LinuxWorld conference & expo quickie review

LinuxWorld conference & expo quickie review

218052389 A8Daa221Bb
We did a quick expo-hall dash at the Linux World Expo – today was the last day, so the expo hall was for the most part dead, the last day after 1pm at any conference that has an expo hall usually is. We were greeted with this puzzling sign, no one under 18 allowed – this of course became the topic of conversation as we hit the floor (others noticed too) – so…here are some photos (just a couple dandy Linux phones), quick notes and a suggestion/idea for the Linux Expo organizers…

Update: IDG responed to our question(s):

Hi Phillip–
Sorry for the delay in responding…I was at an event last week! :-)

Dolomite has it exactly right: LinuxWorld is a free business-to-business trade show, completely subsidized by exhibitors, who invest in those booths to talk with business buyers. The new policy is a direct response to their complaints that we had too many students at the event. We were lenient on the policy in Boston, as we had not made it clear enough on marketing materials, however in San Francisco we did card most registrants. Our exhibitors tell us they have other venues to talk with and reach out to students, but that at LinuxWorld they want to focus on qualified leads. Sorry!

Melinda M. Kendall
Brand Vice President
IDG World Expo
218055243 18D4485Eb7

218055403 2C993744Df
Star of the show for us was the Linux based Qtopia Greenphone – it ships to developers in September, we’ll try and get one to bang on. So, if there’s a MAKE best of show for Linux world, congrats Qtopia, you got it!

218054462 A9E5D0E1E6

218054591 B9F452B0D7

Motorola had these two Linux based phones, the China only the PDA version (according to the Motorola rep has sold over 1 million units and now represents 1% of the smartphone market in China) – no plans / unknown if it will hit the USA.

218054645 7938F191D6
Motorola also had a Dance Dance Revolution hooked up to their Linux phone(s) – lots of fun.

218052389 A8Daa221Bb-1
So here’s the sign, actually there were a few of these, all over the place. I tried to call the conference organizers and also sent them an email asking about the no-one-under-18 policy (no response yet, if there is I’ll post) … I don’t have a problem with keeping things professional, not sure if age=professionalism always, but – perhaps next year on the last day of Linux World expo the organizers could allow under 18 Linux enthusiasts in the expo hall. A lot of the Linux community is under 18, heck the more I talked to people and the more this came up, the more people cited prolific individuals contributing to Linux who are under 18. Maybe it could be under 18 with parent or guardian, maybe it could be something else – but surely there’s a compromise to get our under 18 Linux users pals in. At Maker Faire, the biggest delight was watching families tinker with computers, build things together and meet Makers from around the world – It’s too late to change the policy for this year, but Linux World Expo could easily address this now and figure out something… What do you think?

(see update above from IDG).

28 thoughts on “LinuxWorld conference & expo quickie review

  1. says:

    COMDEX used to have a minimum age of, I think, 16. I never really knew why.

  2. philliptorrone says:

    i heard “insurance” – but i am waiting to hear from the organizers… but, at maker faire we had flames, rockets, robots and well, everything – kids were allowed in for free :)

  3. eccramer says:

    I want a Qtopia sooo bad now. I was ogling it the other day, but seeing a picture of the real deal makes me want it even more. This may replace my current WinMob smartphone if it’s really good. Thanks for the pics Make:Blog

  4. phildini says:

    I attended LinuxWorld on the last day as a 17-yr-old. While they said they checked for ID, a nice suit and a smile (keys of live social engineering) made me look “professional” enough that they didn’t even ask for me id. Gret event, though. :)

  5. philliptorrone says:

    hmm, maybe it was a test this 17 year old got in fine :)

  6. Poopy says:

    Ahaha probably when they saw me at CeBIT. They made this. :)

  7. fishdan says:

    Comdex was usually in Vegas — I assume that’s why they had the age restriction. That and the strippers.

  8. johnalex says:

    I took 20 of my students to Linux World Boston from Ny last year, we were told that no one under 18 was to be admitted, I said we drove all the way from NY and Now you tell us this? They let us in since at registration they out ages of 16 in and were let register. I called, and had tem all email the orginizers and we never gott a response. Also some of the exibitors were not very nice to the kids and I told them to remind these people in a couple of years they will be begging for you attention.

  9. Dolomite says:

    The truth is, these companies pay alot of money to come to this expo and display their wares. They are looking for solid leads to sell their products to and increase their revenue. I would guess that most high school kids that come to this wouldn’t have much interest in spending any money and just come for the free swag. I have never been to this expo, but maybe in the past they were over run by swarms of underage computer geeks looking for freebies. The rule must have come from somewhere, but I would think any exposure is good exposure.

  10. kuriharu says:

    One, they don’t card people. I saw quite a few youngin’s there so you could sneak in a few. Two, they say this on the website when you register. It seems kind of silly to drive from far away without checking this. Plus you have to pre-register to see it for free. Otherwise, you have to pay at the door.
    Someone else said it best; the companies pay lots of money to try to sell their products (I’m going to get calls next week I’m sure) so it makes sense that they put a few restrictions on who gets the free t-shirts and squishy balls….

  11. philliptorrone says:

    Dolomite – many of the adults i saw just collected schwag – while the under 18 linux enthusiasts i’ve now read/emailed with all went to learn and see what services they will suggest to their companies / purchase / use it… sorta ironic.

    heck HUMMER is working with mcdonalds promoting their cars – seems like we’d collective want to at least let uner 18 linux users in for at least one day, and/or with parent/guardian.

  12. says:

    of course they can’t let anyone in under the national legal age of consent: once inside, it’s all


    seriously, this is ridiculous. they owe all of us an explanation.

  13. philliptorrone says:

    still no response from these folks, sorry gang :(

  14. Dolomite says:

    Could be a legal issue. I seem to remember a story not too long ago where Apple Computer was rejecting work submitted but an underage person working on OpenDarwin. I don’t remember the details exactly, but I think the issue was that the minor could not legally be held to follow the EULA or agreements or whatever it is the source was released under.

Comments are closed.

Discuss this article with the rest of the community on our Discord server!

current: @adafruit - previous: MAKE, popular science, hackaday, engadget, fallon, braincraft ... howtoons, 2600...

View more articles by Phillip Torrone


Maker Faire Bay Area 2023 - Mare Island, CA

Escape to an island of imagination + innovation as Maker Faire Bay Area returns for its 15th iteration!

Buy Tickets today! SAVE 15% and lock-in your preferred date(s).