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Boston bound again.

As I write this, I’m sitting on a plane on my way to Boston, having rolled out of bed at the unwholesome hour of 4:00am and into Richmond to catch a 7:00am flight. What’s that you say? Another week of travel for Stickster? Yes indeed — much to my wife’s chagrin (and likely my children’s delight since I usually play the role of Mean Parent at home), my third week of travel out of the last month.

This time I’m heading back to Boston for the Red Hat Summit and JBossWorld, this year breaking all previous records for size and registration. At previous Summits I was a customer, and then after joining Red Hat, a speaker on behalf of Red Hat’s continued successful partnership with and investment in the Fedora Project. This year I’m working as a volunteer staff member, along with helping my esteemed coworkers deliver a joint presentation on Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 product features and roadmap. I’ll be doing lots of exciting things from working the information booth to helping stuff bags for our Red Hat Gives Back charity drive to benefit the Boston arm of Cradles to Crayons.

In real terms, what that means is I’ll be exceptionally busy throughout the week.

I expect we’ll have decent Internet at the event. The main issue at the Summit when you’re working at the event isn’t getting connected, it’s having free time to sit down and actually do it! So don’t fret if you don’t hear back from me lickety-split as usual — I’ll be picking up and responding to email as quickly as schedule allows. Of course, it wouldn’t be a Summit without something fun to do at night, but since my volunteer work starts at 7:30am daily, I’ll probably need to put the kibosh on any late night pub crawl.

Hopefully I will get a chance to meet up with some of my pals from around the globe at the event, though. I’m sharing a room with Jared Smith, the current Fedora project leader, and I believe, if I have the layout of the site correct in my memory, that the new Fedora booth location won’t be far from where I’m working most of the Summit — so it will be easy to send people from the information booth to pick up Fedora media and helpful tips there.

In previous years, I arranged with a partner vendor to have Fedora branded Live USB keys, containing the latest tasty Fedora operating system, available for all the attendees. Last year, Summit attendance had grown so substantially from the year before that we actually ran out of keys! From what I understand, Fedora Live USB keys came together rather late this year, but should be available at the booth on Wednesday for attendees to pick up. And I believe there will be a lot more of them than last year — which is good since I hear attendance is up yet again, making for the biggest Summit event to date!

I believe the Fedora Live USB keys will have the latest Fedora 15 pre-release installed, which is a spectacular showcase for the very latest cool technology (including GNOME 3). That’s also a great way for attendees to see what’s happening upstream in the free software community. I’m happy to hear the media is going to be available, and hopefully the experience of getting ready for this year’s Summit will also pay off for Jared and the Fedora crew in organizing for next year’s event as well. Inevitably the guidance you get from someone on their experience in a certain situation is never quite as valuable or sticky as the experience you garner for yourself.

I brought my DSLR camera, and one way or another, I’m going to try to capture some of the event, whether that’s through photos, blogging, microblogging, or whatever I can squeeze into my schedule. I’ll be returning home late Friday night, and my plan is to take a much needed extra day of PTO on Monday to rest up for what promises to be a very busy summer.

Upcoming travel.

It’s going to be a busy couple of weeks for me. I’m leaving tomorrow to attend and speak at EXPOSOL in Costa Rica. I’ll be discussing cultivation of cummunities and how companies and communities can learn to work together for the benefit of both. I’ve never been to CR before and I hear it’s beautiful. Only problem is I have but two days to be there before I head back to the USA!

Next week I’ll be going to the Red Hat Summit in Boston, where I’ll be working as a volunteer staff member. Unfortunately this year I won’t be hanging out at the Fedora booth nonstop, although I’m certain I’ll be by from time to time.

Instead, I’ll be working at the information desk, helping to marshal at session rooms, and stuffing bags at our “Red Hat gives back” charity area, where we’re donating time and effort to Crayons to Cradles. I’m really looking forward to that one. The Summit is always a fantastic event, but I think putting a charitable drive in the middle of the proceedings is a great way to show people that they really can make a difference, whether it’s in open source or not.

You can still register for the Summit — it is always an incredible value, packed with learning, fun, and the ability to engage directly with engineers and open source luminaries. This will be my sixth Summit (I’ve been to every event since the second one in Nashville) and I always look forward to them. See you there!

FUDCon status.

OK, this post obviously didn’t make it out of Australia before I did. It was a pretty grueling travel day, with a 13-hour flight from BNE to LAX, followed by Customs (a thankfully brief wait) and then a four-hour layover followed by another five-hour flight back to IAD, then home. It’s been a weekend partly spent in jet lag recovery, and partly in catching up to a few writing jobs I had left over from my week Down Under.

One of the things I wanted to mention was our FUDCon status.  Here are the high points, bulletized for easy reading:

  • We had over 130 people pre-registered, so we’ve placed a banner on the table and are continuing to pre-register more attendees. At last count it was 143, so it should be a pretty darn healthy event! Remember, anyone is welcome at FUDCon, and attendance is absolutely free, just like Fedora itself.
  • If you are riding the “FUDBus” from Boston/Westford to Toronto, remember that you will need a passport or other appropriate travel documentation to board the bus! We don’t want to have to leave anyone at the border so don’t forget your paperwork.
  • If you live in the Boston area, we need crash space! We have a number of people arriving in Boston on Thursday, the day before the FUDBus departs. And similarly many of them are departing Boston on Wednesday, the day after it arrives back in Boston. We need good-hearted community members and friends in the area who are willing to accommodate one or more people with crash space. If you have a room, a couch, or floor space to spare, please let us know by either emailing us (pfrields and mchua at fedoraproject dot org) or putting that information in the Comments section of your entry on the pre-registration wiki (if you’re going to FUDCon too).
  • We’ve made roommate assignments and sent email out to all the people for whom we’ve granted any subsidies. If you got a subsidy but didn’t hear from us already about roommates, let us know (again, see above for email).
  • We’ll be making a schedule shortly on the wiki for the technical sessions day. There will be space for our usual BarCamp organization in a number of rooms, as well as some pre-set tracks for various audiences. If you haven’t signed up to give a talk because you’re still thinking about it, don’t worry — there will still be pitches for BarCamp talks on Saturday morning as usual.

We continue to have weekly meetings for FUDCon at IRC Freenode, #fudcon-planning, and also use the mailing list for planning discussions. All are welcome!

Grab bag of goodies.

Preview Release.

First, the goodiest of the goodies: Fedora 10 Preview Release is out today. Grab a torrent and start seeding the love! (Don’t forget to add vga=0x317 or the like to your GRUB to see the hot new Plymouth feature at work.)

Update: Jeremy tells me that this is not the best way to get Plymouth hawtness. So far I’ve tried this on my Dell XPS m1330 with Intel graphics and an older desktop with an nVidia of some sort in it (no funky proprietary crap installed). I get the nice screen and no hangs, but apparently this is not recommended for everyone. Be warned!

Info released.

FUDCon hotel information is now on the wiki. You can make reservations between now and December 19th for the FUDCon that happens January 9-11, 2009 in Boston. Please remember to sign up, too, so we know you’re coming. And if you can, let us know your shirt size and whether you’d prefer vegetarian fare for the lunch we’ll hopefully be providing on Saturday.

Release the beasts.

Finally, there’s all the delightful goodies the kids picked up for Halloween. One of the funniest things that happened in last week’s paper — aside from the election coverage, between sobbing fits that is — was the section-front-page story one day on how Halloween should promote healthy snacking, followed by another section-front-page story the next day about how Halloween was all about the candy. Evie went as a devil girl, which honestly didn’t take a lot of work to pull off, although Eleya did make her a set of spangly red horns to make it more obvious to people who don’t live with her. Ethan went as Boba Fett, albeit one who wanted Devil Girl to carry his helmet around for him, presumably so he could keep an eye out for additional non-candy bounty.

We had a fun night that involved lots of glow sticks, a haunted house at a neighbor’s place up the street, and a part-time DJ two blocks over who had set up laser lights and the whole nine yards (Evie gave them a few warbling bars of “Say It Ain’t So,” which she learned from our Wii Rock Band game). Good times!

Don’t forget to vote, America, unless you’re woefully uninformed, in which case please stay home. Tomorrow let’s start countdown to Election 2010! :-P

FUDCon signup update.

We should have hotel information available very soon, which will be posted to the wiki and notifications made everywhere there’s free space.

I wanted to ask people, even if they have already signed up for FUDCon, to revisit the page and make sure all the columns are filled out. I added spaces so we can make sure to get enough vegetarian meals for people who want/need them, and find out shirt sizes.

The signup sheet is located here.

FUDCon dates set.

January 9-11, 2009.

These are the dates when the North American Fedora community will gather in Boston, Massachusetts to host another in a long line of very successful, mostly self-organizing conferences where we gather to talk about hot new developments, assess and kick off work on the next release, and generally enjoy a weekend full of nuttin’ but Fedora.

I know folks have had a bit of a wait to get the final dates. We’re still getting the last kinks worked out of the exact location in the Boston area, but the dates are set in stone. Promise. One way or another, we will have FUDCon on these dates. Thanks for your patience while we remodel, and all that.

Please feel free to sign up on the wiki page in the meantime and make travel plans. We’ll have hotel and other location information finalized very soon. I am waiting on final word from MIT on space at their facilities, thanks to a little help from Mako and Walter Bender at Sugar Labs. Word on those facilities may not come for a couple weeks, but we have a backup plan if that falls through. Again, the dates are good to go.

You can also sign up on the wiki to lead or request a session or hackfest. I hope community members will take advantage of the meeting of so many open minds to teach, learn, and participate. Have a topic that’s near and dear to your heart? Code to show off? Ideas to bring to a brainstorming session? Come to Beantown and tell us all about it.

And of course FUDCon is, as always, free and open to everyone to attend. Hope to see you there in January!

By the way, I just noticed this is my (2^10 + 1)th post on my blog since I started it in 2002. Pretty cool.

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