SCaLE 10x: Onward and Upward

Posted by Scott_Ruecker on Jan 30, 2012 3:45 AM
LXer Linux News; By Scott Ruecker (Phoenix, U.S.)

LXer Feature: 30-Jan-2012

As I walked into the Hilton on Saturday morning I knew something was up. I saw lots pf people wearing lanyards with a silhouette of a Penguin, it seemed SCaLE 10x was upon me already in full swing. I walked right onto the exhibitor floor and 'did a loop' through the Expo as it were..

As I walked into the Hilton on Saturday morning I knew something was up. I saw lots pf people wearing lanyards with a silhouette of a Penguin, it seemed SCaLE 10x was upon me already in full swing. I walked right onto the exhibitor floor and 'did a loop' through the Expo as it were..

The first thing I noticed was the noticeable up-tick in attendance. This was SCaLE's 2nd year at the Hilton and having been to every SCaLE since 5x which was their 1st year at the Westin (which they have since outgrown) I have seen this conference all but double in size, attendance and scope. Growing out in all directions at once and succeeding, every year.

I saw more of everything..a ton of local groups, all the people you would expect to see, HP, FSF, Google, KDE, GNOME, I saw a peg board by the registration area chock full of job postings..something one did not see much of back at 5x I can tell you. Companies big and small looking for Linux talent. The economy in general may still looking for light at the end of the tunnel but the Sun looks to be high in the sky for those who have administration or developer skills with Linux and FOSS programs across the board.

Walking around the Expo in my LXer t-shirt I went by the Dell booth to have the rep help me figure out the prompt to let this old Dell laptop I had been given that I was carrying let me put the CD drive first the the boot sequence so I could wipe XP off of it. Once I got that, I stopped by the SUSE booth and picked up a disk with openSUSE 12.1 on it. I was on my way to converting yet one more really old laptop to Linux. It seems I take perverse amount of pleasure in making old machines that can't even run XP well and give them a shiny new Linux install and watch them be all snappy once again.

One of the many tracks at SCaLE, but something that I was glad to see was the Linux Beginner track for both Saturday and Sunday which from the moment they were announced were full and over flowing on the days of the Expo. In talking to Orv Beach one of the longtime organizers and now steward of the Beginners track he confirmed what I also noticed on the floor which was the amount of people who who just wanted to know more about Linux and FOSS in general.

Later in the show I learned that my hunch of about 10% jump in attendance was not far off when I learned it was 9% increase from last year. Larry Cafiero the SCaLE Publicity Co-Chair (and part time Grammar Hammer) said to me “The attendance increase of 9% is phenomenal in light of the date change” which was in reference to the date of the show being moved up a month and being much closer to CES on the calendar.

There were at any given time throughout the day on Friday, Saturday and Sunday at least 8 to 9 different presentations being given on subjects as diverse as Deep Packet Inspection to an LPI exam cram to talks on various aspects of MySQL to a Pop Culture guide to Open Source to a how-to on a Proxy for your web servers for better performance.

I could go on for for two more paragraphs and not even cover half of them. The information overload was something to behold, there is no way one could come to this Expo and not come away more informed or educated in some way about Linux and FOSS in general. It is something the organizers and founders of ScaLE can be proud of, that their Expo, that started out as a bunch of LUG's from southern California wanting to get together and exchange ideas and information and share what they have learned have started something that to this day does just that in more ways than they could have ever imagined. SCaLE is a testament to the ideals of FOSS, open technology, open information and the sharing of what is learned along the way.

So over Saturday and Sunday while commiserating with those with more talent than I in the Press room I successfully got openSUSE 12.1 installed on an old Dell with a 40gig hard drive and 512mb of RAM. Oh, it tried to sell me a boot scheme with Windows along side but a trip into the partitioner took care of that and now I have a shiny new install of openSUSE with GNOME on my old laptop. Perverse enjoyment has since ensued..

SCaLE 10x was a hit, I would dare say a home run but its not Baseball season just yet. To have almost ten tracks of talks going for three days, a beginners track that took off and a 'walk up' registration that continues to explode..I look forward to it outgrowing the Hilton eventually. This Expo is going to continue to grow, in size, in scope and importance to the health of FOSS if you ask me. 11x here I come!

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