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...