Fedora 24 Release Party Novi Sad

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I just finished organizing my first event for Fedora - Fedora 24 Release Party in Novi Sad!

We had three great talks, a Fedora quiz, around 60 very happy people and a lot more. :)

The pictures from the event are here: http://imgur.com/a/5TE3O

The presentations and the quiz (for the curious) are here: https://nmilosev.fedorapeople.org/f24rpns/

Big thanks once again to Department of Mathematics and Informatics of the Faculty of Sciences in Novi Sad for having us. Also big thanks to Kveta and Romana from Red Hat for getting us t-shirts, stickers and a lot more in time, even though Serbian customs were tough. Lastly, huge thanks to everyone who helped with the organization, and to Doni Pracner and Momcilo Medic (FedoraUser) for the great presentations.

When I catch some time (and my breath) I will write a more detailed report, so stay tuned! :)

 The report

First of all sorry for not writing this on time. I was really busy and went to a summer school in Austria (which was awesome by the way). Anyway the party:

It was awesome! This was my first time organizing a Fedora event (or any kind of event) so there were some issues, but overall I had one of the most fun days ever.

 Before the release party

When you organize a release party Fedora will send you some swag (t-shirts, pens, stickers, tattoos (!!!), etc.). However, because of some stupid law in my country the whole box of goodies from Red Hat in Brno was impounded and I was told (very rudely) by an extremely rude woman from FedEx that I would have to pay upward of 100 euros to get my package. The worst part is that they could not even tell me when the package would arrive. I did not know what to do, and I accepted (signed bunch of really bad stuff) only to be told that no, I can’t import this package because I can only import one thing at a time, and clearly there were multiple pens, stickers etc. in the package. This made me very sad and angry, because I could not do anything about it even after explaining that these are gifts for an University event (after telling them it was an University event, they went on that I would need a signed paper from my University that these are items for an event, ughhh!).

Enter RedHat Brno. Two very kind Red Hat employees involved with Fedora Project told me not to worry at all, and tried to resolve issue with FedEx. In the end, after dealing with FedEx angriest office in the world, another package was sent again, this time via DHL and arrived in 22 hours straight to my doorstep, with the driver even apologizing for being late, because he had to stop for refreshments - it was very hot that day.

I was very happy and thankful, and honestly could not believe to what lengths Red Hat from Brno was ready to go for me, a new ambassador from Serbia, to get the package in time. I’m still in disbelief how kind, nice and persistent they were. I never experienced anything like it - and it made me realize that Fedora Project is like one extremely widespread, large and very close family. :)

So, top tip: don’t use FedEx.

 Organization

I had so much help from the University, it was amazing! Professor Danijela Tesendic (thank you again), a long time Fedora user and enthusiast helped so much and without her, I am not sure if the release party would even be possible to have.

She got the largest amphitheater on the department just for us! I printed some posters and made a Facebook event so we could invite more people and students. In the end, about 60 people came and went. All the pictures are in the top album, still. :)

For food and drinks we used local stores. If you come to Novi Sad, you have to go to http://www.carolijapeciva.com/ store! They have the best pastries ever. They delivered before they said they will and were so nice and kind. They gave us a good price, too! We will definitely use them in the future.

 The event

The event started at noon. Head of the Department of Mathematics and Informatics (Milos Rackovic) opened the event with a short talk about the current state of CS/IT in our area and on our faculty which was extremely nice. Right after that, I started my talk.

 Talk 1

My talk was about what is Fedora, how can one contribute to Fedora, how to get Fedora and some top tips for new Fedora users. Overall I think people liked it, and the best part for me was that many good questions were asked in the break afterwards. The slides are available also at the top of this page.

 Talk 2

Teaching assistant from the department, Doni Pracner, held a very good talk about different options when choosing desktop environments and window managers. The thing I loved the most about this talk was how it introduced a point that when using FOSS operating system you can really choose and modify everything. I also loved the type of the presentation. Instead of using a common presentation file made in Impress or PowerPoint, Doni used reveal.js which I only learned about then and liked it very much.

 Talk 3

For the third talk, our fellow ambassador Momcilo Medic (FedoraUser), held a fantastic introduction to FOSS principles and why Freedom (in both ways) matters. I loved how he presented in a way (with some very funny and interesting examples) that everyone, even someone who never used Linux or knows nothing about FOSS, could relate and understand fully the concepts and principles behind it. I also have to say, that I was so glad that Momcilo made it to the event, because I know that he was and still is extremely busy with work. I can’t thank him enough for coming. :)

 Conculsion

Was it hard organizing this? For me, yes. Would I do it again? Absolutely! Will I do it again? See you in about 6 months and a bit again, hopefully with even more people here! Stay tuned!

 
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