OSCON: The epilogue

July 25, 2010

OK, so I lied. I had planned to write this yesterday, but after an all night drive which consisted of drinking about two gallons of coffee, sleeping that off (ironically) on Saturday morning and then going to work, time became unavailable until now.

At first glance, OSCON was a huge success on several levels. First, it appears that as much as I’d prefer to have the event in San Jose for my own personal and selfish reasons, OSCON is at home in Portland. It’s a tough concession for me to make, but it’s true. Also, I don’t have the numbers in front of me, but I’d be willing to bet that attendance is up — from the traffic on the floor and the amount of swag that flew out of the Fedora booth, I’d say it is way up.

People I forgot to mention: The first familiar friendly face I saw once the doors opened on Wednesday was that of Akkana Peck, GIMP guru without peer and my “neighbor” from over the hill in the Silicon Valley. Amber Graner, with whom a Linux expo would not be a Linux expo, was also on hand, with cameraman in tow for podcasts. My good friend and Gidget Kitchen chef Mark Terranova was also splitting time at OSCON between the Ubuntu booth and taking pictures on the expo hall floor, among other events at OSCON. There are more people I know I’m forgetting, but I promise to come back to you.

The city that really knows how: The motto “the city that knows how” is normally attributed to San Francisco — and it’s a very accurate one — but the City by the Bay could learn a thing or two from Portland. A free downtown train for starters would be nice in San Francisco. Plus, people are generally very easygoing and polite in Portland, making it a great place to visit. Coupling my affinity for Corvallis with a growing affinity for Portland, the state of Oregon is rising on the charts as one of my favorite places.

Honorable mention in the swag department: While giving out the best in swag awards, I failed to mention that Code for America handed out what I think are the greatest posters that have happened along in quite some time. These posters are historic American quotes from U.S. government “system architect” James Madison and “accessibility expert” Susan B. Anthony written in binary. Go take a look here — I’ll wait. I have the Madison and Anthony posters on the wall at the office in Felton. For printed matter, it definintely edges out the excellent Linux Journal calendar.

Thanks again, O’Reilly, for hosting such a great show year after year, and we’ll see you again in 2011.

[FSF Associate Member](Fedora ambassador Larry Cafiero runs Redwood Digital Research in Felton, California, and is an associate member of the Free Software Foundation.)
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  1. Colonel Panik
    July 25, 2010 at 9:16 am

    Great job Larry! The video was a little fuzzy but your write up
    really hit the spot. All these big Linux/Open Source conventions
    are such a siren call for this poor isolated user. So, the Colonel
    promises himself two events for 2011. TxLF and TBD.

    The old problems of time and money cause most of us to have to
    limit which events we can attend. A hint to all the FOSS shops
    that have a little to give, sponsorships!

    Not OSCON but Farmer Con: I was able to share with a dude in
    Albuquerque your farmers market success story. He will be at the
    neighborhood market this week. This guy is supporting a family of 6
    on what he earns with a little cyber cafe and some computer repair
    work. Hmmm?

  2. Tktktk
    September 26, 2010 at 10:10 am

    Thanks for a great, insightful interview. It really got me thinking.

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