April 19th, 2007

Linux

Something Different

This weekend mia_mcdavid, our son James, and I are going to Penguicon, a combined science fiction and open source software/Linux convention in Michigan. This would not be a prudent financial decision, but we had purchased non-refundable airline tickets before realizing what a deep hole we were in. Mia is really keen on the music there and in getting away from that of the local SF scene. We also hope to see an old friend from Chicago fandom, Frank Hayes.

Mia is driving, and is visiting a friend in the Chicago suburbs tonight. James and I will fly out tomorrow afternoon and she will meet us at the Detroit airport. James actually seems quite excited about this. We will bringing his laptop which can help keep him entertained as well as giving us some connectivity (the convention has free wi-fi). Alas, it runs Windows XP. However, I will also bring my Nokia 770 internet tablet, a proper Linux device.

I was very reluctant to go at first, but I am warming to the idea. The programming is much more diverse than I had expected. In addition to all sorts of techie stuff and the usual SF panels, there is a martial arts track and some items about food. Not terribly surprising if you actually know geeks and fans. There is a techie twist to the refreshments: Ice cream made with liquid nitrogen. That brings back memories of my work in a cryogenics lab at Stanford, more than 30 years ago. In fact on paper in HTML the programming looks far more extensive and interesting than I have seen at the local Twin Cities SF conventions.

While I expect to look in on all sorts of things there, I will definitely be looking at some of the open source computing sessions. I need a reminder that computing can be fun. My managers at work have been trying to hide that from me for a year now.