Today was the start of the actual conference seminars as well as the exhibition. Yesterday was the special hands on training courses that only special people that shelled out the extra money got to go to (or those special people’s company’s money). So I got up, worked out again, stopped by the sunflower cafe (damn, that is some good coffee), and headed off my usual 15 minutes late, getting to the keynote speaker a little late. I looked and saw that the doors were closed, and I didn’t want to be “that guy” that made all the noise coming in late. I later realized that I was actually looking at the side door, which had I tried to go through, I definitely would have looked like an ass. The actual entrance to the room was on the other side, and I could have gone in there late looking very un-asslike and caught the rest of the speech.
But oh well, I figured I’d go and check email and such with my extra time, only to realize that the keynote that I missed was the only one that really looked interesting to me at all. Irregardless (wink), I headed off to my first session about media in the Linux Desktop hosted by a couple people from Real Networks, one of whom was a younger woman with dyed purple and black hair who was in a band. So we chatted for a little while since I don’t think either of us expected to bump into another person at this conference who was in a band (let alone another cool person. I’m pretty sure I’m the coolest person here, just for the record. I mean, come on, I’m wearing a Canada visor. That’s about as cool as it gets), and I gave her the url to Common Shiner’s myspace site. So hopefully I’ll hear from her again.
So then I headed to another session about LAMP applications and security, which for what I do should have been a very useful session. Quite the opposite. It was basically a guy saying “some of these LAMP applications aren’t secure, and here’s the common way they’re not secure.” Well, I already knew that. I don’t know what I was expecting, but I guess something a little more useful then that.
I got some lunch and figured I’d skip the keynote speech which didn’t look that interesting and head over to the exhibition going on (free stuff!).
There was a guy standing near the entrance wearing giant foam dice (he was for the comany Dice, oddly enough). This was the best picture I could get.
I took this picture because it made me think that if Gospelcom ever needed someone to wear a mascot uniform, I would probably be the first person asked. If you include the trailers we’ve done for the last couple conferences, I’m basically the mascot already.
So I wandered aroud the exhibition floor, hearing hundreds of sales pitches, and getting free t-shirts, software, and registering to win prizes. I couldn’t take pictures inside, but some of the booth setups were amazing. With full rotating statues, and crazy little rooms and stuff setup. It’s just crazy when I think that they set all that up for three days, and then take it all back down. I saw at one point two stunningly beautiful women (clearly models) wondering around in mini-skirts that had urls on them (I assumed it would be godaddy, but it was something else that I don’t remember). They were both sitting at the “Slashdot” lounge, and eventually this guy who looked like he might be a character in the Sopranos showed up and said “alright, time to go,” to which they responded immediately. I’m assuming he was some sort of IT pimp.
Eventually I made my way back for an afternoon session about using Linux on the desktop. It was by a guy from Linspire, which is a linux desktop company, and it was pretty interesting, but was a little too sales pitch-y for Linspire. Either way, I got Linspire for free for being there, so I wasn’t aruging.
After that there was something called the Golden Penguin Bowl going on, which I decided to skip to go to the MOMA (Museum of Modern Art, see Day 2).
There were parts of the museum that were gorgeous (and of course I have no recollection what the artists I particularly liked were), some parts that were just weird, and other parts that were weird but gorgeous. I did get to see the original Frida Kahlo self portrait, and a couple others of hers and Diego Rivera’s, which was cool.
However, the problem I have with modern art, and I would imagine most people have, is that there are times where I just don’t get it, and I don’t really have a desire to get it. There was the classic modern art piece where there were three whiteboards tacked on a wall and a plaque with a big description and history to the side explaining how critics reacted and the intentions the artist had, and I can’t help saying “it’s three whiteboards tacked to a wall. What the hell is the point of that?” There was the bit in the description about it capturing light and shadow and such, but that doesn’t take away from the fact that this artist made money for tacking three whiteboards to a wall.
There was another exhibit which used a lot of film along with physical art called Drawing Restraint, which I think has a movie coming out based on it (starring Bjork). If you’ve seen a preview for that movie, it looks tremendously weird, and if it really is based on the art, that makes a lot of sense, as it was also tremendously weird. There was one film of the artist jumping on a trampoline to peel paint off of a ceiling. I couldn’t help but think this could be in America’s Funniest Home Videos, with his roommate holding the camera saying “what are you doing?” and then they all burst out laughing at their weird roommate. But instead I turned to the person next to me and in a very pretentious way said “what a visual feast.” I know how to fit in, what can I say.
So I headed out enlightened with strangeness, and headed over to the Metreon building for the “Linux Beer Bash.” (nothing like liquoring up a bunch of geeks) However, on my way over, I had to pass through the Yerba Buena Gardens again and, naturally, I had to take a bunch more pictures.
The beer bash was in a place called Jillian’s, which was a giant bar/restaurant (non-smoky, since smoking indoors isn’t allowed here, which is kind of odd after being used to such thick smoke in Michigan. It’s actually pretty nice). There were literally like a thousand or so people crammed into this place, loud music and disco lights and stuff like that, and I didn’t know a soul. I thought to myself “well, I guess I’ll get a couple beers, some food and then head back in like 30 minutes.” Eventually I made my way outside on this little patio area to eat because it was too loud inside, and a couple people nearby started chatting with me. After a little bit, some other very cool people came over and started chatting with us, and before I knew it it had been 2 hours. The second group of guys who had shown up said “hey, we’re gonna go over to this other bar, you want to go?” And I said “Sure!” So I ended up hanging out with all these very cool people:
that’s Sandra, Sven, Me, Victor, and Dave, a few of the people I ended up drinking with all night
for the rest of the night, getting more than a little intoxicated. The guy on the right (Dave), was from The Big Corporation, which is a company name he invented (his catchphrase, which I helped him come up with, is “You can’t get bigger than big.” And if people ever ask him what he does, I told him he should just have a bunch of vague corporate jargon “we help expedite services for a company’s longevity goals in the area of sustainable architecture…”).
One more thing I spotted while sitting on the patio area was this
I don’t know if you can tell or not, but the greasy haired dude on the left is wearing pants with a stretchy waist. I just felt like that was the perfect picture of being at a computer conference.Â He also was wearing sandles and socks, which you can’t see.
So eventually I stumbled back to my hotel room after picking up some late night Carl’s Jr (which should have the catchphrase “shittiest fries ever”), and fell asleep within seconds.
On to Day 4!