[nSLUG] Richard Stallman in Halifax

Richard Bonner ak621 at chebucto.ns.ca
Wed Jan 28 09:59:51 AST 2009

On Wed, 28 Jan 2009, Daniel Morrison wrote:

> 2009/1/28 Daniel Enman <microburn at gmail.com>:
>> So everyone who went... do tell for those of us who couldn't make 
>> it for one reason or another. How was it?

> It was 2 hours, 14 minutes, and eleven seconds from the start of
> introductions to when the stage dissolved into a mass of people
> collecting free stickers, immediately following the end of questions.

***   Ahh, a time freak! I love preciseness, Daniel! It should be 
pointed out that the time included questions from the audience.

> It was thoroughly enjoyable, a few laughs, a relatively fast-paced
> tour through the philosophies of Free Software (although it did seem
> to bog down a little during the "Gnu-slash-Linux" plea).

***   I agree. However, one might expect there to be some of that 
given his role in that system.

> The audience was large, generally receptive and well-mannered -- very
> quiet. I don't know the official count.  My completely wild guess
> would be 500 or more.

***   I think at least 500 or 600.

> Nothing he said was particularly new (although there were topical 
> jokes: Bush couldn't recognize freedom even after he crushed it). 
> But the presentation was thorough and well-presented. An excellent 
> introduction as well as a good review.

***   I thought some of his ideas were extreme, but I was receptive to 
all of them. I'd say that most of the audience fell somewhere in 
between the concept of complete freedom regarding software and its 
development through to end user, versus proprietary, for-sale, 
copyrighted software.

> There followed a long line-up for autographs, at which point I left --
> about 9:45pm.

***   I think I was there till about 10:15. I spoke with Richard for
a few minutes at the very end, mainly in relation to the somewhat poor 
setup due to deficiency in the organisation of the lecture. Since this 
is my professional field, I am more critical, but briefly, there 
should have been proper lighting and Richard should have at least 
been provided with water for his two-hour, plus talk. I also felt that 
flash photography should have been prohibited.

    I put blame on both sides: Richard (or his people) for not 
specifying better in his contract rider as to exactly what was 
required, and Dal tech crew for not better anticipating what a 
lecturer might require, rider or not.

    Regardless, in the end, I think that was mainly forgotten once the 
lecture got into full swing. I was glad I went.


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