August 11, 2005

LinuxWorld Conference and Expo - Day 2

Author: Robin 'Roblimo' Miller

SAN FRANCISCO - 10 Aug 2005 - The second day of LinuxWorld passed without any fistfights breaking out between vendors, although there are rumors of rancor between Sun and IBM over a modification of OpenOffice.org that IBM is passing out on CDs. There are more hardware vendors than last year, with bigger and splashier displays. And in honor of the late, great San Francisco newspaper columnist Herb Caen, I will end this paragraph and some other ones with three dots...The major hardware presence here was pointed out to me by several friends. Intel, AMD, Penguin Computing, and many storage, blade server, and other hardware makers large and small seemed to be the most visible presences and had some of the largest booths. HP and IBM both had displays full of monitors, racks with many LEDs, and people standing around in corporate polo shirts to tell you why this rack, or that rack, would long endure in a hard-working enterprise server room.

The bull-riding people -- mentioned yesterday -- had the loudest display of all, but I don't think there is a prize for this.

This is the first LinuxWorld in a while where I have not been one of the "Best of Show" judges. Judging is time-consuming and I found the selection process more arbitrary then not. Anyway, this time around Scalix and LTSP were the first winners to tell me they had won. Other winners will no doubt put out press releases that will be picked up by the LinuxWorld "Virtual Press Office." You can follow the awards (and other LinuxWorld PR stuff) for yourself by hitting the page directly instead of waiting for journos to pick it up and repackage it. I'm sure all the award-winners were tops in their fields...

From the "How the Mighty Have Risen" files comes this photo of the big, round sign hanging over MySQL's booth:

I remember when MySQL was just two affable guys, Monty and David, who came to shows like LinuxWorld and chatted people up.

Maybe someday PostgreSQL will have its own huge display. Bet that'll make project marketing lead Josh Berkus (photo below) happy.

A panelist's eye view of the press

Usually I'm among the press at press conferences. But this time I was a panelist during Bruce Perens's semi-annual "State of the Open Source Union" presentation. Here's a picture of how the press looks to a panelist. Question: Did they come for the presentation -- or for the free lunch provided by sponsor Prentice Hall?

Meanwhile, in an overlapping time slot in the next room, Microsoft Linux Lab Manager Bill Hilf was spreading his "Can't we all just get along" message. Peter Galli of eWeek did a nice writeup of the session.

Added just before publication: Another piece of actual news at LinuxWorld was made by HP's Martin Fink, who said Sun and IBM should stop using their own copyrighted open source licenses and move to the GPL or a similar 100% free license. Go, Martin! (Slashdot has the story.)

How could you not eat here?

My friend Clay and I started to go out for supper with a group of 12 people, but he and I couldn't handle the nouvelle Asian "fusion" restaurant where we all ended up. Talk about pricey! And we weren't in the mood for a place where the menu had to be explained, especially in the middle of an area known for Chinese restaurants, which we both adore. So we wandered off, and as we wandered, we spotted the above -- obviously homemade sign...

Not Chinese, but Tad's has always been a decent feed for working-type people on working-type budgets. We got in line behind a couple of cops, had nice banter with everyone, and Clay took a group picture of a tourist lady and her kids. It's that kind of place. The tourist lady, in return, used Clay's camera to grab a photo of us....

We ate nice steaks and went away happy -- for a total of $32 including a beer each. Can't beat that. Some Hewlett-Packard people with Tux stickers on their laptop cases were also enjoying Tad's.

Lesson for business owners: Treat Linux users with love and respect and you will profit!

(I wish some of the big computer retailers would learn this lesson.)

And on a final note for tonight (severe tiredness is shortening this little article), here's a sticker I spotted above a men's room urinal in the convention center where LinuxWorld was held...

Click Here!