“It was sometime during the week of Oct 4th. The day was sunny,
bright, the sky a piercing light blue. I was walking north along
Bell Avenue in Brookhaven National Laboratory on my way to the
bank. I had just finished lunch and was savoring the walk. It was
quiet, peaceful. The first sunny, crisp days of fall had arrived.
The peacefulness surrounding me was so impressive. It had been 4
months since I’ve been able to enjoy such a quiet moment. “What do
you mean there are a busload of people wandering lost around the
RHIC ring!” I replied to one of the organizers after being
interrupted from fidgeting with that damn PC projector. “That’s
what I’ve been told, and YOU HAVE TO DO SOMETHING!” she replied. I
ran out to the lobby in a frantic disposition. One of my PHENIX
collaborators was walking around looking at the vendor exhibits.
“Please John, go out and find those wandering conference attendees
and give them a tour of the PHENIX detector!” He looked a bit
puzzled as I explained the situation to him, but was off in a rush
after he understood what was going on.”
“That was October 2nd, the day of the Open Source/Open
Science conference. The whole day was a series of crises. The first
crisis started that morning when we fired up the projector which
was hooked up to the PC running Linux. The projected image jittered
in such a way as to give me a rather nasty headache. “This
will not do!” I exclaimed. Malcolm, one of the organizers swore
again and again that it was working great the night before.
“Hooking up a another laptop or PC is no easy feat” he warned me.
It takes a good 20 minutes to figure out the settings on the
projector so that it will sync properly with the video output. What
to do – what to do. I had 15 minutes before the conference started,
and the only working PC/projector setup was running Windows NT.
What an embarrassment for an Open Source/Open Science conference. I
was not going to do my introductory talk with the NT desktop
brightly displayed behind me, as I used IE to down load my
presentation. I had my laptop setup on a table on the auditorium
stage from where I was going to run the conference…”