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people:stevegutterman

Steve was ConChair for PenguiCon 2.0 in TwoThousandFour. He is renowned as the ConChair who proposed marriage to DawnWolfe during opening ceremonies. As a result, he was busy planning his wedding the year after that and was understandably too busy to help very much with PenguiCon 3.0. Steve is all-around great at being ConChair but especially seems to excel at understanding contracts.

The following was in the PenguiCon 2.0 ProgramBook. (Edited to include WikiWords.)

ConChair's Log, Stardate 20042.0

I can’t believe that we’re finally here. After many months of preparation, the work of dozens of volunteers, and the occasional spontaneous crisis, we’ve actually reached PenguiCon weekend. And (hopefully!) there’s a hotel just chock full of seriously neat people here to have some of the most reasonably priced, all-weekend fun that you can legally have. When a couple of nifty people named TracyWorcester and RobLandley put their heads together last year, and decided that it might be a good idea to put together a group of ScienceFiction and Fantasy fans with a bunch of Linux and OpenSource Computing enthusiasts, nobody really knew what would happen. Would anyone come? Would the fiction fans and the computer folks sit on opposite sides of the room, like the girls and boys at a junior high school dance, and just stare at each other? And if they did come, would they come again the next year?

I’m happy to report that yes, they did want to come next year. (That’s why we’re here!) We got 500 people to come the first year, and I think that every single one of them wanted to come back this year. Not only that, but the fans and the techies got along. They mingled, they merged, they even overlapped. And they all had fun! Not only that, but the guests we invited to the con had fun also. JDFrazier and PeteAbrams vindicated artists everywhere by blasting TerryPratchett and RobCmdrTacoMalda in “Unreal Tournament.” Terry led a group of computer geeks around the halls late into the night, telling stories of his days working with the TI-74. EricRaymond hosted the “Geeks with Guns.” And everybody, just hanging around the ConSuite swapping stories and chatting with people.

We think we learned a few lessons from last year though. We have even more things scheduled to run 24 hours a day. Anime, Gaming, and the Computer Lounge will all be going every hour of the day and night. Programming will run until much later in the evening, to accomodate you folks that don’t need to sleep. We have inserted some breaks during the programming day; there were a number of people that were attempting to hit so many panels last year that they didn’t have time for those basic bodily maintenance items. And because many people at PenguiCon are attending a convention for the first time, we’ve arranged some introductions for you. Tours to show you all the places of interest; places like the ConSuites, the DealersRoom, the [ComputerLounge4.0], even the RoomParties!

I was amazed over and over again all this past year by the people who wanted to be part of PenguiCon. All of the folks that sent us comments and suggestions on our website. (Almost every one a darn good one too.) The people that started to bug us about when they could give us money before we even had registration working. Everybody that volunteered for this year’s con at the end of last year’s con, then remembered it when we finally got around to contacting them, usually about eight months later. The PenguiCon enthusiasts in Normal, Indiana. (Yay guys!) The requests that we got for Press Passes. The guests that contacted us about coming to PenguiCon. (You know who you are Pete. And Trill. And Rob. And Clif. And Marcel. And Jane. And Sarah. And…)

And the volunteers! Did I mention the volunteers? We’ve had thirty-some people working for most of the last year to prepare this con, and there’s no way that I can thank them enough. I don’t want to single any of them out, because every single one of them was absolutely crucial to us getting here. They’re quite the opinionated and forceful group, full of ideas, enthusiasm, and energy. And generally going in 37 different directions simultaneously. You’ve heard the phrase “herding cats”? Well, imagine herding ferrets. Hyperactive ferrets.

Greased hyperactive ferrets.

With no ‘off’ switch.

But I wouldn’t trade them for anybody.

— SteveGutterman

PenguiCon 2.0 ConChair

people/stevegutterman.txt · Last modified: 2017/01/14 11:24 (external edit)