Linux, musical road-dogging, and daily life by Paul W. Frields
Your money’s worth in “aha!” moments.

Your money’s worth in “aha!” moments.

Hey, not to toot my own horn or anything — but I feel really fortunate and grateful to announce that the speakers committee at the Ohio Linux Fest 2010 put me on their list of speakers for this year’s conference. I last attended the conference in 2008 and it was a fantastic event, with wonderful organizers, a great crowd, and plenty of information-packed sessions and other events for attendees to visit. It’s truly one of the best shows in the USA and I’m happy to be returning.

Not only that, but I’m joining amazing dignitaries in the Linux universe like Stormy Peters, Jon “maddog” Hall, and Red Hat’s own Christopher “Monty” Montgomery. (I can’t wait for Monty’s talk on codecs, but I’m hoping it’s not filled with math. Math is hard, I’m going shopping!*)

I get to present a revision of my PyGTK for Beginners talk that I did at the Southeast Linux Fest in June. I’m planning to eliminate some of the introductory material, because if the SELF audience was any indication, the audience in Columbus will probably know some of the very basic concepts already. I’ll be spending less time on setting up tools, and more time on delving into the way that GTK works, and showing a specific, simple example of how it’s put to work using easy Python code.

By the way, if you’re going to this event, and you plan to attend my talk, let me know what you would like to see there. I’ll be limited to about 40 or so minutes of speaking material so there’s time for questions and answers. But if there’s something specific on which you’re stuck as a novice (or wanna-be novice) PyGTK programmer, I want to help!

If you’re an expert, you’re welcome too. I might have you answer a question or two though, maybe even mine. I like to think of community learning sessions as just that — of, by, and for the community. I may not have all the answers, but chances are someone does. And it’s far less important for me to look smart than for the audience to learn. I try to give good answers, but I don’t mind saying “I don’t know” or asking an experienced audience member if it helps. In one of my previous lives I was an instructor and I still enjoy teaching when I can.

I often enjoy diving into deep water where I’m not an expert and just trying to get people over the same humps that baffled me when I started. I’ve learned enough to write some simple interfaces and code, and reaching that plateau has been a real eye-opener. A few short years ago, I would have told you it would never happen. But it can, and what I want to do in this talk is give people a couple “aha!” moments that will dispel all those fears and make it happen for you, too. Basically, if I get you even one step closer to the powerful belief below, I consider my trip a success:

You can write free software too!

If you care to see my earlier slides, they’re in my Fedora People space, available under a CC BY-SA 3.0 license here ( Impress format). Be aware that these will change for Ohio Linux Fest, though, and “aha” moments aren’t always predictable from a raw slide deck. Hey, I’ve gotta have some hook, right?

Whether I see you at my talk or not, though, don’t fail to register for the Ohio Linux Fest 2010! Let people know you’re coming, too — use the #ohiolinux hashtag on and Twitter, and tell a friend!

* Lest anyone think that joke was at anyone’s expense other than mine… rest assured it wasn’t. ?