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Mark Your Calendars For April 22-23rd

Go to the Desktop Linux Summit website

If your responsibility is to stay abreast of the latest desktop Linux developments for your business or school, you simply must attend the 2nd Annual Desktop Linux Summit in Del Mar, CA on April 22nd and 23rd. It's a two day event with a wide range of speakers, as well as an exhibit hall where you will be able to see products up close and personal. (We have one extra special speaker who I'm thrilled is speaking that you really won't want to miss - more on that below!) Registering online is quick and cheap - just $50 for the two-day event and includes lunch both days. Registration is limited and the price goes up before the event, so you'll want to act quickly.

The Desktop Linux Summit is a unique event patterned after the MP3 Summit conferences which ran for 4 years and became the epicenter of the MP3 movement. Companies such as dmusic, emusic, dimensionmusic, and Musicmatch were bought, merged, showcased and dreamed up at the conferences. New MP3 hardware and software products often debuted, including Sonique, Winamp, car MP3 players, home MP3 boxes, and much more. And there was no shortage of controversial speakers introducing new thoughts and ideas which I learned a lot from, such as IceT, Jim Griffin, and Ian Clarke of Freenet.

What made the MP3 Summit unique also makes the Desktop Linux Summit unique - it's not a profit-center like most conferences. Our number one goal is to bring together all the diverse forces and ideas, not to make money. Because of that, registration fees are a modest $50, which includes access to all speaking events and the exhibit hall, even lunch for 2 days, and a goodie bag. Some events I attend cost hundreds, or over $1,000, which limits attendance to only the well-to-do, which in turn limits the ideas. Since Linux is in its early growth stages, many of the best ideas, companies, and players are just being hatched, and their participation is critical.

Go to the Desktop Linux Summit website

Similarly, companies and organizations can exhibit for as little as $500, making the Desktop Linux Summit the most economical way for a Linux company to reach a large audience. It also means that new companies can attend without breaking their budget. Another unique touch is that all exhibits are identical in size and design. No booth towers over others, drowning out small guys. Some of the biggest names in technology are already exhibiting, such as Novell, Red Hat, Sun, Computer Associates, AMD, and Seagate. Equally important is the wide range of young companies, of which we expect three times as many as last year. (Non-profit open source companies can exhibit for free.)

Besides the exhibitors and attendees, you'll find a roster stocked with provocative speakers. Unlike many conferences, we don't pay any of our speakers. They come to speak because they truly want to reach out to the audience and help shape thought and development in a new industry. We're still preparing the final speaker list, but one speaker who has confirmed, which I'm personally, tremendously excited about hearing from is Jef Raskin. Jef is the creator of Apple's Macintosh, the Canon Cat, click-and-drag selection and other inventions. He even coined the term and the concept of "information appliances." Wow. He's going to tell us what's wrong with today's windowing interface and how, with Linux, we have a chance to do it better, including a demo I'm really looking forward to.

I hope you'll consider registering for and attending this year's Desktop Linux Summit April 22nd-23rd, because I'm confident that you will leave with a great snapshot of where Desktop Linux is and where it is headed. The entire team will be manning the conference and is committed to making it a valuable event. You may even see me waving a flag in the parking lot directing traffic!

-- Michael

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