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!

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

BarcampCHS: Spread the word!

The 4th annual BarcampCHS is getting closer! Spread the word, invite your friends and family and come out to learn new things and share the things that you know!
You don’t have to be a great speaker, a professional or an expert in the field. You just need to be willing to share what you know with others or be interested in learning something new. Whether you’re just providing some tips and tricks about something you do a lot of, talking about more advanced topics or just want to present on something because it will force you to learn about it, it will be welcomed at BarcampCHS.
These are the sessions I have lined up to present on
HamCamp: a Barcamp within a Barcamp where I hope to get other ham radio operators to share what they know with others. If this turns out well, there’s even the possibility of spinning it off into its own event!
How to become a ham radio operator: A bit about the ham radio licensing process, resources, how I got mine, and then what to do with it afterwards.
History of Computers Museum: This is less a session and more just a place for people to lay out some of their vintage hardware to show off and reminisce with fellow geeks.
CT Scanners: How do they work?: In which I leverage some of what I do for a living to educate others.
I can only claim to be mostly an expert in medical imaging, but I’m interested enough in ham radio to make me willing to share what little I know about it with others. I’m also looking forward to learning about things that others are willing to share.
Come on out to BarcampCHS and hang out, learn stuff and teach stuff!

BarcampCHS 4 planning

BarcampCHS 4 is going to be held November 10, 2012 most likely at the College of Charleston once again.
Planning for the 4th BarcampCHS is underway and things seem to be rolling along nicely so far. If you want to participate in the planning, we’re currently meeting every other week. Watch the BarcampCHS Facebook page or BarcampCHS Google+ page for additional information and updates.
We’re currently looking for sponsors and have a number of sponsorship levels available. Contact the organizers if you’re interested in becoming a BarcampCHS sponsor!
It’s also not too early to propose a session you want to present, or that you’d like to see presented. Visit the sessions page to see the current list of sessions and suggest/propose a session!