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Ohio LinuxFest Conference October 5, 2006

Posted by Matsu in Information Technology, Microsoft, Open Source, Technology, Windows/Microsoft.
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Last weekend I drove up to Columbus, Ohio, USA to attend the Ohio LinuxFest conference. Several people from my office were there. In fact, the main reason I attended was because my colleagues had attended last year and spoke about how good it was. So, I went to check it out for myself.

Here is what Slashdot said about it:

    “The fourth annual Ohio LinuxFest is just around the corner, and this year’s LinuxFest is set to be the best one yet. The lineup will feature Jeff Waugh of Ubuntu and GNOME, Linux International’s Jon ‘maddog’ Hall, Jorge Castro, MySQL’s Jay Pipes, Michael Johnson, a panel on virtualization, and many more excellent speakers. The OhioLinuxFest will take place on Saturday, September 30 at the Greater Columbus Convention Center in Columbus, Ohio.”

I found the conference to be friendly and much bigger, in attendance, than expected. The keynote addresses were really well attended. Both the Ubuntu/GNOME guy (Jeff Waugh) and maddog Hall lived up to their reputations. Though, I found that maddog was more like an open source evangelist than he was a technical speaker.

For the most part, the talks were full of useful technical content or provided new insights (for me at least). There was the occasional anti-Microsoft comment and a little Microsoft-bashing took place by various speakers, but it was not the main focus, so it wasn’t too bad.

Probably the best session was the talk given by DrBacchus on “Twenty Things You Didn’t Know You Could Do With Apache.” It was both amusing and informative. And, the audience really enjoyed it. Good job, DrB!

My only real criticism is that the conference did not provide any Internet access. They threw together a quick-and-dirty wireless network but didn’t advertise it well and didn’t provide DHCP so people had to just pick an IP number and guess at a few other IP settings to join the network. They did put an IRC server up by halfway through the conference. In my opinion, all of that should have been staged ahead of time and just powered up when they got on site. Or, better yet, they should find a way to relay some WiFi connection through a local business. I’ll be working with Skippy to see if I can help them do that next time.

Oh, yes. And, there were live penguins. They actually arranged for the Columbus zoo to bring by two live penguins for all to see. As the penguin wranglers left to return the penguins to the zoo, they thanked the Linux Company for having them and wished all of the Linux Company employees a good meeting. It was very amusing to be confused with a for-profit company. Some of the ultra pro-open-source geeks actually seemed offended.

I guess I will be adding this regional conference to my list of annual conferences that I attend each year. I did have a good time overall, so it was more fun than it was like work.

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