There are 10 types of people in the world: those who 'get' this 'joke' and think it's funny, and the vast majority of the other type who wouldn't have attended Linuxtag 2009 at Messegelände Berlin from 24th to 27th of June even if you'd paid them to.*
Actually, we were paid to, as one of the exhibitors was employing us to take photos of visitors to the event to put on their website. Or they agreed they would, but are now refusing to pay me for the seventy or so photos I took on the Thursday and which have been published on their website since then. Watch this space for some naming and shaming if our bank account isn't added to soon! [Edit 07.08.09: Finally I am getting paid. But not the full amount, as my camera is too old and my photos weren't of high enough standard for the web. Apparantly. I'll just have to take down all my photos on this blog then if that's the case.]
I confess that some of the stalls were quite interesting though. I am a great advocate of open source software, and see it as a force for good in the IT world in comparison to, say, Microsoft or Apple. The Linux 4 Africa project seemed a particularly worthwhile initiative; producing cheap solid-state notebook computers loaded with a free open source Linux operating system and software, for use in teaching those people of the world who are lucky if they have a decent water supply less than a days walk away. Personally I believe that education is the greatest liberator, and keeping people in ignorance the mark of a repressive and evil society.
If only these people weren't such geeks though! One gorky individual had a t-shirt on which said "You read my t-shirt. That's enough social interaction for one day". Yes, yes, I know it is self-parody, like the guy with a Robert Smith fright wig, eye-liner, white face and black lipstick, enough studs to repair the Tyne Bridge, and full-length floor-duster trench coat, who will also have a t-shirt with 'Goth!' written on it (in gothic script natch). As if we couldn't tell already.
I half expected a group of PHP programmers to march at the Christopher Street Day Parade under the banner 'Gay Geeks for GNU' (and if you don't understand that, then don't worry; it just means you are not a geek yourself!). Unfortunately not. If any of the Linuxtag participents were schwule (oder lesbisch, but let's face it, 99% of geeks are of the male persuasion) then they weren't coming out of the network patching cabinet. In fact, the last day of the event (a Saturday and CSD day) was almost empty, only visited by those people who had actually bought their own ticket, rather than have their employers pay for them and who welcomed a work-day out from the claustrophobic depths of the machine room.
Still, there was one t-shirt design which made me laugh, even if I had got tired of seeing the one about the line of evolution with the last image a guy sitting at a PC. You know, this one:
Nnng! Oh no, I feel like I must get one! I must be turning ... into ... a geek! Put me down now, please!
* The joke is that 10 is binary notation for the number two, whereas people who don't know binary (the underlying principle for instructing mico-chip processors to do what they do) wonder what the other nine types of people are. Oh but my sides are splitting! Fetch me a staple gun quickly!