LinuxWorld/Futurex 2005 Johannesburg, South Africa

Wednesday saw me writing my level 2 LPI exams at LinuxWorld in Sandton, Johannesburg, which gave me the perfect opportunity to dash around the expo (the conference was, unfortunately, outside of my budget).

So we’ll start with the Futurex portion…
Boring. Boring. Boring. I don’t think that barcode printers or scanners are the future. I don’t think that Telkom is the future – their stand was particularly intimidating. I don’t think that iBurst capped 3gig wireless internet is the future. I don’t think that CD-labelling is the future. In fact, CD-Labelling has lost its market completely to the magic marker, with the exception of a few special cases (e.g. burnt pirate copies etc). No, Futurex was not the future.

On to LinuxWorld…
Here it seemed the guys were a bit cramped for space if anything – the Novell pavilion was jam packed with many different partners providing various Linux services, but there was little structure, and I don’t consider a distro running on a laptop to be any sort of demo. Unfortunately I did not manage to get my hands on a Novell Desktop CD, although those who were there earlier got copies.

My loot for the day turned out to be ImpiLinux (a distro I cannot install because doing so violates the GPL), an IBM presentation CD and one other arbitrary CD. I did however manage to get a Shuttleworth Foundation ‘build your own tux’, an Obsidian Systems executive propeller-toy, and if I’d had CDs on me could have burnt to my hearts content on the Freedom Toaster. Ok yes, to tell the truth I was practically in-your-face-take-it-or-die’d by the Impi guy – a bit of an aggressive marketer I guess. I walked away a little shaken.

I think the most interesting thing for me was how many Linux startups are now pushing to create another bubble. Time will tell how many survive, but these guys are leading the pack, which is not a bad thing. I guess another part of my attitude is that being halfway through LPI level 2, there isn’t much these guys can do to excite me in the Free Software space – I’ve excited myself enough, and blogs and sourceforge do the rest.

Ultimately I went to do what I aimed to do – I wrote my Level 2 LPI exams and time will soon tell how successful that was.