Another great Southeast Linuxfest has come and gone. Had a great time seeing friends and learned about a few more things I want to learn more about.
This year, being the 10th Southeast Linuxfest, I thought it would be cool to show off all of the pictures I’ve taken from previous Southeast Linuxfests. Jeremy let me have a table which I set up just outside the registration area and I set the laptop to run a slide show of 8 years worth of photos (I missed SELF 2015).
Jeremy’s dog, Fred (a Cane Corso puppy), was one of the more popular attendees at SELF this year. If he was roaming the conference, you could be sure that Jeremy wasn’t very far away.
New this year was a feedback box in each of the rooms (powered by RPis). At the end of each session, attendees could give their feedback by pressing one of the three buttons on their way out the door.
Also new this year were food trucks for lunch. No more hotel boxed lunches! Hopefully next year there will be more food trucks to help spread the lines out some.
Attendance seemed to be about the same as previous years, although there didn’t seem to be quite as many vendor tables this year. Notably absent were the FALE people and their table of locks that people could learn to pick.
Back this year was the Fiber track, which proved to be pretty popular again.
Two of the more interesting talks I made it to were by Paul Jones on the Action-Domain-Responder pattern and Dave Stokes‘ talk on Common Table Expressions and Windowing Functions in MySQL. Enjoyed finding out about both of these, and look forward to learning more about them.
Another great time at SELF, and looking forward to next year’s event.
Like Kennedy Space Center (KSC), Space Center Houston (SCH) is a pretty fun place to visit. It’s not quite as large as KSC, but it’s got some pretty sweet exhibits including Independence Plaza that features the Boeing 747 that ferried the space shuttles across the country.
At Rocket Park, you’ll see some of the rocket engines that powered the Saturn V, rockets used for the Mercury and early Apollo programs, and the king of rockets, the Saturn V.
The Saturn V at SCH is one of three remaining Saturn V rockets and was restored fairly recently.
From the SCH website:
There are only three Saturn V rockets on display in the world. The rocket at NASA Johnson Space Center is the only one comprised of all flight-certified hardware. The other two rockets are made of flight hardware, mock-ups and test components. The three segments, called stages, contain the powerful engines needed to lift off, entering orbit to reach the moon. In total, 13 Saturn V rockets launched into space.
When you’re back from the tour, head over to Independence Plaza where you can wander through the NASA 905 SCA (Shuttle Carrier Aircraft) and the Shuttle Independence, a replica space shuttle. This is another one you probably want to get to early in the day so that it’s not too crowded. We went first thing in the morning on our second day visiting SCH, and had the shuttle and 747 pretty much all to ourselves.
Make sure to stop in the food court where you can have lunch sitting next to the Galileoshuttlecraft (NCC-1701/7) used in the Star Trek episode Galileo Seven. This is the actual set prop that was used in the episode and fully restored. You can read about the Galileo’s history and the restoration at startrek.com.
Before leaving SCH (or before the doors open if you got there too early), make sure to walk the scale model of Solar System. It starts over on the left side of the parking lot near the SCH building and goes around the perimeter of the parking lot toward the main entrance.
Of course, the rest of the exhibits at SCH are pretty cool too. Lots of great shows, interactive displays and an impressive collection of space and space program artifacts. It’s a great place to spend a couple of days exploring while you’re in Houston.
One of the stops we made on our trip last week was a stop in Gainesville, FL to meet up with one of our friends who just started a post-doc at the University of Florida. After having lunch together, we all headed off to the Florida Museum of Natural History on the University of Florida campus.
It’s a pretty nifty museum with a lot of neat interactive displays. Great place to take the kids.
Part of the museum is the Butterfly Rainforest, a really cool place to get up close with hundreds of butterflies. Watch them fluttering all around you, landing on flowers, and even you if you stand still long enough.
Then we went for a walk to the Lake Alice Conservation Area where we were treated to some very nice views of the lake, turtles and an alligator.
UF is a pretty big campus, and seems like a pretty nice place to walk around.
On this visit, Connie noticed that the Welcome sign above the door to the Space Shop welcomed visitors in 9 languages, including Klingon.
We went there over two days, and spent the second day at the Saturn V exhibit building. The bus tour takes you past the gigantic Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB). Next to the VAB they’re working on building a new launch platform that will be used by NASA’s SLS rocket. It’s an impressively large structure and even larger than the launch platform used for the shuttle.
The bus then takes you past Launch Pad 39A. The last time I was on the bus tour, the pad was one of the stops and people were able to get off the bus and go onto the launch platform. 39A is being used by SpaceX now, so it’s not a stop on the tour anymore. I was on the wrong side of the bus and couldn’t get any decent photos when we went by.
The Apollo/Saturn V Center is always impressive, and it’s pretty easy to spend 2 or three hours exploring all the exhibits here. Next to the Atlantis exhibit, it’s my favourite exhibit at KSC.
A new exhibit (new since my last visit to the Saturn V building anyway) is a memorial to the Apollo I astronauts (Ed White, Virgil Grissom, and Roger Chaffee) who died when a fire started in the command module. It’s a nice exhibit featuring personal items belonging to each of the astronauts as well as the hatch from the command module.
Next time you go, make sure to reserve plenty of time for the Apollo/Saturn V Center.