Southeast Linuxfest 2018 wrapped up

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).

SELF 2018 slide show
SELF 2018 slide show

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.

Feedback box
Feedback box

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.

The Hog 'n Dog food truck
The Hog ‘n Dog food truck
Sprinkles Glam dessert truck
Sprinkles Glam dessert truck
Lunch line
Lunch line

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.

Fiber track at SELF 2018
Fiber track at SELF 2018
Fiber track at SELF 2018
Fiber track at SELF 2018

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.

Check out my Google Photos album for all of my Southeast Linuxfest 2018 photos


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.

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.

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!

BarcampCHS 2015

Another Barcamp Charleston is over with. The seventh Barcamp Charleston was a lot of fun. Significantly smaller than previous barcamps, but still a good time. There were also fewer presentations pitched this year as a result, but there were some pretty good ones.


After the pitch sessions, I started the morning off hanging out with people in a BoF (Birds of a Feather) session. After that was my first presentation that I called Charleston Area Amateur Radio. Had a fairly decent sized group come to my talk where I talked a bit about the ham radio clubs in the area and the repeater networks around here that are available for use.

My session ended a bit early, and I was able to catch the Palmetto Scholars Academy kids working on their high altitude balloon launch demonstration. Their balloon didn’t go all that high, but they did a good job of explaining and demonstrating the process and requirements behind launching high altitude balloons.


After the group photo and lunch was a session on graphs and graph theory by Denise Gosnell, one of the data scientists at Pokitdoc. Neat stuff. Kudos to Pokitdoc for being BarcampCHS sponsors and sending a great group of people to give some great presentations.

My second presentation of the day was a simple Ask a Medical Physicist session. Much to my surprise, I actually had a few (3) people show up, so it was just a very informal Q&A session where I gave a brief description of some of the things medical physicists do and answered any questions they had. It turned out to be a pretty decent session from my perspective.

The last two sessions I went to were on JSON and Clojure. They were both good sessions and I learned enough to dig a little more into them.

The crowd at this year’s Barcamp Charleston was a lot smaller than previous years, but there were a lot of new faces there. Hopefully they’ll spread the word and bring friends next year.

This is the official #BarcampCHS 7 group photo #CHS #Coc #community #Tech

A photo posted by Joseph Nienstedt (@joel8x) on