2011-06-16

Things I learned at SELF this year.

I would like to thank the people at SouthEast LinuxFest for allowing me to speak about "How to Train Your Users". It was a last minute addition to replace my talk on "How to Fork Fedora for Fun and Profit" since I ran out of Fun and Profit in getting that ready. I would also like to thank the people who sat through my presentation. It was the first one I have given in years and really need to work on it. I do apologize for not bringing a true User Attention Reset Tool, but after being told by several people that many staff were packing ... bringing a knife to a gun fight was ill-advised :).

I had intended to spend Friday at the talk, but spent the day working on the last parts of my paper and getting Fedora 15's Libre Office working in presentation mode. The Friday night dinner was fun to swap .com war stories with people.. learning the sins that Spot had to pay for by working Red Hat Technical Support was quite interesting. Saturday was a lot of fun as my dad and I spent the entire day there going to various talks and seeing how much swag he could fit in a tiny bag.

Once I got to my talk.. I learned the first lesson of presentation: USE the equiptment they set up versus your own. All my work with Libre Office failed and people got a tiny little slide on the screen. However my going over proper methods of tasers and quicklime with users seemed to cover that. On Sunday, we came again but most of the places were shut down for Sunday services and I couldn't find the drupal class I wanted to sit on.. so we went to Kings Mountain which was a nice hike in 95 degree heat. Monday was supposed to be a trip to Pisgah mountain but I ended up doing tech support and the next thing I knew it was Wednesday on a plane.

Other things I learned:

  1. Navy people will swap stories on the drop of a dime. I would like to thank Sparks and various other Navy guys on keeping my dad entertained for the weekend. He had a great time and will be going next year. I also want to thank the Marine for laughing along nicely when father told "Ship-going bellhop" stories.
  2. 3-d printers are really cool. The maker lab from Greensboro or  Winston-Salem made multiple penguins which made for my wife to want to build her own printer, and my kid to want to make a board game from the figurines.
  3. Sudo make coffee makes good coffee, but it takes a special grind to make it work in a peculator. I learned that you can make a fair imitation of Turkish coffee though.
  4. GNOME 3 has one major issue that needs to be worked out. It makes a video card very hot which in a laptop means I ended up with some interesting lap red marks. [Pictures redacted for the sake of sanity.] I ended up switching to XFCE which cooled the laptop down quite a bit.
  5. The Ubuntu Women's table could have been better placed, but I learned how to spin wool and read a presentation on a computer screen I enjoyed.
  6. I got a lot of DVD's and my dad is installing them on his laptop this week to play with. He is learning Ubuntu, Fedora, OpenSuSE and PC-BSD. That should keep him out of Mom's hair for a week or so.

Anyway, it was a good week and I learned some new things I hope to use in the next year. I also hope to improve my talk and see how it goes down at other talks. Thank you all for feeding and putting up with me.

Say goodnight, gracie.
Goodnight gracie.
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