Linux, musical road-dogging, and daily life by Paul W. Frields
Emotional journey.

Emotional journey.

OK, so the trip from Dulles to San Diego was more of a leg-cramping, neck-cricking journey, courtesy of United. But did have the following observations.

An older, married couple were sitting a few rows up from me on the plane. When the wife (center seat) returned from the rear lavatory, the husband (aisle seat) was up and waiting for her. They kissed in an easy, spontaneous way as she brushed by him, and his hand passed lightly over her back and hip unselfconsciously. It was clear this man was still crazy about his wife after many, many years of marriage, and it made me smile. (I suppose they could be newlyweds, each on their umpteenth marriage, but I prefer my version.)

I read most of Audrey Niffenegger’s The Time Traveler’s Wife. Richly observed details about the joys and pains of love and parting make this a truly enjoyable work. It’s been quite a while since I enjoyed a novel this much, perhaps since I read Possession: A Romance by A. S. Byatt (which, incidentally, is quoted in this novel at one point). I admit I got misty several times and was thankful I wasn’t sitting with anyone I knew.

The hotel here is quite comfortable, with big airy rooms and a balcony that looks out over the water. The two “wings” of this hotel are separated by a sizable walk and a marina chock-full of sailboats and powerboats. The hall outside my room is striped in a bold, strange way that makes me think John Goodman is going to come around the corner with a shotgun and set the hall on fire. The wired internet is a completely unreasonable $12 a day, but fortunately Red Hat has generously set up very responsive (and free) wireless around the conference areas. I am continually disgusted at hotel executives’ refusal to realize that free Internet connectivity brings you more guests.

The reception was very nice, good food of the light California cuisine style and plentiful drinks. I was very good and had only a few beers, but it didn’t keep me from having a splitting headache all morning thus far. I saw many friends including Jeremy, Jesse, spot, Rex, Alex, Max, and Greg, and also got to meet Dimitris, who traveled a lot further than many other people here!

The keynotes this year were a bit of a letdown from last year. Matthew Szulik again did a solid job of framing Red Hat initiatives in terms of larger issues and the company’s core values. But of the other three keynotes, only AMD VP Henri Richard’s presentation seemed to strike a note with the attendees, in a complete reversal of last year’s showings where the hardware partner speeches were practically a snoozefest. Richard spent a substantial amount of time talking about fairness in the marketplace, how to build business while generating social good, and an alignment (more or less) with the core values Red Hat espouses.

The biggest disappointment was the Open Source Voting Consortium’s Alan Dechert, who was clearly unprepared for his presentation. What should have been a barn-burner of a speech about ensuring the equity, security, and integrity of our democracy and its primary engine of expression, the vote, was instead a rambling and at times incoherent stringing together of event histories and jokes about poorly-designed Diebold hardware. Last year’s presentations by Cory Doctorow and Eben Moglen set a clear standard to which all Summit keynoters should aspire.

I’ve found this year that I’m a lot more interested in the developer tracks, possibly since in the last year I’ve found myself digging into Python and some of the more byzantine innards of Fedora. (Of course I don’t flatter myself that I’m yet qualified to talk about any of those innards, but I find that repetitive exposure to a cloud of topics better equips me to learn the hands-on details.) There was a good talk on SystemTap this morning and I’ll be seeing information on Frysk, GFS, and virtualization as the week goes on.

That’s all from here, more later…