So, this weekend (May 6-7), I attended Linuxfest Northwest in Bellingham, Washington. This is one of the oldest Linux conventions in the USA (possibly the world) and remains the largest free convention, thanks to the many sponsors and their World Famous Raffle.
While this year's session offerings were a lot less than previous years, they still had a fairly large turnout. Sessions are geared towards the beginning user, as well as the advanced guru, with something for almost anyone's interests (a few years ago there was a session on how to use Raspberry PI's and Ardinos to brew beer - with a full demonstration and free beer at the Saturday night social). The local high school runs a weekend long demo and tutorial on DIY robotics, and one year my son (when he was still in school) ran a weekend long demo/tutorial on video game design using open source tools.
The culinary class at the Bellingham Technical College (which hosts the fest) puts on an awesome lunch buffet, with the option of a premium lunch menu as well (last year it was Salmon, this year it was Steak and Shrimp).
New this year from Suse Enterprise Linux was a free certification exam for Linux System Administrators. Definitely a good thing to have on your resume. There was also an informal tutorial on Blender, geared for people interested in 3D animation and also designing for 3D Printing.
They also have several off-hours events. Friday nights, instead of camping in your hotel room waiting for the fest to start, you can go socialize and play board games with others. Games are provided, or you can bring your own (my son had Mansions of Madness, others had Cataan, Magic, D&D, etc). You can also preregister, saving you from the lines Saturday morning.
Saturday nights, there is a social event for anyone registered. Every year is at a different location (one was at the local Radio museum, with demonstrations of lightening using large Tesla coils - very cool) with a different theme.
If you are in the area around the last week of April or the first week of May, plan on coming to the fest, even if you don't use Linux. There is always something going on that interests everyone. If you are good at speaking and have a topic of interest, register to run a session. Registration for all people opens around mid January.
Anything you want to chat about...it doesn't have to be related to 3D printing!
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