Oct 182000

BSDCon 2000 – Wednesday

Last night, I went out to dinner with Michele, Ellen, Robert, Sharyn, and one one other person. We wound at a place down on Fisherman’s Wharf. Over a dinner of mainly fish, we talked about cars, the baseball (New York won), and whether or not we should tell the staff to avoid standing in front of the TVs we were trying to watch in between eating and talking and drinking. I think everyone had a good time and most of us were asleep early as today was the first day of the convention proper.

Keith Bostic’s keynote speech

Keith Bostic (one of authors of The De sign and Implementation of the 4.4 BSD Operating System, amongst other notable achievements) talked about Open Source developments and how they can improve. He had four main points, which I’ll highlight in a later article. I remember him talking about a project mission statement (what are we doing?), a business plan (how are we doing i t?), and putting the decision making at a low level (i.e. don’t let the head[s] of the project make all the decisions). I like these ideas. They are not new. But they do need to be applied to all projects, regardless of whether or not they are open source.

And my main regret is not bringing my copy of that book to the convention! I already had two autographs in it and now I’ve missed my chance to get Keith’s. Another time.

Other talks I’ll be at today

In about 45 minutes, I’ll go to Michael Lucas who will talk about BSD Publishing, a topic near and dear to my heart. Then it’l be lunch. The food here has been good. Breakfast is not my style (I prefer yoghurt and museli) but there is plenty of fruit, toast, and juice. I am not whithering away from lack of nutrients.

After lunch, I am torn between two discussions:

  • Bill Fumerola & Richard A. Steenbergen – Dealing with and Stopping DoS Attacks
  • Nik Clayton – FreeBSD in a Small Business Environment

Hardware update

Last night, I was given two 18GB SCSI drives and two XEON 550MHz CPUs. I’ll announce who provided those hefty donations at a later date.

The CDRW has arrived but it back in Concord. That was delivered ahead of schedule, as far as I know. The motherboard (for those two XEONs) is still in transit. Yesterday, it arrived in Sacramento. As of right now, it’s in transit between the Oakland airport and the Oakland Hub. And it’s been that way since 16:31 yesterday.

BOF meeting

I’ve taken the initiative and set up a BOF for Wednesday night, in the Spyglass Room, between 6 and 7pm. This BOF is for the Undernet #FreeBSD IRC channel, FreshPorts, and FreeBSD Diary. I’ll be the old balding fat guy. You’ll know which one. There can’t be that many of use. After all, it’s a geek conference.


Most of the exibitors have arrived and have completed their set up. The freebies have started. T-Shirts, yo-yos, etc. One of the more interesting t-shirts is one created by Illiad which shows a few script kiddies being roasted over an open fire. They are available from the BSD Mall.

Wednesday as seen from Thursday morning

I didn’t update this article as promised. I’m a bit late. I got excited and distracted, and we all know what I’m like when I’m like that. I had short chats with both the NetBSD and OpenBSD booth people. From my preliminary information gathe ring, there seems to be nothing, from a technical point of view, which prevents their respective port (or in the case of NetBSD, package) trees into FreshPorts. Finding the volunteer to do it is another story.

I saw much of Bill Fumerola and Richard Steenbergen’s talk on DOS attacks. Not suprising, Bill did most of the talking [those that know him, will not be surprised]. Or perhaps it was just the part of the talk I saw. The work being done in ipfw seems quite impressive.

My first regret of the conference is missing Nik’s talk on FreeBSD in a Small Business Environment. This is an ar ea which is near and dear to my heart. I think that making inroads on small businesses, who are often more prepared to take a punt on widely radical ideas, such as FreeBSD, is one of the easier ways to make the world more FreeBSD-aware. Small businesses grow up to be big businesses. Well, sometimes they do. And even if they don’t, people working for small businesses often move on to larger businesses. They will take their FreeBSD experiences with them. This is not something to be ignored. Encourage such businesses to take up the cause. Appeal to their wallet.

I did attend Murray Stokely’s talk on writing secure applications. I hope all the coders at the con went to hear what he had to say.

Then I borrowed Murray’s laptop in order to convert my FreshPorts talk, which I give today (Thursday) at 1pm, to TrueType fonts. It’ll look much better! Once again, I am impressed by StarOffice.

There was an Undernet IRC #FreeBSD BOF. I organized it to be combined with a FreshPorts and FreeBSD Diary BOF. Unfortunately, I was kidnapped and taken downtown to eat and drink. We did manage to get a photo taken, but I couldn’t stay long. That would be my second regret of the conference. I wonder what my third will be?