SCALE 8x: Review Of My Road Trip To L.A.

Posted by Scott_Ruecker on Feb 26, 2010 7:54 PM
LXer Linux News; By Scott Ruecker (Phoenix, U.S.)


LXer Feature: 26-Feb-2010

I was going to just cover the 2nd and 3rd days of SCALE 8x but after getting back home and sitting myself down in front of my favorite compy and started thinking about it, I figured I might as well go all out and give you a full recap of my road trip from Phoenix to Los Angeles for SCALE 8x and back. 

So there I am on a beautiful Thursday late afternoon on my way up 'the hill' between Palm Springs and Indio on the I-10 west and what to my displeasure do I find? A tire, with the rim still on it, and air still in it lying in the middle of the lane in front of me..and my car at 75 miles an hour heading straight for it. BAM! I hit it and instantly it split my drivers side front tire from the center of the tread to the rim like a lemon.

Needless to say it wasn't only my mouth that was puckered in the moments I hit the tire and made my way to the side of the freeway before dying a grizzly metal encrusted death. There is something to be said for having checked the air in the spare “doughnut” in the days before my trip and so after getting the car jacked up and the spare on I made my way into Los Angeles. In case you missed it, here is a link to my article of Day 1 - Friday at SCALE 8x.

Day 2 - Saturday

Coming from Phoenix any weather is a lot of weather and all weekend it was rainy and windy which of course made me want to stand outside the Westin in it..its a Phoenix thing.

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So after the opening keynote speech by Red Hat's Karsten Wade everyone started to hit the expo floor in waves. I sat in the corner and for once in my four times coming to SCALE, just took in the start of the Expo as the room filled with the sounds of people.

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SCALE 8x

Along the walk in there was an OLPC booth amongst others and just inside the door I came across the Komputer 4 R Kids and Qimo booths. K4RK takes recycled computer parts and gets them to kids in the L.A. area who would otherwise not have one. I wish there was something like them in Phoenix. Qimo is a really cool version of Linux for kids of all ages. A good friend of mine's daughter has been using it on her computer for a year now and she loves it.

One of my goals at this years conference was to get my lappy working again. I had a thoroughly botched Mandriva install that in my attempts to fix was not even letting me boot into it. It was sharing 80 gigs with XP and to make a long story short, I have a driver issue that is not easily fixed it seems and my now fairly old HP laptop will not read CD ISO disks, DVD ones are iffy too and I hoped to find a cool new version of Linux to install on it cleanly so I wouldn't feel 'dirty' any more by having to boot into XP if I wanted to use my lappy.

After perusing the expo floor a while I came across Larry Cafiero, and his two young booth-mates Clint and Scott at the Fedora booth who happened to have new Fedora 12 disks and I figured why not give it a try and I grabbed a disk. Later in the afternoon in the e-mail garden I sat down and installed it..

Let me tell you a story about a Scottish guy named Neil Wallace (Not related) that I met last year at 7x. He is a Dentist who also happens to be a Linux geek. As the story goes, he was listening to a podcast and happened to hear Orv Beach and Ilan Rabinovitch in an interview talking about how the Expo was going to start that weekend and upon hearing this what does Neil do? He immediately books a flight to L.A. and sits on a plane for 18 hours. Just to come and check it out, just to find some community, just to not be the only Linux geek in town. That's the kind of dedication you get from a Scottish geek, and his very entertaining talk late Saturday afternoon entitled Get Developing - it's easy. was to a standing room only crowd as well.

Day 3 - Sunday

Later Saturday night after I left the Expo I was trying to work some of the wrinkles out of my shiny new Fedora 12 install on my now 'clean' lappy. After trying to get codecs installed and such I quickly ran into a update problem I had no idea how to fix so when I got to the Expo Sunday I made my way over to the Fedora booth and begged for help. Clint, a Fedora Ambassador and organizer of the Utah Open Source Conference and Scott (guys named Scott have to be cool don't they?) were happy to help and after getting them logged in as root I left them to their devices and disappeared onto the Expo floor.

I got a chance to talk to Mike Dexter of the Linux Fund and he told me about their expansion into the U.K., Patrice Albaret of Revolution Linux talked about their specialized large scale projects. I sat and talked about all things geek with some cool cats at the PostgreSQL booth for a while. Have I told you how much I love coming here? I went by the Arin booth and had my mind blown by how many IP addresses will be available once the change to IPv6 comes.

Upon my return to the Fedora booth Clint and Scott presented me with my now fully functioning and updated lappy and I will again say a hearty "Thank You" to both of them because in the days since I have used my laptop more than in the last 6-8 months. Last but not least I want to give a big shout out to Alex Colcernian and Erick Tyack of Diskless Workstations who sponsored the SCALE 8x E-mail Garden where I spent an inordinate amount of time and got to know them both. They put up with my banter and were still nice and talked to me even. ;-) It was a lot of fun hanging out with you guys and watching the Expo go by. I hope to see you two again next year.

Afterword

Was SCALE 8x a success? Yes it was. Confirmed registrations at SCALE 8x were just over 1,500, that said the numbers for both 6x and 7x are flat at right around 1,300 registrations apiece. This statistic alone tells me everything I need to know about the health of Open Source. If for all intents and purposes the economy the last two years has tanked and SCALE has seen its numbers stay steady and now in 2010 actually grow then I know for a fact that things are on the up and up.

So I mentioned that all weekend it was rainy and windy and as I made my way home Monday afternoon I took a couple of pics out the window of my car of the snow the storm dumped on the San Jacinto Mountains outside of Palm Springs, right about where I blew my tire out too..

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