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Default Gallery: Rise of the Open Source at LinuxWorld

</img>: Photo: Emily Lang/Wired.comSAN FRANCISCO -- LinuxWorld is the E3 for many open source visionaries, tinkerers and zealots who rally around the communal ethos of open software. This year's conference is especially charged. As more open source projects like Firefox go mainstream, it's an exciting time for the GNU gurus to show the rest of the world the light.
The conference boasts various keynote speakers such as, Kevin Clark, director of IT operations at Lucasfilm, Ltd., and also featured an exhibition hall packed with booths spreading the good word of the latest open source edicts.
Left: A skull-pture composed of various dead electronics greets visitors outside the Moscone North Convention hall. The skull interacts with passersby, eliciting a creepy electronic voice. The skull was presented by the Alameda County Computer Resource Center which aims to refurbish 1,000 salvaged computers in three days with open source software and donate them to local schools.
</img>: Photo: Emily Lang/Wired.comFusion-io demonstrates its silicon-based storage drive. While CPU processors have advanced continuously since 1987, disc drives have always had a hard time keeping up, says Rick White, co-founder and chief marketing director.
“We’ll be able to replace racks and racks of disc drives with just one flash,” says White. “Computers will finally be completely silicon and use a lot less power, too.”
The new flash drives also promise to be environmentally friendly since companies that shift from spinning discs to the new drives would lower their carbon emissions considerably. According to White, a traditional 720-rpm disc drive uses over 300,000 kwh a year whereas the new drive uses less than 100 kwh yearly.
</img>: Photo: Emily Lang/Wired.com
Expo attendees passing by the Fusion-io booth could sign a waiver to ride the bull, er, spinning hard drive.
“We’re putting the show back in trade show,” says Rick White co-founder and chief marketing director of Fusion-io. “Don’t feel bad," jeers White to the drive’s latest defeated passenger, "either way you’re eventually going to have to let go of that spinning drive anyway."
</img>: Photo: Emily Lang/Wired.comShelly Milam, dressed as Tux the Linux penguin, and Ariana Parasco, dressed as The Gnu, dance their way around the expo showroom polling attendees on their favorite tech mascot.
“We are doing a stunt to promote Groundwork Open Source,” says Milam. “We’re looking for the next open source idol.”
Those who participate have four competitors to choose from; Tux, Beastie, The Gnu and The Firefox. “So far I think Tux is winning,” says Milam.
</img>: Photo: Emily Lang/Wired.comHere, one unlucky machine blasted with sand and saltwater gets a second chance at life.
DriverSavers Data Recovery displays various machines claimed before their time through unfortunate circumstance, and discusses how their company recovered the valuable data stored on the damaged disc.
"With more people than ever recording their lives digitally, that data has become exponentially more valuable," says Jacqueline Cunningham, a strategic alliances specialist for the company.
“We save data, we save reputations and we’ve even saved marriages,” says Cunningham. “It’s always either personal or financial but either way it’s very important.”
</img>: Photo: Emily Lang/Wired.comGloria Galicia, left, and Perla Ibarra, middle, aren't your typical booth babes -- both of the savvy beauties run personal blogs that cover both the operating system BSD and their personal lives.
“I work for one of the sponsors of BSD,” says Galicia. “I’ve never been to a trade show before and wanted to check it out and support BSD.” Both women are onsite to answer questions about the latest version of the OS, PC-BSD 7, Fibonacci edition.
“This operating system has been under steady development since the ‘70s, and we’re a viable alternative to Linux,” says Matt Olander, who manned the BSD booth. “Yahoo’s entire network is run on PC-BSD.”
</img>: Photo: Emily Lang/Wired.comPossibly the only booth containing natural materials in the entire exhibition hall, Larry Frazier’s display of his hand-carved mobius strips draws a crowd.
“A mobius is a three-dimensional shape with only one edge and one surface,” says Marian Frazier, who manned the booth with her husband. The beautiful sculptures fashioned from blocks of wood, both exotic and domestic, bronze and alabaster befuddle onlookers as they run their fingers along an edge only to end up back where they started.
“People’s eyes sparkle when they walk up,” says Larry. “They’ve been very enthusiastic.”
</img>: Photo: Emily Lang/Wired.comRackable Systems' modular data center is housed in a 40' x 8' container. The system's unique design allows the operator to get it up and running in just a couple of hours whereas a traditional data center can take a couple of years to build.
“To run it we just need power, networking and water,” says Jason Coari, Rackable Systems' senior marketing manager. “We’ve taken the fans out of the individual servers and replaced them with central fan bases." The larger fans not only keep the servers cooler and are less prone to break down but they’re also more energy efficient, reducing energy costs up to 80 percent.
The units’ modular status and energy efficiency also makes it a likely candidate to be deployed in disaster recovery zones.
</img>: Photo: Emily Lang/Wired.comA lost businessman is lulled to sleep by a barrage of geekery, jargon and woefully optimistic philosophies about open software's transformative potential.


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