[Ubuntu-US-CA] San Francisco Jaunty Jackalope party report

Jesse Zbikowski embeddedlinuxguy at gmail.com
Sun Apr 26 04:24:51 UTC 2009

The San Francisco Jaunty Jackalope release party was held on Thursday
April 23 and was by all accounts a great success.  It was quite well
attended; I would roughly estimate several dozen people or 50-60.  We
held the party in conjunction with a group of technically inclined
electronic musicians on the Mp3Death.US Creative Commons netlabel, and
they were responsible for a good portion of the draw.  The event was
billed variously as "Ubuntu Linux Release Party featuring Linux Music
& Robots", or "Jens and the Jaunty Jackalope" (Jens being one of the
performers).  "Robots" was a reference to the Orb SWARM project, which
brought two of its machines to perform; they both ran embedded Debian
on a TS-7800 board.

Our contact with Mp3Death.US was through its founder Jordan Gray, who
presented the previous month at Bay Area Linux Users Group.  Jordan
makes all of his music on Linux; his main tools are the open source
MIXXX and LittleGPTracker applications, and he performs using two
Linux-based devices: an EeePC netbook (running Ubuntu) and Game Park
GP2X handheld.  Jordan graciously agreed to perform at the event, and
in addition enlisted several of his friends to perform on the bill.
They had been planning to throw a birthday party for a couple of their
DJs, so we agreed to combine parties.  We also recruited
interim_descriptor, author of the open source "dvj" music
visualization software.  INTD ran projections on the wall for the his
own set as well as the other artists'.

The Orb SWARM team demonstrated one of their robots rolling around the
floor inside its shell (2 1/2 ft diameter aluminum sphere cage).  The
orb interacted with partygoers, operated by a SWARM crewman with
remote control.  In addition to moving around the floor it flashed
patterns on a matrix of multicolored LEDs and produced a variety of
sounds.  Besides the shelled orb, we set up a naked robot on a table
where people could see its inner workings.  It was connected by
crossover cable to a laptop, and we ran a telnet session into the
robot to demonstrate the Debian command line of the embedded ARM
processor inside.

About half the party space was taken up by a laptop area where people
were doing various things on Linux.  Grant Bowman performed a fresh
Linux install on an HP Netbook, using the Jaunty Jackalope Ubuntu
Netbook Remix bootable USB stick he made earlier that day.  We also
gave away a Jaunty Jackalope CD on request.  A number of other
interesting Linux devices were present, including an OLPC XO laptop
and a phone-sized Nokia device running Debian (brought by a member of
Noisebridge, the local hacking space).

A good time was had by all and we hope to repeat our success in
October for Karmic Koala.

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