There is a certain sense of anticipation whenever I first walk
into a new LinuxWorld convention. Will it be bigger than last year?
Will it be smaller? Who's going to have the biggest press
announcement? And, will they finally have WiFi hotspots in the
These are my thoughts as I stepped out of the frigid New York
winter and into the slightly warmer Javitts Convention Center for
LinuxWorld Expo NY 2003.
I was early on Wednesday, because I was meeting with LinuxPlanet
writer Jacqueline Emigh, who lives in the New York area. I rarely
get to see our freelance writers face to face, so that will be a
highlight of my day.
Also on my agenda is being a judge for the Open Source Product
Excellence awards. This is a new thing for me, and a rather late
addition to the schedule, but I was honored to be asked, even if it
was last minute.
The logistics of judging such an affair are a bit daunting: the
six judges are paired off and sent to judge entries in the
categories they pick. I was paired off with Rob Malda of Slashdot,
and we ended up getting four catagories with 22 total entries. The
judging started soon after 10 a.m., and we had until 2 in the
afternoon to finish. I should tell you now that even though the
floor of this year's Expo is smaller than in years past, running
around to that many booths in that amount of time is no mean
Rob, who is known to Slashdot readers as CmdrTaco, in case
you're one of the five people on the Internet who has never been to
Slashdot, was truly a Godsend to be paired off with. Even though as
a reporter I am used to talking to people and gleaning information
in a hurry, his own energy was unflagging and kept things moving
Along the way, we traded notes about running our respective
sites, which was interesting, and I learned more about moderation
mechanics than I ever knew existed. And I thought monitoring our
talkbacks was hard.
We finished the last booth at 1:59 (saving Miquel de Icaza for
last because he is one hard man to get a hold of and he was the
only person the Ximian people wanted to talk about Mono, one of the
entries we were looking at), and then ran back to the judge's
meeting area to compare notes.
I could not tell such a tale without releasing the full list of
award winners, so here it is:
Best Network/Server Application: SuSE Linux OpenExchange
Best Developer Tools: IBM WebSphere Studio Application
Beat Data Storage Solution: IBM Tivoli Storage Manager
Best System Integration Software: Microsoft Services for UNIX
Best Security Solution: Computer Associates eTrust
Best Front Office Solution: Ximian Evolution
Best Productivity Application: HRsmart Applicant Tracking
Best Cluster Solution: Red Hat Advance Server
Best Sys Admin Tools: SCO Volution Manager
Yes, you read number four right. That wasn't my category to
judge, but after hearing the judges' explanation, I would have to
concur that they were a reasonable fit for the award. Would I have
chosen them? I'll never know.
The last two awards went to Ximian Mono for Best Open Source
Project, and SGI's (64-way) Altix 3000 server for Best of Show.
After the judging, the day mellowed out. I had a very
interesting interview with Chris DeBona before the Golden Penguin
Bowl, but we talked about the very cool game he is working on in
his new venture Damage Studios. Look for that forthcoming article
Tomorrow (or today as you read this), I have a number of press
briefings, the bread and butter of why I come here. Thus far my
schedule includes AMD, SGI, JBoss, and Dell, among others.
My impressions of the show thus far? Very corporate minded this
year. I know, all of us media folks say that every year, but it's
still true. Not very many developers, say the people at the booths.
A lot of corporate decision makers.
As I mentioned before, the show is smaller, taking up only one
huge room of the conevntion center. But, and I am not the only one
who noted this, the energy level of participants is very high. Many
conversations I had or overheard were with people trying to really
integrate Linux in the work that they do.
And, I was happy to see, the Rookery and the .Org Pavillion were
packed with visitors. Very cool. But there are no beanbag chairs
anywhere in the hall.
Happily, there is WiFi access this year, out in the main foyer
of the center. Thanks go to ShowNet for this service, which lets me
keep an eye on the site from time to time.
Off to bed now. If you're here, feel free to swing by and say
howdy. Grey jacket, blue shirt, Linux Today button on lapel.
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