Last night I spoke at the 22C3, the Chaos Communications Congress hosted by Germany's Chaos Computer Club in Berlin. 22C3 is the European Hacker Conference and broadly draws from Germany, Northern Europe, and Scandinavia. While clearly run on a tight budget, 22C3 is very professionally done, with excellent network connectivity (the same can't be said for the nearby hotels -- what is it with European hotels and broadband?), an incredibly supportive staff of volunteers, and lots of patience for Americans who don't speak any German (that would be me.)
What made this talk especially exciting was that it was the first public showing of the Second Life client on Linux. On a laptop that arrived the day before leaving. With a version of the client that Icculus' finished while I was waiting to board my flight our of SFO.
With an ATI card.
So, yes, the maximum degree of difficulty. Despite all of these risks, everything worked flawlessly. I did the entire talk in SL, using the latest version of my slide viewer (that works much better now that thanks to Richard's HUD attachment points), and running through the story of SL and user-creation over the course of an hour. It might have gone a little fast since a large chunk of the audience were non-native speakers, but there were good questions both during and after the talk. Once 22C3 posts the slides and the talk, I'll link to them, but if you'd like the presentation now, pop into Second Life and instant message Cory Linden. I'd be happy to give you a copy of the talk.
The final joy was that I kept meeting people at 22C3 who are either using SL or thinking about using SL. There seems to be a fascination in Europe right now with projects that combine art and business, which Second Life spans perfectly. Objects of Virtual Desire was brought up several times and is clearly just the first example of many interesting projects to come.
[Edit: Also, if you'd like to be added to the Linux Alpha list, please email me at cory at secondlife dot com. We aren't sure when/how we'll start it up, but it will be soon. We may also not use everyone right away, but progress has seemed rapid enough that we should be able to progress relatively quickly.]