Archive for May, 2012

On an early Friday morning, we departed from San Jose International airport. After two flights and one extended layover, we arrived in a lush, green town otherwise known as Bellingham, Washington. The team had an early dinner together, and because we all woke up at an ungodly hour, everyone decided to turn in early for the night.

The exhibit floor was jam-packed and in full swing by the time we checked in the next morning. By noon, LinuxFest NorthWest checked-in over 700+ registrations on their Twitter feed. As trade shows go, LFNW is known to be small and have a more intimate, laid-back atmosphere. However, Jakob Perry, the event organizer, told Denise that this year they had over 1000 check-ins in the first day- a record number of attendees since the first show in 2004!

The gals at Deaf Inter-Link showing us some love.

The team had the latest stable release of FreeNAS set up at our FreeBSD booth. James demonstrated how to stream music video via FreeNAS, and Ben, Annie, and Denise handed out FreeNAS CDs and PC-BSD 9.0 DVD’s while talking to attendees.  Daemon horns were passed out and soon circulated all across the floor, even extending to the kitchen staff.

Our influence extends to the kitchen staff as well. Serving up grilled salmon with a generous helping of FreeBSD!

I checked out Krita, a KDE drawing program that is available for many operating systems, including FreeBSD. They had a Wacom tablet at their table, and with my limited artistic capabilities I did a quick test drive. At first glance, the program has similar core features comparable to GIMP and Photoshop. There’s a cloning option that allows you to create a completely symmetrical shape while only drawing half of it.

Checking out the Krita program with a tablet.

We attended the after party on Saturday night, hosted at the Spark Museum of Electrical Invention. Food and drinks were served, and we had a chance to explore the exhibits. Hundreds of inventions and cool gadgets were on display, detailing centuries of technological development. Near the end, the museum staff gave us a live demonstration of the Tesla coil. It was an impressive light show, as 4 million watts were generated and then zapped at a Faraday cage holding a live human being. The volunteer, of course, survived the ordeal without a scratch.

4 million watts? Not a problem...

On Sunday, James gave a talk on FreeNAS, explaining the history, GUI, and many useful features, and answered several questions in regards to the 8.X release. A couple of people came by our booth afterwards to pick up FreeNAS CD’s or to chat it up with the team. The show was considerably more toned down the second day, and we wrapped it up by late afternoon.

It was a fun and peaceful weekend in Washington. It was my first time going to such a close-knit conference and the experience itself was novel and quite an eye-opener.  Everyone was very nice and friendly, and I already look forward to next year’s show.


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