(First) Linux Info Day in Ettlingen

On November 9th, the “Linux User Group Albtal” (LUG Albtal) which I am part
of held their first “Linux Infoday” in Ettlingen. While already having been founded 4.5 years ago, this was our first “public appearance”.

We manned a total of 6 “booths” with the topics “Linux in everyday life”,
“graphical desktops”, “virtualization”, “OpenStreetMap“, “Multimedia”,
“Games” and “Gimp“. Additionally, there was a PC for visitors to “fool around
with” so they get an idea of what Linux feels like, and some additional
systems hooked up to projector/TV to create some eyecatcher videos.

Visitors of the "Linux Infotag"
Visitors of the “Linux Infotag”

My booth was the “Multimedia” part, although it was really (obviously 😉
mostly about sound&audio applications. Setting up the gear took a little while, but was well spent – everything was at some point during that day.

My gear for the "Multimedia booth". I admit a 5-octave keyboard would have been better at times..
My gear for the “Multimedia booth”. I admit a 5-octave keyboard would have been better at times..

Since this was a first-time for us and we essentially had no budget at all,
we had no idea how much audience we would be able to attract. We did some
advertising through free newspapers in our region and distributing self-made
leaflets to local shops, but we already knew that this would not be seen by
many.

Ok, so to sum it up already now: We had visitors, but it could have been more.
In total, there were perhaps 15-20 attendees across the whole day.

However, the individual “visits” were few but long (30 minutes, or even up to
one hour), so there was neither a feeling of being really bored, nor of
“having a queue waiting”. For now, we proved that we can put this up together,
which was good, and we might do a similar thing again next year, but we will
perhaps need some kind of sponsor to be able to do more advertising.

Still, for me personally the whole event was definitely a success – I had started
early to put together some “demo material”, and due to that I was kind of “forced”
to actually use some Linux audio software more than I would typically do.
While doing that, I discovered some new applications I had never used before, I
found updates of programs that had been rotting on my harddisk for a while,
and I found some programs to be a lot more stable than my past experience
had taught me.

Most prominently, qtractor as my main MIDI/audio sequencer application, has
really matured during the last 1-2 years since I was actually able to put
together a small radio play with it (audio tracks only) without seeing
qtractor crash on me a single time within 2-3 days of usage. Way to go, Rui! 🙂

Screenshot of qtractor while producing my first little radio play.
Screenshot of qtractor while producing my first little radio play.

The results of this work can be found below – but beware, it’s in German, and
there’s quite a bit of local gibberish in it. Inhabitants of Germany’s southwest
will easily recognize that I am not from around here (I am north-german
by birth), but I’ve tried to put in some Baden/swabian phrases that I learnt
since I moved here.

Sure, there are some weaknesses in there – pop sounds, cheap vocal performance – but it was big fun to put this together, and in the end that is still what counts most for me..for now.

 

So, bottom line is: While the event was not as much frequented as we had hoped,
I am perfectly fine with the results for now since I was able to establish a kind of
“workflow” for my own ideas, and that workflow proved to be pretty stable.
That means: The road is paved now for actually making music and producing a
first glass master ;^).