the IRC channel is at [email protected]

and there is a video archive being developed at http://www.ustream.tv/channel/Linuxfest-nw-2008—btc-haskell-103