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BSD at LinuxFest Northwest

Larry the BSD Guy

It’s a sad day at the FOSS Force office. Larry Cafiero says goodbye and walks off into the sunset.

This weekend, the Grand Old Man (or Woman — take your pick) of Linux expos in North America takes place in the upper left corner of the United States.

For over a decade and a half, LinuxFest Northwest has flown the flag literally in Microsoft’s backyard, an annual open source event held the last weekend in April in Bellingham, Wash. LFNW features presentations and exhibits on various free and open source topics, as well as Linux distributions and applications. It usually has something for everyone from the novice to the professional.

It has a special place in my heart as well. While I think that SCALE is the best show on the continent for obvious reasons (the SCALE Publicity Team is solely responsible, he says in jest), LFNW is my favorite show to attend, not only because of the history but because of the community vibe the show gives off at an expo that has refused to give in to the creeping corporatism to which other shows have succumbed.

LinuxFest NorthWest logo
When you see the totem outside Bellingham Technical College this weekend, you’ve found LinuxFest Northwest.
That said, there’s several things to look forward to at LFNW for BSD partisans. Of course, there will be booths on the expo floor, but more importantly there are some sessions by BSD vets that are not to be missed.

The pellucid Dru Lavigne brings her documentation opus “Doc Like an Egyptian” to LFNW on Saturday at 1. It is not hyperbole to say that Dru is to documentation what Mozart is to music, and having seen this presentation at SCALE, this talk discusses the common gotchas associated with maintaining documentation using some of the tips and tricks learned from converting the PC-BSD, FreeNAS, and Lumina documentation projects to Sphinx.

Another talk is one by Michael Dexter on user groups, aptly named “20 Years and Counting: Secrets to Enduring User Groups.” Michael will answer the age-old question: Why do some user groups endure for decades while others do not?

Before you go to Bellingham Technical College on Saturday morning for LFNW, make sure you have a good breakfast. The South Whatcom Fire Authority is hosting its Pancake Feed on Saturday from 7 a.m. to noon at the Sudden Valley Fire Station, 2050 Lake Whatcom Blvd. It’s $5 per person and $15 per family and it’s all for a good cause. If you go, tell firefighter Robert Mittendorf that Larry the BSD Guy sent you.

One more thing: Some of you already know this, but for the rest of you this will be my last Larry the BSD Guy column for FOSS Force. It’s my last column for anyone, as a matter of fact. I’m hanging up my cleats, so to speak, in the tech-writing realm to work on other non-tech writing projects. Word has been sent throughout the various channels in the BSD universe to pick up the baton here at FOSS Force, so to speak, and if you think you’d like to write about BSD for FOSS Force, contact Christine Hall at

See you around.


  1. John Eddie Kerr John Eddie Kerr April 21, 2016

    Thank you for all that you have done, I wish you all the best in your new endeavors. I will miss your columns.

    John Kerr
    Guelph, Ontario

  2. charlie-tca charlie-tca April 22, 2016

    Good luck in your future endeavors, Larry. Thanks for the great articles in the past, I will miss those technical writings.

  3. Eddie G. Eddie G. April 22, 2016

    I feel like the grumpy old man who sat on the park becnh next to his longtime “frenemy”!..LoL! Although we never bickered like old men should! I’ll miss your sharp wit, and colossal columon on BSD and other topics you’ve covered. Good Luck with all your endeavors, thanks for the informative and entertaining articles.

    God Bless!

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