Alan Hargreaves' Blog

The ramblings of a former Australian SaND TSC* Principal Field Technologist

Reflections on LinuxWorld (Sydney)

As you’ve probably seen, I spent three days at Linux World in Sydney last week.

I must say that I had a great time.

I honestly expected for us to cop a fair amount of negativity by being at a Linux show, but there was actually none. We had a few raised eyebrows and a few people ask us if Solaris was our brand of Linux, but other than that it was a very positive experience.

I don’t have the actual numbers but the feeling is that we gave away more copies of Solaris and assorted documentation than we have ever given away at a trade show in Australia.

I spent most of my time demonstrating DTrace on my notebook. It was a pretty simple demo that showed some of the power of the tool and we ended up having some fun once we’d worked our way from kernel land up into user space.

As you would have seen in my previous blog, I also spent some time on Tuesday morning with Andrew Tridgell. Have a look at that blog for more on that.

That evening at the cocktail reception, it was great to have someone come up to me and say that of everything he had seen at the exhibition, my brief talk had been the most interesting and informative thing he had seen all day. That kind of comment is good for the ego.

Late on the second day, I was told “Oh yes, you know that 2.5 hour presentation that we are giving on Thursday about What’s new in Solaris 10? Well you are doing a 30 minute DTrace demo in the middle of it”. OK, right. I managed to knock together something reasonable by the time that the exhibition was opened the next morning, only to find out that the person who was supposed to give the rest of the tutorial had called in sick.

Looking at what we were talking about, I realised that one of Bryan’s presentations that he gave while he was out here last year would come pretty close and would not require a lot more to produce a good talk. The other good thing is that I saw Bryan give this about a dozen times so I felt relatively confident speaking to his slideware.

I sent him off an email and not more than 15 minutes later I got:

Hey Alan,
> > Bryan, the guy who was going to do the "What's new in Solaris 10" talk
> > (2.5 hours) has called in sick.
> >
> > Do you possibly have a copy of the slides from the similar talk that you
> > gave out here that I could pinch? I've only just recovered from the "Oh
> > you know that you are doing 30 minutes on DTrace today" and finished
> > working that preso out.
Absolutely:
[URL to pdf of presentation]
[URL to staroffice of presentation]
Change them however you'd like:  scrub my name, put in yours, delete
slides, whatever.  And no worries:  you saw me give this so many times,
you probably mutter it in your sleep...  ;)
Good luck.  Let me know if there's anything else I can do to help...
- Bryan

What can you say about guys like Bryan! Wonderful. Thanks heaps mate.

Anyway, the talk time rolled up and I got going at about 1:15. Worked through Bryans stuff until we got to the DTrace demo, at which point I spent about 40 minutes on what I’d done up, working some of the stuff I’d done with Andrew Tridgell earlier in the week into the talk. On finishing the DTrace stuff I noticed that we’d been going for about an hour (wow, where did that time go?), so we took a break to stretch legs, etc.

Got back into it 5-10 minutes later and managed to go for a bit over an hour again (wow, I didn’t know I could talk that long).

The feedback I got was all positive, so I must have done OK.

The only disappointment that I had from giving that presentation is that I was up against Peter Quinn, and I really wanted to hear him speak. I’m told that his talk was recorded, so I’ll have to chase that up.

All up, we all had a very positive experience at Linux World and it looks like we got some information across to folks and had a good time.

A great three days was topped off nicely with a few pints at the James Squire Brewery at Darling Harbour with some good company.

Oh, I almost forgot. I did Manage to catch up with Martin Fink. It only took him a second or so to recognise my name. I must say that even though we work for competitors, I was impressed with Martin and he strikes me as a true gentleman. It’s great that we can disagree on things and still be civil and treat each other with respect. I also went to Martin’s talk and I must say that even though there was the obligatory Sun dig (goes with the territory), he spoke good solid common sense with regard to rolling out new infrastructure. His comments were applicable not only to rolling out open source in an existing proprietry environmant, but to rolling out anything new in an existing environment. I’m sure Martin and I will have digs at each other in the future, but it certainly won’t be personal and will be in the spirit of competition. I wish there were more folks out there like him.

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Written by Alan

April 2, 2006 at 3:49 pm

Posted in OpenSolaris

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