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Never too early for SCALE

October 7, 2012 4 comments

Now that Ohio Linux Fest is in the books and now that the only thing really left on the Linux horizon is LISA in San Diego just after Thanksgiving — but then, LISA is not for us mere mortals, but for the hallowed and revered system administrators. So we get to set our sights on Linux/FOSS events for next year.

Starting in February, we get to turn it up to 11.

The Southern California Linux Expo SCALE 11X takes place in February again — thank goodness — and is scheduled for Feb. 22-24, 2013, at the Hilton Los Angeles Airport hotel. As you might recall, SCALE 10X was moved to January, the weekend after linux.conf.au in Australia. While this caused a moderate amount of hue and cry, it proved that two major Linux events could be held on consecutive weekends on two separate continents.

Fortunately, we don’t have to deal with that exercise again this time, with SCALE 11X returning to its usual Presidents Day weekend schedule in February.

Here’s the lowdown: The call for papers opened about a month ago, and the deadline for submissions is Dec. 10. You’ll be notified by Christmas if your talk has been accepted. A complete run-down of what to do and how to do it can be found here.

Registration? If you’re ready to register, go ahead. You can go here and sign up now.

Matthew Garrett is giving one of the two keynotes at SCALE 11X, and his talk is entitled “The Secure Boot Journey.” He plans to detail his work over the past year – technical, political and diplomatic – in getting Linux to run on Unified Extensible Firmware Interface — more commonly known as UEFI — Secure Boot systems. He will outline the scenario where Linux users could not only be assured that they can run Linux out of the box in UEFI-based systems, but also how Secure Boot can be used to enhance security.

The second keynote has yet to be decided.

The usual tracks will be present as well as the celebrated UpSCALE talks and the legendary Games Event on Saturday night. More information on the keynote and other SCALE 11X developments will be released, of course, as they are confirmed.

Watch this space, or visit the SCALE 11X page at http://www.socallinuxexpo.org

This blog, and all other blogs by Larry the Free Software Guy and Larry Cafiero, are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs CC BY-NC-ND license. In short, this license allows others to download this work and share it with others as long as they credit me as the author, but others can’t change it in any way or use it commercially.

(Larry Cafiero is one of the founders of the Lindependence Project and develops business software at Redwood Digital Research, a consultancy that provides FOSS solutions in the small business and home office environment.)

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In a festive mood

March 10, 2011 1 comment

Linuxfest Northwest 2011 - April 30th-May 1st I’ll be there. You should be there, too. As well as at the other events mentioned below — go to a Linux fest at a location near you.

If it’s Thursday morning and it’s 8ish in the morning, it must be The White Raven, home of Larry’s (not me) Famous Chai, and at 8ish, it gives me another chance to blog before taking on the rest of the Redwood Digital world at 9ish

Someone asked me yesterday, “Hey, Larry the Free Software Guy — Why are you posting a link to Linux Fest Northwest on your blog when it’s a few months away? What about those events that are coming up?”

That’s a good question that deserves a good answer, and hopefully this will suffice, so bear with me for a short introduction.

Leading up to the Southern California Linux Expo SCALE 9X, I had a link and a logo for that show. As far as community-run expos go, SCALE is probably the best one of the year, and not only that, SCALE rivals the O’Reilly-run OSCON as perhaps the best show of the year. Without a doubt, SCALE is certainly the better value due to the cost to attend. For a crew of volunteers to put on a highly professional show like SCALE is a testament to the power of community

[Two things: A truth in advertising moment -- I am a SCALE staffer, a co-chair of the publicity committee, but even if I wasn't somewhat partial to SCALE for that reason, it's still an outstanding show and a huge credit to those who put in the work to make it happen, and happen successfully year in and year out. Secondly, OSCON is an outstanding show and O'Reilly's staff does an outstanding job in putting on this expo as well, and my preference to SCALE reflects the high quality of the SoCal show and does not reflect any shortcoming by the folks who put on OSCON, as blog items in the past have attested to how much I like going to Portland in July.]

So the questioner is right — there are two shows coming up that deserve special mention, as well as your attendance if you’re within walking/bus/train/driving/flying distance of them.

Back home again in Indiana, the Indiana Linux Fest, kicks off its inaugural event. According to its site, ILF “is a community F/OSS conference, which is showcasing the best the community has to offer in the way of Free and Open Source Software, Open Hardware, and Free Culture. We are also highlighting the best and brightest from all of these communities from the hobbyist to professional level.” ILF is being held March 25-27 at the Wyndam Indianapolis West, and it’s free.

Texas Linux Fest is April 2 in Austin. In its second year, TXLF made the excellent call in making Ken Starks its keynoter this year. With the HeliOS Project in Austin, Ken’s been doing great things and it’s about time he’s getting the recognition in FOSS circles for walking the walk while talking the talk in getting Linux boxes into the hands of people to use — in the HeliOS Project’s case, it’s underprivileged kids.

Both shows have outstanding lineups of speakers and sessions, and frankly I wish I could make both of them. It’s almost worth playing hooky and going to Austin, just to heckle Ken from the cheap seats; don’t worry, Ken, I’ll resist the temptation.

But it’s worth your while to make the trip to either of these shows, depending on which is more geographically expedient for you. Make the reservation now.

Meanwhile, at the end of April, you can find me at Linux Fest Northwest. If you’re making that one, I will surely see you there.

[FSF Associate Member] (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.)
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SCALE 9X: It’s a wrap

March 1, 2011 2 comments

Yeah, it’s over, but it was an absolutely great show. Visit the site for some of the details, and see you next year in L.A.!

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.

[FSF Associate Member] (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.)
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SCALE 9X, Day 2.0: Sunday morning coming down

February 27, 2011 2 comments

Yeah, it’s the last day, but there’s no reason why you can’t join in. Registration is still open for SCALE 9X — register now by clicking on the winking penguin. Better do it quick, though — SCALE 9X wraps up at the end of the day.!

First on the to-do list when I get home: Lobby the legislature to make days longer; 36 hours apiece, maybe. The reason is that I can never get enough things done during the course of a 24-hour day, especially where shows like SCALE 9X are involved.

As for Saturday, SCALE 9X was — in the words of Jim Rome — “phenomenal,” and it appears that Sunday is looking pretty good, too. The Fedora booth was well attended and superbly staffed — Tom Callaway, Alex Acosta, Robyn Bergeron and Scott Williams (and, of course, yours truly) — and with a team like that in a booth, you can be sure that Fedora is putting its best face forward.

SCALE 9X is in a bigger venue this year, with more booths, however the “traffic” problem that has been an issue in years past at the Westin was not evident. In fact, the masses of people descending locust-like onto booths were not as cramped as in years past, and the fact that nearly 1,700 badges were made — for those of you keeping score at home, those are the people who paid and attended — attest to the fact that SCALE and the Hilton may be doing more business for years to come.

Another point that needs magnifying is the wireless at SCALE 9X. With a couple of hiccups, the wireless has been very good at the show overall. Bear in mind that when you have 1,700 geeks running around with wireless capability, you’re going to have glitches mostly borne of heavy use. For those of you who don’t get that, and have blasted the show because you couldn’t get on line at one particular point or another, you need to reassess this.

Again, with my duties as a Fedora booth babe and a SCALE official, I didn’t have the time to be one of the aforementioned locust, but I’m hoping that the typically slower pace of the show on Sunday will lend itself to some swag runs. In addition. I’ll report back with the best swag of the show in a later missive.

Time to suit up in my hockey jersey . . . .

[FSF Associate Member] (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.)
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SCALE 9X, Day 1.0: Saturday morning

February 26, 2011 1 comment

Yeah, it already started, but there’s no reason why you can’t join in. Registration is still open for SCALE 9X — register now by clicking on the winking penguin. Better do it quick, though — SCALE 9X is this weekend!

To put Day 0 to rest, the evening started out with a nice dinner with fellow SCALE Publicity Co-Chair Orv Beach and my family, which was followed by the UpSCALE talks. The talks, patterned after Ignite Talks where speakers are given five minutes with slides automatically advancing every 20 seconds (so that’s 20 slides per speaker), are a challenge and fortunately for me, Mimi and I were up to the task. Each of the talks were very interesting and funny, whether it was Mark Terranova in his penguin suit or Amber Graner giving us the true Southern translation of the expression “bless your heart.” Rikki Kite’s presentation about media hit close to home and, as a newpaper guy, I was glad to see her “tips” for techies get out into the wild.

Another thing about last night: I received my SCALE hockey jersey. Those of you who know me know I don’t like hockey — it’s a difficult sport because a.) it involves ice skating, b.) it involves trying to keep an object ahead of you while ice skating and c.) it involves trying to stay upright while your opponent tries to knock you down while you try to keep the object ahead of you while ice skating. However, truth be told, if there’s any jersey I can wear without looking like a complete idiot, it’s a hockey jersey. So Gareth Greenaway made up jerseys for the SCALE chairs, complete with name on the back, and I proudly wear mine. Just don’t blame me if you find me in the penalty box periodically during the course of the show.

Saturday morning, so far, has been catching up and a distinct longing for coffee before heading downstairs to get said coffee and setting up the Fedora booth, all along with a nagging suspicion that I should have brought more media. I parsed out swag and media for two shows — SCALE and Linux Fest Northwest — and with attendance numbers seeming to eclipse last year, I might have brought more. We’ll see.

This is report 1.0. Report 1.1 will follow, but for now I hear a cup of coffee calling my name from 16 floors below me, and its siren song cannot be resisted. More later.

[FSF Associate Member] (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.)
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SCALE 9X Day 0: Friday at the Hilton

February 25, 2011 Leave a comment

Yeah, it started, but there’s no reason why you can’t join in. Registration is still open for SCALE 9X — register now by clicking on the winking penguin. Better do it quick, though — SCALE 9X is this weekend!

I’m getting too old for this. Either that or I should train for events like this, sort of like training for a marathon.

I say this because it’s roughly 3 in the afternoon and already my bed is looking good. Whether it’s press duties for SCALE or FAD duties for the Fedora Project, I’m getting a lot of things done in a little bit of time. Tonight I have an UpSCALE talk with my darling daughter on “Linux Family Cafiero” — Here’s a story, of a man name Larry . . . .

I had a presentation this morning on “User Groups 2.0: Noob Morning in America” that was great. Sadly, the A/V side of things were not up to snuff, and whether or not the presentation was worthwhile watching for those who tuned in remains to be seen. Regardless, SCALE is turning out to be an outstanding event so far, and it’s only about six hours old.

One of the more interesting facets of the show so far is that the Fedora Activity Day is SRO — there are a lot more people than were expected for the event. That’s a good thing on several levels.

Two things that need special mention:

Numbers: It appears that the numbers are up this year so far. With more than 700 registered so far on Friday and another thousand yet to be registered — those would be the ones coming for the weekend — augmented by walk-ups that invariably show up, we’re looking at a record number going forward.

A quote: “There’s no patch for human stupidity.” I got that from Clint Savage of Purple Atom and the Fedora Project, though truth be told, I don’t know the origin of the quote.

I’ll report back about UpSCALE later in the evening. Now if there’s a place for me to lie down for awhile . . . .

[FSF Associate Member] (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.)
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Categories: Fedora, SCaLE, SCALE 9X Tags: , ,

SCALE 9X: Where ‘awesome’ starts in 2011

February 23, 2011 Leave a comment

Registration is now open for SCALE 9X — register now by clicking on the winking penguin. Better do it quick, though — SCALE 9X is about to start!

Truth in advertising: While I don’t really have a stake in what happens this weekend at the 9th annual Southern California Linux Expo — more commonly known as SCALE 9X — I actually co-chair the publicity committee. It’s an easy job because, quite frankly, this show more than any other really speaks eloquently for itself, and I just have to point at any facet of the show, smile and say “see?”

But even if I didn’t have a personal say in what gets publicized for the event, I’d still say that it’s an outstanding show.

SCALE 9X is where “awesome” spends the first part of the year before heading out to the other Linux/FOSS shows. It starts somewhere, and it starts in Los Angeles.

Two excellent keynoters — Leigh Honeywell and Jane Silber — will have their keynotes streamed live on 10 a.m. Saturday and Sunday, Pacific Time. They lead a field of more than 90 speakers (one of which is me, of course) who begin with presentations on Friday morning at 9 (where you can hear “User Groups 2.0: Noob Morning in America” by yours truly in Los Angeles CD) and end Sunday afternoon. Throw in the mix an exhibit floor with more than 100 exhibitors and other pretty amazing things — laser tag on Saturday night — and you have a pretty solid expo.

The thing is, it’s all community-run. Unlike some of the larger shows which are put on by corporate entities — O’Reilly for OSCON and IDG for some of the others — the same group of guys have been putting this together, contributing their time and effort, and it’s a world-class show. I wear the “Hi, I’m Johnny-Come-Lately” nametag because I’ve only worked on the show for the last two years, but I can tell you that this is a pro-level operation. It’s an honor and a privilege to work with the SCALE 9X staff.

One of the highlights, personally speaking, will be the Fedora Activity Day, which Clint Savage so eloquently explains here. While other distros are partying hearty, Fedora is putting its nose in a book and helping the people who participate in its community to study in order to successfully pass the Red Hat Certified Engineer test.

There’s still time to register for SCALE 9X: Go here and click on the registration tab. You won’t be sorry.

And maybe the “A” in SCALE — now representing the latter part of the abbreviation for “California” — can be “Awesome” instead, making it the Southern California AWESOME Linux Expo. Why not? It would fit.

Larry the Free Software guy will report from SCALE 9X as time allows. Watch this space.

[FSF Associate Member] (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.)
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