Travelling geek roadshow thing… idea

I’m attending a Debian Day in Lisbon, at the MILL – a makerspace in Lisbon. Organised by Diogo, a good friend, quality person and probably a decent reason why we settled on Portugal in the first place. Anyway, we stumbled upon future dreams and he mentioned he is planning to get a screen for his projector, and then he has everything to go on a roadshow to give talks and courses about software freedom and all things open source.

Diogo and Per Sonne with a peace offering after I accidentally messed up their podcast recording at miniDebConf Lisbon, February 2023.

I asked more about the roadshow, and we spoke about future ideas about a physical space, welcoming and hosted by all sorts of geeky things, OSGeo, Wiki, and then having activities like brewing beer; doing things.

This struck a chord, as for example friends back in SA have a brewery – Honingklip, that runs off Linux. I also miss the 3D printers and things I had access to in South Africa, and to be honest I also have a lot of gadgets I need to unpack and find space for.

But really, I [also] want a travelling roadshow that gives me an excuse to crisscross all the islands in the Azores. And all this needs a virtual component to let people contribute and be part of the community even when they can’t or choose not to attend in person.

This idea started with Graham’s whisky tastings. Graham really likes whisky, and back in SA, pre-pandemic, often had whisky tastings that either him and his friends, or whisky companies organised. When lockdown happened, they needed to make a plan. Incidentally alcohol was also banned in the country, so bottles were procured in secret, aliquated into 50ml samples for the tastings, and then distributed by a variety of ways. Come the evening of the tasting, everyone had their little bottles and joined the video call.

Well travelled Waterford whisky we picked up in Italy. They don’t currently ship to Portugal so they were shipped to Ashton in the UK, and then we picked them up when we visited them in Italy.

It was so successful that it’s still happening this way now. Groups of friends in geographical proximity will join the call in one location, but there’s groups in Cape Town, Johannesburg, and wherever Graham happens to find himself. As a bonus they get to have master distillers join them for tastings, because it’s much easier to join a video call than fly out to every passionate group of connoisseurs. We did make an effort to visit Waterford in Ireland to give one of the guys a gift, and promptly got treated to a whole tasting again! (Getting in the venue took a few weeks of begging, to be fair).

Waterford Distillery

Anyway, I digress. The point is that doing magical things online can lead to magical things offline and doing things differently is fun.

Moving to the Azores, and Portugal generally, it’s a bit harder to get special whisky, and I think the import duties or something makes it hard to ship here (that’s the reason Waterford gave, anyway). So I think there is a market and a tiny-business opportunity to create bespoke, quirky, whisky delivery mechanisms. Small amounts, to a trusted community of aficionados. And I think many people share the overlap of having diverse interests, and many of the remote workers that I think would like this idea, in the Azores are probably remote workers because they’re techies. So combining a whisky delivery idea with a travelling tech roadshow seems like a good idea.

Separately I want to get horses again and I really want a travelling van pulled by draught horses. I think the vibe of it is so outrageous that it would be great marketing.

Anyways. So speaking to Diogo, all this jumped to the foreground again, and maybe thinking about it in a more structured and realistic way could get something to happen. We need a name, and I think collaborating for some sort of franchise, common set of values can share some marketing and dilute some admin burdens.

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