Tag Archives: conferences

Upcoming travels

In the last few days, I’ve received my itineraries for travels in May, and it’s suddenly seeming very close.

The last week of April I’ll be leaving for Apachecon in Amsterdam. I’m still frantically trying to get my tutorial notes done so that I can have them in by the deadline on Friday. I was dumb enough to submit a brand new tutorial for this ApacheCon, after giving the same tutorial every ApacheCon since 2000 in Orlando (with one exception – I was just so sick of it that I didn’t do it in Austin.) and now I have to actually prepare it. Just an enormous amount of time involved in putting together a half-day tutorial.

Two weeks after that, I’ll be speaking at PHP|Tek in Chicago – one of the few places in the world that I can fly to without changing planes. I’ve never been to a PHP conference before, and it’s a great honor to be asked. I’ll be giving my “intro to mod_rewrite” talk, and then I’ll get to hang out with all those cool PHP people for a few days. I’m really looking forward to that.

So, if you’re going to be in either Amsterdam or Chicago in May, do drop by and see me. And if you’re not, well, you should make plans to be. They’ll both be great conferences, and there will be interesting people there.

Ohio LinuxFest

Ohio LinuxFest was great, as usual.

There were 5 of us there from Asbury, as well as two other folks (that I knew) from the Lexington area. And, in addition to the 7 of us, there were about 1050 other people, up from just over 700 last year.

I did a new talk – 20 things you didn’t know you could do with your Apache web server – and I had a ton of fun doing it. 20 things is really way too much material for 60 minutes, but even that worked out pretty well, as folks were never given the chance to lose interest. If one of the things wasn’t of much interest, there would be another in 2 minutes. And there was only one person in the audience who claimed to know as many as 10 things, which was very satisfying.

I did cheat a little bit, since a lot of the stuff was from 2.2, and one thing was from 2.3. But evangelizing 2.2 is, I think, pretty important. There’s lots of amazing stuff in it.

Also of great interest was the (as they were introduced) LIVE NUDE PENGUINS! Yes, two penguins came to see us. They were jackass penguins, and did indeed bray like donkies. It was very cool to see them. I’m sure that someone has posted a bunch of photos on Flickr by now.

Other excellent speakers included Chris DiBono, Jeff Waugh, Jay Pipes and Jon maddog Hall.

Jay’s talk, in particular was very valuable. However, by about half way through, he had gone past my ability to understand what he was talking about. This is, of course, one of the things that makes OLF so unique. Zero product pitch. 100% technical talks.

Also very cool was hanging out with Skippy and Owen, and putting together our detailed plans for world domination. (No, I can’t tell. It’s a secret!)

Looking forward to next year’s conference! It will be even better!


This weekend several of us from Asbury went up to Ohio LinuxFest. The conference is another post.

On the trip up, there were two cars, and we had an iVAN – that is, an intra-Vehicular Area Network. In one car, we had an inverter, and a wireless access point. I was in the other car, running the IRC server. I also was streaming Old Time Radio podcasts from iTunes, which they were playing on the stereo in the other car.

Oh, yeah, and we had CB radios, too.

We got a pretty strong link between the cars when we were 2 or 3 car lengths away, but beyond that, it broke down pretty fast.

Mostly, though, it was cool just to do it. And very geeky. 🙂

Ohio Linux Fest

I’m *finally* done with my presentation for Ohio Linux Fest. Yay. And it’s only a week from today.

If you’re anywhere near the area, you really should come. It’s great.

In reviewing my slides one last time, I discovered that at the end I made a joke about Lilo coercing me to put in the plugs for irc.freenode.net. It’s always interesting to uncover these little reminders of someone who is gone. Rob always encouraged me to softpedal promotion of Freenode when I talked about IRC involvement at conferences. If you benefit from Freenode’s services, consider sending them a few bucks.

Conference TShirts

The great conference TShirt is one that, if you have to explain what it means to someone who wasn’t there, takes 30 minutes, and leaves both of you feeling like it wasn’t worth the effort.

My canonical example of this is the shirt from the first YAPC I attended. It proclaims:

YAPC 19100
Laziness, Impatience, Hubris
Pick Any Three

This has embedded in it at least 5 inside jokes/references. Or 6, depending on how you count.

Most conferences I go to try to make shirts that live up to this level of cleverness.

A good bar is like good software: Open

Trillions and Trillions Served

But I don’t think folks often live up to the YAPC shirt.

I was thinking about this while doing laundry and I came across the “hAPI hAPI joy joy” shirt from the Yahoo booth at OSCon.

Need longer days

At a time when scientists warn that autumn will kill us all, I’m starting to feel that I need the days to get longer, not shorter.

In addition to a huge deadline at work, I have three writing deadlines the first week of October, and two conferences coming up (Ohio LinuxFest and ApacheCon) in the next few weeks too. And two books that I’ve promised to do reviews for, including one preface.

Somehow I need to figure out how to sleep less and still be productive.

As DNA observed, “I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.”

20 Things You Didn’t Know Apache Could Do

In just a couple weeks I’ll be giving a talk at Ohio LinuxFest titled “20 Things You Didn’t Know Your Apache Web Server Could Do.”

I picked the number 20 mostly at random. I figured that was a good number for a 45 minute presentation. It turns out it’s hard to come up with 20 things that I think most of the audience at OLF won’t know. They tend to be a pretty knowledgeable audience.

Tonight I came up with the last few things, and I think I’m mostly ready to give the talk, although some of the items require a little more detail. Not too much, because 2 minutes per item is pretty tight.

I figure that most of the audience will find 2-5 of the things to be something that they already knew, and that a few very experienced folks will perhaps know as many as 10 of the things, but I’m betting that nobody in the room will know more than 12. We’ll see. It will be a fun talk, whatever happens.

Oh, yeah, I’ll be giving the same talk at ApacheCon in Austin. Rather different audience. I imagine there will be a person or two in the audience there who will know all 20 things. But perhaps I’ll even teach them a few things.

Photos from OSCon, ApacheCon

The last two cons that I’ve attended – ApacheCon and OSCon – I’ve hardly taken any photos. I’ve relied on the photographers more talented than I, or at least more shutter-happy than I, for my photographic memories. That seems to have worked out pretty well, but there’s something just more satisfying to having one’s own photos, even when they aren’t very good.

So I’ll try to take more photos this time around.

Keynote and Subversion

As a number of other people have pointed out, the latest version of Keynote (3.0.1 for those keeping score) blows away .svn directories when you save a file. And, for the record, it also blows away CVS directories.

It used to preserve them on save. No longer.

This means, in short, that I can’t store my conference presentations in revision control.

Given that most of my conference presentations get updated and recycled and rewritten and reused several times a year, this makes me very very nervous. Any document that’s important to me, and not in revision control, makes me very nervous. After all, laptops get dropped. Files get deleted by mistake. Changes get made unintentionally and need to be reverted. And I really need to retrieve that example that I used to have in here on slide #26, but which is gone now.

I’m really not sure what to do. I could go back to using PerlPoint (writing in POD, generating HTML – several generations removed from something TomC wrote many moons ago), but I have grown quite attached to the things that Keynote lets me do.

Oh, and when I went to the Apple bug reporting website, I got “An Exception has Occurred (click triangle to view)”.


I guess I’m just out of luck for now.

Air Force Museum

Today we visited the Air Force Museum, on the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, where they’ve got (at least) one of every plane that has ever flown for the US Air Force. I had very mixed feelings about the visit.

On the one hand, I was (very literally) slack-jawed for 2 hours while looking at a simply amazing collection of planes, many of which I’ve read stories about for years. Including the Bockscar, which dropped Fat Man on Nagasaki to end WWII. Including Spitfires. Including the Blackbird, and the Stealth Bomber, and B52s, and Meserschmits, and Zeros, and several Air Force Ones, and on and on. Alas, I wanted to see a P51 Mustang, and one of the volunteers there told me that there was one, but I never did find it.

Photos here.

On the other hand, I felt a profound sense of how much death and misery this collection of hardware had caused in the world over the last 60 or 70 years. Many of the planes had markings on the side indicating how many bombs they had dropped, or how many enemy aircraft they had shot down.

I watched a number of war movies over the Memorial Day weekend, on AMC. I continue to have a difficult time understanding the concept of solving international disagreements by killing one another’s young men. And the way that we hated the entire population of various nations, at various times in our history, is very saddening.

Anyways, enough with the deep thoughts. The photos have almost finished uploading, and they are very cool. I expect Matsu has some even better ones, and perhaps can be persuaded to post them at some point.