"Linux Gazette...making Linux just a little more fun!"

COMDEX/Fall '97

By Carlie Fairchild

Linux Expo 97 Photo Album

Las Vegas, Nevada is host each year to one of the largest technology trade shows in the U.S.--COMDEX/Fall. This year nearly 220,000 industry professionals lined up to find, test and research the latest technologies from the leading industry vendors.

Earlier in the year the staff of Linux Journal volunteered to coordinate the COMDEX/Fall Linux Pavilion. Coordinating the event turned out to mean hours of preparation, and, luckily, vendors were quick to lend a hand. Kit Cosper of Linux Hardware Solutions managed to talk the spirit of Linux into Softbank, the sponsor of the COMDEX show. As a result, COMDEX personnel were very cooperative and worked with us to ensure that the floor space for the pavilion was in the best possible site; that is, we weren't hidden away in a back corner.

Attendees seemed pleased to find many of their favorite Linux vendors in one convenient and easy-to-find area. Vendors present included Caldera, Linux Hardware Solutions, Enhanced Software Technologies, S.u.S.E., Red Hat Software, Hard Data, Quant-X, Infomagic, LinuxMall, Linux International and, of course, Linux Journal.

Jon "maddog" Hall barely held his own against the hordes of Linux enthusiasts visiting the Linux International booth. Several members of the Linux community kindly volunteered their time to staff the Linux International booth, answering questions and spreading the word about Linux. Volunteers included Marc Merlin, Ira Abramov, Dan Peri and Richard Demanowski.

Red Hat Software announced the December 1 release of Red Hat Linux 5.0. To mark the event, Red Hat balloons filled the Linux Pavilion area of the convention center. The Linux mascot, Tux the penguin, was carried away in all of the excitement (see photo).

S.u.S.E., a popular European Linux vendor, also announced the latest release of their Linux distribution, S.u.S.E. 5.1. This was S.u.S.E.'s first appearance at COMDEX, and considering their rapid growth in the U.S. market, it will most likely not be their last. Their distribution demonstrations proved to be great crowd pleasers, compliments of Bodo, Rolf, Michael and James Gray, the President of S.u.S.E. U.S. (See review of S.u.S.E. in this issue.)

Clarica Grove, Britta Kuybus and I staffed the Linux Journal booth. We were quite pleased with the turnout of this year's show. During last year's COMDEX, we were kept busy explaining what Linux is to all comers. We were pleased to find that this year's COMDEX attendees had remembered and done their homework from last year. Not only did most people we spoke with know about Linux, but many of them are using it and very excited with their results. It goes to show that the popularity of Linux is indeed growing. Linux is being looked at more than ever as a cost-effective, viable operating system. Thanks to years of dedicated work by all of the Linux vendors, Linux International and the Linux community, we are now able to begin enjoying the success of Linux. This year's COMDEX Linux Pavilion was a showcase of this success.

Linux Journal would like to thank everyone involved with this year's show--look forward to seeing you there next year.

Copyright © 1997, Carlie Fairchild
Published in Issue 23 of the Linux Gazette, December 1997