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The Michael's Minute Meter
Desktop Linux Summit Awards

Over 500 people gathered at the first Desktop Linux Summit which included more than 30 booths - each equipped with computers that attendees could get their hands on the latest technology. Here are the award winners from the best exhibits at the show:

Iyer Venkatesan, Sun StarOffice Product Line Manager

$300-Off Coupon Award:
Attendees could visit the Sun Microsystems booth and see how they could use StarOffice for under $100 to open and edit their Microsoft Word, Excel and Powerpoint formatted documents instead of the $400+ Microsoft Office suite. They also gave a great talk on the future of StarOffice and it looks bright.

Most "Gasps" Award:
The LindowsFamily booth pitted the Family Computer against MSN and AOL's Parental Controls. Viewers were shocked when shown the "one window" security approach of Parental Controls which permits a user to simply launch a new browser window to completely circumvent all filtering. Fortunately, they were also shown the integrated safety approach of LindowsFamily with SurfSafe which works with all software on the computer - and yes, more than one window! It even blocks images in pornographic spam.

Linux Myth-Buster Award:
Central Command was showing VirusSafe, antivirus software which protects against Linux viruses. Sadly, there are Linux viruses and there will surely be more in the future. Now, desktop Linux users can have the same proactive tools as their Microsoft Windows counterpart.

Messiest Booth Award:
Epson showed up with a truckload of printers working well with Linux, demonstrating just how committed they are to supporting Linux on the desktop. In particular, they were showing off the Epson Stylus C82 Inkjet with non-smear ink. They'd print a page, pour a glass of water on it and it wouldn't smear. Impressive!

Booth That Needed a Time-Limit Award:
The $799 Lindows Mobile PC exhibit had five of the incredibly affordable and light 2.9 lb. Linux laptops on display. Unfortunately, users had to be pried away from them once they started playing with them so others could get a chance. Nice to see an affordable Linux laptop for the first time. Let's hope there are more models from more vendors in the future!

Goodie Bag Surprise Award:

Besides showing their incredible font technology (which is an area where Linux has some catching up to do with others in the industry), Bitstream also included some fonts on their marketing CD in every goodie bag. Anyone who pops the CD into their computer will get more than marketing drivel. 

"Where's The Fun Stuff?" Award:
Garagegames and Transgaming tied for this award by giving attendees a couple bar stools where they could come test their gaming skills with several games like the best selling game of all time, The Sims, as well as new games like MarbleBlast.

Most Products in a Booth Award:
NovaPC showed off a complete line of computers including the latest LindowsFamily computer. It's great to see a computer retailer really getting behind Linux in a big way.

International Team Award:
SuSE's General Manager for the Americas, Holger Dryoff who was born in Germany, extolled the virtues of both SuSE's server and desktop Linux offerings in almost perfect English, with just that European hint of "je ne sais quois."

There were many more exhibitors and two days of great speakers which made this year's event a rousing success. It's clear that desktop Linux has unstoppable momentum. Thanks to all the participants and attendees!

-- Michael

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