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Road Trip of the Penguins: Epilogue

February 23, 2009 2 comments

A thousand pardons — while Sunday at the Southern California Linux Expo was less busy, it was easier to spend more time in more lengthy discussions with visitors who came by the booth at SCaLE. However, while I should have updated this running blog on SCaLE, I didn’t. Further, I had the Paso Robles-to-Santa Cruz leg of the driving chores, and I didn’t get home until late (which explains why I missed the Fedora Weekly News deadline).

So now that the mea culpas are out of the way, I have to say on the whole the SCaLE weekend — from Fedora Activity Day to finish — was an unqualified success.

From Friday’s face-to-face get together where we were actually able to sit in a room with people we talk to on a daily basis on IRC or by e-mail to carrying on two- and three-conversation talks at the Fedora table during Saturday’s “rush hour” (which, essentially, was a better part of the day), I would hope that more regional events have as many attendees as SCaLE did.

Several points about the weekend:

  • I swear on a stack of O’Reilly “Intro to Linux” books that my spilling a cup of coffee at the OpenSUSE booth was a complete accident on Sunday afternoon. If Joe “Zonker” Brockmeier hadn’t been handing me iguanas to give to the kids, then that wouldn’t have happened. And, I think it’s fair to say that I did clean up the mess . . . .
  • Muchissimas gracias a Maria Luisa de KDE para el refresco, y cuando tiene la foto de tu y yo, yo quiero una copia de la foto.
  • I spoke more Spanish at SCaLE than I have on any two days since I left Miami 22 years ago, and because I lived in Japan 7 years ago, I kept mixing up Spanish and Japanese in conversation — which probably made me sound like a bigger lunatic than most people think I am.
  • One of the funniest things was to see Mirano, Malakai and Saskia sitting around the hotel room on Saturday night emptying their bags and going through the swag as if it were Halloween candy.
  • Happy Birthday again, David Maust (CTO of Tall Umbrella, our neighbor at SCaLE) — any company that give you two birthday cakes on your birthday is worth mentioning.
  • Press: We had our share of media visitors at the booth over the weekend, who spoke to Karsten Wade about matters Fedora: In order of appearance — Nathan Willis of Linux Weekly News; Kata Tanaka Okopnik of Linux Gazette; Steven Rosenberg of the Los Angeles Daily News; and a guy whose name I didn’t get. Not only this, press photographers were all over the fact that we had XOs at the booth and one child per laptop using them.
  • Cool things about SCaLE: The guys who organized it (all of them) who hosted an excellent show; the XOs at the OLPC booth, the Earth Treasury booth and, of course, at the Fedora booth; ZaReason’s CTO Earl Malmrose installing Fedora 10 on one of the company’s laptops and keeping it displayed during the course of the show (thanks, Earl!); FSF’s larger GNU stickers (as well as some of the new swag at their table); the constant activity at the KDE booth; finally meeting (after corresponding at length with) David Nalley, Clint Savage, Jon Stanley, Tom Callaway, Joseph Smidt, Scott Ruecker, Joe “Zonker” Brockmeier, Joe Smith, Nathan Haines, Jono Bacon, Gareth Greenaway, Stuart Sheldon, Orv Beach.
  • I’ll blog on this another time, but what is it with people who stop by the booth — any booth, and not just ours — just to waste time in meaningless “let-me-tell-you-why-your-distro-sucks” one-sided conversations? I’m serious — where do these people come from, and don’t they have anything better to do? As far as I’m concerned, these are mostly one-sided conversations — I just smile and nod while I wait for a valid point to arrive in the conversation (which, in more cases than not, never has the courtesy to show up).

    [FSF Associate Member](Fedora ambassador Larry Cafiero runs HeliOS Solutions West/Felton Linuxworks in Felton, California, and is an associate member of the Free Software Foundation.)

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    Road Trip of the Penguins, Chapter 3

    February 22, 2009 Leave a comment

    A couple of notes as we head into Sunday:

  • Everyone in the Fedora booth has done a herculean job during the course of the weekend. Hats off to Karsten Wade, David Nalley, Jon Stanley, Tom Callaway and Clint Savage.
  • Speaking of heculean, the staff at SCaLE has also done a great job in putting on an excellent show so far. Congratulations and thanks go to a tireless staff and crew that puts on this first signficant GNU/Linux event of the year.
  • Great swag (schwag?): Despite an economic downturn, much of the promotional material has been top notch. Red Hat’s red caps — a.k.a. red Red Hat hat (say that three times fast) — went so quickly that the booth was out by noon. CDs and DVDs flew out of the Fedora booth, and T-shirts also are finding their way onto bodies (with the proviso that those who get T-shirts have to wear them right then and there).

    More to follow.

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  • Road Trip of the Penguins, Part 2b

    February 21, 2009 2 comments

    . . . or not 2b, that is the question . . .

    SCaLE day one, officially and expo-wise: Doors opened at 10 and throughout the course of the day it was a constant blur of people stopping by wanting to talk Fedora, wanting to talk GNU/Linux, wanting to talk about just about anything. Prior to the doors opening Tom Callaway and Jon Stanley had the booth in order when I brought down the Event Box and media, though I know that David Nalley and Clint Savage also had a hand in getting the booth ready on Friday.

    Malakai, Saskia, Mirano and Shaun had an assignment that they performed flawlessly: That was to promote the Fedora and Red Hat presentations that were going on, their mission was to hand out fliers and go around the exhibition area and guide people to the Fedora booth. This is an assignment the four of them tackled with gusto. In fact, the girls came up with a chant:

    The best thing about Fedora is freedom,
    If you have a computer, you definitely need ‘em.

    And clad in Fedora shirts, the four of them circulated the expo floor handing out fliers and chanting the newly coined phrase.

    Prior to SCaLE, I had made arrangements to meet folks with whom I had a long professional relationship but have never met in person. One person fitting that bill is Scott Ruecker of LXer.com, whom I finally had the chance to meet and have a lengthy conversation with — GNU/Linux user to user and journalist to journalist. Not only this, it was good to see those I see often, like Frank Turner, a regular at Cabrillo GNU/Linux User Group and Felton LUG meetings who made the trip from Santa Cruz County.

    Also on hand in SCaLE is ZaReason, the hardware specialist from Berkeley. Cathy Malmrose of ZaReason presented a talk on Friday on women in FOSS which I wish I could have attended, and Earl Malmrose, ZaReason’s CTO, got a Fedora 10 live CD and installed it on one of the ZaReason laptops. Would this be a sign of things to come? I don’t know.

    The press stopped by the booth as well. Karsten Wade had a lengthy interview with Steven Rosenberg of the Los Angeles Daily News about the Fedora community, and also Nathan Willis from Linux Weekly News stopped by for a lengthy interview as well.

    Media and stickers flew off the table during the course of the day, and as soon as I can process more of the blur that occupied most of the day, I will have more to say, which will probably come tomorrow.

    [FSF Associate Member](Fedora ambassador Larry Cafiero runs HeliOS Solutions West/Felton Linuxworks in Felton, California, and is an associate member of the Free Software Foundation.)

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    Road Trip of the Penguins, Chapter 2

    February 21, 2009 Leave a comment

    A quick wrap for Friday: Again, Fedora Activity Day started slowly and gained momentum throughout the day. I will leave the degree of success to be debated by those who attended and those who look at what was accomplished, but from my vantage point it was a success.

    Clint Savage’s son, Shaun, joined the entourage in the afternoon, giving Fedora a foursome of youth to tackle the show floor with their exuberance which hopefully will translate into visitors at the booth. Saturday morning, the girls — Mirano, Malakai and Saskia — are at the pool at the moment for their pre-SCaLE swim.

    Meanwhile, I sit with XOs to the left of me, boxes to the right . . . and I suppose that means I should lug them down there, now that it’s 8:30 and the floor is open to exhibitors.

    More to follow.

    [FSF Associate Member](Fedora ambassador Larry Cafiero runs HeliOS Solutions West/Felton Linuxworks in Felton, California, and is an associate member of the Free Software Foundation.)

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    Road Trip of the Penguins, Part 1a

    February 20, 2009 Leave a comment

    Whew. After jumping through a plethora of techincal hoops, the Fedora Activity Day got underway a little behind schedule, but with a group of people that far exceeded the number of folks who signed up.

    Throughout the course of the day the room varied from 12-20 people, working both on documentation and on font packaging during the course of the day. The morning and early afternoon was dedicated to docs, and the mid- to late afternoon want to font packaging. Yours truly stayed on the safe side of the street, continuing the documentation while other braver souls took on the font packaging.

    Mirano spent the day with the me as Malakai and Saskia went to Disneyland. Other than a quick dip in the pool and a few laps, she spent the entire time in the Fedora Activity Day working on her own version of documentation (i.e., Neopets correspondence, I think).

    On the whole, despite the fact that we got a late start, the Fedora Activity Day looks like a success so far. There certainly isn’t a shortage of people, and one of the interesting aspects of the entire event is the foot traffic that wandered in, some of whom we “put to work,” in a nice way of course.

    Dinner, sleep and the first day of the expo to come tomorrow.

    [FSF Associate Member](Fedora ambassador Larry Cafiero runs HeliOS Solutions West/Felton Linuxworks in Felton, California, and is an associate member of the Free Software Foundation.)

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    Road Trip of the Penguins, Part 1

    February 20, 2009 1 comment

    Give credit for the title to my daughter, Mirano, who dubbed our mission to the Soutnern California Linux Expo (SCaLE) as such.

    Yesterday, Karsten Wade and his two daughters — Malakai and Saskia — Mirano and I left Santa Cruz around 10 a.m. and pointed the rented minivan south, making almost record time down to Los Angeles until we reached I-405 (or, if your from Southern California, “the” 405), where a freewheeling freeway became a parking lot; not uncommon for the 405.

    Once checked in to the Westin, the girls went down to the pool, which was talked about for a majority of the trip down, between conversations revolving around pie (don’t ask) and some math homework the girls had to take care of.

    One of the great things about gatherings like this is that you put faces to the names that grace your e-mail box and faces to the people you talk to regularly on various IRC channels. David Nalley and Jon Stanley arrived at the hotel late Thursday afternoon, and just as we were about to go to dinner, we were accosted by Gareth Greenaway — one of SCaLE’s organizers — where we sorted out some last-minute details about Fedora Activity Day. On the way out, Tom Callaway walked in — another member of the dinner party added.

    I’ll be updating this blog during the course of SCaLE. Watch this space.

    [FSF Associate Member](Fedora ambassador Larry Cafiero runs HeliOS Solutions West/Felton Linuxworks in Felton, California, and is an associate member of the Free Software Foundation.)

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    Weighing in on SCaLE

    February 18, 2009 2 comments

    OSCON is months away. LinuxWorld — excuse me, Open Source World — might as well be an eon or two away. What’s a person to do in the meantime?

    If you have the misfortune of living outside the Golden State, hop a plane and make your way to Los Angeles this weekend for the Southern California Linux Expo.

    If you’re within walking or driving distance, by all means you should be able to get your fix before the summer at the Westin Los Angeles Airport from Friday through Sunday.

    The seventh annual edition of this first-of-the-year GNU/Linux show is growing by leaps and bounds. With its unique placement on the calendar, its importance in the grand scheme of the Linux year grows also.

    While both Bradley Kuhn and Joe ‘Zonker’ Brockmeier are delivering keynotes, the lineup of speakers at various sessions this year are top notch.

    For starters, on Friday Edward Cherlin talks about Open Source Textbooks, Cathy Malmrose of ZaReason talks about women’s significant and understated contribution to open source, Stormy Peters tells us how things actually get done in open source and Joe Smith talks about College and Open Source.

    (Of course, the piece-de-resistance for the day is that all day Friday, Fedora is having its Fedora Activity Day in the Midway room — stop by. And that’s before the Fedora Birds of a Feather from 7-8 p.m.)

    If that’s not enough, Clint Savage tells us about Fedora Remix on Saturday — a very cool way to roll your own — along with Brian Che on a Real Time Introduction to Linux and for the legal eagles, you might want to catch Rob Tiller talking about Patents and Open Source After Bilski.

    Of special note on Sunday — other than Zonker’s keynote — are Nathan Haines presentation entitled Growing Up Free and Akkana Peck’s Bug Fixing for Everyone.

    Speaking of bug fixing, not only is Fedora spending Friday dealing with some housekeeping items on fonts and documentation, Ubuntu is holding a Bug Jam all weekend.

    Add this to the 82 exhibitors and you have yourself a great start to 2009.

    I’ll be spending most of my time in the Fedora booth, so feel free to stop by and say “hello.”

    [Also, to those in the Silicon Valley, I hear that the SVLUG booth may need a little help in the staffing department . . . . Now is the time to come to the aid of your LUG :-) ]

    [FSF Associate Member](Fedora ambassador Larry Cafiero runs HeliOS Solutions West/Felton Linuxworks in Felton, California, and is an associate member of the Free Software Foundation.)

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