Ohio Linux Fest 2014

I have only been to a couple of Linux fests and I have enjoyed every single one. Ohio Linux Fest was my first, three years ago. I was very privileged to meet a few long time listeners there, make some new friends, and meet some of the Hacker Public Radio crew for the first time. I am finally going back to Ohio Linux Fest in a couple of weeks and am very much looking forward to it, especially if it is at all like that first time.

The first day of my first OLF, I of course immediately scoped out the local beer scene. I staked out a stool at the bar of the brew pub across the street from the Columbus Convention Center. As I sipped on my first beer, waiting for my lunch order to arrive, I heard someone at the end of the bar recommending my podcast to someone else. I recognized the voice from audio comments I had received. More immodestly than I would have done if it was a complete stranger, I interrupted and introduced myself. It remains one of the more humbling and surreal moments made possible by my podcast.

I hung out with that listener a lot that weekend. We accumulated a couple of new friends, as well, who often joined us as I continued to explore the beer scene. Downtown Columbus is…well, bare may be a bit strong but right at the convention center, that brewpub is a bit of an oasis. I hope it is still there. Despite that scarcity of obvious points of interest, we found a handful of respectable beer spots.

Later in the weekend, I was wandering the small but excellent exhibit area. One table was run by a musician who had CDs out as well as some headphones to sample his wares. I was immediately struck by the sound and the story I heard when I put the headphones one. I started chatting with the artist, int 0x80 as it happens, part of the amazing rap duo, Dual Core. The song was “Painting Pictures” which tells the tale of a fan of the pair who was deaf from birth. As the song progresses, int 0x80’s rap tells the story of, as he puts it, “an amazing little girl” who through the internet makes connections she never would have otherwise and ultimately ends up researching cochlear implants. With the support of her family, the first song she finally hears is one of Dual Core’s. The track still moves me.

I interviewed int 0x80 shortly after meeting him. When I was at DEFCON this year, I happened to run into him. I was surprised because I didn’t think to look for him. I wasn’t really surprised as so much of his early work with c64 is about playing hacker conferences, just like DEFCON. He remembered me and catching up with him was one of my favorite parts of my first, and so far only, DEFCON.

I am sure these experiences set unrealistic expectations. The quality of the programming means it doesn’t matter. I will have a good time attending the talks. Even though my podcast has been a bit quiet lately, I trust I will still bump into people I recognize. Better yet, I hope to meet some new people, make some new friends. If going to Linux fests has taught me anything, it is to be entirely open to that.

TCLP 2012-02-12 Switching My Wife Back to Linux

This is a feature cast, an episode of The Command Line Podcast.

If you are going to be in the North Eastern part of the US in March, check out North East Linux Fest and LibrePlanet. Thanks, Jonathan, for pointing these out to me.

Listener feedback this week is from Lachlan and Steve both of whom wrote in response to my feature on hackish assumptions. Lachlan also questioned why hackers should cultivate some awareness of public policy. Steve is in favor of my proposed talk for Ohio Linux Fest. I hope to have a beta of the talk at Balticon in May.

The hacker word of the week this week is footprint.

The feature this week is the story of how and why I switched my wife back to use Linux full time..


View the detailed show notes online. You can grab the flac encoded audio from the Internet Archive.

Creative Commons License

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Ohio Linux Fest 2011

Traveling to far flung Budapest for Transfabric followed by a jaunt to Columbus, Ohio to attend the Ohio Linux Fest may seem like an odd juxtaposition. In some ways it is, mostly in the obvious differences in the logistics of traveling to each. In other ways these two events are about many of the same kinds of themes. The funny thing is that I think the experiences I had in Eastern Europe may help me see the overlap, the familiar aspects of the coming event with some greater awareness.

I don’t expect Ohio Linux Fest to be as diverse as Transfabric but I am sure I will meet people coming to Linux from many different backgrounds and for many different reasons. One of the key personal lessons for me from Transfabric was realizing the extent and important of the differences around a common focus where it is often too easy to take for granted what motivates people to Make. At a Linux fest, focusing on a tool I use every single day of my life, it would be even easier to unknowingly have a blind spot filled in with my own assumptions and biases.

I count myself rather fortunate for being able to experience these two events back to back. The fact that I am now much more keenly aware of how short a short flight it will be to travel just a couple of states away, that I won’t have to carry my passport or exchange currency already puts me into a different state of mind approaching what would otherwise be a familiar, even a comfortable experience. Hopefully the much simpler nature of the trip itself will allow me to focus on paying more attention to those things I take for granted in the Linux community.

I have no set schedule for the fest, just following my interest. I hope to be able to maybe capture an interview or two but haven’t had time to approach anyone ahead of time. At a minimum I expect to be able to do some networking that will bear fruit as future interviews and segments for the podcast.

Last but probably most important I know that some listeners and readers will be in attendance at Ohio Linux Fest. If you haven’t already, send me an email. I will be getting in Thursday night and leaving Sunday night so there should be plenty of time to meet with anyone interested in doing so. I haven’t signed up for any of the goings on Sunday and don’t have to be at the airport until later so maybe if there is enough interest we can pull together an ad hoc meet up over lunch.