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A perfect 10

January 24, 2012 1 comment

I’m going to try to say this in my best movie-preview-guy voice.

More than 100 exhibitors.

More than 130 presentations.

Nearly 2,000 people in attendance.

These factors together are what makes the Southern California Linux Expo SCALE 10X a perfect 10.

With 101 exhibitors, 132 presentations and 1,962 people in attendance over the three-day event (roughly a 9 percent uptick in attendance), SCALE 10X nailed it. I’m going to let Joe “Zonker” Brockmeier take the helm here on this one, since his blog item on the event is outstanding and is something I can’t improve on.

But do you think, for a moment, that would stop me from giving some impressions of the show?

Ha.

Yeah, I’m that guy: OK, so if I thought so many people were that interested, I would have made a bigger deal about it; maybe even holding a press conference or something. But yes, I am now primarily a CrunchBang GNU/Linux user and advocate after ramping down my activities with the Fedora Project (though I did use my pull as a former Fedora Ambassador to help out a Fedoran stuck at the hotel). As I mentioned to just about everyone I saw at the show who asked me about it — that’s about 90 percent of the folks I regularly see at shows — there were really two factors involved: a.) I really like CrunchBang a lot since I started using it six months ago, and I think the distro, their lead developer Philip Newborough, and their community have a lot going for them, and b.) under the skillful guidance of Mark Terranova and Scott Williams and other Fedoristas in California, I don’t think I’ll be missed by the Fedora Project all that much.

There. I’m glad we had this little talk. Now go and try CrunchBang — it’s great.

Hey, don’t I know you? After years of talking with some people through e-mails and online, I finally got to meet a few in person. Both keynoters — Greg DeKoenigsberg and Selena Deckelmann (both of whom did great jobs on their Saturday and Sunday keynotes respectively) — have seen my e-mails but only saw my face for the first time (and me theirs) over the weekend. And also I made a trivia question of Rick Moen, who made it down to L.A. from our neck of the woods in the Silicon Valley, and whom I met for the first time. In a fashion statement worthy of note, Rick only wore T-shirts of software no longer with us — the Caldera shirt on Friday was a nice touch, Rick!

Filling some big shoes: Yours truly took control of the media side of things for SCALE 10X, since Orv Beach was teaching the Linux Beginners Class this year. I know that Orv consistently puts in yeoman’s work on the show every year, but I didn’t realize the volume of releases and announcements sent out during the show. I didn’t get to the expo floor until late Saturday afternoon at the earliest, and I hope I did the show proud in running all things media. Drafting Jason Riker and LXer’s Scott Ruecker (no relation, though names are pronounced the same) to help out was a plus. I’ve also gained a new appreciation for Twitter and, yes, yours truly now can condense a message down to 140 characters.

Best. Compliment. Ever. So during one lap around on the show floor, seeing if anyone needed anything in the way of publicity and the like, I had one exhibtor, a woman, tell me this: “This is a great show. In fact, I worked AVS and this show is much better than that one.” I thought I was more worldly than I am, apparently, becuase I had to ask: “AVS?” “Adult Video Show,” she replied. Ah. So noted. On that note, there’s nothing that can beat that.

Except maybe SCALE 11X next year.

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

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Eliminate DRM!

Taking a moment to gloat

January 19, 2012 2 comments

OK, so it’s Thursday morning and I still haven’t packed for SCALE, the Enterprise guy is going to be here in about a half-hour to pick me up so I can drive the rental car back here to load up, I have one more SCALE 10X press release to send out before hitting the road, and there’s a Q-and-A interview also I have to post on the SCALE Web site.

But I’ll drop all that for a moment. This is a little more important.

SCALE 10XRecently, tech writers risked grave injury jumping on the “Linux Desktop is dead” bandwagon. Armies of writers marched lockstep to the theme that the desktop needs to have a fork stuck in it — it’s over, kaput, get it a nice casket. What do we have for our departing contestant?

I told them they were all full of crap.

Meanwhile, this morning Steven J. Vaughan Nichols reports that the Linux desktop might just be growing. It seems a Web research firm called Net Applications produced data showing that Linux’s desktop market share has been growing — from 0.97 percent in July 2011 to a record-breaking 1.41 percent as of this month.

OK, guys, now watch your step getting down off that bandwagon.

See you all at SCALE — arriving around 6ish in the white rental car.

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

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Eliminate DRM!

T-minus 96 hours and counting

January 16, 2012 6 comments

Those who know me well know that, among other things, I really don’t like ice hockey. Oh, I root for the San Jose Sharks in the National Hockey League because they’re the “home team” here, just over the hill in the Silicon Valley (Edit: One thing about hockey I do like is The Green Men at the Vancouver Canucks games — very funny performances outside the visitor’s penalty box). But to be honest, it’s a sport that makes me grind my teeth. The truth of the matter is that I don’t like it because I can’t play it.

SCALE 10XSkating on ice is hard enough. Canadians, Scandinavians and Russians: I know you all have a gene that allows you to turn pirouettes on the ice straight from the womb, and that’s great. But I can’t stay perpendicular for very long while on skates on frozen water. Add to this that I’d have to stay perpendicular on the ice and keep a rubber disk in front of me with a stick; difficulty squared. The clincher? Keeping perpendicular on the ice while keeping a rubber disk in front of me with a stick while people are trying to knock me down (which, of course, would anger me to bodily harm on the ice, and I understand that you can’t legally hit people with your stick, unfortunately).

“So,” you ask, “are we going to get to the point of this blog anytime soon, Larry?”

Yes.

While I don’t like hockey, currently my favorite article of clothing is my SCALE hockey jersey, which is now packed and ready for SCALE 10X. SCALE 10X is being held Friday to Sunday of this week, a mere four days from today, at the Hilton Los Angeles Airport hotel.

A little history: At SCALE 9X last year, the powers that be at the show figured there should be some way to identify the staff on the floor of the show — something that would make them stand out. The result: SCALE hockey jerseys, with the name of the staff person across the back. If you were a speaker, a vendor, an exhibitor or anyone else at the show and you needed something, you needed to give a hip check to the person you saw running around with a hockey jersey.

Or you could find me: I’d be the one in the hockey jersey taking five steps and immediately falling down, but I digress.

I’m giving two presentations at SCALE 10X this year — “User Groups 2.1: Noob Morning in America” (a reprise of last years “User Group 2.0″ talk) at 10 a.m. Friday in the hotel’s beautiful Catalina D room, and “On Beyond Zenwalk” on Saturday at 3 in the hotel’s Los Angeles B room. I’m also your host for the CrunchBang GNU/Linux “Birds of a Feather” event on Saturday evening as well.

Just don’t ask me to shoot and score.

More on SCALE 10X coming this week in this blog. Watch this space.

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

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Eliminate DRM!

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