fisl days 1 & 2

Thursday, Apr 20. 2006  –  Category: OpenSolaris

wow. what a whirlwind. i now firmly believe that fisl has to have the most energy of any conference i’ve been to. this place is rockin’!

so. day 1. i finally got all my packages, and headed to the conference hall with the Java dudes. Tatiana did a fantastic job of getting Sun a prime prime spot on the floor as a community meeting point. we setup a coffee machine and gave out free coffee – which has got to be one of the best ideas (courtesy of simon i believe) for drawing a crowd to your area. our “booth” was setup perfectly. rather than a traditional closed booth, it was setup as a bunch of comfy chairs, and tables for people to hang out in and meet up and chat. we had a center table with a w2100z workstation and eye-catching 24.1″ LCD. francois, fernanda, and rebecca were demoing JavaDB, while i was demoing Solaris/OpenSolaris. i ran tons of Dtrace, BrandZ, Dtrace AND BrandZ, ZFS, and Zones demos. suffice to say, people were amazed.

i brought a ton of freebies down of course, and went through the SXCR DVDs and Nexenta CDs in a blaze. i got a ton of great feedback from people saying they loved the fact that we (Sun) were there, and giving out other people’s OS’s (Nexenta). i really think it got us a lot of good cred.

at 5pm, i gave a talk with a quick intro on the OpenSolaris project and community. i then borrowed greatly from nils and edp‘s slides and presented on BrandZ. at the end, i gave a demo of BrandZ. i’d hoped to have time to do a DTrace of a BrandZ app – but ran out of time… but i hope i made up for it by doing tons of DTrace/BrandZ demos at the booth area. the room was packed, which was great. every seat was taken, and there were maybe about 20-30 people standing in the back too – so it was really well attended. i only hope it was well received as well. :-P

that night i went out to dinner with the Sun folks and the SOJAVA folks to a churrasco (the brasilian bbq) where i had my first churrasceria and caipirinha. these will be the subject of another blog entry later.

the second day was mostly a repeat of the first day. except i got to meet and chat with a people… notably, Keith Packard, Miguel de Icaza, and Marcelo Tosatti. i talked with a bunch of people in various communities (Fedora Ambassadors, Brasil’s Ministry of Science & Technology, Ubuntu-BR, etc.) about the OpenSolaris community, what we were doing right, and more importantly: what we could be doing better. i took a ton of photos and plan to post them when i get back to a place with a better network connection (Hey Sheraton! improve your freaking internet connection. the connection here is dismal)

btw – the Ubuntu-BR guys rock. they were totally plugging Nexenta/OpenSolaris at their user group booth and giving away CDs for us as well. i got along great with them, we did the obligatory t-shirt swap and had a great time. really friendly bunch of guys. we grabbed all-you-can-eat pizza for dinner (at 12:30am!!!) and went to a FISL party after the conference on the second day.

overall, so far, i think things are going pretty well. there has been a ton of enthusiasm around OpenSolaris. a surprisingly high number of people are aware of Nexenta and were really interested in it (so i’m really glad we burned the livecds and brought them). people showed a lot of interest in the OpenSolaris project, and were really receptive to the idea of an open source Solaris.

lessons learned: 1. if you give out a CD, put the username/password on the disc art. 2. if you give out an install DVD, people will want a live CD. if you give out live CDs, people also want an install CD. i think it would have been even better to have brought Nexenta LiveCDs as well as install CDs 3. everyone and their mother wants a t-shirt at FISL. 4. if you go to FISL, and your lactose intolerant: bring lactaid. 99% of the food they sell has some form of dairy on it or in it. 5. if you don’t bring lactaid, bring immodium. seriously. it sucks being lactose intolerant :-P

okay, i’ve got tons more to blog – i’m sure i’m missing details. but it’s almost 3am and i’m exhausted.

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