February 2, 2001

LinuxWorld journal: I'll do anything for a T-shirt, except that

Author: JT Smith

- by Tina Gasperson -
When it comes to swag, the T-shirts are the prize. Everybody knows that.
Open Source journalist Emmett Plant wrote about T-shirt and other swag protocol last year. T-shirts definitely
top the list of good stuff to get. But this year, vendors are making show
attendees jump through hoops to get their shirts. Funny thing is, the swag
hunters don't seem to mind.Who would have ever thought that seemingly rational people would be idiots about
getting their hands on a yard of cotton jersey with some pretty pictures on it?
Want a shirt from Chilliware? Gotta let the booth babe put a temporary tattoo on your face
advertising the company. Maybe that's not such a bad thing. Most other places
are putting price tags of the monetary kind on their cloth goods. I'll never
pay! Give me free shirts or give me... uh, free bumper stickers or something.

Microsoft infiltrating Linux World?

I don't make this stuff up. Perusing the show floor, I didn't have to go far
before making several close encounters of the Windows kind. For example, a
company called Metrolink, self-described
as "the leader in X Window system software for embedded, Linux and Unix systems," in partnership
with Coventive here at Linux World, was making presentations using Powerpoint.
So was Zelerate, "the leading provider of Open Source e-commerce
applications."

The award for the boldest display of Microsoft usage, though, goes to Veritas.
This "data availability" company's floor area featured about 10 big-screen
setups running on Windows and using Internet Explorer. I wonder if the
salespeople manning the booth were unsure about why no one was visiting them?
Another company unafraid to show up at a Linux event and run Gates-ware was
Nevrona, a Borland programming tools supplier. Like Veritas, their space was
full-blown Microsoft compliant. At least they don't claim to be an Open Source
company, like some of the previously mentioned enterprises do.

Where's that masseuse again, boss?

My editor clued me in to the fact that there was a fifty-ish woman giving
massages somewhere in the rear quadrant of the show floor. After an intense
search, I've turned up nothing so far. Where did you say that lady was, Grant?
After a couple of sleepless nights on the wonder mattress at the Ameritania Hotel, I
could use an expert backrub.

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