When I volunteered to sponsor the Houston Slashdot 10 Year Anniversary Meetup, I had no idea what to expect. These are the people who will tear up a message board with hi-tech information and then devolve into a fit of giggles and "In Soviet Russia, disk drive formats you!" refrains.
We converged on Agora in the Montrose district. It's a quiet coffee house that also has some quality beers and occasionally, tasty junk food. Other than intoxicants and junk food, I can't think of a thing nerds require besides Wi-Fi, and at least one participant reported that it was working quite well.
Of the 57 people who said they'd show up, I counted 22, but those were some of the best and brightest and made up in quality what they might not have reached in quantity.
Although the mayhem I anticipated never materialized, the event went well on the whole. Among other local luminaries, Dwight Silverman from the Houston Chronicle made his presence known and showed off his laptop with the recently-installed (and now, reviewed) OS X Leopard running Windows XP and Ubuntu under parallels.
I got a chance to speak to, and enjoy, a diverse group of users all of whom I haven't matched up to usernames yet. There was Brew Bird (I think), a BSD programmer and early ISP pioneer from Clear Lake. Prien 715 spoke articulately about the joy of programming CAD in C++. JGuthrie shared some hints about blogging and not getting caught. I saw Drachenstern leading a small group in discussion of Linux forensics and intrusion. But, conversation was blurringly fast and as the night wore on, increasingly blurry. (If I forgot you, or screwed up your username, please contact me at athloi AT yahoo PERIOD com).
The tshirts kindly provided by Sourceforge/Slashdot were a big success, with people clamoring for one and not content -- at all -- until they were handed out. TechGeek catalogs were a similar hit, with the clod of them I handed over to someone vanishing within a few minutes into jacket pockets.
I can barely remember much of what happened. I remember broken glass, loud music, a crowd of people smoking cigarettes in traffic, and then security asking me was a Slashdot was. In another ten years, I'd like to do this again, especially if I have a top-notch health plan.