Returning to Southeast Linuxfest

Southeast Linuxfest returned to being an in-person event for 2022 after being an on-line event the last couple of years.

Confirmation that SELF 2022 was going to happen came a lot later this year than usual, so attendance and the number of exhibitors wasn’t as high as usual, but still pretty decent considering the announcement came about 6 weeks before the event. Not as many talks either, but the call for speakers came out with equally short notice and about the time that it normally ends. The talks were all pretty good though despite the short notice presenters had to submit their talks.

Beginning of my Twitter thread while at Southeast Linuxfest 2022

This year I shed my “Unofficial Official Photographer” role at SELF and spent my time being a much more relaxed volunteer helping out as room monitor for a few talks, and catching other talks that sounded interesting.

I really enjoyed the “Swap as a Service” talk by @q5sys. What do you do with older memory-dense server hardware? Make RAMdisks and export them over the network!

It was good to be back at SELF and seeing familiar faces again. Lots of new faces too. Looking forward to being back next year.

My SELF 2022 photo album.

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!

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.

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!

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