While we’re approaching mid-December, it would be prudent for me to point out that preparations have been under way for several weeks now for the Southern California Linux Expo, known this year as SCALE 12X.
You’ve heard me brag about the fact that SCALE, now in its 12th year, is the largest community-run Linux/FOSS show in North America. You’ve heard me repeatedly state that it’s the first-of-the-year Linux/FOSS show on this continent as well. I could say that I do it because I’m the publicity chairperson of the event. But even if I didn’t hold that position, I’d still say it.
It’s by far the one Linux/FOSS event of the year I look forward to most and the one around which I plan my year. It’s like in NASCAR, the biggest race of the year — the Daytona 500 — is first and kicks off the season. Going forward, I should also give fair warning to shows and expos east of the Rockies: I plan to submit presentations and make it to as many shows as possible in 2014, even if — gasp! — I have to get to second base with TSA agents and actually board an airliner to accomplish this.
But let’s put that tortuous visual aside for now.
As the SCALE Team starts putting together the 12th annual show, I should point out to readers that the Call for Papers closes six days from today’s writing — we’re at Dec. 9, by my calendar, so that means at midnight Pacific Standard Time on Dec. 15, your proposal will turn into a pumpkin if you haven’t submitted it. And you should — with the wide range of topics proposed in this informational link, you should have no problems finding an audience for your talk.
Want to be a sponsor at SCALE 12X? Easy enough: Send an e-mail to sponsorship-at-socallinux-dot-org (not using an e-mail link because, well, you know) and someone will help you out with that. Are you a dot-org and/or a nonprofit and want a booth? Gareth Greenaway is your man at gareth-at-socallinuxexpo-dot-org — drop him a line and say that Larry the Free Software Guy sent you.
Maybe you’re not presenting and maybe you’re not sponsoring and/or hosting a booth of your own, but there are two other things you can do.
The first thing you can do is attend. Yep, like life itself, 90 percent of attending SCALE 12X is just showing up — and, like life, it’s what you do with the other 10 percent that counts. Registration is now open by going here.
Want to help? We can always use it and we can always utilize a wide range of talents. Tell us what you can do and there’s a good chance we can find a place for you on the SCALE Team. E-mail us at staff-at-socallinuxexpo-dot-org
It’s a huge team effort every year that makes SCALE, and all the other shows around the continent (or, for that matter, the world), work.
You’ll be hearing more about SCALE on this blog going forward. And I look forward to seeing you all in February.
This blog, and all other blogs by Larry the Free Software Guy, Larry the CrunchBang 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.)
First things first: The Seattle GNU/Linux Conference — or SeaGL as it’s known to all — takes place this week at Seattle Central Community College, Oct. 11-12. If you’re within driving distance (yes, the 14 hours it takes me to drive to Seattle counts — as if I really need an excuse to go to the Northwest), you should make it to the last show of the year, before the FOSS community ramps it up again on this continent with SCALE 12X in February.
Also, looking northward, we got some good news this week from our friends in beautiful downtown Corvallis, Oregon.
The Oregon State University Open Source Lab — their servers are home to just about every Free/Open Source Software program on the planet and, at one time or another, you would have downloaded something from them — joins the ranks of academia at the college, according to an article in on The Oregonian web page this week.
According to the article, OSU OSL moves “from a services role within the university into an academic department as part of the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. The switch will raise the Corvallis lab’s profile and involve dozens more students every year in a program that helped make Oregon a global hub for open source activity.”
Not bad for 10 years of providing great software, not to mention great services to the school and experience for those who have worked in the lab and have gone on to better things.
Lab chief Lance Albertson, who I think is one of the unsung heroes of FOSS, and the folks at the Open Source Lab have always done a great job over the last decade, most of the time under the radar — without fanfare, but with a great attitude and work ethic that has always promoted the most positive aspects of FOSS.
So a hearty congrats to OSU OSL for joining the realm of the educators — not that you weren’t already — and down a glass of champagne for yours truly when celebrating this remarkable accomplisment.
See you in Seattle on Thursday for SeaGL.
[First things first: A huge get-well-soon to my good friend and Portales, New Mexico, Linux stalwart Bob McKeand, the indefatigable "Colonel Panik," who is recovering at home now after a short hospital stay. Here's to hoping that Portales LUG meetings at the Do Drop Inn -- yes, that's the real name -- will commence again shortly.]
Those of us living out here in the West have it good.
Other shows have taken root and blossomed in other parts of the country, like Texas Linux Fest at the end of May, Ohio Linux Fest in Columbus in September and SouthEast LinuxFest (SELF: Linux in the GNU/South) in Charlotte, N.C., in mid-June. But the best Linux/FOSS expos are here on the Pacific side of the continent: In order of annual appearance, we have the Southern California Linux Expo — everyone knows it as SCALE — in Los Angeles starting off the year, Linux Fest Northwest (LFNW) up in Bellingham, Washington, in the spring, and the O’Reilly Open Source Conference — better known as OSCON — in Portland, Oregon, in the summer. We’re going to talk about one of those below, though all these FOSS events around the country are must-attend events, and if you can make one or more of them, you should.
We have another one to add to the mix, but we’re getting ahead of the story.
Just after Ohio Linux Fest wrapped up a few weeks ago, the folks at SCALE 12X put into focus yet again the preparations for the 2014 show, to be held on Feb. 21-23 at the Hilton Los Angeles Airport hotel. The Call for Papers just went out, and much of the other pre-preparation activities are in full swing as the annual work to put on the biggest community-driven Linux/FOSS show in North America is now underway.
It is a huge source of pride, and a job I look forward to every year, to work on the SCALE Team. I am the publicity chairperson for the show, and while we have a lot in store, publicity-wise, for 12X, every year that I’ve been involved (since SCALE 8X) I’m awed at how a group of strong-willed people driven by a passion for FOSS come together and make this happen every year.
Like clockwork, the SCALE Team displays what great feats a dedicated group of people can produce year in and year out. So when you come to SCALE, over 100 booths await you on the exhibit floor and over 80 sessions are available for you to attend over the three days of the event. Sure there are more than last year, and more than the year before, and that’s a testament of both the show’s, and FOSS’s, growth and staying power.
But as I mentioned earlier, this is a tale of two expos: SCALE and another, a new kid on the block.
Some folks in the Puget Sound region of Seattle seem to think that having one great show — LFNW — in the Pacific Northwest is nice, but it’s not enough for the area. So they’ve taken a chunk out of the impending fall and winter between OLF and SCALE to host their own show, the 2013 Seattle GNU/Linux Conference — or SeaGL (and I’m assuming that’s pronounced “seagull”).
The two-day event will be held at Seattle Central Community College on Oct. 11-12. Of course, you may see a familiar name giving a presentation on Friday at 4 p.m. on CrunchBang. But there are far better speakers on the schedule than yours truly — I’m going to try to make it to both of Jesse Keating’s Git presentations as well as to Deb Nicholson’s “Delegate Like a Boss” talk — and from the outset, the inaugural SeaGL looks to be a promising springboard for future shows in the years to come.
SeaGL is at their own starting line, a point where SCALE was once 12 years ago. Hopefully, a dozen years from now (if not sooner), SeaGL will be where SCALE is today — with a hundred exhibitors and more speakers than you can listen to at one time.
If current trends persist, and if the staff at SeaGL is up to the task, there’s no reason why we can’t go to Seattle every October from here on in, just as we go to Los Angeles every February, Bellingham every April, Texas and Charlotte in May and June respectively, Portland every July, and Columbus every September.
See you at the conference.
A few of you e-mailed me and/or pinged me on IRC last week and said, “Hey, Larry the Free Etc., where’s the blog?” Sad to say, a variety of things kept it from happening last week — apologies all around — so I hope to make up for it with the outstanding piece of literature that currently graces your screen.
Included in these happenings that kept me from doing a lot of things I normally do, like blog for example, are the following: Software Freedom Day went off without a hitch around the planet, and I’m going to touch on that next week as the tales of great feats filter in and will be regaled at that time; and we started the AFE School’s first Python for Web Development class, which went well.
But more importantly, getting to this week’s more important announcements and observations, we have this:
Game on! The SCALE 12X Call for Papers is open. Last year, we turned it up to 11. This year, it’s an even dozen. The 12th annual Southern California Linux Expo – SCALE 12X – takes place on Feb. 21-23, 2014, at the Hilton Los Angeles Airport hotel.
The first-of-the-year Linux/Open Source software expo in North America – and the largest annual community-run Free/Open Source Software conference on that continent – SCALE 12X expects to host more than 100 exhibitors this year, along with nearly 100 sessions, tutorials and special events (if memory serves, there were 96 last year).
You have options at SCALE 12X, like presenting — see CFP above — or attending, with the same hotel discounts available this year as every year (registration opens tomorrow); or sponroring and/or exhibiting, with sponsors and corporate exhibitors contacting email@example.com, and dot-orgs contacting firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, you can get involved by volunteering — e-mail email@example.com
But if you can’t wait until February . . . .
SeaGL flies in Seattle: Silly Pacific Northwesterners . . . it’s not enough to have one great show in the region in Linux Fest Northwest in Bellingham, Washington. Nope, there’s an encore — FOSS advocates in Seattle want to bring that springtime Bellingham goodness down to the Puget Sound area by forming their own second regional show for a FOSS-starved area in Microsoft’s backyard. It’s called the Seattle GNU/Linux Conference, or SeaGL (I’m going out on a limb and assuming that’s pronounced “seagull”). Yours truly will be giving a talk there on Friday (on CrunchBang, of course), and thanks to these guys and gals for wrapping up the expo year with a show in my favorite area of the country.
If you’re nearby, come on over to Seattle Central Community College on Oct 11-12. Even if you’re not, come anyway.
Thanks, Gabe: “It feels a little bit funny coming here and telling you guys that Linux and open source are the future of gaming,” said Valve co-founder and managing director Gabe Newell said at LinuxCon in New Orleans last week. “It’s sort of like going to Rome and teaching Catholicism to the pope.”
According to various reports, including this one from Ars Technica, Newell acknowledged that while Linux gaming generally accounts for less than one percent of the market by any measure, Valve is going to do its best to make sure Linux becomes the future of gaming by extending its Steam distribution platform to hardware designed for living rooms.
Wow. Now that’s a huge boost for wider acceptance of Linux, clealry eclipsing by a light-year or two a nonexistent, community-funded super-ultra-mega-smartphone. Further, no Indiegogo donations were harmed in the making of this revelation.
See you next Sunday, if not earlier. Honest.