[Linux-aus] LA's SFD CD Run

Jon 'maddog' Hall maddog at li.org
Tue Aug 25 20:03:43 EST 2009

>You make a good point here about the difficulty of measuring the
>results of Software Freedom Day activities. I gave out a lot of CDs on
>SFD 07 and spoke with many people. I have no way of knowing whether I
>made a difference anywhere or not. I don't recall seeing anyone turn
>up for a CLUG meeting as a result of SFD, though it may have happened.

Did you also write down for them, or have on a sheet of paper the
information about your meeting?

Back before AOL started putting out CDs, they would send out floppy
disks which could be re-written, and our LUG would create "Nun" ("New
User Night") floppies, which had pointers off to interesting web sites
about FOSS, including our own web site.

Perhaps an ISO image that (when booted live off the CD) would bring up
the browser and point to your LUG site's "Newbie" page would be one way
of making sure they had booth the distro and the information about your
web site.

> Is it time to have a MythBuntu
> live CD, an Audio Studio Live CD, an Open StreetMap CD, a... ? In
> short, what content should have priority for best representing the
> awesomeness of FOSS when trying to promote it on SFD?
Depends on your audience and what you are trying to get across to them
and is another reason to burn the distro real time after you have a
chance to talk with them.

At a ham fest held each year we would find out what they wanted, take a
small "donation" to cover costs and let them wander off while we burned
the CD(s) they wanted.  The "small donation" meant they probably would
come back later to pick them up.

I am at a conference in Vietnam right now.  After the conference I am
giving a one-day training class in FOSS to the attendees and business
people from Hanoi.  I wanted them to have some "hands-on", but did not
relish the idea of burning a lot of CDs when I did not know the number
of CDs to burn.  Thumbdrives would have been practical except for the
cost.  Plus I still did not know if the software would work on their
notebooks that they were bringing.

My brainstorm was to write up simple instructions on how to download
a distribution and create a "live CD-RW", then boot the distribution
"live" to test it on their system, then show them how to make a
thumb-drive version and boot that to test it.  Sent to all of the
participants to register, they will have the choice of a CD or
thumb-drive to bring to the class along with their already-tested

Of course I had access to the attendee list, which you do not have with
Software Freedom Day, but you might use my "trick" at some other time to
avoid making lots of CD's and thumb-drives for a class.


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