Conferences and conferences

Submitted by dag on Tue, 2008/08/26 - 01:12

The past week was a very busy one. While the Olympic games were held in Bejing I was breaking my personal records for number of presentations at a conference in one day (3), number of presentations in a week (5) and number of conferences in a week (3).

Because JRSL in Buenos Aires was just before FrOSCon, and there was also a Debian Days in Buenos Aires. I flew to Buenos Aires on Friday afternoon, arrived on Saturday morning, I went to DebianDays on Monday, JRSL on Wednesday where I gave 3 talks (CentOS, RPM packaging and Dstat), flew back on Thursday morning to arrive on Friday at noon in Zaventem to be in Bonn on Friday evening to present a duo-presentation about Proxytunnel (Punching holes in the corporate firewall) on Saturday and a duo-presentation about giving presentation with the wiimote on Sunday.

And on Monday back to work in Antwerp...

At the Debian Days I met both Wouter Verhelst and Kurt Roeckx (Q voor de vrienden), which was a surprise (for them more than for me as you would expect ;-)), and I learned some interesting things about Debian from Wouter's talk. Probably more about that later if I find the time.

The presentations at JRSL in Buenos Aires went well, but only the Dstat presentation attracted a lot of people. (80?) I had expected more people for the two other presentations (40?), but for some reason the conference did not attract the number of people they expected to have. Wednesday seemed to be a pretty slow day at JRSL, sadly it was the only day I could be there (hence why I had all 3 presentations on one day :-/).

The presentations at FrOSCon both were very successful, the proxytunnel presentation I did together with Mark Janssen was crowded. I think we had about 200 people in a room that had 140 places with people sitting on the stairs and in front, and people standing in the back and at the side. And a lot of people had to miss the presentation because of that. For a conference it is hard to predict which presentations attract a lot of people and even we were surprised since Proxytunnel mostly is self-explanatory (at least we'd like to think the documentation is very good ;-))

The talk also got a lot of response and nice ideas at the end, so it was an interesting experience for the first Proxytunnel talk I did. I was very eager to demonstrate the proxy bouncing implementation that I wrote earlier. The whole reason for doing the talk was to promote those features of Proxytunnel that a lot of people hadn't heard about.

The "Giving presentations using the wiimote" talk together with Geerd-Dietger Hoffman was a lot of fun to do. Not only during the presentation (where we poked fun at each other), but also creating the slides and coming up with the ideas on how to use the Wiimote's technical components to the fullest in this specific domain. And even when we thought we had it all covered, the audience apparently could think of something else !

As I said at the end of the questions: once again the audience outsmarted the presenters. But to our defense, they also outnumbered us ;-)

FrOSCon uses Pentabarf, the perfect and versatile conference management system with the name that sucks. And this is the only conference I know that actually gets feedback about presentations and shares them with the presenters completely transparently. It allowed me to compare how we did with both presentations as well as the presentation of last year.

Looking at the feedback of both presentations, I am a happy man. Up next is T-DOSE and LinuxWorld Expo !

PS Thanks to both Adrian Alves (JRSL) and Andreas Kupfer (FrOSCon) for giving us the opportunity to do this.

Proxytunnel vs. corkscrew

Hi dag,

you really are quite busy :) Hope you enjoyed the traveling and it wasn't too exhausting.

I'm using corkscrew quite a while now. Never heard of proxytunnel before. Maybe I should look into it as replacement ;)