I just spent a week in Brazil – in São Paulo to be precise.

There is a very active Slackware User Group in Brazil. Slackware Linux has a special status among all of the distributions around, and when GUS-BR (Grupo de Usuarios Slackware Brasil) organises their annual Slackware Show, people from all over the country come to attend. This year, GUS-BR invited Robby Workman, Alan Hicks and myself as speakers for the 2008 conference.

We were welcomed by a very friendly Slackware crowd, and I can only say, I had a great time in São Paulo. For someone like me, for who Slackware development is ‘just’ a (big) hobby, it was very refreshing and heart-warming to meet with the Slackware community in Brazil and discover how dedicated these people are.

Piter and Sergio managed to arrange for a visit to IBM’s Linux Technology Center in Hortolândia. They run Linux (Ubuntu, not Slackware, but still…) on PlayStation 3 there. The IBM BladeCenter H which we peeked at, had Cell processors as it’s core, but unfortunately we could not take pictures of that. Thinking back, this was the only time we managed to get out of São Paulo and see some of the countryside… the city has a population as large as all of the Netherlands. I had no idea that only Mumbai, Mexico City and Tokyo are larger than Sào Paulo!

But anyway… to return to the purpose of our visit:

Together with PiterPUNK we ran a talk on the history of Slackware, and about the http://slackbuilds.org/ web site which hosts user-contributed SlackBuild scripts.

I did two other talks on the second day of the conference: the first was about the Slackware installer, and the new features it has gotten recently (such as support for full disk encryption, installing from HTTP/FTP servers and a SSH client/server contained in the installer). I did a live demo of installing Slackware -current in a QEMU virtual machine demonstrating all of these cool new features. The second presentation was about Slackware’s enhanced support for non-latin languages (CJK or Chinese/Japanese/Korean type languages) and the use of SCIM (Smart Common Input Methods).

You can find my presentation files here: http://alien.slackbook.org/slackshow2008/presentations/

I took a lot of pictures during my stay, and you can find those here if you want to have a laugh (I felt like a zombie for most of the time due to jetlag): http://alien.slackbook.org/slackshow2008/