Tuesday, January 15, 2008

FUDCon 2008 notes

We're back from FUDConRaleigh2008. Admittedly, we were only there on Saturday. It's just taken this long to get around to doing the notes.

Both Sparks and I suffered from Bill Gates Syndrome in that I could not get F8 to recognize my CDROM drive and Sparks wireless wouldn't cooperate. His problem was surprising as it's both a recent system and a recent wireless card (which worked when we tested it in Virginia). My issue wasn't that surprising as the laptop a Sony that's over five years old. Getting a distro up and running on it, when it was brand new, was a headache and a half.

Luckily, I had the N800 with me. I was able to visit some of the sites that were talked about and I managed to grab a few photos (I'll post them when I have the change to sort through them). I think that, next time, we'll spend the weekend before building/testing systems, vice on-the-fly.

All in all, it was a good time. We sat in on a few of the talks. FedoraTV, open source GIS, and Asterisk were memorable. When we first got there, I fired up Kismet on the N800 to see what was available (RedHat provided a wireless connection). To our suprise, we detected 5 OLPC computers. We didn't see them at first but did get to touch one of three later in the day. (Hint: they show up as ad-hoc probes for "olpc-mesh".)

The one sour note of the evening (which irks me more and more as I think about it) was a particularly rude comment by Jared Smith, at the end of his talk. He'd given a copy of his book, "Asterisk: The Future of Telephone," to a young woman sitting in the row in front of me. She was actually quite happy to have received it. I suggested that she get Jared to autograph it, which she did. As I was leaving, I overheard him say something along the lines of "How would you like it signed? Best of luck to my favorite E-Bay bidder?"

Grr... What an ass ego ass!

(Note to Jared: Some people cherish their autographed books. I have a number of them, even some published by O'Reilly. Besides, you aren't worth that much.)

Regardless of one poorly thought out comment, I highly recommend FUDCon and BarCamp. Even if you only learn one or two new things while attending, you get to meet people from various circles and you'll probably pick up a few new ideas about some of the programs you've been using for years. Heck, you might even end up talking about one of your passions.