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Linux Symposium

I just got back home from the Linux Symposium. Happy Canada Day! I wish I could have stayed longer to join in the festivities. Alas, I've been taking an awful lot of vacation days from work lately.

Let's see if I can review the whole conference in one post. Then I can go back to my Kyoto travelogue posts.

Wednesday started out with the Kernel Report. I hadn't really been keeping up with the latest kernel news and changes, so this talk was of interest to me, but one can only really scratch the surface of this topic in an hour-long talk. I have sfllaw to thank for setting up WPA-PSK on my laptop. I thought the conference organizers did a good job with the wireless access this year. So I could've been more diligent about posting and responding while I was in Ottawa, but I tried not to be distracted during talks, and I tried to be social the rest of the time, so I didn't fully take advantage of the 'net access.

I spent the rest of the day in tutorials. First was How to Write a Linux File System in 21 Days. For some reason I came to that one late, so I probably missed some information that would've helped me understand the rest better. Following that was the longer More Linux For Less tutorial, wherein they handed out Blackfin 537 development boards and walked us through cross-compiling a kernel for it. I would've been lost if it hadn't been for ostraya's friend Dana, who shared a board with me. As it is, we both succeeded in cross-compiling and loading the kernel on the board. I got to bring the board home with me; I'm welcoming suggestions as to what interesting things to do with it.

On Thursday, I got up in time to miss only the first few minutes of clahey's talk on developing Democracy (soon to be renamed Miro). Afterwards I joined a standing-room-only crowd to hear a talk on the status of ext4. I haven't heard from anyone who's particularly impressed by ext4, though I haven't yet tried any of the filesystems I have heard recommended, like xfs or zfs. Next I heard The Hiker Project: An Application Framework for Mobile Linux Devices. After lunch, I caught some of Internals of the RT Patch. This one had some relevance to work I had been doing for my employer, though I wasn't able to follow many of the details, so I'm making a note to myself to read the paper.

And then, one of the highlights of my trip: tea at the Château Laurier with sfllaw, ostraya, scjody, and fabien. It was excellent—I'd recommend it to anyone visiting Ottawa, and I do hope it becomes an annual tradition as long as the Linux Symposium is there.

We returned to the conference for IBM's Linux on Power/Cell BoFS, which was simultaneously half-reception and half-presentation. We schmoozed a little before stopping by LCBO to pick up a few bottles of good wine to bring to a party. clahey also brought a couple of the many sorbets he made throughout the week, which included pineapple, strawberry, grape, apple, and carrot.

On Friday I attended talks on Thermal Extensions for Linux Handhelds; Comparison of SMB2, CIFS and NFS; cpuidle; and ext4 Online Defragmentation. None of the talks was really outstanding. I got really tired of bullet points and the whole lifeless way of presenting material that's ubiquitous at conferences and in offices these days. maddog's Thin Clients/PHAT results - Are we there yet? rant had bullet points, but it was more inspired.

After a dinner where we stuffed ourselves at an Indian restaurant, the plan was to make it back for Andrew's One Laptop Per Child session, but alas, our service was very slow, and we didn't make it back in time. Instead we went right to the LinuxChix gathering at Oh So Good. It was awfully loud in there, but there were delicious desserts and good company. If only the majority of attendees could have been women!

On Saturday I attended With No Tears: Building A Mobile Linux Device, the kernel.org BoFS, and Evolution and Diversity: The Meaning of Freedom and Openness in Linux (James Bottomley's keynote address). I made my traditional stop at Paper Papier in the afternoon as well, buying—among other lovely and not-strictly-necessary things—a fountain pen. After dinner I attended the traditional party at the Black Thorn Cafe, where I had a surprisingly good time. I say 'surprisingly' because in the past I've experienced it as a very loud, crowded event where I knew almost no one and had a difficult time elbowing my way to the bar to order a drink. This year was better though, as it was less crowded, I knew more people, and the waitstaff circulated quite readily with food and drinks.

You know, it seems a large part of the reason I return to the Linux Symposium year after year is to see far-flung friends and engage in annual traditions. From where I'm sitting now, that's just fine.



( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 2nd, 2007 01:43 am (UTC)
Fountain pens are the best!
Jul. 2nd, 2007 05:07 am (UTC)
Sounds fun!
Jul. 2nd, 2007 05:28 am (UTC)
Tea at the Chateau is a serious treat. Glad you got the chance :).
Jul. 2nd, 2007 08:58 pm (UTC)
I am green with envy. I need to get my employer to pay for me to go up there...right after I have the actual vacation days to take.
Jul. 2nd, 2007 10:20 pm (UTC)
I'd love for my employer for me to pay to go up there. As it is, it was all on my own dime and vacation time.
Jul. 2nd, 2007 09:05 pm (UTC)
I've been using XFS on top of LVM on my mythTV box (so I can grow it later), and I can't really say anything good or bad about it one way or the other. I went with XFS on the recommendation of the mythTV build guides I found, so there was no choices for me - I went with what was recommended. The rest of my systems (including the rootfs on the MythTV box) are all ReiserFS.
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )