Archive for the ‘S.E.L.F.’ Category

South East Linux Fest 2010

South East Linux Fest

Wow, what a trip. Allan and I drove to SC from my place in PA in the middle of the night, which took up 10 hours. It was a nice drive compared to last year where it was foggy and rainy the whole ride there.

The conference was great. It was 2 days long, and, contrary to what I heard from some people, I thought it was just right. During the talks/conferences there was hardly anyone in the hallways. This tells me that there was something interesting there for everyone. I, however, only got to see Dann’s talk about the linux boot process. It was quite good I thought. The only real downside there was the vendor/hallway track, which was spread out a little too much.

Mordancy made us some SELF ’10 TLLTS shirts, which turned out great and were a hit. We do have some left as well and will be announcing how you can get yours on the show. Gorkon brought cookies and chex mix which were also greatly appreciated. And, of course, there were the books by Prentice Hall (Pearson Ed), APress and the wickedly cool Neuros Link and Nexus One we had to give away. I had a great time talking to all of you who stopped at the booth and I even got the chance to install Linux on a visitors laptop! I also enjoyed visiting with the other vendors and dot org booths there. I still really enjoy being a part of this community. You all are a bunch of great folks!

Probably the best “conference track” there was one tat was totally unannounced and impromptu. On Sunday night, after all was quiet and we were relaxed, Dann, Allan and I had time for a good executive TLLTS meeting. It was really nice to go over a lot of TechShow information, ideas, problems and solutions, face to face, so we could all get on the same page. We are coming up on our second season and we have some interesting things in store.

All in all I had a great time, which was exactly what I expected. I cannot wait for OLF this year nor can I wait for SELF next year. They just keep getting better and better!

Tuesday, June 15th, 2010




Why Grassman? Well, my preferred method of computer naming is to use Cryptids. You guessed it. That means I got a new (to me at least) computer. I did a little side work in exchange for a 10″ netbook and another Western Digital 1TB MyBook World Edition. I left the choice of netbook open and got a really nice refurbished HP Mini 110-1125NR.

This thing is a sweet little netbook! I was a little hesitant at first because, as you’ll notice in the picture, the trackpad buttons are on the sides, much like my Acer Aspire One. I really really hate that “feature” on the Acer and suspected much the same here as well. Much to my delight, these buttons feel way nicer and are quite comfortable to use. The computer/netbook itself came with 1gb of ram, a 140gb hdd and Windows 7 (somethingorother) pre-installed. Well, that didn’t last long. In fact, it never got booted. I immediately slapped in my USB stick with Linux Mint 9 that had been put on there with unetbootin. I am sure you have all ready reviews about Mint 9 by now, but if you haven’t actually *tried* it, you are surely missing out. In a few minutes, I had Mint 9 on the HP and the only thing I really had to adjust was getting wireless networking working. This is not as difficult as you may think. I clicked the icon on the task bar for restricted drivers and told the machine to install and use the STA driver (yes, I had to initially connect it via ethernet). A quick reboot later and wireless was working perfectly. This machine runs very well, feels quite quick, it feels solid and of good quality unlike some netbooks which are very toyish (?) feeling. It is very sleek and pretty and, in my opinion, the difference between 10 inch and 9 inch display in a netbook is enormous. The only thing I believe i will change about this netbook is to upgrade the ram to the full 2gb. Not insomuch as it needs it, because it runs very well on 1gb, but just because I can and because it is very likely that I will use this computer as a lot more than just a “netbook”.

An odd funny story here is that 1 year ago when Allan and I were at the South East Linux Fest, we went to BestBuy to waste a little time. There I bought a neoprene netbook sleeve for my Acer Aspire One. The only decent one they had was this black one with some designs on the outside for a 10 inch HP netbook. Imagine my surprise when it occurred to me that that netbook sleeve is the one that actually matches my new refurbed 10 inch HP netbook. 🙂 Reunited at last!

Wednesday, June 2nd, 2010

South East Linux Fest

OK, everyone else has now had time to review S.E.L.F. and now it’s my turn.

My trip started out on Thursday night around 11pm when Allan arrived to pick me up. The trip was long, 12+ hours, and mostly uneventful. Driving at night through Virginia is murder. Nothing to look at for literally hours at a time. Luckily Allan was in rare form and kept on singing show tunes at full pipe 🙂

Once we finally arrived in Clemson, SC around noonish, we were told that out rooms were not quite ready so Allan and I ventured out for some food at the local Wafflehouse and then to BestBuy, where I picked up a neoprene sleeve for my Acer Aspire One, and Allan picked up a Sansa Fuse. Hey, boys gotta have their toys right?

Finally we were able to get into our room and after showers and naps (hey, we’re old guys), we headed over to the bar to join in the pre-show festivities. Much merriment was had there as everybody trickled in from their trip. Most people were enjoying their beer and I even got Allan to man up with me and hit the scotch. It was a great time. I just want to pause here and say that I feel soooo sorry for Danns wife. He must put her through hell with the wash. While we were eating, I watched him take 2 equal sized portions of fat and gristle, and put one in each pocket to save for later. Don’t ask. This is life with Dann 🙂 At around 11ish I decided it was time to hit the sack so that I could function the next day. Remember, I am old 🙂

Believe it or not, Allan and I were beat to the conference by Dann and crew. I was astounded to learn he was there before we were, but the tables turned when we arrived and saw Dann horribly ill. He thought it was something he *ate* 🙂 Anyhow, he went off to rest up for an hour or so. He looked so bad after a while I went back to poke him and see if he was still alive. He was and recovered in no time. I also learned that in SC you can still get Mellow Yellow. I really love Mellow Yellow and you cannot find it in PA except in the movie theater on tap. Bummer, but I did enjoy some while I was there.

The conference itself was fantastic. I can’t believe this was the first one. I did not, myself, get a chance to attend any of the talks, save the ending keynote, but I hear they were all really good. That Dave Yates fellow sure puts on a good show! Seriously though, I don’t want to diminish anyones involvement or contribution. They all did a really good job! There were, by my estimates, roughly 400-500 people there, and most wandered by the TLLTS booth at one time or another. We, of course, held our raffle/giveaway and had great prizes from our great sponsors Neuros Technology and Prentice Hall, along with a bunch of goodies from S.E.L.F. sponsors including APress, O’Reilly, and more. We even gave away a Google Phone from Chris DiBona. What a guy! Of course we had a sea of people lined up for the giveaway and I made them yell and scream like always. It was a blast and a huge success!

The after-show party was at the same bar as the pre-show and, once again, a good time was had by all. There was much reveling, eating and drinking and I enjoyed every minute of it. I particularly enjoyed having the time to catch up with my friends like Dann and Chad and Dave and the gang.

This brings us to the ride home. I had anticipated that the ride home would be slightly more fun in the daylight. It felt even longer, probably because we were already worn out. Allan and I did have some fun watching the crazy people that stopped in to eat at the same time we did at iHop in NC, and afterward we stopped to see what JR was all about. It’s a giant discount type store which just happened to have a big old cigar store attached. I could spend a lot of money in there! Other than that, the drive, particularly through VA, seemed absolutely endless and I was supremely happy to be home at the end.

The bottom line, though, is I had a great time and am looking forward to going again next year!

Wednesday, June 17th, 2009