Open Source Software (in Vancouver) part 3

OSS Presentation

On Wednesday (Aug 2nd), I finally went to UBC Robson Square and did my presentation for VanDev. It went okay, I guess. And I’m certainly relieved it’s over! But I think some people were expecting to learn more about free (and open source) software. If people get what they’re not expecting, they’re likely to be disappointed. This was difficult for me, because I had barely started working on the presentation when a description was required.

I wanted to create a non-technical/fun presentation, and I think many of the experienced people wanted something more technical. There was a huge spectrum of knowledge, from people completely unfamiliar with FLOSS to experts (and much more versed than I, but that’s not saying much). I think the less experienced people probably got more out of it.

I know I was looking at my laptop screen a lot, but I just hadn’t memorized everything. Also, I may have mumbled or spoke too fast, at times. I have to work on these things, but I am getting better. I don’t know if I ever really “finished” the presentation, as I was working on it until the last minute, pretty much. It would have been nice to have a sense of “conclusion,” at least, with the actual slides. heh.

Presenting in Linux

Amazingly, I successfully used Linux with the projector! This required coming in a day early and doing some tests. The room I was testing in was right next to the System Administrator’s office, and they noticed me fiddling at the front, so almost as soon as I arrived, there were two guys helping me out. Of course, people doing presentations on Linux is not common, so it wasn’t so smooth. But they did find me horizontal sync and vertical refresh rates. You only need to specify these in the xorg.conf if X has trouble detecting them, but for the Epson Powerlite 7600p projector, it did. For reference, I put these values in the xorg.conf in the “Monitor” section:

HorizSync 15-107
VertRefresh 43-120

and I used the proprietary Nvidia drivers, with TwinView enabled on “clone” mode. I would love it if this “just worked.” 🙁

I used Impress to create the presentation, but wasn’t terribly happy with the performance when actually stepping through picture intensive slides. I remedied this by exporting the presentation to PDF and using Evince in presentation mode, which worked great.

Lessons Learned

  1. In the summary, be as concise about the content of the presentation as possible. This is most easily done if the presentation is already complete. 🙂
  2. Finish your presentation two days before you have to do it. (I was working on mine until the last minute.)
  3. Rehearse at least twice completely, and once the day of. I found it really helpful to record myself and play it back.
  4. Test the presentation setup you will be using (the exact computer and projector) preferably two days in advance. I did it the day prior, but was fairly lucky with the results.


Overall, I’m satisfied with how everything turned out, and it was a good experience!

I recorded the audio of the presentation and will look into combining the audio and a video recording of the slides to release later. I just have to go through all the images and check copyrights…. *sigh*.Can anyone recommend any good FOSS tools for creating a video from slides?

Ubuntu 6.06 LTS CDs

I used Ubuntu’s Shipit to get some CDs for the presentation, and I still have lots of Ubuntu CDs left. If you want a CD, let me know. Breakdown:

  • 16 PC (had 28)
  • 3 PC 64bit (had 5)
  • 3 Mac (had 5)

Oh, and I got stickers, too! :mrgreen:

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3 Comments on “Open Source Software (in Vancouver) part 3”

  1. » Blog Archive » Catching Up Says:

    […] Sometimes bearded, sometimes not. Sometimes updated, sometimes not. « Open Source Software (in Vancouver) part 3 […]

  2. Alex Says:

    I actually DO want a v.6.06 CD. 🙂 Reserve me one, and I’ll get it from you sometime.

  3. Steve Says:

    Consider it done! 🙂

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