Last saturday we had a run of FLISoL. I was present to Bogotá's instance as an installer. It's so wonderful to see all those guys going somewhere with the only purpose of helping other people (plus hanging out afterwards).
There were roughly 30 installers overall. 121 machines got worked on. Roughly 100 of them got a GNU/Linux installed/updated on them. 55 of them were Ubuntus (and such), 21 of them got Debians (no love for RPMs here in Bogotá, guys.... sorry), 12 of them got Mandriva, 4 of them got OpenSuSE, 2 got Fedoras plus a few others.
I got to install Kubuntu 9.04 64 on a machine (cause I didn't have Ubuntu 64 at hand), plus another Ubuntu 9.04 32. Unfortunatly I had to leave early cause of family matters. Till the moment I left things were flowing normally.
The environment was cool though we were a little crammed.
We were going to have some servers with mirrors of the repositories of the major distributions. Unfortunately the mirrors weren't up till a couple of hours later which meant that the first installations that went through had to download stuff from internet repositories.... and with so many installations going on at once, you can guess how fast that went through. Unfortunately not having the mirrors from the start could have easily added 20 minutes (being optimistic) to the installation times of that first round. For my second installation the mirrors were already in place and that went much faster.
The thing to keep in mind for every installation you do is trying to get it well done in as short amount of time as possible, and having the "customer" understand the basic things (most important of all: package manager). That can be a little tricky to balance.
Another letdown was that we couldn't use the application I had worked on (along with Jorge) to gather all the information about the boxes once they were finished. It was probably because of the same reason we didn't have the mirrors up when we started. Fortunately that was not a show stopper.. I hope we'll be using it for other coming events.
In one of our previous installers' mettings we had been told not to bring anything to the Festival (other than the strictly necessary). Last year one computer got lost and they didn't want the same to happen again.
Well.... the Festival wasn't even started and not one but two laptops were already missing. Apparently there's a guy who has this custom of fooling around at the library to see which unwary person he can try to con. One person was candid enough to hand him with two laptops he/she was carrying while he/she did something else. A while later the person who got the boxes was missing... along with the two boxes. A strong reminder for me that, even if Bogotá is not as insecure as Maracaibo or Caracas, it's not Vienna (don't want to start a war here, guys, it's just my appreciation).
Here, here and here.
I liked the experience very much. I hope I can work on it next year as well. I still haven't seen statistics of Colombia or Latin America overall... Let's just hope they are as good (or even better) than Bogotá's.
I already learned that Maracaibo (my hometown in Venezuela) will be having its FLISoL next saturday (don't know why).
And for those who are curious: Nope, Microsoft didn't hand out anything for FLISoL. But given their last quarter's results, who can blame them?