[sf-lug] The FOSS event in San Mateo

John F. Strazzarino jstrazza at yahoo.com
Mon Mar 3 16:20:49 PST 2008

I brought my 14 year-old son and his friend to the FOSS event in San
Mateo.  I got there about 10 minutes after the event started (10 am)
and was greeted with a wall of volunteers; perhaps 20 in a very small
space.  There were about 20 computers on the floor which needed to have
Ubuntu installed on them.  

There were about a dozen work stations with monitor, kb, mouse, network
cable and software.  All you needed to do was to get a computer, hook
it up and start it up.  The CD had a 'kickstart' (or whatever they call
the Ubuntu version of the redhat kickstart file).  About 40 minutes
later, voila', a working Ubuntu computer, ready for donation to a

About two hours later, we had 'run out' of computers to load, because
they all had been done!  Luckily, the pizza arrived (courtesy of the
Mozilla people, I understand) and we had pizza and soft drinks
(courtesy of Untangle)

My son and his friend manned the 'broken computer' area.  They enjoyed
taking apart the machines and replacing hard drives, memory or video
cards as needed.  The biggest problem seemed to be the lack of hard
drives.  Many computers came without hard drives (I would assume for
security reasons).

I left at 2 pm as I had other obligations, but about a half dozen
people jumped in their cars and headed to Berkeley to get more
machines; as there was some sort of delay in getting more machines.
I don't know the final tally, but my count showed 35 total computers;
with about 28 working with Ubuntu and the others missing some parts.

There was a quick story on the build on the 11 PM news on Channel 5 on
Sunday, but I've been unable to find it on their web site.

All in all, a good event.

John Strazzarino

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