Mark Atwood (fallenpegasus) wrote,
Mark Atwood

Impressions of OSCON so far

Sunday afternoon, I took the Amtrak from Seattle down to Portland. I think from now on, if I want to go to Portland, that will be the way I will go. It's about as fast as driving, a lot less stressful, it's cheaper (looking at the cost of gasoline), and I have a power outlet. And no damn TSA to deal with.

Portland is a lot like Seattle, only with trains and more hippies.

The O'Reilly folks are helpful and friendly.

Monday, I had wanted to do the morning session on Xen. But it had been cancelled. Foo!

So instead I went to the "Code Like a Pythonista: Idiomatic Python" by David Goodger. It was very cool, and I improved my Python skillz just from watching his examples.

That afternoon, I to went to "A Taste of Haskell" by Simon Peyton-Jones. I picked it because I knew almost nothing about it, except that it's something very different from the CS research world that had made the jump to actual use. It make my head hurt, and I want to learn more about it.

Afterwards, at the end of the session, Nathan Torkington said hello, because I had asked a Perl related question. ("Is there anything like CPAN for Haskell?") Behind him was Larry Wall. I had to tell them that while I used to be a heavy Perl user and worked in a very heavy Perl-only shop, now my language of choice is Python.

That evening, I went to a keysigning BOF, and increased my meshing into the GPG web of trust, and also picked up id points from Thawte and from CAcert.

That night I went to dinner with Brian Aker of MySQL, Rasmus Lerdorf of Yahoo, and Rob Lanphier of Linden Lab.

Tuesday, I attended the morning session "OpenID Bootcamp" by Simon Willison and David Recordon. I didn't learn much new about OpenID itself, but I did learn about and more about

I had lunch with the OpenID guys. David gave me a "Verisign Identity Protection" fob. PayPal sells them for $5, Verisign sells them for $30. They probably cost a quarter each in quantity from the manufacturer. I then set up my PayPal account and eBay account to use it. I am annoyed that my bank and my credit card web accounts dont use it, and am annoyed that Verisign makes it difficult and expensive to be a VIP RP, when they should be making it cheap and easy.

That afternoon, I went to "Simple Ways To Be a Better Programmer" by Michael G. Schwern. There wasn't much new there for me, but it was interesting to see it all together in one place. Part of it was about code, part was about increasing your own productivity, part was how to "to be an asshole", and part was about peopleware.

After that, I went to the AWS S3/EC2 BOF. Interestingly, most people where there to learn about it, and I was the only one with both experience and opinions and advice. So I ended up being an impromptu speaker/moderator. I got a lot of business cards, and had productive exchanges with Renat Khasansyn of Apatar, who I had met at MySQLCon, and with Kimbro Staken of JumpBox.

That evening, I went to the MySQL party. Several people from O'Reilly helped me navigate the train system. At the party I met Kaj Arnö, which was productive and hopefully profitable. Then Kaj and Monty treated me to a particular Finnish drink called Salmiakki Koskenkorva. I liked it, but then I got a taste for dark black licorice from my mother.

After that, I went back to the convention center, and hung out with Julian Cash, Rob Lanphier, and Robert Kaye of MusicBrainz. Fifteen years I was annoyed when CDDB took all the data that I and many other people had shared together, and basically stole it to start GraceNote. Robert Kaye was so annoyed, that he started MusicBrainz with the goal of smashing them. It's apparently been a threadbare task until recently, when Google started buying his datafeed.
Tags: aws, haskell, life, mysql, openid, oscon, oscon07, python

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