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February 20th, 2015

SCALE 13x Day 0: Exceeding Expectations

It was a first for the Southern California Linux Expo — a midweek start on Thursday for SCALE 13x, and those of us on the SCALE Team did not know what to expect. The day was composed of a variety of sessions — an all-day Intro to Chef, Puppet Labs held its separate-registration Puppet Camp LA, openSUSE held its mini-summit, PostgreSQL held the first of its two-day PostgreSQL days, Fedora held its Fedora Activity Day, and an all-day Apache session.

Frankly, we weren’t disappointed.

The numbers signing-in for the first SCALE Thursday were far above what many of us were expecting — unofficially the numbers were in the 500-600 range. The attendees who occupied both Puppet Camp and Fedora Activity Day filled both rooms. Many took advantage of the extra day to catch up with FOSS Friends and colleagues they haven’t seen in quite some time — like a year — and in some cases the extra day gave some a chance to meet those they have only corresponded with over the years.

Cafiero & Matthew Williams

Someone needs to call security: Matthew Williams (also known as Lord Drachenblut) and SCALE Publicity Chair Larry Cafiero stop for a picture at SCALE 13x

For example, I finally got to meet Matthew Williams, who many of you know as Lord Drachenblut, attending SCALE for the first time after a successful gofundme campaign. Unfortunately, Matthew’s talk wasn’t picked for SCALE 13x, but meeting the former head of the Indiana Linux Fest doing double duty as a correspondent for Hacker Public Radio made for some interesting catching-up that in the past was only done via emails. Same with Charlie Kravetz, the former project lead for Xubuntu who is here to give a presentation on Accessibility and Linux, with whom I had a long conversation and a pretty inspirational talk about some of the possibilities and potential for accessibility and FOSS going forward.

The rolling start that Thursday offers to SCALE 13x gives momentum to Friday’s sessions, of which one of the most important is the Ally Workshop held by the Ada Initiative. This is a separate registration, so if you’re planning to attend, make sure you sign up. The Mentoring Track is on Friday as well, with some knock-out presentations expected, as well as Infrastructure.Next, and Intro to Docker is also a session to give attention to.


You would think . . . : You would think one wouldn’t have to mention this, but apparently on the first day of SCALE 13x there were multiple problems with people unplugging the presentation camera equipment so the unpluggers could plug in their laptops. Seriously, folks: No presentation camera equals no video of the presentation for viewing later. So it’s a good idea in the session room NOT to unplug something that’s already plugged in. Thanks for being considerate.

More Friday highlights: Two evening events Friday deserve special mention — UpSCALE Talks and Bad Voltage Live. UpSCALE Talks, patterned after the O’Reilly Ignite Talks, has progressing slides which the speaker cannot control, so he or she has to keep talking while slides are shown. Bad Voltage Live, of course, is Jono Bacon and Bryan Lunduke bringing their show to a live audience. I overheard some of the dress rehearsal for the show on Thursday evening, and it’s hard to ascertain whether any animals were harmed in the making of the show. But it remains to be seen on Friday.

Larry Cafiero, a.k.a. Larry the Free Software Guy, is a journalist and a Free/Open Source Software advocate. He is involved in several FOSS projects and serves as the publicity chair for the Southern California Linux Expo. Follow him on Twitter: @lcafiero

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