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Sharpen your No. 2 pencils

October 24, 2011 Leave a comment

As you might expect, the Southern California Linux Expo — that’s SCALE 10X for those of you keeping score at home — starts a month early this year, and preparations are already in full swing.

So the folks that have to organize the Call for Papers, make the decisions, schedule the rooms, etc. — and that includes yours truly — remind you that the deadline for the SCALE 10X Call for Papers is rapidly approaching.

The SCALE team just sent out an announcement reminding those who plan to give a presentation or workshop at SCALE 10X that there are just a little over three weeks left to submit. The SCALE 10X Call for Papers closes on Nov. 17.

To submit a presentation for SCALE 10X, you have to first register as a speaker. Registrations from previous years are no longer valid. Speakers may submit multiple presentations.

For more information, visit this link.

Required tag line: SCALE 10X will be held from Jan. 20-22 at the Hilton Los Angeles Airport in Los Angeles. For more information on the expo, visit the SCALE 10X page.

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 has just started developing software in his new home office. Watch this space.)

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Eliminate DRM!

The kids are all right

October 17, 2011 1 comment

Gareth Greenaway, the tallest of the SCALE team running the Southern California Linux Expo, proposes to help out the smallest of the Linux/FOSS users.

How? For the first time ever, the Southern California Linux Expo will host the SCALE Kids Conference on Gareth’s watch, a free and open source event where the community leaders of tomorrow will be able to spotlight their talents and ideas.

According to a recent SCALE release, the goal of the conference is to be as “kid driven” as possible. The event offers a unique opportunity for kids 10 to 16 to see and experience the inner workings of planning, determine the content, and help to steer the direction that the conference will take.

The SCALE Kids Conference will take place on Saturday, Jan. 21, 2012 in parallel with the main SCALE 10X conference.

For those parents and kids interested in helping to plan the event, Gareth and the SCALE team (and that includes yours truly) encourage you to join the scale-kids mailing list here.

Don’t forget: SCALE 10X will be held from Jan. 20-22 at the Hilton Los Angeles Airport Hotel. Call for papers is open. Mark your calendars.

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 has just started developing software in his new home office. Watch this space.)

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Eliminate DRM!

Draw your way to LA

October 10, 2011 Leave a comment

Want a free trip to the Southern California Linux Expo — SCALE 10X — in Los Angeles in January, with accommodations, airfare and admission to the expo all paid?

In marking 10 years of the Southern California Linux Expo and 20 years of Linux, the SCALE team announced today it wants to incorporate an open-source approach to this year’s expo logo designs for publications, signage and swag.

The SCALE team is holding a contest, closing Nov. 4, to select the artwork for use on this year’s t-shirts, attendee bags, and other conference materials. The designer of the winning submission will win a free pass to SCALE 10X, including airfare within the continental United States, as well as a three-night stay at the Hilton Los Angeles Airport.

Here’s what you do:

– Grab Troy, the SCALE penguin. Files can be downloaded at the contest site – http://www.socallinuxexpo.org/blog/design-logo-scale-10x-win-trip-la

– Design a logo

– Send your submission by e-mail no later than 11:59 p.m. Pacific Time on Nov. 4 to contest@socallinuxexpo.org

But wait, there’s more. Make sure that

– Your design is in either a PDF, SVG or EPS format, 300 DPI or higher; and

– You include a caption/slogan to be used with the design.

Contest rules — and there are a lot of them (and the airfare covers only the United States) — and other information can be found on the contest page at http://www.socallinuxexpo.org/blog/design-logo-scale-10x-win-trip-la

SCALE 10X will be held from Jan. 20-22 at the Hilton Los Angeles Airport Hotel. For more information on SCALE 10X, visit 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 has just started developing software in his new home office. Watch this space.)

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Eliminate DRM!

But wait, there’s more

August 8, 2011 7 comments

Yes, I know LinuxCon is next, and that’s in mid-August, but I think they’ve got the publicity thing covered, especially with the 20-year thing and with Linus being there and all. But if you’re going to the next show, make it the Ohio LinuxFest in September. Bradley Kuhn and Cathy Malmrose are keynoting, so you’ll not want to miss that (especially Cathy — Go ZaReason!)

Because there’s no proverbial hornet’s nest to stir up in the near vicinity, I guess I’ll just touch on a few topics and issues that have popped up on the radar as of late. Like

Ohio Linux Fest: There’s some big to-do up in Vancouver next week, something about twenty years of a widely used operating system that puts Windows to shame, a guy named Linus who doesn’t like GNOME 3 and other luminaries in the Linux constellation of stars, blah blah blah. But for those who can’t make that, you might want to head to Columbus, Ohio, to discover the Ohio Linux Fest next month. The event runs from Sept. 9-11 at the Greater Columbus Convention Center in downtown Columbus. The keynoters are Cathy Malmrose, of ZaReason fame, and Bradley Kuhn, of Software Freedom Conservancy fame. As this is the last big event of the year now that Utah Open Source Conference is in mothballs this year until next spring, it might be a good chance to get in a show before the year’s out.

But wait, there’s more.

Weighing in on SCALE: The folks at the Southern California Linux Expo — that’s SCALE 10X in January (that’s right, I said January) — plan to pull out a few stops for the show’s 10th anniversary. Rather than divulge what I already know, I can tell you they’ve moved up the show to Jan. 20-22, which is on the tail end of linux.conf.au — LCA2012 if you’re keeping score at home — which runs from Jan. 16-20. Can two different hemispheres handle two big expos back to back? Oh, easily.

But wait, there’s more.

Tails, you win: Another candidate for the distros-to-try-when-I-get-some-free-time list is called Tails, which stands for The Amnesic Incognito Live System. Michael Reed of Linux Journal writes a rather in-depth article about it on the LJ web site. While it sort of mirrors the latest OS offering from our own Department of Defense, it goes a few steps further for those who are not government workers and/or who want to take those few extra steps in the way of ensuring privacy.

With that, it’s time to hit the redwood trail.

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.

[FSF Associate Member] (Larry Cafiero is one of the founders of the Lindependence Project and has just started developing software in his new home office. Watch this space.)
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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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