Last week I spent two different days at LinuxWorld down at the Moscone Center in San Francisco. This is a much different conference in feel and scope than OSCON. LinuxWorld is a business conference and trade show. It’s all about companies who “get” Linux and want you to buy their products and services.
You can tell this show is different from OSCON by the sheer amount of swag. At OSCON, the free goodies were very limited, and the exhibit hall was small. LinuxWorld is the exhibit hall, and there is free stuff for you to carry away from every booth.
Wednesday morning I drove down to San Francisco with Jim Rosenbaum, my friend and occasional benefactor. Jim has bought me more lunches than I care to admit. He’s also one of the NoCat illuminati.
LinuxWorld does have sessions, but I scanned through them beforehand and decided none of them were worthwhile. Again (and there’s nothing wrong with this), the sessions are about why Linux makes sense for your business and why you should use some particular vendor’s implementation of this or that. Not my idea of a good time.
Wednesday, therefore, was swag day. Wander the floor, look for interesting vendors, and see what kind of stuff they’re giving away. In no particular order, I got a Novell hat, another hat I’ve already forgotten, a Firefox browser t-shirt (Front: “Firefox - The Browser Reloaded Back: “Take Back The Web”), an Apache t-shirt (”Trillions and Trillions Served”) and a shirt from the guys at Barracuda Networks (”Eat Spam”).
During the morning we ran into our friend Adam Flaherty, who was there with a couple of cow-orkers. We all ended up going to Bucca di Beppo for a gut-busting Italian family style lunch. Woooof. It was good food - the bruschetta and canneloni were delicious - but you just can’t avoid overeating at that kind of place.
Off in one corner of the exhibit hall was the .ORG pavilion, where they hide the community booths. This is where you could find EFF, the Mozilla Foundation, Fedora, X.org and others. One place with great eye candy was the Enlightenment booth. It’s been a while since I used Enlightenment as a window manager, but they were demonstrating how little overhead it uses, and how flexible it is. It’s time to check out this window manager again.
Another really cool demo was something from Sun called Project Looking Glass. Okay, it’s Java-based technology, but it was still pretty cool. It was a 3D interface for a GNOME desktop, allowing you to shuffle windows like a deck of cards, and giving your workspaces the perspective of a cube. Boy, if they could cross this with the lightweight interface from Enlightenment, that would be really nice.
The second day at LinuxWorld I was only at the conference for a couple of hours. I gave a presentation in the O’Reilly booth on “Hacking The Linksys WRT54G”. I think it went pretty well, although the battery in my cordless mic died halfway through and I had to yell the rest of the time.
The conference was the first public place I was able to use my new toy, a Casio Exilim EX-Z40 digital camera. I had hoped to have it in time for OSCON, but the discount place I ordered it from wasn’t able to understand the need for overnight shipping.
After having a chance to use it, though, I’m really happy with the camera. It takes pretty good pictures, it has a nice 3x Pentax optical zoom lens, and the display is nice and bright so you can see it well even in full sun. Also nice is that the tiny optical viewfinder is coupled with the zoom lens, so when you zoom, the viewfinder zooms also.
I found Erik Dasque manning the Mono section of the Novell booth. Well, booth may not be the right word. Pavilion perhaps? Novell had a lot of space right in the center of the exhibit hall. They had lots of people waiting, wanting, willing to tell you all about SuSE Linux 9.1 and the whole host of open source projects that Novell is working on.
Here’s a candid shot of Erik hard at work:
To wrap things up, a few other photos taken at LinuxWorld.
Sarah Blackman, the Novell conferences coordinator. It’s her fault that I drank so much beer at OSCON:
Marsee Henon, O’Reilly’s user group manager:
Besty Waliszewski, O’Reilly product manager (including Linux Unwired):
Were you at LinuxWorld? What were your impressions?