LISA'04 Wednesday; a long day in a long week

2 A.M. Atlanta, Georgia: Today was a really long day during what seems like an endless week. On Saturday I left sunny California for Chicago and spent Sunday sight-seeing in downtown. Anish Kapoor's Cloud Gate is a pretty spectacular work of public art (and not finished: the seams are due to be polished out next year). After a Gold Coast Hotdog, I drove out 40-some miles (never mind my extra 40-mile "detour" due to getting lost) to St. Charles, Illinois. There I met up with my coworkers Bart, Tobin, Dave, Claire and about 500 of Sun's SEs (now called 'Technical Specialists') for the first half of Immersion Week, in which we helped out with in-depth training on DTrace, Zones and SMF. We did a Solaris 10 install-fest, and then several hours of training on each topic. It was gratifying to see 500 people install zones on their laptops and play around with them. We also learned a lot from such a large-scale usability test. We did a BoF, educating those interested on our plans for Open Source Solaris and some of the other interesting features in S10.

I was a little bummed that I missed the Solaris 10 Launch event back in California-- it looked pretty fun.

But no time to look back-- Tuesday I flew to Atlanta, and LISA '04. Krister and I stayed up most of Tuesday night putting the finishing touches on some of the demos we had prepared for the event. Today (Wednesday) we worked the Solaris 10 booth on the convention floor for 7 straight hours-- I wish I knew how many people I met and talked to-- but I never got time to take even a short break! Tomorrow I'll take some pictures, both at the booth and at the Solaris 10 BoF at 8pm.

One of the really gratifying things about this event is that many of the folks I talked to weren't really aware of some of the recent developments in Solaris, especially the new licensing model. It's wonderful to be able to sum it up so easily: Free for non-commercial use. Free for commercial use. Pay for support if you like [FAQ]. Several people we spoke to asked "Why should I try this? I am thinking of going to Red Hat." I asked It's free-- how can you afford not to give it a try?

Tomorrow I'll also finish my slides for my paper talk on Friday. Really I will :)

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