Linux World Expo

Posted on Sun, 07 Mar 1999 in Travel

Just got home from Linux World Expo in San Jose, California. What a trip, met all kinds of interesting people, saw all kinds of wonderful places.

My trip to San Jose March 1999

February 28, 1999 - Waking up, just before the crack of dawn... Everything is packed and ready, my Palm III is loaded with travel utilities, and funny little games. I'm ready for the journey of a lifetime. For the first time in my life, I'm going to California in the United states of America for the Linux World Expo ... Kind off a geek thing, going halfway around the earth to go to a Linux event. I'm going to be flying for about 22 hours, but with the time zone thing and everything, it'll only take about 9 hours... Who said there was no such thing as a time machine! =) Enjoy the photos... You can click on anyone of them to see it in full size.

Copenhagen -> London -> Seattle -> San Jose

Getting there

Could the plane possibly get any bigger? - I don't think so! [singlepic id=13 w=220 h=165 float=left]I had real a nice flight going over there, got to sit on the first floor, by the window and everything. There was almost no clouds while flying over Greenland ... What a view, ice as far as the eye could see.. untouched by human hand. The journey home, however, sucked totally .. I was put way down in the cheap end of the plane, and almost froze to death during the night (Well almost..) Next time I'm flying first class! =)

My temporary home

Totally jet lagged, I arrived in San Jose airport around 8 o'clock pm, the weather was so nice, and I guess that the winter clothes I was wearing kinda stood out from everybody else. While waiting for man baggage, Linus Torvalds walked by... And right then I knew that it would be an awesome trip! =) Anyway, I hailed a cab, and I was on my way to my temporary new home. On the way I was totally marveled by seeing all the huge domiciles of some the great ones in the business. (e.g. Adobe)

The real purpose of the trip

And now for the real purpose of the trip, it was time to enter geek mode! The day before the event started, I went to pick up my conference badge, and guess what I was the first person to receive it! I had signed up two tutorials 'Bullet proof UNIX programming' with Chip Salzenburg and 'Introduction to programming with Python' with Sean Reifschneider and Evelyn Mitchell. The first one ruled totally! =) Chip has excellent humor, and I learned many valuable little tips on how to make my C/C++ and Perl programming more secure. The second one didn't rule as much, in fact I think it sucked. But at least it taught me to avoid Python if possible. Don't get me wrong, I do think Python is usable in some cases, but it puts too many restrictions on the hacker using it. The McEnery convention center I also attended a lot of conference sessions, at the Linux World Expo here is a small list... [singlepic id=42 w=220 h=165 float=right] - Perl: The First Post-Modern Programming Language by Larry Wall - Introduction to XFree86 4.0 by Dirk Hohndel - OpenGL/Mesa 3D Support by Darryl Strauss - The BitKeeper Distributed Source Code Management System by Larry McVoy - How to Copyright Your Software and Choose a License by Bruce Perens

The people

One of the greatest things about this trip, was that I got to meet all kinds of interesting people. [singlepic id=38 w=220 h=165 float=left]I even got to speak to Larry Wall =) in person, take his picture and get him to sign my Perl book. What a treat! Guess I kinda needed to go into teenage idolizing mode, since I never had any real idols as a teenager... ;)

Not Linux, but GNU/Linux

On the third day there was a panel discussion with Richard Stallman, Guido van Rossum, Larry Wall and Linus Torvalds moderated by Eric Raymond. The discussion was about what we, the Linux community, could do over the next 9 months to achieve Linux world domination, very fun and informative. Richard Stallman kept on insisting on everybody saying GNU/Linux instead of just plain Linux. This obviously annoyed some, because they thought that Richard was out to tout his own horn, but I think what Richard was trying to say, was that the free in free software means free speech, not free beer! (Richard doesn't need to tout his own horn, I think his achievements speak for them selves)

License ? um.. what license?

Bruce Perens held an excellent talk about licensing your software and some of the pitfalls one might stumble into. He also went into great detail on the most common licenses in the OpenSource community. Very useful knowledge!=) [singlepic id=50 w=220 h=165 float=left] [singlepic id=21 w=220 h=165 float=left] [singlepic id=27 w=220 h=165 float=]

All the big ones...

Finally all the big companies in the business are opening their eyes to the wonderful world of Linux. All the different Linux distributions were represented. VA Research, Penguin Computing and Corel were there. Some of the new guys included Sun, IBM, Compaq, LinuxCare and Computer Associates. IBM had a rather funny slogan on their booth: Building the Linux community, how can they build something that has existed for a long time? Especially when they just joined the game?!?! Well the importing thing is that they have joined the game, and more importantly on our side! =) Perhaps this is the beginning to a world where software does not suck... Got a chance to chit-chat with Arnt from Troll Tech in Norway. Man I can't wait until QT 2.0 is released! I also talked to the Debian guys, they had flown in representatives from all over the world. I even had the chance to say hello to Rob Malda from Slashdot. One rarely meet so many interesting people all at once. [singlepic id=28 w=220 h=165 float=left] [singlepic id=29 w=220 h=165 float=]

Gotta get me one of those!

[singlepic id=33 w=220 h=165 float=right] Yow! - Now is that a cool =) car or what? I definitely want one! Unfortunately the price for the smallest configuration cost well over $44000 because of our crazy taxes here in Denmark. Maybe I should consider moving to San Jose? Not only are the cars a lot cheaper, the weather is also a lot nicer...

Mmmmm power...

The nice people from Turbo Linux had build a cool little Linux web server cluster. This just goes to show how well Linux is able to scale. All in all I must say, that the Linux World Expo was a really cool place to be, and I hope I get a chance to be there again in August! =)

Playing tourist!

In between conference sessions, coffee drinking and hanging out at the Expo, I also has time to play tourist... Just look at how clean and nice the streets of San Jose looks. They have very excellent public transportation that is real cheap! For only $2,50 a day, you can get a ticket that'll take you anywhere you want to go in the San Jose / Santa Clara area! Second street, Star Bucks is just ten paces to the left... Excellent coffee! West San Carlos street, Martin Luther King Jr. library San Fernando street First street Being the geek that I am, I thought I had died and gone to heaven when I entered the magic realm of Fry's electronics. Everything that uses any kind of power, you can buy here, and I do mean everything.TVs, Computers, Electronics components, GPS systems, cell phones, PDAs, Washing machines, Toasters, Curling irons, and refrigerators. You name it, they've got it! The only thing they don't have is competent and service minded sales people. But if you can live with that, it is an ok store. [singlepic id=37 w=220 h=165 float=left] [singlepic id=59 w=220 h=165 float=left]

Exploring science

Almost right opposite from the McEnery Convention center, is The Tech Museum of Innovation. The Tech Museum of Innovation is a hands-on technology museum devoted to inspiring the innovator in everyone. They had all kinds of cool displays, e.g. Communication: Global Connections, Exploration: New Frontiers, Innovation: Silicon Valley and Beyond. Here you could 'Shake in a earthquake', 'build a micro chip' and all different kinds other cool stuff!

Addicted to The Movies

Guess you know you are addicted to movies, when you can't go for a single week with out visiting a cinema at least once... So I just had to see a couple of movies while in San Jose, and so I did. [singlepic id=65 w=220 h=165 float=left] - You've got mail - Blast from the past - My Favorite Martian - Pleasantville - Office space

Office space was really funny, kinda of a real life Dilbert. Blast from the past and You've got mail, was both really cute movies, take your girlfriend and go see them! Plasantville was also real nice, makes me remember to live in the moment, and not be afraid of taking chances, you should definitely go see this one. My Favorite Martian was ok, but nothing special... guess it was targeted at a much younger audience, which no doubt would enjoy it a lot!

Relaxing in front of the TV

[singlepic id=26 w=220 h=165 float=right]After a long day of conference sessions and shopping, it was real nice just to sit in my hotel room watching some mind numbing TV. Cable in the States is not much different than cable in Denmark.

Home sweet home...

A week had passed, almost too fast! I could easily had used a week more... But I must say that I had a lot of fun and educational experiences during the last week. San Jose -> Seattle -> London -> Copenhagen

On my way home, I ran in to an old friend, from when I lived at a dorm in Herlev, guess it is a small world after all..