Tuesday, March 28, 2006

ODP - Open-source Demonstration & Presentation


At the last HUMBUG meeting - 25 March 2006 - I introduced the fellow HUMBUGGERS to the concept of running Ubuntu on SunRay thin-clients. Thanks to my boss, I was able to demonstrate the setup to the audience with hardware borrowed from work. The presentation also afforded me the opportunity to spread more of the good word on Ubuntu.


Although the SunRay Server Software is due to be open-sourced, the entire presentation was carried out using mostly open-source software. The content of the talk was about running a soon-to-be open-sourced solution on an open-source operating system; the presentation was delivered using open-source presentation software running on the same open-source operating system. The content and the presentation itself were the visible parts, however, the open-source controlling of the show was the truly interesting part.

*"open-source" will not be used again in this blog.

The presentation was controlled using my bluetooth phone, following on from the discoveries at nerd.conf.au 2006. Using the "Presenter" screen on the SonyEricsson K750i, the keymappings did not require further configuration to seemlessly control the OpenOffice2 presentation. I decided to go one step further and map two keys to turn the volume up and down within Gnome. Why? To have a presentation with funky pre-presentation music of course (when plugged-in to the room's audio system)..

Does that mean I helped Ubuntu to 'rock'?


The demonstration had followed the presentation, although this blog post is ordered in a different way. First demonstrated was the SunRay 1Gs capability to use a DVI monitor followed by the search for the DVI-to-VGA converter to continue the demo on the projector.

On the projector, I proceeded to login to the HP Small Form Factor PC with 2G of RAM running Ubuntu. Once logged in, I showed the audience a locked-down GNOME desktop environment similar to the end product of my CorporateUbuntu wiki page. I rounded off the demonstration with the awe-inspiring (OK - not that exciting, but still nice) smartcard portable session demo, along with telling the punters that they can carry their sessions on a smartcard around their house. Ending on the smartcard note was a pre-cursor for the lengthy Q&A session followed by the ensuing "swarm" around the presentation table.


Along with the great bells-and-whistles of my phone, the presentation went quite well. Based on my wiki page - UbuntuOnSunRay - the talk provided additional commentary on why the combination of Ubuntu and SunRay was chosen along with some general background information on the two components. I finished off the presentation by outlining the future for the co-existence of Ubuntu and SunRay.

At the end of the talk and demonstration, I listened to many good questions from a noticibly engaged audience. Prior the beginning of the talk, a HUMBUGGER had let me know he picked up a SunRay 1 (superceded model) off Ebay for $12 - that was a great answer to the "How much does a SunRay cost?" question, before answering a guestimate cost for the current model. The end result of the presentation was sparking alot of interest in the use of SunRays at home on a Linux-based OS like Ubuntu.

The presentation is available for download at Ubuntu Australian Team Talks.