Dec 23, 2002.

Posted by: Rob

Well, Merry Christmas everybody. No real news to report, everybody's off inflicting holiday cheer upon one another. Check in again after New Year's.

HO HO HO. (You'll just have to imagine the scythe, black cloak, pillow, and holly, and bun-bun sneaking up behind said well-wisher. That could get interesting...)

Come to think of it, no you don't. Here you go. Now you only have to imagine bun-bun sneaking up behind him.

P.S. I am gonna redo the website. Really. Honest and truly I am.

Dec 10, 2002.

Posted by: Rob

The dealer's room guy, Rich Tucholka, says that dealer's room tables will be available for registration soon (he'll open the books at ConFusion in January), and he expects them to go very fast. There's already a list. Dealers who would like to get on this list should contact tucholka at

We'll have a more formal process for this in a bit, details are still being verified. Initially, blocks of space will probably be reserved for various categories (at the very least geek side and SF fan side), but that won't last.

In other news, the long-discussed website revamp will probably happen in another couple of weeks. I've got a huge backlog of information, a very nice new site design, and currently no time to work on it. Of course. :)

Dec 9, 2002.

Posted by: Rob

And in keeping with the holiday spirit, we have this.

Dec 8, 2002.

Posted by: Rob

I just put a scan of the hotel floor plan up on the site. There's a link from the hotel section, as well as the above notice.

Yesterday, the ConCom hit the hotel, where a wifi hub and a signal analyzer were deployed to test our wireless connectivity potential. Anybody who gets a room around the pool is likely to get a good signal no problem. Up in the tower we have more work to do. You can read the report in the mailing list archives.

Dec 6, 2002.

Posted by: Rob

I Aten't Dead.

Your webmaster has been on the road without internet access for a couple weeks, a situation that is likely to continue for a while longer. (I'm currently in Minnesota for my mother's funeral, borrowing my sister's DSL connection to wade through a 22 megabyte email backlog. If you sent me something since November 15th or so, I'll be reading it soon...) In the meantime, Tracy is the person to contact about Penguicon business if you actually need a response time of less than a week. For general questions, bug the list (penguicon-general at and somebody is likely to notice.

The convention is going along nicely, I have a ton of new stuff to put up when I get a chance. I expect to meet up with Tracy in person in Michigan for ConFusion at the end of January, and there will be much Penguicon business discussed. (According to the list, there's another concom meeting tomorrow; this one might be a field trip to the con hotel.)

At some point, I will embarass Tracy into updating this thing herself. Really I will. :)

Nov 7, 2002.

Posted by: Rob

Part 2 of that Interview with Pete Abrams is up on the web.

Terry Pratchett's schedule is firming up (actually purchasing plane tickets will do that to you). He will be doing a book signing in Ann Arbor on Thursday May 1, right before the convention. I'll post details about that on the website as soon as I get them.

The big organizational meeting is still saturday at Tracy's house.

Nov 4, 2002.

Posted by: Tracy

Reminder: Meeting, Saturday, November 9!

Programming Brainstorming Meeting

Who: Anyone with ideas for programming
When: 11a-2p
Where: 1910 Hill Street, Ann Arbor, MI, 734-662-0152
Why: To put together a list of potential programming topics, as well as a potential panelist list.

ConComm Meeting

Who: All con comm and staff
When: 2 p.m. - 5 p.m.
Where: 1910 Hill Street, Ann Arbor, MI 734-662-0152
Why: To keep up to date on the convention, toss around more ideas, and eat pizza.

Oct 25, 2002.

Posted by: Rob

At the urging of Anne Murphy, put the penguin logo (scaled down a bit) up in the header of the web page. Maybe someday I'll even specify a color for the foreground and background, unless any of the people who have volunteered to redo the web page actually send me real HTML first. (Gaston Gosselin currently has the ball... :)

As I just added in the comment on the main page: I do CGI. I understand HTML about the way an auto mechanic understands paint jobs. I could do one, and it would certainly keep the rust out. But my general handling of aesthetic issues is pointing out a cracked windshield or a rust spot, and fixing that. Not coming up with an overall design that looks good...

Oct 23, 2002.

Posted by: Rob

The first round of keenspot ads has now run its course. 1299 clicks total. If all of those had resulted in memberships, we'd be out of memberships already. Not bad for one ad, on one site, for one month. :)

As I've said before, my goal is to sell all the memberships entirely via preregistration, so there aren't any left at the door. We haven't done it yet, but we seem to be on track to do so. I'll post a big warning on the web page when we get close to running out of memberships.

(This would be a lot easier if our registration czar used email, but oh well...)

Remember, ConCom meeting on the 9th. (See Oct 15 entry.)

Oct 20, 2002.

Posted by: Rob

Continuing our look at stuff about Pete Abrams on the web, there's the Sluggy Freelance Pun Demon Sightings Page, and Sluggy Freelance GURPS rules.

Is it not nifty?

Yes! It is not nift...

No, wait...

Oct 16, 2002.

Posted by: Rob

A good interview with GOH Pete Abrams just hit the web (claiming to be a part 1, but hey). Here it is.

Oct 15, 2002.

Posted by: Tracy

Mark down on your calendars: PenguiCon is having a con comm meeting on Saturday, November 9. The convention is in six months; we need to start getting our butts in gear. Please pass word about the meeting on to people who are not subscribed to the discussion list.

On November 9, come over to my new home at 1910 Hill Street in Ann Arbor. Hang out in the immense common area, eat good food, hang out with other folks, and continue laying the groundwork to make the convention happen smoothly. Talk about how things went at Conclave, and help us figure out how to make for a truly nifty first year for PenguiCon.


11-2: Programming Brainstorm. Bring your best and weirdest ideas! Tag team free association will be somewhat encouraged.
2-6: ConComm socialization event, with bits of meeting mixed in.

Where: 1910 Hill Street, Ann Arbor, MI (734-769-5671)

Why: For food. And fun people. And to do your part of keeping local fandom healthy and vital. (:

Please email me if you plan on attending (so I stock in enough food). Looking forward to seeing you all!

...Tracy Worcester, Esteemed and Exhausted Local ConChair

Oct 10, 2002.

Posted by: Rob

Don't forget the Slashdot Meetup, the fourth thursday of every month (this month it's October 24, 7 pm). Near the con site, there's one in Ann Arbor and one in Detroit. People from Penguicon might make it to either one, and all sorts of other interesting people are likely to be there anyway. Why not stop by and say hi?

Oct 4, 2002.

Posted by: Rob

A woman named Liz Vogel just emailed the following to Tracy:


This is the graphic we have been using so far:

With just a touch of scaling, we may have bookends. :)

- Rob

Oct 2, 2002.

Posted by: Rob

David Simon says "I've gone and registered #penguicon on OpenProjects *ahem* FreeNode IRC network. My nick on FN is 'carbon'... I'm on (usually from 2PM-Midnight PST). I've also planning to introduce a bot I co-maintain into the channel (named SpocksBeard), but it's server is down and I'm not sure when it'll be back up."

More information would appear to be available at

Sep 27, 2002.

Posted by: Tracy

Just to let you folks all know: I just got a report that one person had called the hotel to make a room reservation and talked to someone who reported no knowledge of our event. I've spoken with a minion in Sales and Catering, we are on their schedule. I am awaiting callback from someone who is not a minion so I can rip someone a new one and get the problem fixed.

If you or anyone you know has an issue of this type, get the name of the desk person you spoke with, and let me know. This *will* be fixed...


Sep 25, 2002.

Posted by: Rob

We now have a second ad running on Sluggy Freelance, and are listed on's conventions page.

Life is good. :)

I suspect the penguicon-general list is going to turn into general convention attendee discussion whatever we do, so I suppose we might as well go with the flow on this one. I'll open a new "convention organizers only" list this weekend and try to move the administrative stuff off on to that. (Most of which we still email each other directly anyway. It's the convention we're trying to organize, nobody ever accused us as individuals of being organized...)

Sep 24, 2002.

Posted by: Rob

Well, the keenspot ads have been running for less than 24 hours, and already we have two new subscribers to the penguicon mailing list. Cool. :)

I suspect I'm going to have to start up a penguicon attendees list pretty soon, and a read-only list for news postings. Either that or repurpose penguicon-general from a behind-the-scenes organizational list to general convention discussion. Hmmm...

Just for general information, the registration cap our first year is currently twelve hundred attendees, because Tracy (who has run a convention in this hotel before) doesn't think the facilities can handle more than that. Maybe we'll pick a bigger site next year. :)

The keenspot ad run is 200,000 ad views (which we're probably going to renew), and we already have plans to buy an equivalent amount from Sluggy Freelance, plus feelers out for User Friendly and OSDN (which runs the ads for Slashdot). Altogether, that's something like a million ads to sell 1200 memberships, which sounds about right. (Online advertising is very easy to ignore, and there's the marketing Rule of Seven anyway.) And of course we'll be hitting the local michigan lugs, informing,,, etc...

Of course we could wimp out and just wait for the 4/5 of both the fan and geek populations who never do anything until the last minute, and try to buy their memberships at the door. But I really do want to fill this thing to capacity based entirely on preregistrations. If nothing else, it lets us start planning for a bigger facility next year early on. I'll post some stats on registrations sold and amount left when we start getting closer to the actual event, or when we get close to running out. (My sinister master plan really is to not have any tickets left at the door. Hopefully, that's a self-fulfilling prophecy. And in any case, at-the-door is always more expensive than preregistering. You have been warned. Bwahahaha, etc.)

If anybody wants to volunteer to help us start a newsletter, be on panels, generally gopher, etc, feel free to post to penguicon-general. (See the contact page.)

- Rob

Update: now knows we exist. Hi ufies! :) You guys may remember me, I brought a couple boxes of buttons to Linuxworld Expo in california a couple years back...

Sep 23, 2002.

Posted by: Rob

Well, the website just got redone from scratch. Again. I'm not entirely certain it's an improvement, but since nobody with any artistic talent has volunteered to do the thing for me, and the keenspot ads just started up, I suppose I'm out of time.

Considering how many times this news section has gotten blanked, it would probably be a good idea to start a read-only penguicon news mailing list. At least then, it might be reliably archived. I'll add that idea to the ever-growing to-do list.

We've recently recruited Eric Flint to join the fun. If you haven't checked out the Baen Free Library, you should go do that. Right now this website only lists our guests of honor, but we'll soon have enough additional panelists to need their own list. Hopefully I can recruit somebody from the penguicon-panels list to keep that part of the web page up to date...

Considering there are still five and a half months to the convention, I'd say things are shaping up pretty well. :)

- Rob

Update: Seven months. (Not March, May. Other month beginning with an M.) I can count, really. Just not at 5 am before I've had any caffiene.

Sep 22, 2002

Posted by: Rob

Pending to-do items: Tracy's going to write up a "what is a science fiction convention" blurb, which means I should write up a "what is a linux expo" blurb.

I still have a LOT of content from previous versions of this website to sort through and try to integrate into the new design. Chance of making it by monday: slim to none. But we'll see...

The Worldcon room party went quite well. Cathy has threatened to write up a status report about that. It netted us a couple more preregistrations, a lot of flyers distributed, and some nibbles for potential panelists.

Getting the word out. Slowly, but... well, slowly.

- Rob