“The meeting of two personalities is like the contact of two chemical substances; if there is any reaction, both are transformed.”
On July 3, 2001, my friend Lee Jordan and I boarded the train from Wolverhampton to London. It was early, we had barely slept the previous night, and we should have been grumpy. We were not, though. We were on our way to the Linux Expo at the Olympia Exhibition Hall to run an exhibition stand for the KDE project, and we were jazzed up.
We’d spent two weeks building up to the event, gathering t-shirts, posters, fliers, demonstration machines, leaflets, customized name badges, and more. I was determined to make sure that anyone and everyone who walked past our 6′ × 4′ booth would leave with a memory. Of course, I hoped this memory would be of the incredible technology behind the KDE desktop as opposed to the tired-looking, long-haired 22-year-old with a guitar pick on a chain around his neck.
We got far more than we bargained for. The booth was well received and was in itself a learning experience. We got to understand expectations around KDE far better, got to show off and educate people about the project, and met a number of new contacts. In addition to this, we met many members from elsewhere in the open source community. We also got to meet a range of open source companies and publishers (in fact, it was at that show where I scored my first writing gig). Finally, while at a social event at a nearby ...