Just call me the ADD Poster Boy: After winning a Palm Pre 2 from the HP booth, I am finding that I now own a phone that is smarter than me. While I search far and wide regarding its hackability — like, Google: “Can I install Android?” (heh heh heh) — I have to say much of the Sunday/Monday learning curve has taken me away from this blog.
But now that I’ve figured it out, I can report back about Sunday, the weekend and everything else SCALE 9X. Like:
More people: SCALE had been flirting with overwhelming success all weekend. Friday’s “problem” at registration was that the folks in that department faced a lot more people than normally come on a Friday, to the point of where 800 of the attendees for the weekend came on Friday. The final tally — 1,802. So 1,002 folks came over the weekend to make this a record year for SCALE, and as a result, it makes the outlook for FOSS this year really robust. So get out there and FOSS it up, folks.
Better venue: The Hilton went above and beyond to help SCALE be a success. The larger venue made for easier traffic flow in the aisles to the point where it appeared that there were less people at times due to the fact that there were less human jams, save for booths holding raffles (like the HP booth, where yours truly won a Palm Pre 2. Did I mention that?). Most booth folks I spoke to said they were incredibly happy with the event, as were many attendees.
Better connectivity: The wireless, which was choked last year, performed well after a small hiccup on Saturday morning. Bear in mind that when you get 1,800 geeks in the same area at the same time, your wireless performance may be . . .. how can I put this tactfully? . . . taxed. But the SCALE communications staff nailed it this year and there were few, if any, of the holdups that the show suffered from last year.
But at this point, you’re probably asking, “But Larry the Free Software Guy, what about Sunday?”
Sunday was fairly uneventful, as they usually are. Jane Silber of Ubuntonical gave her keynote talk on “The Cloud and Human Beings,” which was well attended. Booths on Sunday took the usual breather since there were less people around — and this serves as a hint to those attending shows: Want to have a longer, more engaged talk with folks in a booth? The second day — in SCALE’s case, Sunday — is the best day to do this. At the Fedora booth, we were able to help some folks with Fedora related problems and got to take more time with issues that came up. Not only this, it allowed me a chance to go swag hunting and this year, rather than taking one of each and backing in the fork lift, I took things I was actually going to read and/or use.
A couple of notes:
Nexenta a server darling? A couple of server vendors had booths at SCALE, one of which was Pogo Linux, and the server folks seem to have latched on to Nexenta, a Solaris-based OS, as their operating system of choice. Maybe it’s a sign of things to come, but it’s interesting that they’ve taken this Solaris based distro and made it their own.
Best swag: Rackspace didn’t have the tattoo sleeve at SCALE, so the best SWAG — stuff we all get, for those of you keeping score at home — goes to Softlayer for their flying rings. Honorable mention also goes to The Positive Internet Company for their giraffe toy.
The legend lives on: The borders on the OpenSUSE booth structure this year are black, where once they were grey. They were grey when I accidentally — accidentally, I swear — spilled coffee on it and possibly stained it when Joe “Zonker” Brockmeier gave me a stuffed lizard for Mirano that year and I spilled coffee on the booth. The legend of the coffee spill lives on and it has grown to become that I had spilled a pot of coffee on the booth, as well as I might have spilled a pot of coffee on Zonker himself in my zeal to trash the OpenSUSE booth. None of which is true, but it makes for a great story of which William Randolph Hearst (“never let the facts get in the way of a good story”) would be proud.
Meanwhile, 40 minutes later . . . .: For those of you still keeping score at home, I am told it took approximately 42 minutes for Jane Silber to say the word “Linux” in her keynote on Sunday. I wasn’t there — I had a couple of other things to do, so I’m never able to make keynotes — but this was relayed to me by someone who thought that was peculiar. Indeed.
Now it’s on to Linux Fest Northwest.
(Fedora ambassador Larry Cafiero runs Redwood Digital Research in Felton, California, and is an associate member of the Free Software Foundation. He is also one of the founders of the Lindependence Project.)
There are a lot of people around the planet who talk the Free/Open Source Software talk and walk the Free/Open Source Software walk. Fortunately for us here in the Silicon Valley — and those of us “over the hill” from the valley in the Santa Cruz Mountains — many of them live within driving distance of yours truly.
Mark Terranova is one of those FOSS activists in the San Francisco Bay Area who puts me to shame. Between Gidget Kitchen and the variety of distros he advocates, Mark is one of the people you want on your team if you want to get things done.
Mark wrote a blog item here equating some of the characters in “Star Wars” to some of the, ahem, “characters” in the FOSS galaxy.
Mark honored me with being the Yoda in this constellation. About halfway down the blog item, I’m teamed up with Quaid Gon-Jin, also known as Red Hat’s Community Gardener Karsten Wade. Mark’s mashup can be found here.
As long as I don’t have to talk in disjointed sentences — disjointed sentences I will not talk in, hmmm? — I’d gladly say that I am both grateful and humbled by Mark’s designation, and I hope I can live up to it. Thanks, MarkDude.
[Although one thing, Mark: I find it hard to believe that the mashup of Jono Bacon, as Han Jono, looks any different than Jono in his usual daily garb. But never mind.]
Mea culpa. Mea maxima culpa.
After writing my last entry, I went to bed thinking that I had forgotten to mention someone. And as I have been reminded in many of the posts in the last entry, I did — possibly the biggest FUD-meister of them all.
So here’s his nomination:
Rob Enderle: As one of the Four Horsemen of the FUD-pocalypse, Rob Enderle seems to have never missed an opportunity to malign GNU/Linux in the years that he’s been a self-proclaimed “one of the most recognized commentators on tech” heading The Enderle Group (which I am told, but can’t confirm, may only consists of Mr. and Mrs. Enderle). As of late, his efforts to provide “a unique perspective on personal technology products and trends” (the Enderle Group’s raison d’etre, although it’s a mystery why “. . . while spoon-feeding the public Microsoft’s propaganda because we’re Redmond’s lap dog” is not part of that, truth-in-advertising laws being what they are . . . ) have given us such gems as “Open Source if Losing its Momentum” (after talking with non-FOSS software executives, and you would expect them to say, “Oh absolutely — FOSS is completely kicking our ass,” right Rob?), and (paraphrasing) “monopolies make the best business sense” — yeah, for fascist dictatorships, Rob. And never mind that Rob thinks you’re a communist and a terrorist for being a GNU/Linux user.
[In fairness, there is one other nomination that was received in an LXer.com forum thanks to a poster named dinotrac, and that would be . . . .]
Larry Cafiero: This print journalist whose career spans three decades over two continents saw the FOSS light last year, and has taken up evangelizing for software choice and against software and hardware hegemony, whether it’s Redmond’s or Cupertino’s. He plans to publish Open Source and Free Software Reporter, a bimonthly print magazine, in January while currently maintaining Open Source Reporter and this blog. While characteristically avoiding the chore of rearranging his living room so three iMacs (with different distros) aren’t taking up space on a coffee table, he came up with The Elmers — an award for those spreading disinformation and misinformation about FOSS. However, this newby GNU/Linux evangelist had the unmitigated audacity, in the eyes of one LXer.com forum denizen, to “imply” that .Net won’t run on GNU/Linux. In his defense, he would like to take that back, but ask “why anyone would . . .?,” hoping that answer is forthcoming.
[However, how ethical would it be to win an award that I proposed? Not very, so I cannot accept dinotrac's nomination, but not without thanks and a tip of the hat to the one making this nomination.]
Further nominations will still be accepted . . .
(Larry Cafiero, editor/publisher of Open Source Reporter, is an associate member of the Free Software Foundation.)