Back From Linux World

Monday, May 23. 2005

Well we are back from our week in Jo'burg at the Linux World conference. It was a really awesome week. Seriously kief. Unfortunately there wasn't much to be seen of the "Intarweb" so my posts on the week were done offline and will now have to be added to my blog this week. I stupidly forgot to boot the machine at home (on which they currently reside) in order to copy them to here, so I will have to make a plan this evening so that I can get them up here for people to read about what went down at the conference.

I do just have to say this a Big Thank you to the guys from Go-Open who basically got us into the conference by letting us work for them - you guys are crazy, but we love you all for it. And thanks to Gen who put up with working with a bunch of crazy students too, you rock ;-)

It was awesome meeting the people that we did and more than likely we met people that we never would have at say an academic conference, which is serioulsy awesome. To everyone that I met in the last few days, thank you, you have all been super nice and useful and those of you crazy enough to give me your cards you will be hearing from me soon enough ;-)

In the mean time (while you wait for my posts of the events ;-) ) here are some of the photo's from the conference. Otherwise I would recommend viewing the following blogs and their posts on the Linux world conference:

Darb
Dominic
Russell
Dave
Jonathan
Niel
Jonathan2

Linux World Conference, Day 5

Thursday, May 19. 2005

Today we spent all day at the Go-Open stand. Its long working there from 10 in the morning to 8 in the evening! And hard on your feet and back as you tend to spend the majority of your time standing. Its also kinda cool though as far as having a job would go, I mean you get to tell people all day long about how cool open source is. I spent a long while talking to some young kid who was really worried about open source because how as a developer would he have a future if anyone could work on his ideas. After a long chat of explaining to him about the pros and how he can still make money and have job security and explaining the positive things about open source he went away feeling much more relaxed and a little excited too. I dig that, it was cool helping another geek see the beauty of it all and making them happy about things :-)

Jonathan came round to the stand in the afternoon, he is in jhb because of some innovation competition. Anyway, he popped round to see the expo and to say hi to everyone and to meet Maddog too I think. Although he wasn't there when he was around. So he arranged to come with us for drinks at News cafe later that evening and meet him there.

During the day I also got to see the remainder of the stands at the expo. Wow there were a lot of them. And it was amazing what some of them were doing in order to attract delegates to them. For instance the Flybook, its this little notebook-cum-PDA. Its very cute and very funky in what it has to offer, and unfortunately crazy expensive. But the things the stand was doing to attract men, unbelievable! They had these scantily dressed girls dancing around on a stage with these little notebooks. I was a little embarrassed, especially by the reaction of the majority of the men there. We got lots of photos of that and Dave infact took a recording of them so that you can get the full effect. The implication seemed to be that men who buy/use the flybook get hot chicks and lots of boobie. At least I wasn't the only one who thought it all a little wrong, Dom did too. He reckoned it was terrible that they thought that that sort of obvious association was not insulting to all men out there and that men aren't that dumb.

Anyway, it was a pretty cool day, which we followed up with the Star Wars - Revenge of the sith. Which I have to say was much better than the last one. Episode 2 really had me wondering if Mr Lucas was on something. But this one was pretty cool. Now all that remains is a Star Wars marathon in which I will watch all of them in a row... it probably calls for an entire weekends worth of watching... a sacrifice that I would be willing to make
;-)

Later, after the movie, those of us who are leaving tomorrow morrow morning said our fair wells to Maddog and some of the other cool people we met, like Hilton (you will have to page down a bit til you find his picture, the man doesn't seem to have a webpage of his own), Highvoltage, AJ, etc. It was so very cool to meet to meet them all - for some its nice to be able to put a face to an email address or IRC nick ;-) And meeting Maddog was just really great and its nice to know that he is a good guy.

Pictures here and here.

Linux World Conference, Day 4

Wednesday, May 18. 2005

Today was the last day of the actual conference. The morning was spent dishing out tags and things to the new delegates and to the silly ones who had left the ones from yesterday behind. Then we all went off to hear Maddog address the crowds. His talk was about an hour long and was really something awesome to listen to. He spoke of the pros of open source software and people are making money from it and how it is just that much better than propriatary software. It really was very informative and interesting and at times amusing to listen to. Maddog++

The head of Red Hat Asia Europe and Africa was next after Maddog. His speech was mainly to the business guys and less for the techie people. He was selling Red Hat Enterprise and explaining how Fedora and Red Hat work together to produce good, stable and well tested software. His talk wasn't particularly interesting as to me its preaching to the converted, but one thing that I must say was the all Red Hat enterprise software undergoes 300 man years of testing - through the fedora community - before it is released as an enterprise solution! 300 man years! Isn't open source and a thriving community an amazing thing.

After a tasty lunch that involved numerous different kinds of kibabs, I was left to handle the remainder of the speakers on my own. This involved listening to all presentations and then afterwards taking a small gift over to each of the presenters - as well as handing out evaluation forms to the floor. Not such a terrible job, most of the speakers were interesting. The guy from Sun though was a little odd, in his talk he claimed that Linux is not scalable, that the majority of software running on top of Linux is closed and that Linux distros encourage lock-in... possibly Sun sent the wrong man to represent their position? If not then it comes across as kinda wishing to push Linux down to make Solaris look better, which I am not sure was the time or place to be doing that? Rather they could then have given a presentation on Open Solaris, which personally I don't know much about and so would have found a discussion on that very interesting. Anyway, nevermind. It was an ok afternoon.

From there I went over to the Go open stand and helped the guys there field questions from interested people. We left the expo at like 6ish and went briefly to a cocktail party - marking the end of the Linux World part of things - and then from there Darb, Dom, Darb.Chick, Dom.mom and me went to have sushi in melville. There is this little sushi bar there and it is absolutely amazing! Seriously, amazing! If I could take it back to GHT I would. From there is was just home and then having a rather lengthy chat to some of Dave's family members before bed.

Picture here.

Linux World Conference, Day 3 - Part 3

Tuesday, May 17. 2005

Today I met John "Maddog" Hall. For those of you folk who are not geeky and don't know any better, its a big thing in the life of a young geek to meet a HUGE figure head in the world of Linux. And he is just the most awesome person. Full of brilliant stories about computing and Unix/Linux from early days. The best story teller ever - sorry shaggy, I realise you aspire to be a great story teller, but Maddog wins ;-P

So he popped along to the stand this afternoon and we all chatted and geeked for a bit and then he was like "do you guys wanna go and have a beer with me" - that's beer as in free, for those of you who need reminding ;-) So he went back to his hotel for a bit and met us at the end of our shift, 6 and we went to the Zoo lake bowling green again for beer and supper. He is just the most amazing man, seriously down to earth, I mean to pick up a bunch of students and be like let go drinking, wow.

And wow at the Stories! I don't think I have been so captivated by a single person for so many hours. He had us facinated and in stitches at the same time. I am so pleased that I had the honour to meet such an awesome person, famous or not, he really rules and had such brilliant insight and knowledge - first hand! - of the history of computers and operating systems and open source, wow guy, just WOW!

Naturally we took awesome (and kak loads of photos) so we'll stick those up prolly when we are back in GHT. For more indepth (maybe, but then they might just gush as much as I have) check the other Linux World KiDDiEs blogs ;-)

Pictures here.

Linux World Conference, Day 3 - Part 2

Tuesday, May 17. 2005
So this afternoon we went along to the Go Open Source stand in the convention centre and helped man the stand. This involved fielding questions about Open Source and more specifically Ubuntu. With a team of geeks there I think we landed up doing a pretty good job. Certainly while we were there it was never a dull moment. We got loads of attire - its like I have a whole new geek wardobe! :-D

We did demos of Ubuntu, talked to people about OSS and OSS operating systems. We geeked on the laptops with the "Intarweb" and I did a whole bunch of conference schmoozing. Everyone who is everyone who is cool in ICT in education was there - even the ones that I don't know about yet ;-) I saw Schalk and I met Schalk.boss, Hilton - head of tuxLab project nationally, dig him - saw the HP441 project for myself, spoke with the chaps from LUG, etc, it was seriously cool! I made so many contacts and met so many people who are genuinely interested in what I am doing as well as have useful things to tell me. Totally, totally awesome. Also got loads of reference material for my thesis - bonus - and got awesome offers from all sorts.

Ooooer, also Neil was there - really nice to see him again and I always enjoy having the "Krusties" KiDDiEs round, they make things much more fun :-) I realise I am gushing, but wow! What an awesome day, wow! And it only gets better... more in Part 3 :-)

Linux World Conference 2005 - Day 3, Part 1

Tuesday, May 17. 2005
So today was just the most awesome day ever. Which is why I need to do this blog in parts, because if it was all in one then it would like rediculously long. So in this one I am going to blog about the conference part of my day. This involved getting up at 6 in the morning. While this is generally an unpleasant thing it was doubly so today as I have had terrible stomach ulcer pain day all today. Seriously, aweful. Felt crap when I got up and crap all morning, even had to go to the loo to be sick a few times... so that part of the day was not so great. However, persistence is the name of the game (I think?) and I am really glad that I did just that, otherwise I would have missed out on such an awesome afternoon. Anyway, back to the morning....

It was spend with delegates, handing out name tags and folders and pens and get-out-of-parking-free tickets. Also answering questions about where what was/is and why they weren't registered properly. Some people were rude - there are always one or two - some were nice, others were just disdainful and one Novel guy just got really tense and loud. But you know, all of that plus a stomach ulcer, is completely survivable ;-)

Mark Shuttleworth's talk was the only one that I saw in the end, as I was either maning the front desk, or later in the afternoon at the Go Open Stand. Mark's speech was pretty good, I suspect I would have enjoyed it more if I was not feeling so ill.

But as the day wore on I certainly felt better - also lunch really helped. From there onwards there was only room for going up... and up it certainly went... but that will be for part.

Pictures here.

Linux World conference - Day 2: The zoo and stuff

Monday, May 16. 2005

Well, today was a bit of an arber. The conference only begins tomorrow morning and so we only needed to go round to the Sandton conference centre this afternoon at 4 to be shown the ropes. This meant an entire day of self entertainment. So what Dave and I did was go to the Jo'burg zoo...

They have lions, lions and tigers at the zoo - and its not even Kenya! Saw lion cubs, Tigers, Elephants, Rhino's, Gorillas, and much more. Its a strange thing going to the zoo, coz you're like, "kief animals!" and yet you are saddened by the fact that they are in captivity and not free roaming in the wild. And then you think that maybe its good because they teach people about how cool animals are and conversation, etc. But still they are captive and confined, no matter who much space you give and the Jo'burg zoo is huge, plot wise! Anyway, it was cool and sad and stuff and we took kak loads of photos and marvelled at the beauty of nature. This took pretty much all day... considering we only surfaced at 10! The first time that I have slept that late in months!

Then at about 3:30 Darb fetched us and took us to the Sandton conference centre where we were shown around, given shirts and passes and told what to do. The people there seem really cool and our jobs seem incredibly simple :-) I think this is going to be really awesome! Only one catch, have to be up at like 6 so that we can be there by like 7ish in the morning!!!! early sob Anyway, I am sure we will all survive... but will see tomorrow.

From there we went to the Bowling club at Zoo Lake for dinner and drinks. We met up with Darb's chick and friend and Thasluck. Was really cool. We messed geek all over the place, had an awesome supper and cheaper than GHT drinks! Had a really fantastic evening, and was very cool to see the Penry again - even Rob and Greg landed up crashing for a visit. Pictures here and here.

The Linux World Conference - Day 1: The Journey up

Sunday, May 15. 2005

We left Grahamstown at like 6ish this morning. The D-Arb arrived at my house this morning at 06:09 - 9 mins late - and then we went and fetched all the other... Dom, Glenn, Russ and lastly dave... who was slightly late as he was busy knocking over glasses or something when we arrived ;-)

The first 3-4 hours of the trip I tried to spend sleeping... for various reasons. 1 - I felt kak at having woken so early and not having had enough sleep, 2 - D-arb drives like a maniac at times. Sorry dude. Not wanting to offend, but sometimes you make me seriously nervous, so the only way I knew to deal with it was to go to sleep, which I did.

Anyway, so eventually, after crossing the Gariep dam it was my turn to drive, which is good and bad. Good coz I feel safer, bad coz my RSI goes for a ball of shit :-( But I digress, the geeks have been blogging and photo blogging like mad on the trip. We had a TUX mascott on the dashboard, two UPS, 3 laptops, 2 Ipaqs, 3 Bluetooth dongles, as well as mp3 players and an iPod. Willy nilly geeking all over the place! So many geek jokes too... oh, the fun was just too much at times ;-)

Anyway, the drive was fairly un-eventful - lots of truckers on the road - truckers day out or something. So hectic, busy and at times dangerous. But none the less here in one piece :-)

Arriving in jhb took time in that we had to find where everyone was staying. Now we had Dom - who lives here and has done so for the majority of his life... but he is the kak at giving directions, so finding Carl's place (where the Russell is staying) took a really long time. Then we had to find Glenn's family friend's home, another mission and then all the way back to take Dom home and then us to here - here being in a place called Forest town.

The house is big and the people are really nice. I was nervous at our first encounter and why not, I don't really know any of them. So its kind of a scary thing, but they are seriously nice and cool too, especially Dave's cousin and uncle. His aunt is super nice, but didn't get to talk to her as much as the others so not sure on more than that, as yet. But seriously awesome. Had an awesome roast chicken supper and loads of red wine - which might be why this entry is odd... if its odd... assuming its odd... And some incredibly interesting conversations. Really kief. Well chuffed.

Anyway, now i am well sleepy and so I think i will change into my pjs and brush my teeth and pass out. But its been a nice day. Photos here.