Yesterday the Ohio LinuxFest kicked into high gear, with dozens of talks and sessions geared toward free software aficionados of all skill levels. I don’t know the attendance numbers but I heard people saying the conference felt even bigger and busier than last year. (I was last at Ohio LinuxFest in 2008.)
We had discovered that, besides the Fedora booth, the generous folks at OLF had also set up a booth for Red Hat, who sponsored the conference in part as well. Since we had a fair number of Red Hatters in attendance — Spot, Ruth, and myself — and had a full complement of Fedora Ambassadors on hand as well, we decided to work that booth. The booths were helpfully right next to each other so we could all easily collaborate and converse with each other during the day.
It was a wonderful day spent talking to enthusiastic software freedom lovers from all over the region. There was one aggressively rude individual who wasted a lot of people’s time at many booths (not just ours), but he couldn’t put a damper on an otherwise fantastic day. I probably could have seen a few talks myself, but just when I thought I might slip away to do that, we would get some visitors at our booth and it was simply more interesting and fun to chat with them and answer questions!
I think shows tend to let me do a sort of “extrovert sprint.” Generally I like solitude and quiet, but it seems like a one-day show is the perfect length for me to be a 100% social animal and really enjoy it.
In any case, I was also at Ohio LinuxFest to do a talk on “PyGTK for Beginners,” which I did in the afternoon. Despite my talk happening at the same time as those of David Nalley (SELinux) and Amber Graner (burnout), but even so I had an enormous audience who asked great questions and appeared to really enjoy the talk — as much as I enjoyed giving it! I had done a longer version of this talk at the Southeast LinuxFest conference in June, so I felt more at ease with the material and a little more “loose,” in a good way, doing it for the Ohio audience. Hopefully that came through — someone in the front row of the audience told me he had recorded it so I hope he’ll make it available.
I did manage to catch Monty’s (of Xiph.org and Red Hat fame) evening keynote, in his inimitable style which I find very enjoyable — both eloquent and engaging. I think his talk was really more like two different talks spliced together, with one part being about loving what you do, and the other about the promised subject of the state of codecs. I liked both parts and I hope the rest of the audience did too.
In the evening we had several groups going to disparate places for dinner again — I ended up with a different group from Friday night, at a Mongolian BBQ place down the street which was not bad. Later we made a rendezvous with the rest of our crew at the next door Hyatt Regency bar, and were joined by our dear friends who had organized the Southeast LinuxFest conference. They generously picked up the tab for a bunch of us and everyone had a superb time socializing, laughing, and winding down from a great conference.
A big “thank you” to Bethlynn, Moose, and the entire Ohio LinuxFest crew for their hard work on this event, and for giving me an opportunity to speak. It was a great event and I look forward to the next one!
I also want to say a special thank you to the magnanimous Brian Pepple, who provided Spot and me with rides from and to the airport. We’re killing time at the hotel for a little while, then off into the wild blue yonder and returning home.