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San Francisco Ubuntu 14.04 Release Party

On Thursday, April 24th, the Ubuntu California team celebrated the 14.04 release with a party in San Francisco.

Our parties prior to this one had been more loosely organized, typically meeting up at a brewery or restaurant to just enjoy some food, drinks and the company of each other. This time, for the LTS, I wanted to do something bigger and more organized. Laptops! Tablets! A quiz with prizes! A presentation!

James Ouyang of the Ubuntu California team put me in touch with Patrick Adair of AdRoll in downtown San Francisco where they offered to host the event. I’m really excited that we were able to make this partnership work, the venue ended up being perfectly sized for our needs, plenty of space for food and demos and places for folks to sit without feeling like an overwhelming space to fill.

The day before the event I met up with Eric P. Scott to head over to Costco to pick up cookies and chips for the event. We also put together a wiki page where people could share what hardware they were bringing. Michael Paoli and Robert Wall brought laptops to demo. Robert also brought along a Nexus 7 tablet, as did Grant Bowman, which with mine gave us a total of three tablets running Ubuntu for folks to play with. Thankfully Eric had the foresight to bring along some hand wipes so our pizza + tablets event wasn’t a problem.

With the help of James and Will, who came by my home prior to the event to help haul all my stuff over, I brought along 3 of my own laptops, Ubuntu 64-bit on my main personal laptop, Xubuntu 14.04 32-bit on my mini9, and Lubuntu PPC on my old PowerBook.

We wanted some structure to the event, so Robert and I made up some quiz questions prior to the event, which I printed up for folks to fill out. Michael Paoli and I brought along a couple Ubuntu books to give away, and Jono Bacon brought along 3 copies of his Art of Community to give out as well.

I also gave a short presentation about some of the new features of this Ubuntu release, and then left them on rotate on the projector for the rest of the event. Slides from my presentation are available on SpreadUbuntu: http://spreadubuntu.org/en/material/presentation/ubuntu-1404-whats-new

We had pizzas delivered (thanks to the Community Donations Funding distributed by Canonical) and with an event of 40-50 people as the event progressed I managed to get the number right with 11 18″ pizzas of various types.

The event ran from 6-9PM, which felt like a good amount of time for demos and lively chatting among the attendees. It was really great to see some folks who hadn’t come out to events in a while, and as always the new faces who I was able to chat with about projects and work they’re doing with Ubuntu, plus sharing tips as newcomers navigated the interface of the tablets.

Huge thanks to everyone who contributed to this event and joined us! It’s was a lot of work, but I think it would be great to at least strive to continue these for the LTS releases.

Photos I (and James) took during the event here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/pleia2/with/14023115873/

And thanks to Sameer Verma for also taking photos, available here: https://plus.google.com/photos/+SameerVerma/albums/6006302887746284977

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