Southeast Linuxfest 2012 in the bag

Another successful Southeast Linuxfest wrapped up yesterday. Came back with a little over 450 photos to go through which dropped to around 410 after a quick first pass.
Saw a fair number of people go through the conference and a bunch of familiar faces. This year ended up pretty database heavy as far as topics went and I managed to catch a fair number of good talks. Learned a few things about MySQL DBA, much of which I will probably never need, but there were some handy little nuggets to learn.
SELF stretched over three full days this year in a new venue which I think worked out pretty well. Aside from Time-Warner Cable not being able to provide the Internet service as originally promised, the rest of the meeting seemed to go pretty smoothly. Instead, this was where the Internets came from.
I spent most of it wandering around taking photos (in an “official” capacity this time), sitting in sessions and manning video cameras. Seemed like a pretty sizable crowd this year, with some early estimates putting numbers at around 500 people or so. Pretty respectable I think.
The Charlotte DrupalCamp put on by CharDUG went off pretty well with a good turnout. With three tracks, there was a little bit for everybody.
Already looking forward to next year’s SELF, June 7-9 at the same location.

Southeast Linuxfest: T-2 days

Two days left until another Southeast Linuxfest!

There’s a lot of stuff packed into this year’s SELF and it should be a fun time.
I’ll be hitting the road for Charlotte tomorrow to help with getting things set up. This year I’ve been given the Official Photographer duties so my new Speedlite will get its first real workout.
There is also an official SELF ham radio frequency, 147.555, and the 6600 Net on 145.190 at 9PM Saturday. I have no idea what the 6600 Net is, but with my new call sign I’m hoping to find out.
There will also be ham radio licensing tests given at SELF this year, on Saturday I think. I’m planning on trying for Extra again, but I’m not sure I’ll be much more prepared for it this time than I was last Saturday. There’s still much reading left to do. Well, I still have 3 days left.

Pure epicness

This is going to be the most epic bout of movie watching I’ve done since the back to back showings of Star Wars and The Empire Strikes Back before the premiere of Return of the Jedi.
Avengers movie marathon at Cinebarre Mt. Pleasant
I already purchased my ticket. Who’s going to join me for this massive gorging?
I may be comatose by the time Avengers plays.

CREATESouth 2012

Deciding to go to this year’s CREATESouth was a bit of a last minute decision. Seemed like everything was going on this weekend. CREATESouth, Cupcake Camp Summerville, Pet Fest, LUG meeting (which ended up getting moved).

CREATESouth 2012 was smaller than previous ones I’ve been to, but I think this year was better, with presentations that were more interesting. Keynotes by Philippa Ballantine and Heather Solos were both very good.

Lunch was once again delicious BBQ provided by Andre Pope and Proud Purveyors of Pork.

BBQ lunch

There were a lot of sessions that I would have liked to see. I ended up going to the DIY Metallurgy/Metal Casting, Budget Barista and BBQ sessions. I found all of the sessions interesting and inspiring.

The DIY Metallurgy/Metal Casting session was perhaps the coolest one with a hands on part where we actually got to do some sand casting. Packed sand to make molds, and poured the metal to make these little CREATESouth logos. I think I may have found a new hobby.

CREATESouth sand casting
Metal casting at CREATE South

Budget Barista was a good session looking at some of the variables that go into making a good cup of coffee. Did you know a hot air popcorn popper can be used to roast coffee beans? I’m not a huge coffee drinker, but have been known to consume a cup now and then. After seeing the Aeropress in action at the session, I think it’s my new want item.

CREATESouth Budget Barista
Paul Reynolds demonstrating the Aeropress

The Art and Science of BBQ ended up being an outdoor session with Andre Pope talking about how to do BBQ and showing his BBQ rig. I learned that you don’t need a big huge smoker setup to do BBQ and that it’s easier than it looks. You can make BBQ in a slow cooker, which I’ve done before but never really considered it real BBQ. Now that I know better, I’m inspired to do more BBQ.

Art and Science of BBQ
Andre Pope showing his BBQ rig

Had a really good time at CREATESouth this year, and I’m really glad I decided to go. Got inspired to do new things, at least two of which I’ll probably do. The metal casting sounds like it will be really cool to take up as a hobby, but it’s probably not something I should get into right now.

Check out my photos from the day over in the gallery or on Flickr.