AUUG 2005 Conference wrap up

Well I didn't make it to yesterday's sessions of AUUG's 2005 Conference due to illness, being unable to sleep on Thursday and dialling in for a US-hosted concall @ 0300 yesterday morning. So I missed out on Russell Coker's presentation on SELinux and multilevel security. I also missed out on Mark Uemura's presentation about integrating OSS into corporate IT structures, and Greg Lehey's presentation entitled Free as in free beer --- which I'm lead to believe was actually about his beer fridge! Oh, and the conference dinner too. Ah well, I did enjoy today's sessions though --- Chris Green of Microsoft presented a few things about Microsoft's Services For Unix (SFU) product, which actually looks quite good. I'll definitely investigate it in the future. I was particularly impressed when Chris fired up an X11 tetris game from SFU. I wonder whether I can get thunderbird or firefox running from within an SFU session..... hmmmm !! Anyway, Arjen Lentz of MySQL.com then gave a keynote, talking about some of the disappointingly common errors that people make when writing SQL, combining SQL with php/perl/... quite entertaining, and a large number of tshirts was dispensed with as well. Following morning tea Stewart Smith of MySQL.com presented on the cluster features which are coming soon in MySQL v5.1 (iirc), and then backed up very quickly when the next speaker didn't arrive to show us all the code for one of MySQL's filesystem storage drivers. I thought very quickly about presenting my ZFS talk from SOSUG but wasn't fast enough when the audience was asked "does anybody have a paper they'd like to present?" Ah well, maybe I'll be able to deliver an updated version to SAGE-AU's Queensland chapter in December instead. Finally for the morning Dan Kennedy of SQLite presented on why we should all consider using an embedded database rather than flat files or XML for our next project. Apparently the Mozilla Project is refactoring their on-disk data storage to use sqlite rather than the hodgepodge of systems which they currently use. It will be interesting to see what they come up with. The afternoon sessions today really didn't grab me, but I caught the tail end of Iain Jardin's presentation on Sun's N1 Service Provisioning System before the final two presentations for the conference: Michael Paddon of QualComm talked to us (quizzed us!) about the seven deadly sins of software, providing some very entertaining bug snippets from a variety of unix variants for us to look at and see whether we could spot the problems. He even threw Freddo Frogs to those who managed to get the answers correct. To finish the conference we had an invited presentation from Reyk Floeter of Vantronix (a German IT company) talking about wireless support in OpenBSD wherein he discussed some of the pitfalls that await software developers who adhere to some fairly rigid criteria for what sorts of software and licensing is actually "free." He then proceeded to demonstrate the wifi access point daemon and NetBSD's ethernet trunking capabilities, which was very impressive, except for his choice of music! All in all, a very good conference and I'm really glad I went. I didn't manage to get Rob Pike's autograph, nor a photo of him, but I did see the Sun Fire v40z that Sun supplied for the network access sponsorship booted with NetBSD via the network... and that boot image was supplied by a Sharp Zaurus with the image on a usb-attached disk!
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I work at Oracle in the Solaris group. The opinions expressed here are entirely my own, and neither Oracle nor any other party necessarily agrees with them.

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