Date: Saturday 13th October 2007
When: 9:00 am to 5:00 pm EST
Where: Wiesner Building, E15 (in other terms, "the lower atrium of the Media Lab")
map] 20 Ames Street
Cambridge, MA 02139

Press Releases:

download poster


Please sign here if you'll be attending. Add any guests/friends/family you'll be bringing either as a seperate name or as a comment next to your name.

Hasith Vidanamura, coming with Caleb


Please sign up here if you wish to volunteer to help out at the installation festival, not just geeks are required. We would like all volunteers to wear some form of Ubuntu apparel and Mike will have t-shirts available for anyone who hasn't already got one. We'll also be making up some ID badges so everyone who is officially helping will be known and registered such that we can avoid problems since we have to deal with liability etc.

If you can come early to help setup the event, please add "Setup" after your name. If you can stay late, add "teardown". About 5 people will be sufficient for each crew. Plan to arrive by 8:30 for setup and stay until 17:30 (5:30pm) for teardown.

Martin Owens, Event Co-Ordinator, Setup/Teardown
Michael Selva, Setup, Volunteer, Penguin Handler (Tux Droid)
Mike Rushton, Technology Co-Ordinator
Sarah Abbott, Personal Relations
Steve Pomeroy, Venue Host, Setup/Teardown
Jeffrey Finkelstein, Volunteer
Andrew Berkowitz, Volunteer
Jonathan Prigot, Volunteer
Rebecca Prigot, Volunteer
Danny Piccirillo, Volunteer
Joseph Guarino - Evolutionary IT, Volunteer
Brian DeLacey, Volunteer, Books
Brian Fallik, Volunteer, Setup
Theresa Hepburn, Emotional Support Volunteer (will be *very* late)
Aaron Haviland, Volunteer, Teardown, Potential Setup (may be a *little* late)
Cam Cope, Volunteer
Caleb Marcus, Volunteer
Samuel Baldwin, Volunteer, Possibly Setup (leaving early)
Jason M Normand, Volunteer, teardown
Bill Ricker, Volunteer, Teardown? (MIGHT also be *very* late, or might be fairly early)
Dante Blando, Volunteer, Setup
Dan Allen, Volunteer, teardown
Will Guaraldi, Volunteer, teardown
Jason Ribeiro, Volunteer, Setup

Want to be there but can't

J.M. Hardin

Post Mortem

Some notes on how the first installfest went and how to improve it.

Before the Installfest


  • Success: Use of wiki and mailing list to bring together team members.
  • Success: Secured large venue space ahead of time; will be able to scale as necessary.
  • Have a member dedicated to interacting with venues and venue relations.



  • Success: There were well-made and graphically interesting posters placed around MIT, Boston, Cambridge, and various other places.
  • Problem: Some were printed without a website address on them; had to add them on by hand.
  • Problem: Posters had no description of what an "Installfest" is.
    • Determine what the target audience is and figure out how to advertise to them.
    • Why does a person want to go to an Installfest? Why would they want Ubuntu? How will it help them?


  • Problem: not enough people to hand out fliers.
  • Problem: a member came to help hand out fliers, but couldn't find other members.
  • Exchange phone numbers ahead of time.
  • Meet at specific time and/or specific location; signup sheet.

During the Installfest


We did good for our first Installfest. The chaos was kept under control. But if we want this to be bigger, we need an agenda. A simple timeframe of when things should happen. They don't need to be an exact time, but a general idea would be nice. The following are some examples:

  • What time do/can we meet up to setup. This one is simple and wasn't a problem.
  • Installfest begins for general public. Again, not a problem.
  • Talks. Any presentations people would like to give and a small time allotted for each one. I know Brian and Mako both wanted to give a talk/presentation but I don't think this happened. We might think about getting either a PA system or at least a pc with a microphone(wireless?) and some decent speakers.
  • Food / Lunch. A time to collect money for food and order it. This should be slightly BEFORE people start to get hungry so we can compensate for the time it takes to get the food delivered.
  • Key signing. We would have liked to get this done but were unable to. We might have a table or at least a couple general machines used for this process.
  • Gaming. If we decide to have gaming, we would need a time put on the agenda so people that want to be involved can be there for that time and no miss out.
  • "The Doctor Is In" free form Q&A "clinic". Rotating staff.


We should better organize the different tables to include specific tasks:

  • Greeting table - This should be the first thing people see when they walk in. This should be staffed at all times. (Greeter doesn't have to do this all day, but someone should be there at all times to cement the visit.) If someone walks in they should be greeted right away. They should sign the sign-in sheet, be given an agenda sheet, take any CD's they want, and be asked what brought them in. They should be told where the bathrooms are and maybe a general layout of where things are. If they do need help with Ubuntu, they should be given a waiver form to sign and matched with an available expert. (If they are coming in for installation help, it means that they are curious enough to take a chance with their machine, but unsure enough so that they don't want to try it themselves. Establishing the one-to-one client/expert relationship is important.)
  • Demo table - This table should be closest to the greeting table when people first walk in. These are for machines and other hardware(OLPC, alive tux, etc) for demonstration with no personal data on them and are for people to play with. There should be no issues if any of these break or lose data. The ideal situation would be machines dedicated for this purpose or someone bringing in a blank hard drive to load Ubuntu from scratch to demo.
  • Help table - These are where people bring their pc to receive help installing, configuring or otherwise troubleshooting Ubuntu. These should generally be the most active with people who have volunteered monitoring at all times to make sure everyone is being helped with what they need help with and nobody is ignored or feels left out/abandoned.
  • General table - These are for people to setup machines for their own use that do not need help or want the general public messing with. Unattended machines should be locked. You are welcome to bring people over to do quick demo's of how you have customized certain things, but generally there should be a similar setup at the demo table. If you have some customizations you want to demo ahead of time and want to demo them but do not have a demo machine, please work with someone who has a demo machine to include your customizations.
  • Food table - not much explaining here. Food, drinks, cups, napkins , utensils, trash nearby.
  • Network table - Switches, hubs, routers, servers. Other tables with machines might also have switches.
  • For a while we had the large projection TV setup with pc's on them with some games going. We also had Brian with his multimedia pc showing off google earth on a 42" flat screen tv. These were great ideas and should have space designated to them beforehand.
  • Gaming. This idea was brought up during the installfest. We might have events dedicated for gaming going forward. But if we don't, maybe we can get some pc's (similar to demo in which no personal data is on them) dedicated for gaming with some games preloaded and tested possibly with working gaming controllers.
  • CD's, Books and other things the group is giving away.


  • We could have used more signs/labels at the greeting table to identify:
    • CD's "take one" (ask about which one is right for you)
    • Case Badges - awarded for installing or have already installed Ubuntu
    • T-shirts - Sizes and prices
    • Required waivers for help/installation
    • Ubuntu helpful inforumation/fliers/pamphlets
  • Signs identifying tables/areas
    • Demo table(s)
    • Help tables
    • general tables
    • Food table
    • Network table


Forms we should have on-hand:

  • Sign-in sheet - This should include the persons name, where they heard of the installfest and if they are willing, their email address. The email address we might use going forward to notify people of upcoming events.
  • Agenda for the day. This should be posted on our site/wiki for people before the event so people can be there for specific times/events they want to take part in.
  • Waiver - This should be the one found here or some other form we create going forward. This was not enforced this time around but shouldn't be a problem.

  • The alternate software sheet we had on-hand was a good idea. Can we get this uploaded to the wiki? Also any other useful data-sheets, pamphlets, documentation.
  • Something with our website, wiki and forums URL and some contact info. Maybe the mailing list email address. We might also put helpful websites like where to download ubuntu, ubuntuforums.org, help.ubuntu.com, ubuntuguide.org etc. This might be a business card, sticker, small sheet/index card or even a magnet or some other shwag going forward.
  • Key signing forms. Bill had mentioned this was a requirement for key signing. We will want to discuss this and have some on-hand for key signing.
  • Feedback - forms near the exit for participants to leave some comments and suggestions

Cable Management

  • Was not bad for first event but could use some work.
    • we need to work on lay out for network and power cables.
    • work on ways to avoid falling people and hardware.
    • more extension cords and splitters.
  • solutions:
    • Bring blue painter's tape. Worked very well for laying out cables and cleaned up nicely.
    • network hardware centralized with tables spread out around them.
    • central walk way kept clear of cables.
    • switches should not be kept precariously balanced (talkin' to you, lefty Funny :))

After the Installfest

  • success: cleanup went well.
  • Don't let martin leave without his stuff

MassachusettsTeam/Events/InstallFests/2007-10-13 (last edited 2008-08-06 16:28:16 by localhost)