OSCON had been going on since Monday, however the exhibition hall opens for just two days — Wednesday and Thursday — of this week.
So when the doors opened at 10 a.m., a significant number of people filed into the hall — which could stand to be a tad cooler (as I hope it will be tomorrow) — and it was showtime.
The Fedora booth was adequately staffed — Karsten Wade, Robyn Bergeron and Kevin Higgins set up the booth the day before, and were in attendance Wednesday — as well as Tom “Spot” Calloway and John Poelstra. Mirano Cafiero, Malakai Wade and Saskia Wade filled out the staff for the day.
Last year, OSCON was held in San Jose, however Portland is a great city and it’s fine that the moved it back up here despite the fact that it would have been a lot more convenient for me if it were just “over the hill,” as we say in Santa Cruz County. The weather is great here, and being downtown has the advantage of the free train service between the Courtyard Marriott and the venue at the Portland Convention Center, which all cities should have.
It was great to see old friends and meet those I’ve spoken to over time but never met. Joe “Zonker” Brockmeier and I are now even: At SCALE 7X, I accidentally — I swear — made a mess at the OpenSUSE booth on his watch. Today, Zonker knocked over our tripod — an accident, I’m sure — settled the score. It was great to see Ilan Rabinovitch, my SCALE colleague; birthday girl and Linux Magazine associate publisher Rikki Kite; the Oregon State University gang — Jeff Sheltren of the OSU Open Source Lab, computer science professor Carlos Jensen and the OSU OSL’s Lance Albertson (Go Beavers!); David Kaplan, a mainstay in the Portland Linux scene (who lent his Linux expertise to a visitor at the booth — Thanks, Dave); and finally to meet Linux columnist par excellence Steven Vaughan-Nichols in person after corresponding with him for years.
Traffic for a better part of the day was heavy — always a good sign regarding the health of FOSS in general. SWAG — Stuff We All Get, for those keeping acronym score at home — was flying out of the booth. We’ll have to see if we can get through tomorrow with what we have left.
One thing about standing in the booth all day: While I live for working the booth and events like OSCON, more times than not, I end up walking like Fred Sanford at the end of the day. Call it a sign of age.