Campus Party Colombia!


Paw Prints: Writings of the maddog

Jun 26, 2008 GMT
Jon maddog Hall

Campus Party....what can I say? More than a computer conference, it is a technology showcase and multi-media fair geared toward the high school, college and post-college age people, although a few grey-bearded geeks can also be found in the crowd.

Started in Spain about 12 years ago, expanding to Brazil last year, Campus Party is now having its first event in Bogota, the capital of Colombia, where it is held on a fairground, spread across multiple buildings.

I arrived on the late evening of June 23rd, having flown from a previous event in Mexico City, so my first exposure to the Bogota event was the next day when a driver came to transport me to the fairground.
Arriving at the event (and after having our car searched and dog-sniffed for explosives as we drove through the gate), there appeared the large helium balloons and pulsing music that symbolizes the Campus Party experience.

I received my badge, had my laptop marked with an identification number that matched my badge, and proceeded to tour the Campus Party event with my friend Enrique "Kike" Nimo, the over-all coordinator of the multi-country events. Over the next couple of days I will be blogging in detail about the different exhibits and projects being displayed here, but I could see that the format was much the same as in the other countries:

  • concentration on modding of computers, astronomy, Free Software, robotics and other "general" areas, with stages and working areas for the participants of the conference to hear presentations by people in these fields
  • encouragement for the participants in the conference to bring their own systems to show what they were working on (thus the tight control on identification of systems)
  • a floor of tents for out-of-town participants to sleep
  • an exhibit hall that is open to everyone

and a wide range of "cool" things for people to see.

The rest of my day was spent in discussing Free Software with people doing an Internet radio show. While we were waiting for their mobile studio to be re-connected to the Internet I discussed Free Software with the staff of the radio show and they went from mildly interested to strongly interested during the course of the conversation. I am now chartered with finding some Free Software with which to run their Internet radio show.

Today is the third day of the event, which is due to run through June 29th.

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