[conspire] (real) Installfest in a Box

Don Marti dmarti at zgp.org
Tue Jun 16 09:38:08 PDT 2009

begin Nick Moffitt quotation of Tue, Jun 16, 2009 at 10:30:33AM +0100:

> When I was first encountering Linux in 1994 or 95, I went to one of the
> Eskimo North Port user meets in Ballard (now a fashionable hipster
> neighborhood of Seattle, but then a dreary postindustrial fishing
> community full of OAP Swedish-Americans).

Out And Proud?

> This was before I ever had
> access to a CD-ROM drive, but I remember that Linux Journal (then also
> based out of Ballard) had made up fancy-looking CD-ROMs containing the
> installation diskette images for most major Linux distributions of the
> time (booting off CD-ROM was something I think only Macs did back then).

You had to mess with DIP switches and the BIOS
and stuff but you could get some motherboard/CDROM
controller board combinations to do it.

> They'd printed it to look like a hex nut, and the logotype proudly
> proclaimed it a "LUGnut CD-ROM".  
> I only brought up this trip down memory lane to note that I still think
> that that's a cute name (and yes, too cute for most purposes nowadays).
> Also I bet someday those discs will be good collectable material, if you
> get them before the media degrade (I read that properly pressed CD-ROMs
> of that vintage had an estimated median lifespan of about 50 years).

There was also a product called "Infomagic Developer's
Resource" that included current freely redistributable
install disks for at least Slackware, Debian, and
Red Hat.

The problem now is that the distributions are so
large relative to the media.  You really can't just
burn a set of everything and carry it around.

But really, how many distributions would a new Linux
home user be able to get local help on?  Debian,
of course, and either Ubuntu or Fedora, but can
an installfest justify setting someone up with a
distribution that doesn't have active local users
who would be able to answer the inevitable "how do
I get my printer set up?" question?

(Rick, two words: vending machine.  Put your drinks,
snacks, and media in there, and Bob's your uncle.  Oh,
wait, then you'd just have people bugging you to give
them coins or new $1s in exchange for their crumply,
stinky ones.)

Don Marti                                 +1 510-332-1587 mobile
dmarti at zgp.org
See you at OpenSource World: August 11-13, 2009 in San Francisco

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