Southeast Linxufest 2017

Had another fantastic time at Southeast Linuxfest 2017 last weekend. There was a pretty decent sized crowd (not sure about numbers yet) with a lot of familiar faces and a lot of new ones too.

As usual I was taking a lot of pictures and being the unofficial official SELF photography guy. I was able to get in to some pretty good talks.

New this year was the Networking boot camp that was really good. Sat in a couple of those sessions. I also went to some of the Zero to DBA sessions to find out about some of the new features coming in MySQL 8.

One interesting talk given by an engineer at Western Digital was called Rethinking RAID. He did some interesting benchmarking on how long it takes to rebuild a RAID using the big terabyte disks now available. A RAID10 using  10TB disks might sound pretty cool, but if one of the disks craps out, it’s going to take a loooooooong time to rebuild the RAID.

Back again this year was the craft beer share, and thanks to last minute sponsor Logtrust, the Saturday party was open to everyone. Craft beers all around! There was also a BYOC LAN party during the Saturday party this  year too.

Saturday's musical entertainment
Saturday’s musical entertainment
LAN partiers
LAN partiers

The  amateur radio licensing test session at SELF saw 28 people sign up to take the test. Don’t recall the numbers, but half left with either a new amateur radio license or an upgrade.

The LockFALE guys were back again this year with their table full of locks. This year I spent some time hanging out there and had them show me how to pick a lock. It’s surprisingly easy to do with a little time and patience.

LockFALE showing people how to pick locks
LockFALE showing people how to pick locks
LockFALE showing people how to pick locks
LockFALE showing people how to pick locks

Once again, another great time was had at Southeast Linuxfest. One of the things I love about SELF is that I always come away with something new to learn and explore, and this year was no exception.

Southeast Linuxfest 2018 will be #10, so it should be a pretty good one. I hear there are some big things in store for it. Hard to believe it’s already been 10 years since I first got involved with SELF. Can’t wait for next year.

Percona was a big sponsor
Percona was a big sponsor

You’ll find my collection of photos from SELF 2017 over in this photo album.

Fun with Canadian money

Discovered this cool trick with Canadian money via imgur.

Take a laser and shine it through the center of the maple leaf on one of the polymer Canadian bills. You’ll see a projection of the bill’s denomination.

Fun with Canadian money
Fun with Canadian money

Eclipse party!

Unless you’ve been living in a seriously deep hole under  a big rock, you know that there’s going to be a solar eclipse coming up this August. It’s the first one that will be crossing the entire US in quite a while. All of North America will be able to see at least a partial eclipse, and a good chunk of the US will get to see 90% or more of the sun in eclipse.

The US path of the August 21 total solar eclipse starts in Oregon at around 1600UTC (10:00 AM PDT) and ends in South Carolina a little after 2000UTC (4:00 PM EDT).

Back at the old house, we were just at the right edge of the path of totality. Our new house is much closer to the middle of the path (about 22 km from the center as the crow flies) and will be a much better place to watch the eclipse from. In addition, aside from houses, we have an almost unobstructed view of the entire sky from the house and a great big field to hang out in at the end of the street (if the yard gets too crowded).

2017 Eclipse path
2017 Eclipse path through the Charleston SC area

See that path of totality? We’re practically right in the middle of it.

The last solar eclipse I was able to watch was back when I was in elementary school. I remember all the windows of the school had been covered up with paper, and nobody was allowed to go outside during the eclipse. Welding shades were taped to the windows of several doors so that kids could look up at the sun to see the eclipse.

The plan for this eclipse is to acquire a few #14 welding shades and make at least a couple of pinhole cameras for friends and neighbours to view the eclipse with.

Hopefully the weather will be good. August is starting to get into the peak of the hurricane season. Don’t want one of those coming by at the wrong time and messing things up.

Eclipse data from Xavier Jubier’s interactive map.

2m 22.7s (total solar eclipse)
2m 24.5s (lunar limb corrected)
Umbral depth : 61.05%
Umbral depth : 22.3km (13.9mi)
Path width : 114.7km (71.3mi)
Obscuration : 100.00%
Magnitude at maximum : 1.00918
Moon/Sun size ratio : 1.03009
Umbral vel. : 0.670km/s (1498 mph)
Event Time (UTC)
Start of partial eclipse 17:16:25
Start of total eclipse 18:45:20
Maximum eclipse 18:46:31
End of total eclipse 18:47:42
End of partial eclipse 20:09:21

If you want to come by to watch the eclipse, drop me a line.

Shuttle Atlantis at Kennedy Space Center

The Space Shuttle Atlantis exhibit at the Kennedy Space Center is my new favourite place to go now.

The last time we were at KSC (back in 2012), the exhibit building was still under construction. Didn’t get to make it back for the exhibit opening, so we made sure to include it as part of the itinerary for our cruise last week.

The exhibit building is easy to find. Just look for the great big orange fuel tank of the shuttle booster rocket (it’s a full sized replica).

Space shuttle booster rocket
Replica of the space shuttle booster

The exhibit starts with a short film about the history of the space shuttle program, after which the big door opens and you see the Shuttle Atlantis in all its glory.

The Shuttle exhibit is pretty well done with lots of interactive displays, simulators and a “Meet a specialist” program where you can talk with people who worked on the shuttles.

Having grown up during the space shuttle era, I never imagined that I’d actually get to see it up close. There are a few places where you can reach out and almost touch the shuttle. You can even read the numbers on the heat shield tiles and see the texture of the heat shield blankets. So awesome.

Also part of the exhibit is a tribute for the crew of the Challenger and Columbia space shuttles. A very moving display with personal items that belonged to each crew member. Also part of the display is a body panel from Challenger and the cockpit windows from Columbia.

You can’t help but spend a few quiet moments here.

Heading to Southeast Linuxfest 2016!

Now that we have a closing date on the house that’s a little earlier than originally anticipated, I can make plans to go to Southeast Linuxfest 2016.

My attendance streak got broken last year since I couldn’t make it (just too many things going on), so it will be good to get back this year. It’s always a great place to learn about what’s going on, learn something new, and of course get together with friends.

Unlike previous years where I drove up the day before, this year I’ll be leaving bright and early on Friday so that I can get to Charlotte around 0900ish. If anybody from the Charleston or Columbia area wants to carpool with me, drop me a line.

Looking forward to another Southeast Linuxfest!