Tuesday, October 6, 2009

My weekend at Ohio LinuxFest 2009

I recently attended Ohio LinuxFest 2009, held September 25-27, 2009 at the Greater Columbus Convention Center in Columbus, Ohio.  The annual event draws Linux users from Ohio and the surrounding states. This was my third year as an attendee.

In past years, I went primarily to wander through the exhibitor area and bond with my fellow Linux geeks, but this year I expanded my LinuxFest schedule, attending both Friday and Saturday sessions.

On Friday I attended Zenoss' Community Day, a no-cost training day offered by Zenoss, an Open Source (with an enterprise edition available) network monitoring tool.  Zenoss goes well beyond what a simple home network administrator like me would ever need to manage my six computer network, but I still learned a lot at the session.

Before attending I never really gave much thought to the issues that come with managing a large scale network, and I realized that monitoring a large network is extremely complex.  The object driven network model that Zenoss builds really makes managing a complex network pretty easy.  

On Saturday I returned and brought my 14 year old daughter and 12 year old son along as well.  I suspect the main reason the two of them really want to go each year is so they can collect the freebies from the exhibitor area, but they do enjoy attending.

We spent about an hour people watching and wandering past exhibitor booths, stopping occasionally to talk to an exhibitor.  I sat down for 10 minutes or so and chatted with the fine folks at TheLinuxLinkTechShow (TLLTS).  They broadcast a live streaming Linux Tech show on the internet each Wednesday.

From there we attended a talk given by 19 year old Elizabeth Garbee entitled "How to Use Open Source to Pay For a College Education".  I thought Ms. Garbee gave an excellent presentation and I hope that my kids paid at least a little attention to what she said.

To round out our day at OLF 2009, we attended a talk by Mike Badger, "Programming for the Young and the Young At Heart.  Mr. Badger is the author of a book on Scratch, "Scratch 1.4 Beginner's Guide".

The talk was an hour long introduction to Scratch, the modular programming language.  I discovered Scratch on my own several months ago, (see my previous post on Scratch for more information) and the kids and I were really looking forward to the presentation.

To be honest I was somewhat disappointed by the presentation.  I felt that too much time was spent discussing the purpose and origins of Scratch, time that could have been better spent demonstrating Scratch's ease of use and abilities.  I thought Mr. Badgers presentation was really sort of dull, and his talk didn't hold my kids attention at all.

I really enjoyed the two days I spent at OLF 2009, and look forward to next year!  Here are some pictures taken by my daughter at the event:

Pictures from Ohio LinuxFest 2009

Ohio LinuxFest 2009


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