Tag Archives: travel

Flight delay out of Amsterdam

Yesterday I flew from Amsterdam to Prague on the 2:30pm flight, scheduled to arrive around 4pm.

Boarding began on time. This being Amsterdam, you don’t just walk out of the gate onto the plane – there’s a bus that takes you from the gate out to the plane. So, we all got on the bus, and got on the plane. No trouble.

At this point (unbeknownst to all of the passengers) one passenger calls a flight attendant over and reports that the bag which he/she has boarded with is not, in fact, his/her bag.

This started a chain of events from which there was no escape, due to both airline and federal policy.

A full security sweep of the plane was ordered, which involved everyone getting off of the plane. There was quite a bit of confusion – I assume they were trying to avoid panicking anybody, and so communication was slow? – but eventually we all got off of the plane, and back onto the buses. After sitting on the bus for a while, we started to drive around the plane parking area, making several loops.

At one point, the driver told us that the pilot had been arrested, and later that a passenger had been arrested. Neither one of these turned out to be true.

Finally, the driver got word that we had to go back to the terminal, and so we headed that direction, only to turn back a minute or two later with new instructions. Back at the plane, we sat for a while, and then did in fact go back to the terminal, where we were issued new boarding passes for the rescheduled flight, now scheduled for 5:30pm. We also received a generous 5 Euro voucher for dinner. (Yes, that was sarcastic. That won’t even get you a sandwich at Schiphol.)

Meanwhile, the flight crew exceeded its mandatory maximum on-the-clock time, and were relieved of duty, so the 5:30 flight was cancelled. Fortunately, there was a KLM plan and crew with nothing to do, and they picked up the flight.

Throughout this entire process, various passengers were loudly demanding more information! Answers! Explanations! None of which in any way helped things along. Others offered advice as to how to handle the situation, which was equally unhelpful, since a procedure was being observed, which wasn’t open to improvisation.

What remains a mystery is why the passenger waited until we were all on board to notify someone that he/she had the wrong bag.

CERN CentOS Dojo, part 4 of 4, Geneva

This is part 4 of a series about my visit to CERN in Geneva. You can read the entire series here: http://drbacchus.com/cern-centos-dojo-2017/

On Friday evening, I went downtown Geneva with several of my colleagues and various people that had attended the event.

CERN is right on the France/Switzerland border, so we’ve been going back and forth between the two countries several times a day, often not really knowing what country we were actually in.

I had been to Geneva when I was younger, but I really couldn’t say for sure when that was. The only thing I remember was the fountain – the Jet D’Eau – so I wanted to see that again. It was every bit as impressive as I remembered it.

CERN and Geneva

However, it was the end of a very long day, and between that, and jet lag, I was absolutely exhausted, so headed back to the hotel. I hope to go downtown again for a few hours this afternoon, but I kind of wanted to get these articles written while the memories were fresh.

When I was a kid, I dreamed that some day I would have a job traveling around the world, getting paid to see cool things. I think a lot of people dream of that. I have had the amazing good luck to achieve that goal. I have the best coworkers in the world, and I get to do things that I’m passionate about, every single day. The only way that this could be better is if I could have my beloved travel with me. Perhaps some day.

 

The Things They Carried


Every time I go to a conference, I pack pretty much the same things. Each item has its place in my bag.

Here they all are. Click on the picture for the full size. Image annotations were made in Inkscape, with assistance by Ruth.

Missing from this photo is my laptop, which of course I also always take. Except for that one time I forgot it, and Maria had to rush it to the airport for me. Oops. The laptop is a Lenovo T450s ThinkPad running Fedora 26. It has roughly 78,000 stickers on it.

The numbered items in the picture are as follows:

 

  1. This is a lovely leather satchel which Maria ordered for me, from China. People ask about it all the time. No, I don’t know what site it came from. It is awesome. It has all the pockets. So many pockets.
  2. This is a “travel charm” that Daniel got for me in a shinto shrine downtown Tokyo. The next time I was in Tokyo I got one for each of the coworkers I travel with the most. No, I’m not superstitious. It’s just a nice reminder of going to Tokyo, and a lovely gift from a friend.
  3. Tablet. This one is a Samsung Galaxy Tab A. It has numerous downloaded movies from Netflix on it, as well as a dozen books. It keeps me entertained on the plane.
  4. Phone. Google Nexus 6P
  5. Plastic bag of micro SD cards, which I use in the various audio and video recording devices I carry with me.
  6. Power supply for my laptop.
  7. This little guy is named Zipper Pull Man, and was made for me by my daughter, Rhiannon, probably 15 years ago. Possibly longer. It is made of plastic beads strung on plastic cords, and has traveled with me to 5 continents. In October it’ll go to the 6th. It has been repaired and restrung many many times.
  8. Leather cable wrap. Maria made this out of scrap leather. It holds various USB cables and chargers.
  9. Another leather cable wrap. This one usually carries AV stuff, like video adapters and audio cables. It’s got USB cables in it right now. You can never have too many cables.
  10. Wallet
  11. 22,000mAh phone charger battery. Can charge my phone about 5 times, or my tablet twice, from dead.
  12. Collapsible tripod for my video camera
  13. Zoom H2n microphone/recorder.
  14. Extension audio cable for that microphone
  15. Canon Vixia HF R72 video camera.
  16. Universal international power plug adapter.
  17. Phone charger battery. Can usually get one charge out of this one.
  18. Keys
  19. Micro SD card reader. Plugs into a USB port.
  20. Headache pills
  21. Mini power strip. 3 outlets.
  22. Passport
  23. Yet another cable wrap. I might slim it down to just two. I might have too many USB cables.
  24. Reading glasses. Yes, I’m that old.
  25. Sunglasses.
  26. Spare batteries for #15
  27. Gorillapod flexible tripod for #13
  28. Hearing aid batteries.
  29. Flashlight and bottle opener
  30. Another USB SD card reader. Handles micro SD cards and regular SD cards.
  31. Power supply for #15
  32. Remote slide clicker thingy
  33. Dart sharpener
  34. Handle for man-on-the-street interviews using #13
  35. Remote bluetooth microphone for my hearing aid
  36. Monocular. That’s like binoculars, but just one.
  37. Various business cards.
  38. Fancy USB-C charger for #4
  39. These items usually end up in my suitcase rather than my carry-on, since they are pointy. The black case holds my darts. The weird monkey thing is a PocketMonkey tool. And the knife is my current favorite pocket knife.
  40. Moleskine cahier notebook and fountain pens. The pens are in a Quiver pen holder.

By the way, “The Things They Carried” is an excellent book by Tim O’Brien. You should read it.

Addendum: There’s one tiny un-numbered box right in the middle. That is a 20 cent Euro coin that was in the bottom of my bag.

 

Event report: Red Hat Summit, OpenStack Summit

Event report: Red Hat Summit, OpenStack Summit

May 1-5, 2017 and May 8-11, 2017

During the first two weeks of May, I attended Red Hat Summit, followed by OpenStack Summit. Since both events were in Boston (although not at the same venue), many aspects of them have run together.

Mini-cluster

On the first day of Red Hat Summit, I received the mini-cluster, which had been built in Brno for the April Brno open house. There were one or two steps missing from the setup instructions, so with a great deal of help from Hugh Brock, it too most of the first day to get the cluster running. We’ll be publishing more details about the mini-cluster on the RDO blog in the next week or two. However, most of the problems were 1) it was physically connected incorrectly (ie, my fault) and 2) there were some routing table changes that were apparently not saved after initial setup.

Once the cluster was up, we connected to the ManageIQ cluster on the other side of our booth, and they were able to manage our OpenStack deployment. Thus, we were able to demonstrate the two projects working together.

In future events, we’d like to bring more projects into this arrangement – say, use Ceph for storage, or have ManageIQ managing OpenStack and oVirt, for example.

After we got the cluster working, in subsequent days, we just had to power it on, follow the startup instructions, and be patient. Again, more details of this will be in the RDO blog post in the coming  weeks.

Upcoming CentOS Dojos

I had conversations with two groups about planning upcoming CentOS Dojos.

The first of these will be at Oak Ridge National Labs (ORNL), and is
now tentatively scheduled for the first Tuesday in September.  (If you saw my internal event report, I mentioned July/August. This has since changed.) They’re interested in doing a gathering that would be about both CentOS and OpenStack, and draw together some of the local developer community. This will be held in conjunction with the local LOPSA group.

The second Dojo that we’re planning will be at CERN, where we have a great relationship with the cloud computing group, who run what we believe to be the largest RDO installation in the world. We have a tentative date of October 20th, immediately before Open Source Summit in Prague to make it easier to combine two trips for those traveling internationally. This event, too, would cover CentOS topics as well as OpenStack/RDO topics.

If you’re interested in participating in either one of these events, you need to be on the centos-promo mailing list. Send mail to centos-promo-subscribe@centos.org to subscribe, or visit https://lists.centos.org/mailman/listinfo/centos-promo for the
clicky-clicky version.

General Impressions

The Community Central area at Red Hat Summit was awesome. Sharing center stage with the product booths was a big win for our upstream first message, and we had a ton of great conversations with people who grasped the “X is the upstream for Red Hat X” concept, seemingly, for the first time. The “The Roots Are In The Community” posters resonated with a lot of people, so huge thanks to Tigert for pulling those together at the last minute.

The collaboration between RDO and ManageIQ was very rewarding, and helped promote the CloudForms message even more, because people could see it in action, and see how the communities work together for the greater good of humanity. I look forward to expanding this collaboration to all of the projects in the Community Central area by next year.

The space for Red Hat Summit was huge, making the crowd seem a lot smaller than it actually was. The opposite was true for  OpenStack Summit, where it was always crowded and seemed very busy, even though the crowd was smaller than last year.

 

Where next?

In three weeks I’ll be heading to the High Performance Computing event in Frankfurt. My mission there is to talk with people that are using CentOS and RDO in HPC, and collect user stories.

OpenStack Summit, Barcelona, 2 of n

Tuesday, the first day of the main event, was, as always, very busy. I spent most of the day working the Red Hat booth. We started at 10 setting up, and the mob came in around 10:45.

Day two of booth duty is always interesting, because it’s after the swag feeding frenzy has died down a bit that you start hearing from the people that actually care about what you’re “selling”. You get the questions. And what’s been fascinating in the 6 summits I’ve attended is that the bar has been raised a LOT on the questions. In Hong Kong, my first Summit, there were still a lot of people asking what OpenStack was, and nobody had any idea what RDO was. Now, the questions are about specific deployment scenarios, projects that aren’t yet being packaged, the future of TripleO, and so on, with only a handful of people asking what RDO is.

OpenStack has clearly made the transition from “something to consider some day” to “of course we are, and what are you going to do to make it better?”

Another awesome improvement this Summit was how the RDO community stepped up to help in the booth. Every single hour of the day, I had at least one, and usually two, members of the RDO community in the booth with me, either doing an “Ask Me Anything About RDO”, or doing some kind of a demo. It was *awesome*. Maybe next year, I’ll just stay home. 😉

The highlight of the day was the RDO/Ceph community meetup. We had 4 hours at the Gym Bar in the Princess Hotel.

Members of the Ceph and RDO community presented, lightning talk style (5 minute presentations) on a variety of topic. Speakers were threatened with being thrown in the pool if they went over 5 minutes, but we managed to restrain ourselves.

By the end, we had checked in 215 people overall, and we had 12 speakers. The food was good. The speakers were awesome. The only complaint was that the people not actually listening to the talks would NOT shut up, so it was hard to hear. Eventually, one of the speakers shouted at them to shut up or get out, and most of them moved to the other side of the room.

I have a recording of the event, but I don’t expect it’s going to be usable, due to the noise level. I haven’t had a chance to review it yet. Next week, for sure. I also hope to have (some of?) the presentation slides from the various speakers posted somewhere. Watch rdo-list and/or @rdocommunity for details.

After the talks were over, we had an hour or so left, and I cowardly skipped out. There comes a time when I have just had too much social interaction, and I need quiet time.

So, that was Tuesday. Another success, and another day to be glad that I work with such an awesome community.

 

OpenStack Summit, Barcelona, 1 of n

I have the best intentions of blogging every day of an event. But every day is always so full, from morning until the time I drop into bed exhausted.

I used to imagine wandering around the world like Hemingway, seeing exotic places, and writing witty stories about the interesting people I met. I have the great good fortune to have the traveling as part of my job. If only I could find the time for the stories.

Anyways … I’m in Barcelona for OpenStack Summit. This is always an impressive, and somewhat overwhelming, event, with 7000+ people attending, dozens of companies presenting their various products, hundreds of technical presentations, and after-hour events every evening.

The photos are on flickr, at https://www.flickr.com/photos/rbowen/albums/72157675620637236

On Sunday, I met up with Jen and various other members of the events team to scope out the venue. We walked over to the Princess Hotel where a number of our meetings and social events are to be held. And we walked down to El Boo, where the employee party was to be held. Both venues were just great.

Later in the day I visited Sagrada Familia, a cathedral which has been under construction since 1884, on and off, and isn’t done yet. It was weird and improbable, and fascinating, and beautiful. I think the architect’s driving passion was to be different from anything you’ve ever seen before.

I also spent a little time on the lovely beach, Mar Bella, which is right in front of my hotel.

On Monday, we had the RDO Infrastructure gathering in one of the rooms at the Princess. we had about 20 people in attendance, and made good progress on a number of issues. The Ocata cycle is going to see more improvements to how RDO works.  More details on this meeting coming to the RDO mailing list soon.

Although the conference didn’t officially start until Tuesday morning, the “booth crawl” was Monday evening – the odd ritual where swag-hungry attendees rush from booth to booth, grabbing all the free stuff they can carry, and having the occasional conversation with booth staff. Sometimes, the booth crawl can be a depressing experience, with people refusing to make eye contact, and just grabbing the stuff. But this was actually really great, with people excited about RDO, and wanting to learn more about we had to show.

Monday night was the Red Hat employee party at El Boo. It’s a boat-shaped restaurant sitting on one of the stone piers along the beach, and we had the whole place to ourselves for the entire night. It was a lot of fun. I stayed until midnight, when several friends toasted my birthday.

All together, it was a lovely start to the week. And there’s so much more to come.

Phones on planes

While I’m entirely in agreement that a couple hours in flight without listening to strangers yammering on their cell phones is a *good* thing, the heart of Mike Elgan’s article is this:

Either phones and other gadgets can crash airplanes or they can’t. If they can, then we’ve got a serious problem on our hands, and airplanes need to be upgraded to protect the public safety.

What’s to stop terrorists from testing various gadgets, finding the ones with the highest levels of interferences, then turning on dozens of them at some crucial phase of flight, such as during a landing in bad weather?

If gadgets can’t crash planes, then the ban is costing billions of hours per year of lost productivity by business people who want to work in flight.

For the government to avoid knowing the answer is incredibly irresponsible.

The argument for lost productivity is, in my mind, hogwash (or, at least, of hardly any interest to me). Having a few hours away from the office is, for most of us, a good thing.

But to honestly not know whether cell phones can cause planes to crash is indeed profoundly irresponsible. If they can, then it is the responsibility of the FAA to require planes to be fixed. I’ve forgotten to turn off my cell phone on a plane. So have you. And some of you have left them on intentionally. Wouldn’t it be good to know if that’s likely to kill people?