Southeast Linuxfest recap

Went roadtripping out to Clemson for the first annual Southeast Linuxfest with a few of my fellow CSCLUG-ers. The drive up there was pretty uneventful, and also doubled as a preview of what to expect when I head back up there for orientation.

The conference turned out quite well, with attendance numbers that far exceeded what was expected. Last numbers I saw said 455 registrations with a little over 360 actually showing up. Pretty awesome for a first year conference. Of course now the bar has been set pretty high for next year's conference.

Meeting the people I'd been working with online to plan the conference was pretty cool. In typical fashion, I ended up taking on the task of photographer and spent most of my time wandering around taking photos of everything. I did stop long enough to catch a few very good talks, and bounced around from room to room catching snippets of other talks.

The talk by Richard Weait on the OpenStreetMap project was one of the more interesting talks that I made it to. Completely open mapping data that you can do pretty much anything with. And it's not limited to just street data either. What's really neat is that almost all of the map data comes from user contributions. Browsing around Charleston, SC shows a reasonably complete map, but there are gaps here and there that could probably be filled in with a few mapping parties. At the beginning of the talk, Richard asked the audience what else maps were good for, and I shouted out "finding out when the train is coming". It was a reference to a Flintstones episode ("The Story of Rocky's Raiders"), but I don't think anybody got it.

Another talk by Brian Leonard on developing for platforms beyond just your own computer was pretty interesting. Showed off some pretty simple but interesting things that can be done with Netbeans and VirtualBox.

The performance by DualCore at the after-party was pretty good. Rap/hip-hop usually isn't my thing, but their nerdcore style is something I could possibly get into.

Very soon planning for the 2010 Southeast Linuxfest will begin. I'm expecting it's going to be a lot of work to make it at least as good (preferably better) than this year's event.