Returning to Southeast Linuxfest

Southeast Linuxfest returned to being an in-person event for 2022 after being an on-line event the last couple of years.

Confirmation that SELF 2022 was going to happen came a lot later this year than usual, so attendance and the number of exhibitors wasn’t as high as usual, but still pretty decent considering the announcement came about 6 weeks before the event. Not as many talks either, but the call for speakers came out with equally short notice and about the time that it normally ends. The talks were all pretty good though despite the short notice presenters had to submit their talks.

Beginning of my Twitter thread while at Southeast Linuxfest 2022

This year I shed my “Unofficial Official Photographer” role at SELF and spent my time being a much more relaxed volunteer helping out as room monitor for a few talks, and catching other talks that sounded interesting.

I really enjoyed the “Swap as a Service” talk by @q5sys. What do you do with older memory-dense server hardware? Make RAMdisks and export them over the network!

It was good to be back at SELF and seeing familiar faces again. Lots of new faces too. Looking forward to being back next year.

My SELF 2022 photo album.

Southeast Linuxfest 2019

This year’s Southeast Linuxfest was another great event. Came back with many photos that will probably take me a while to get around to going through before I can post them.

Crowds seemed a little bit smaller this year, but we had the whole hotel meeting space this year which spread the crowd out a fair bit so that probably altered my perception of this year’s crowd size.

Although I spent most of my time going around taking photos, I did manage to sit in on a few interesting talks. SELF network guy Zack Underwood gave a good talk on his adventure in building a tiny house. The “Go Forth And Brown Bag” session by Sarah Ofsdahl (one of the last talks of SELF) was another good one with some good tips for what to put into training sessions and how to do them. Steve Owens’ “Getting Kids Involved In Computing” talk was also a good one too, highlighting a number of kid-friendly resources to help kids learn how to program.

Fiber track was pretty popular again this year, and they also sponsored a movie night where Plan 9 From Outer Space with the Rifftrax commentary was shown. I missed the movie because I was busy with the amateur radio testing session and GPG key signing party.

SELF amateur radio boosted its presence a bit this year with a special event station, W4L (Whiskey 4 Linux) that ran during the day for most of the weekend. The hotel gave the group permission to set up an antenna on the roof of the conference center, so a 30′ mast with a G5RV dipole was put up. Not sure how many contacts they ended up making, but sounded like they were doing reasonably well.

There was also the usual amateur radio license test session held at SELF this year, with 20 people taking the test. Not sure of the exact numbers, but most of them left with either a new license or upgrade. One person with an expired Technician class license came to the test and left with a General class license.

This year’s SELF keynote was given by Eric S Raymond (who I only recently learned is a somewhat controversial figure) which was given remotely due to recent medical issues. ESR talked about the “Load Bearing Internet People” (LBIP) problem, those people who are developing/maintaining critical pieces of software that keep what we know as “The Internet” running, but receive little to no support for doing so. Although there were a few problems with the remote presentation (video froze up, but audio still came through), I thought it was a pretty good talk he gave. Regardless of how you feel about ESR, it’s an important issue that he brought up.

The SELF Craft Beer Exchange happened again this year. Got to sample some pretty tasty beers. There was A LOT OF BEER, but not enough people drinking it this year because after Friday’s party it looked like barely a dent had been made in what was brought. Even after Saturday’s party, it looked like hardly any was gone.

I ended up leaving with almost twice as much beer as I brought to share.

1. Bring beer to share
2. ???
3. Profit!

I ended up grabbing a few more beers after I tweeted this, just because there was still so much left over.

This year, the #SELF2019 hash tag collision on Twitter turned out to be especially entertaining with Southeast Leatherfest happening the same weekend. Both events usually happen about the same time each year.

The call for presenters for SELF 2020 is already open. Go submit something!

BarcampCHS 2013

Another BarcampCHS has come and gone. Got off to a bit of a late start (again), but once things were rolling, things seemed to go pretty smoothly from what I saw. There were some tasty breakfast items, and some great coffee by Coastal Coffee Roasters.

I limited myself to doing just one session this year so that I could actually go see some other sessions. Had orignally planned to talk about SELinux, but I couldn’t get that together in time so I went back to the Hamcamp session, and spent an hour talking to a few people interested in amateur radio. Tom/AJ4UQ helped out with a short demonstration of his RTL-SDR receiver and answered a few questions.

The first session I went to was one on nodecopter and node.js by Tom Wilson (@twilson63) from Jack Russell Software. Very cool with demonstrations of the nodecopter flying around and doing some simple tricks. They look like a lot of fun to play with.

For the afternoon sessions, I went to one given by Chad Hobbes (@itsallvoodoo) who talked about Arduino, Raspberry Pi and Beagle Bone boards and the differences between them. Interesting and informative, and it made me want to get some and start playing with them. I’m pretty sure there are a lot of radio related things they could be put to use doing.

The last session I went to was on digital audio signal processing by Ted Tanner (@tctjr). His presentation was a little mathy, but pretty easily digestible. Learned a few things and got my interest back up in learning more about SciPy/NumPy.

At the after party, I ended up in a discussion with Nathan Zorn (@thepug) and Dan DeMaggio about how to construct some inexpensive buoys to determine wave heights and direction, primarily to use for predicting good surf conditions. It was fun tossing ideas back and forth between the three of us.

And yes, I wore my blue Star Trek robe to BarcampCHS again this year (photo by @HeatherSolos).

Another successful BarcampCHS

Yesterday’s BarcampCHS 4 was a pretty successful event. Almost 300 attendees and about 50 sessions on a pretty broad range of topics. I didn’t get too many pictures from Barcamp this year. Had my little Sony camera, but I kept forgetting I had it so all I got were a few pictures from the session pitching. Registration took a while and there was some initial confusion. That ended up pushing the schedule back an hour, but despite that it sounded like everybody who attended had a good time.

I offered up three sessions (trimmed down from the original 4). Because of that I didn’t make it to any of the other sessions I wanted to see. I did make it to an Intro to Arduino session which was pretty cool. I think that might be my next fun thing to get into. Next year I’ll probably just do one or two sessions.

My CT Scanners: How do they work had more people show up than I was expecting. Unfortunately I had forgotten to put my presentation on Google Drive, so I had no slides to present. I ended up having to ramble on and give my presentation mostly from memory and without much in the way of visual aids. I did get a few questions though and there were some people that seemed pretty interested.

The next session was my History of Computers Museum. The original idea was to have people bring some of their old/ancient hardware and have kind of a show and tell, and reminisce about the “old days”. Clay McCauley brought a bunch of his old gear, including an old and still functioning Apple ][+ (boy did that bring back memories). I had forgotten the stuff I was planning to bring though, but another person brought some old portables he had, like a Sinclair ZX80 and a couple of old Radio Shack portables. Google Guy (Eric Wages) was there, which made things a little intimidating. It turned out to be a pretty good session. Without a lot of advance publication and notice, it’s an idea that probably doesn’t work all that well for a Barcamp session though. Eric asked if there was anything like a Computer History Museum in the area. AFAIK there isn’t one, but it seems like it might be an interesting thing to put together.

My How to Become a Ham Radio Operator was the most attended of my sessions, with about 15 people or so. My presentation took about 30 minutes, which left about 30 minutes for a general “HamCamp” type discussion. Fortunately there were 4 other amateur radio operators that I knew who helped answer questions. Turned into a pretty good discussion and it seemed like the other people got quite a bit out of it. Hopefully some of them will be prompted to take the test and become licensed.

I was also told that I got mentioned in the Linked In session (“that guy in the robe”). I’m getting famous I think ๐Ÿ™‚

Overall, another great BarcampCHS event and from what people have been saying on the social medias, more Barcamp converts for next year.

Me in the photo booth run by Jason Layne

barcamp charleston 2012