Older blog entries for aftyde (starting at number 9)

6 Mar 2002 (updated 6 Mar 2002 at 07:19 UTC) »

Linuxworld in NYC was a really good time. The IDG event people did an excellent job at putting together a great show in tough times. Not too many Linux companies, but it was fun to reconnect with people. My past associates from Linuxcare, Avery, Brad and Art O. where there mixing it up with partners and customers. Caldera had a nice booth, and it was great seeing Ransom and Benoy. Bumped into many quality Turbolinux folk such as Michael Jennings, Pete Beckman, Ly Pham and John Hayes. Ran into Dirk Hohndel, formerly of SuSE and now with Intel in Oregon. Participated in the Golden Penguin Bowl with Rasmus, Jeremy (who despite his awesome knowledge of trivia seems to get saddled with trivia-deadwood like myself- he has never won a Golden Penguin and has been trying for years) and other cool folks. I'm no trivia master but this time we made a very respectable attempt to win, we only lost points once, and the final score was close. I really wanted to spend more time then I had with everyone. I regret I wasn't able to hook up with Dan York, Marc Torres or Domonique Russo. Toward the end of my stay, many unexpected meetings consumed the bulk of available time. The mobile CDPD based 802.11 access point was a hit, although coverage was limited to major cities. (I considered hacking Rail-Fone, but it seemed like Amtrak needed the money more then I needed the slow link)


The trip from San Francisco to New York's Penn Station on Amtrak takes about four days. The total ticket price was a little over the top, $3200.00. On the other hand, I saw a lot of the country first hand at ground level. San Francisco to Chicago, Chicago to NYC, NYC back to Chicago, Chicago to Seattle and Seattle to San Francisco. That's nine days on the train in a small but comfortable room, three good meals and snacks, and transportation. It's not inexpensive, but I've spent more on crap that resulted in less pleasant memories. It was nice to arrive downtown, less then a 5-minute cab ride from the hotel. When you weigh the cab ride to and from JFK against four days on a train, in many respects the train wins. About the only complaint I have is the condition of the coaches, clearly Amtrak is suffering from budget issues. The California Zephyr and the Empire Builder were a little like public housing on wheels- and could use some improvements. All things considered, I highly recommend giving it a try.

New York City

NYC was of course, fab as always. Had dinner at Union Square with some old friends from MSN financial and Bloomberg, famous attorneys and top Wall Street guys. I ordered the "Fried Chicken," simply because I wondered what fried chicken and potatoes at $35.00 a plate would taste like. Colonel Sanders has nothing to worry about, nothing beats the Original Recipe. I never stay as long as I should...

All- some quick comments, stepped out of CEO role at Linuxcare in October. One of Linuxcare's founding principals was "Recruit top people and if that person happens to do your own job better, then replace yourself." Such is the case with Avery Lyford, we went out looking for the best product marketing/business building guy available and wound up with an awesome candidate for the CEO position. Like so many other good things in life, this one came along while we were looking for something else. The new management team is smart, the technical staff is seasoned- it's a good legacy to leave behind. I will remain an enthusiastic member of the Linuxcare Board of Directors and continue to run the Bay Area Linux Users Group (BALUG). If you wish to contact me, my email address is aftyde@tsolyani.com - I'd love to hear about what you're up to and of course, job offers... :)

Look for good swag at BALUG this month, books from TurboLinux and other interesting items. Check out http://www.balug.org for this months meeting details.

I'll be headed to Linuxworld in NYC (from SFO) via. Amtrak at the end of the month. Always wanted to do a cross country ride as a paying passenger. If you'd like to join me along the way, I'll be on Amtrak Train #6 departing Emeryville on Jan 26th. If you see someone under 50, with a PDA in glasses - that's me. I'll be travelling with a 802.11 network (on the train) connected to the net via. multiple CDPD modems running multilink PPP. Yeah!

Come by the Linuxcare booth at LWCE. We have a new 2.4 based BBC (Linuxcare rescue CD) which is exceptionally cool, and leaves previous 1.x versions in the dust. Also, a harsh poster mocking the community. Come see the Slashdot guys in high-chairs, ESR with his gun, and other notables having a good time. You have to ask for these things as booth staff has been instructed to avoid trick-or-treaters. My feet hurt...

BALUG last Tues went very well. Lots of people, and Peter Braam is an excellent speaker. He demonstrated both technical depth and superior communication skills. Lots of surprises for next month...

My sister is in town for the weekend. Took her for a flight around the Golden Gate bridge, Alcatraz and GG National Park in my Cherokee 140. Then to dinner at Hawthorne Lane. Tonight, dinner and a movie in Tiburon w/friends. It's been a very nice weekend.

Turbolinux, Caldera and Linuxcare have contributed some great stuff (door prizes) for this months BALUG meeting in San Francisco. My thanks to these excellent companies for responding generously at relatively short notice! Turbolinux came though with two complete self-study Linux systems administration courses targeted toward LPI certification and some great O'Reilly books. Caldera is sending us 1 NFR OL (OpenLinux) Workstation, 1 NFR Volution, 1 set (4) Power of the People posters, 10 mouse pads and 25 foam sitting penguins. Linuxcare is sending along a couple of golf jackets, and some of the famous BBC (Bootable Business Card) wallet sized rescue CD's. Please make sure to let people know about the BALUG meeting this upcoming Tuesday - details at http://www.balug.org

Swag Update - IDG is providing 50 Exhibit Only, and 10 Individual Conference Session passes as door prizes for BALUG on 8/21 in San Francisco. Very cool!

This weekend I learned how to repair an air-conditioner. Also spent some qtime on BALUG related matters. The next Bay Area Linux Users Group meeting is Tuesday the 21st. Peter Braam is speaking - and we expect it to be a very interesting evening. I have asked the good folks at IDG for some guest passes (and other door prize swag) for the upcoming Linuxworld Conference and Expo here in San Francisco. (Aug 26th through the 30th) If you work for a Linux company - and want to give stuff away at BALUG just send me a note, or contact Dave Sifry (dave@sifry.com). In any event- if you are in San Francisco, and want to enjoy a great feed amongst others of our kind... Just show up at 731 Grant St. (Four Seas Restaurant) at 7:00 PM, dinner is $10.00 per person and the meeting is always FREE!

White LED flashlights are incredible! Returned safely from freight trip via. Denver, Grand Junction, Salt Lake City, Elko, Reno and then Sacramento. Incredible scenery, great adventures with interesting non-computer people. Found a wallet with over $2K in it, returned it - cash intact to the Baptist Minister who dropped it at the Inn at Aspen. I hope to see a windfall of good karma for that. Things are good at the office. Came back to "6371 New Messages." It's going to be a late evening...

I suspect that I'm the first person to post a diary entry from the top of a moving freight train... :) I should also point out that 2nd generation night vision goggles are NO SUBSTITUTE for a decent Mag-Lite.

On vacation (the first in 3 years). Jumping freights, exploring Nevada silver mines, Area 51, attending the Eris Society annual gathering in Aspen CO, then travelling back. A much needed rest...

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