Off vacation (not that I ever had one)

April 11, 2007

I am excited for Feisty. Its about 10 days off…thats very very soon! I’m been running Kubuntu Feisty since Herd 1 and it has good to help further in the development of the latest and greatest Ubuntu Release. It seems like I haven’t been writing mostly because I have been very busy but here is a long one.

The Flourish Conference was a great time and I was excited to see The Chicago LoCo show up and pass out a ton of CDs. I think we handed out over 200 but everybody’s number differs. The chicago team wrote some responses on the Planet so check out our reviews. I was especially proud to represent Ubuntu with Chad, great work Mr. Sutton. My personal thought are after the jump at the end of the page.

The Illinois LoCo will be meeting at Manchicken’s House of Hack soon. I am very excited as this will be the first meeting of the Illinois Local Community. I hope to see everyone who is interested from the State of Illinois there. As I am also part of the Chicago LoCo, (but being away at school, I can’t help year round) I am excited to help grow the Illinois team. Anyone who is interested in the Illinois team is welcome to contact me if you live in the western part of the state (I’m in Monmouth [near Galesburg] so Peoria, Quad Cities, Macomb etc). If we can get enough interest, I’ll be calling meetings for us.

 If anyone knows how I can disable pingbacks (or what they are / why they exist) please let me know.

Comments on Flourish start here:

First of, I’d like to thank everyone that went. It was a great showing by the team and we got a ton of positive feedback. I don’t want to seem like I didn’t appreciate the conference because I did, these are mostly suggestions / issues I had. I’ll list negatives and then end on positive notes.

1. Traveling between buildings. UIC is a big school, there has to have been one way to organize the conference so that we don’t want from Building A to C and back to the CCC for drinks. There should have been just one buiding housing everything.

2. Delays. Waiting around for 45 minutes because a panel discussion goes over time is unacceptable in my point of view. Its a discussion, they go over time. That is why you have organizers whom will end the discussion when need been. I have a serious issue waiting in a room for 45 minutes with no word of when we would start. I seriously debated getting up and just talking to the crowd, telling jokes, anything to pass the time. I also seriously debated leaving.

3. Marketing Talks. I understand there are corporate sponsors that expect something back and expect the conference goers to listen. Fine, we got a talk about why company A is X, Y, and Z with Open Source. There are good ways to work that in and bad ways to intergrate this theme. Spot’s talk on KVM and VMs was a very good talk. Informative but I still knew Red Hat was behind it and it seriously made me think I could someday look at Red Hat for VM work. A bad way to do it (my opinion here) would be to have some representative (who I doubt had real understanding of FLOSS) give a marketing talk about open source. It sounded like the representative had no real understanding of free software and to me, they stuck out from the usual suspects of hackers at the conference.

4. Battle of the Distros. I love the idea of letting representatives talking about what is awesome about their distros. Battling or voting on them is not accetable in my point of view. I am not competing with Fedora/Mandrake/Freespire/Gentoo/Seboyan/Knoppix/Debian/Slackware/Freesbie/DSL (you see my point). I am championing for free/libre open source software and to put one against the other is not very cool. I would rather have “Distro Showcase” or some similar forum.

5. Last minute table talk. We got our table at the last minute so we were unable to procure more conference items. we did well, but it would have been nice to have more time.

What I did like:

1. The Chicago LoCo team. You guys all rocked it and I’m glad to see everyone that could make it to the conference.

2. The generousity of the confrence folks. Sure, some of the cash came from those evil corporate sponsors 🙂 (by beef was with the talk specifically not sponsorship by any means) but everyone was generous.

3. Peter Brown. His talk was very good about the GPL and it made me happy to see from the FSF there. He also brought stickers and CDs of GnuSense which everyone snapped up. He talked about the Defective by Design campaign, as well as Bad Vista. Both great movements. I am excited for GPLv3 and it was by the best talk I’ve ever been to (but really my first conference so no standard of comparision outside Flourish).

4. John Quigley’s talk about Cleversafe. John is in charge of the Chicago Linux Users Group and gave a very good (but I got lost for most of it) talk about distributed file systems. Lots of fascinating things going on at Cleversafe apparently.

Overall I would give the conference a B- and would love to do it again next year / next time around. If anyone has pictures / videos, please email them to me.

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