ApacheCon day #4: Segwaying into Lightning

Today started on time, although without nearly enough sleep due to the hospitality of room 925 (or was that 924), and dreaming of how many flickr postings I’ll have by the end of today. But sessions need chairing, and I succeeded in roping in enough volunteers that I only had to chair one session by myself, and learned something about Forrest to boot.

Talking to people stuff looks pretty good – most people seem quite happy with what they’re getting from the con, and the few complaints are all about things that aren’t serious. It was also nice to see Tim mention in his keynote (he’s a first-time AC attendee, if you can believe that) that ApacheCon was one of the politest conferences he’s been too (blogged about too).

That’s great, because we believe that a large part of the purpose of ApacheCon is to allow our communities to gather f2f and meet each other. After the first few hours – once people loosen up – you can’t walk through two sessions without overhearing some folks who’ve known each other on mailing lists for months/years finally meeting in person and getting along great. Actually writing that down makes me realize how important that is, and how glad that we’ve been able to create the communities and the conference to allow that kind of connection to happen. [warm fuzzy thoughts]

Tim Bray’s keynote was unfortunately delayed due to the main laptop dying precisely at 11:30, but seems to be going well now. It’s also interesting to see the emphasis on Sun – IBM collaboration over Derby and how much they support Derby. Good stuff.

“We should say thank you to IBM for keeping Cloudscape [and donating it to become Derby.” – Tim Bray, keynote

With thanks to brianm signing us up, I got to take an hour ride on a Segway with some other cool Members. Certainly not something I’m gonna go buy, but it was a definite blast riding around with them, even if they didn’t give us the ‘yellow key’ that unlocks the low-speed limiter. Our guide (who made sure we didn’t do something stupid with the 5 Segways we had) had the full-speed version and could literally do rings around us. Pictures are available courtesy of sylvain, thx!

After some more running after session chairs, I opted out of learning more Cocoon from gianugo’s beautiful slides in his Slicing and Dicing REST with Apache Cocoon talk. I saw him practicing with the slides on his Titanium beforehand, and they were stunning in their simplicity and beauty with stock photo images in the background – a nice contrast to the many other plain presentations, good content notwithstanding. Instead I went to take a short nap to recharge before the evening activities.

An hour later – after my cell phone, set on vibrate, indeed did not wake me up with it’s alarm, I ran down to the Lightning Talks and was the last person to put my name in the ice water pitcher. Much hilarity – and some good and heartfelt content – ensued. I still feel dumb that I didn’t jump up and say “Pick me!” after Julian’s Anti-pornography talk, since I think I would have been funny, but that’s how the ice water pitcher pours. The closing talk by fielding was a bit flat, but was a good story about Apache Jackrabbit, and the pictures were terribly amusing.

The world premiere of FUD, The Movie was fairly well attended, although since it ran late some folks left early to go to BOFs – their loss. Hopefully there will be plenty of other blogs talking about FUD, and I hope michi and company post it or work on some other distribution so more folks can see it.

After the movie I was naughty and skipped out on the PRC BOF to do dinner with Sally. Dinner with Sally is an annual tradition, one I’m thrilled to be part of. She does her ‘magic’ to get reservations at somewhere fabu, and we work on a small guest list of cool folks. Both food, drink, and company were wonderful this time, and I can’t wait for next time. I’m really glad to have finally really met wsanchez, too.

Still being up after we got back, I wandered over near the hotel bar (not into it!) and got roped into reading thru Julian’s photo book (the conference photographer, really fun guy), then sitting down, then having a drink, then… Was fun, and talked to jerenkrantz about interns, so he’ll keep an eye out for referrals for EB.

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