Tag Archives: oscon

No, I won’t move to LA

While at OSCon, I spoke with someone who was a representative for a company that I would really like to work for. People I know work there, and seem mostly happy. And it’s a cool/interesting company, with respect to technology usage. He was encouraging, but not so much that I could assume it was a done deal.

Well, I’m afraid I allowed myself to get my hopes up just a little too much, even though I knew it was, realistically, a long shot, given that I’m not willing to move out of central Kentucky. So when I spoke with him today, and they said that, unfortunately, they really needed people in LA, and they would keep me in mind for future positions, I was sorely disappointed.

Granted, life is not unpleasant, but I would still like to be working somewhere where I feel like I’m making a difference in the world, and where I’m actually doing something I’m really good at, as opposed to a job that I can do, but which doesn’t really require any particular skills that I’ve worked so hard to develop.

So, I’m not exactly depressed, but very disappointed. Maybe something will come up, and they’ll be able to use someone off site. I’ll try not to get my hopes up. The secret is keeping expectations low.

Great Hackers

While various people are asserting that Paul Graham’s paper Great Hackers is wrong-minded, I have to say that the talk at OSCon, from which it was derived, was one of the better things going at OSCon. Granted, a large part of his audience was the Great Hackers of whom he spoke. I don’t actually have time right now either to read the entire thing, or to figure out why so many people think that he’s wrong. But those of you who were not at his talk might be interested in reading at least the introduction to what he’s saying. I think he makes some brilliant points. And I particularly like his introduction:

I didn’t mean to make the book controversial. I was trying to make it efficient. I didn’t want to waste people’s time telling them things they already knew. It’s more efficient just to give them the diffs. But I suppose that’s bound to yield an alarming book.

(See Feedster for some of the remarks being made on this topic.)

Attempting to catch up

Here’s a bit of an attempt to catch up. Having been offline since Friday, there’s plenty to catch up on, and I’m afraid I’ll miss something. Oh well.

Friday, after the conference was officially over, I had a liesurely lunch with Ken, after which I took a long nap. Wow was I tired. I tried to go out and read by the pool for a while, but there was a young’un out there who screamed without taking a breath for about an hour, before he was finally carted off to somewhere else.

I inquired about an Indian restaurant at the front desk, and walked down a few blocks to The India House for some very good chicken tikka and paratha. Mmmmm.

On Saturday morning, after a liesurely breakfast, I went off on my geocaching hike. I think that Saturday was about as close to a real vacation as I’m going to get any time this year. I walked about 1.25 miles to Washington Park, where I took some pictures. Also while there I visited the rose garden.

And I found 5 geocaches, most of which were actually very challenging.

I also found a wallet. I pulled a business card out of it, and attempted to return it to the address thereon, but he didn’t live there, so I took it to the police station. I think by that time I had probably walked 4 miles, but perhaps a little further.

While I was in the rose garden, my brother had called with the names and addresses of the various ethiopian restaurants in town, so after stopping by my hotel, I headed out for Mudai (45d32.0964,-122d39.44436). That was another 1.5 mile walk. Very enjoyable little hike.

On the way there I observed Flugtag, which was very odd. Strange people built flying machines (for a rather casual usage of the word flying) and drove them off of a 30-foot pier into the river. Very amusing. You should read about it on their website. I saw the Santa’s Sleigh team, among others. I even got a few pictures, although it’s a little hard to make out what’s going on.

Dinner at Mudai was fantastic. Just amazing. And well worth the hike. I was planning to get a taxi back, but the day was still so beautiful that I just walked back. Along they way I saw this Amazon.com advertisement on the side of a HUGE warehouse. Kinda funny. And that’s about it for Saturday. I have a remark to make about Sunday, but I’ll probably make that as another post.

Less exhausted

Last night I actually got to bed before 11. I went to James Duncan Davidson’s birthday party – Ken gave me a ride – and then left after just a little while. It was painfully loud, and I was really tired. So Ken and Ted and I left. When I got back to the Marriott, the Sams people were gathering out front, presumably to go out somewhere. I thought about it briefly, but then had Ken take me to my hotel, where I immediately went to sleep. I imagine that I’d have been out until 12 or 1 if I had joined the Sams folks.

So now I feel moderately human, and can think coherently. Today there are some very interesting sounding talks, including Milton Ngan’s talk about LOTR and LOTR-induced technology (he’s sitting across from me right now working on his talk) and Schuyler’s talk about GRASS.

Then, after the closing talk, I guess there will be more geocaching. 🙂

Freeman Dyson quotes

Audience member: What are you current thoughts on the end of the universe?
Freeman Dyson: Well, it’s not looking good.

The question is, do you really want to live a risk-free life. If you do, you might as well take the pill now and get it over with,

Every generation needs to lose a lot of things in order to think new thoughts.

More signings

Yesterday, when the flood of fans slowed down (I think he had a meeting or something), I wandered around to the other authors there who were signing, and got them to sign bookplates for various books that are on my shelf.

It would seem that no matter how long I am immersed in this community, when I’m in the presence of Larry Wall, Tom Christiansen, and various other folks, I’m still always reduced to what Wil Wheaton refers to as Drooling Fan Boy. Jars of clay notwithstanding, these guys are still heroes in my eyes, and I’m reduced to incoherency when I have the opportunity to speak to them.
I remember the first time I met Brian Behlendorf. It was actually at an OSCon, although I forget which one. I had some grand sentiment planned to tell him, but I babbled something about being honored to meet him, and then fled. It is rather amusing, in retrospect. And, given that someone just did something like that to me yesterday, I’m sure it was vaguely unsettling for him, too.

Ok, I need to go down and secure a seat near power outlets.


Last evening, various of the Sams authors went to Ringside Steakhouse. Apparently it was voted the 6th best steakhouse in the country. It was, without question, the best steak that I have ever had. And I was sitting at the fun table. Entirely too much serious technical conversation appeared to be going on at the other tables. 😉

But, let me back up a moment, and recount the taxi ride, before I forget some of the details.

Taxi driver: What are you guys in town for?
Us: Software conference.
Td: Oh. Software is the way to go. You know why?
Us: Why?
Td: Because God uses software to run the entire universe.
Us: *stunned silence*
Td: And God’s wife is Mona Lisa.
Us: *boggle*
Td: And taxes are from Satan. God gave us life for free, and Satan is trying to take it away. On April 15th, we pay Satan.

This actually went on for quite a while longer, and I know I’m forgetting something. Perhaps one of the other guys can fill in some of the details. It was very surreal.

Discussion at dinner also involved a brilliant new idea for a book series that we’re going to do. I can’t reveal the highly confidential details, but let’s just say that it features soft, absorbent paper. Possibly perforated. I don’t think I’ve laughed so hard in many moons.

The Stonehenge party was last night, too. However, by the time we left Ringside, it was already 11pm, and I’ve been up late every night so far. We agreed to meet back at VQ for a somewhat quieter evening than would be had at the Stonehenge party, but apparently various folks changed their minds in transit, so some of us were there for a while waiting for the rest. Around 12, I just could not stay awake any longer.


I’m at the O’Reilly authors book signing. I have the ego-damaging misfortune to be standing next to Damian Conway, who has a steady stream of folks coming for signatures. I hate book signings, however, I’ve already had more takers this time than any signing I’ve been at before, so it’s not all bad. 🙂