I am halfway though a remarkable trip to Denver, Colorado, thanks to the incredibly generous folks at System76. I’ll write a more in-depth post about what all went down, but for now I just want to share some videos and pictures to give you an idea of some of the amazing things I’ve experienced and some of the outstanding people I’ve had the pleasure of meeting over the past couple days.

Where the magic happens.

Here is a clip I captured of us walking into System76 for the first time (sorry for the vertical vid!). Kate and Carl greeted us at the door and threw sparkles (glitter? confetti? eh, sparkles is a good enough word). Also in the video: my first IRL interaction with Cassidy, a long-time friend (I’m currently writing this from his guest bedroom. Big thanks to him and his wife, Katie, for letting me do Airbnb and crash at their place for a few extra days!)

This is a mind blowing sandbox that dynamically generates a topographical map as you modify the terrain. You can make mountains, volcanoes, and even summon a rain storm just by holding out your hands.[/caption]

We got to try out the new Steam Controller on a couple of their really impressive desktops. I’m not sure how much I liked the controller, but Portal ran perfectly.

I had the chance to try out System76’s entire product line, including a few systems that haven’t been announced yet. The new Sable Complete was probably my favorite. It is incredibly thin and beautiful. Carl told me he thought of it like an elegant picture frame. It’s great.

Dr. Emma Marshall used a very rigorous set of tests to conclude that I am secretly a cyborg.

When I met Jason DeRose I told him I was a big fan of his work on Novacut, a software project that he has worked on for years that basically allows photo and video editors to distribute their projects across multiple machines. He immediately set up three laptops and gave me a live demo of the software. It is beyond brilliant.

I met Chris and Noah from Jupiter Broadcasting. They were recording an episode of the Linux Action Show from the System76 office. They grabbed dinner with us afterwards and chatted for hours.

I called the office Disneyland. It pretty much is

That night we went to Union Station and grabbed a bite to eat at Acme Burger and Brat Corporation (not pictured, because I was more amazed by the giant Christmas tree and the swankiness of Terminal Bar). After that we sat around and talked for hours.[/caption]

Everyone was so remarkably friendly and kind. Great conversations all around.

When System76 decides to go big, boy do they really go big. We stayed at the Brown Palace Hotel and Spa, which I think looks a lot like the Titanic (pre-sinking, of course). Every U.S. President has stayed here except for Obama. Words can hardly describe how grandiose it was.

Oh, and it’s like a billion stories high.

Embroidered toilet paper sacks.

Rumor had it that every shower had multiple shower heads. Confirmed.

My hotel room.

A lovely view of downtown Denver from my hotel room.

After a great roundtable meeting I recorded several interviews for simply elementary. Then we watched Star Wars clips with the System76 crew because… well, Star Wars.

I was fortunate enough to be able to stay late and watch Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith with several of the crew and their families. What a special experience that was! Also, on a related note, the prequels still suck.

That’s a quick overview of the first two days of the trip. It was amazing. Huge thanks to System76 for flying me to Denver and letting me be a part of this celebration! They also gave all of us an amazing poster to take home, which YOU can get for free as well if you order a System76 machine before January 4th (and you should!) and enter the code ‘system76fan’ in the comments section on the order form.