Saturday, September 26, 2009

Ohio Linux Fest... What a Ride!

Well, for not having been doing hardly anything Haiku-related in the last month or so, this kind of made up for it. It all started with almost not getting a table at the conference and then on Wednesday--if I remember correctly, that is-- suddenly having one by the power of Greyskull, um, I mean Koki. ;-) This meant a flurry of e-mails, burning what remaining CDRs I had around the house, quickly putting together a Haiku demo machine, and a host of other details.

I arrived at the Greater Columbus Convention Center at about 7:15 am to set up and was quickly met by Michael Summers, whom I've known since the first WalterCon years ago, and Joe Prostko. We had been concerned about not having a projector, particularly on such short notice, but as we found out, it wasn't really necessary. We had a six-foot table, Joe's MSI Wind netbook, my Thinkpad R40 laptop, some live CDs, a bunch of fliers Urias had sent us, a couple of chairs, and some great neighbors in the non-profit section: the Northeast Ohio Open Source Society (NOOSS) and The Linux Link Tech Show (TLLTS). Setting up didn't take long, and even at that early hour there were already a lot of people there besides the sponsors.

I'd never gone to a computer convention like Ohio Linux Fest before, so I wasn't completely sure of what to expect. It wasn't all that different from some teacher conventions that I'd attended early in my teaching career. The big difference was that I could talk about my favorite operating system with the people around me and they'd actually understand me. :)

To be honest, I wasn't really expecting the kind of foot traffic that we received during the day. The table was in a great location and I can't even remember the number of people that I talked to during the day, let alone Joe and Mike. The live CDs that Joe and I had made didn't last long at all and despite starting with plenty of fliers, after about four hours I ended up running to Kinko's to make some copies of our last one.

After reading about others' experiences at similar events, I thought it was going to be a long day. Nothing could have been further from the truth. The whole day was a blur of talking with great people. It goes to show you that time really flies by when you're having fun.

Having been through my first convention, I'd like to share some of the insights I've gained. First, this is a really exciting time for Haiku. It runs circles around the competition in terms of the feature set in combination with its ease-of-use, low hardware requirements, and performance that it offers. On a machine like a netbook, there is no comparison. The small storage footprint and ease of configuration give Haiku potential for a sort of OS toolkit, similar to how Linux is used as a base for tools, such as CloneZilla. The demand for something like our favorite OS is there. All we really need is critical mass.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Working Harder than Before in the Office

This school year sure has been a busy one. Like last year, I'm teaching computers, but unlike last year, I'm teaching junior high and high school students. No rugrats for me this year, which is a bummer. I like the students I have -- especially when I taught most of them when they really were rugrats -- but I love teaching little kids. The courses? Office and typing. Bleah. Luckily, teaching Office 2007 isn't so bad because I'm also teaching right alongside it. Time is tight, but some of them are getting it.

I haven't written a line of code since school started. :( I'm having to learn the Office curriculum I'm teaching, which has been sucking up a lot of time. I also need to expand my IT skills, so I've started studying for an MCSA. Just so you know I haven't drunk the Redmond brand of Kool-Aid, right before I started I had been working on learning CentOS administration, which I still plan on learning. The upshot of the studying is that just in the last week (which is when I started) I've managed to put to use immediately almost everything I've been learning. All of this has seriously cut into my coding time, but with the potential for more money, this is a Really Good Thing (TM).

I'm still planning to go to the Ohio LinuxFest, but I don't know if Haiku will be able to get a table. I'll find out later today, so I guess we'll have to wait and see. Even if we don't get a table, I'm still going and pushing Haiku from the other side of the vendor table. Heh. *evil grin*

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Ohio LinuxFest, Here I Come!

After a little prodding, I've decided that I'm going to be one of the guys manning the Haiku booth at the Ohio LinuxFest. It's been held in Columbus for a few years now. Last year there was talk of going, but I couldn't swing it because of all the crazy stuff going on at work. It should be an intersting time, and after 4 years of not doing anything like this with Haiku (WalterCon '05), I must say it's good to get back to having some fun with Haiku again.