Oct 25, 2011

openSUSE at Lange Nacht der Wissenschaften

Last Saturday Nürnberg and other cities in the region had the so called "Lange Nacht der Wissenschaften" (literal translation: Long night of sciences). During this night - from 18:00 until 1:00 in the morning - over 1000 events took place to show what's happening in companies and research institutions. The event was visited by over 28000 visitors.
The Georg-Simon-Ohm University was so kind to invite openSUSE as a guest on their side for this event. A group of SUSE employees volunteered to present openSUSE.
Jürgen brought his trebuchet with him and put it in front of the main entrance. A trebuchet is a medieval war machine (catapult) and he had build a smaller version for himself. Instead of demonstrating the proper use of the machine - destroying city walls with throwing stones -, we throw small geekos into the crowd that mainly consisted of kids trying to catch the geeko while their parents were looking interestingly at the machine and were sent to our room to get more infos about the machine and open source.
In the room, we gave one of the following four presentations every 30 minutes: Introduction to OpenStreetMap by Christopher Hofmann, digital photo processing by Stephan Barth, simulation of an medieval war machine by Jürgen Weigert and 20 years of Linux by Andreas Jaeger. Jürgen explained how the trebuchet works and how it can be calculated and then demonstrated - using free software - how to simulate the machine and figure out how far it can throw.
We also had our two presentation desktops to showcase open source software - openSUSE 11.4 and it's applications - and a tablet showing Plasma Active.
We explained open source and openSUSE to the many people that visited us and also gave away the openSUSE 11.4 DVDs.
There were a lot of conversations: A visitor that wanted to argue that Windows' Powershell is far better than anything else. When Werner, our shell expert, asked him what he prefers to bash or tcsh, it became clear that he had never checked them out.
I talked with some students that want to become teachers and explained them openSUSE education and how free software makes it easy for them to teach - it gave them a different perspective.
It was a great night for all of us!