OSCON D5

by brian d foy

The best thing that I can say about this conference was that I stayed the entire time. I've bailed early on the last three O'Reilly conferences because I just could stand them after 3 days, but I stayed for the full five days this time.

I think part of this was my new conference mindset: don't volunteer for anything and don't join any new projects. Talking to people about getting things done is about as useful as wearing my scuba gear in my apartment: I might really want to dive in, but but that's only going to happen if I do it myself without waiting for other people.

Some of us checked out a BBQ place on the other side of the river. Don't waste your time, it's Oregon which is just another way of saying ! South. They had neither corn bread, corn on the cob, nor hush puppies. They didn't even have pulled pork.

We wanted to see the submarine at the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (where Tom Pheonix used to try to set cermanic tiles on fire with a blow torch), but there was a three hour wait for the next available tour. Bummer. Randal ended up programming a simple computer bit by bit so its display spelled out "OSCON 2004". (There are other photos on my moblog, until they scroll off).


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After that the day was over. I needed a nap and Randal disappeared to his part of the house to do whatever he needed to do (I think it involved email and SG1). I woke up a bit later, played with Kwiki (cursing its lack of documentation in the code), and figured out how to get the Perl Curses module to compile on darwin (the hints file is messed up. longname takes no arguments and touch takes three arguments, not four). Maybe I should take another look at Konfabulator, but then, I couldn't do my personal bloomberg application from any terminal with Konfabulator.

Randal and I went to a steak dinner and met up with a business acquaintance who happened to be in the same place. After a few drinks he was feeling his oats, and as a manly sort of competition thing wanted to see what it would take to embarrass me. Well, let's just say I'm no homophobe and that's what he was counting on. Gimme a break. I lived in Manhattan for five years and my wife is an opera singer. I run into more gay guys than straight guys. I shut him down with "That's all you got? Bring it on <expletive>", but he didn't have the guts for it. That might work with the Java weenies who have to wear ties to work, but I'm open source all the way. All we have to do is call the bluff. :)

So that's it. I'm leaving on a jet plane, don't know when I'll be back again. Sometime next year at a place they haven't picked out yet, but probably isn't Chicago.