Trip Report: EuroTour '07

17 December 2007

events java jbossorg polish traveling

As noted earlier, Rebecca and I flew off to Europe last week for a little holiday, JavaPolis, and a week of team meetings.

With the winds behind us, we managed to make it to Schiphol airport in a record 6.5hrs from Newark. Not bad at all.

Met up with James Cobb, the kick-ass .org brand-manager/designer at the airport. We managed to keep each other walking around and awake all day to stave off horrible jet lag.

The wife and I stayed a night in Amsterdam before taking the train to the lovely Centraal Station area of Antwerp. If you're looking for the ambiance of a Motel 6 with the convenience and bouquet of being beside the Greyhound Station, this is the place for you!

Once in Antwerp, we hooked back up with James, and met, for the first time, the Fabulous Five from Poland: Przemek, Ryseik, Adam, Tomek and Pawel (left to right). Mark Newton was present for a few days, but had to return to Switzerland early, unfortunately.

We ate a lot of frites. And waffles.

The Polish developers attended a lot of the conference talks, and we as a team had some great whiteboarding/brainmapping sessions about the future direction of, as we're calling it (more blogs to follow on that topic).

Somewhere along the way, the guys goaded me into doing the Java Black Belt competition at the Cap-Gemini booth. I managed to make it to the finals, and ultimately won a PlayStation 3. Unfortunately, it was a PAL-based Region-2 PS3, which is decidedly incompatible with my Region-1 NTSC lifestyle choices. It's now living in Poland, along with a Nintendo Wii that Adam won.

I chatted up Crazy Bob and learned that we'd both lost our hats during the trip. A man without his hat is a sad sad thing. Luckily, I did manage to procure another. Also luckily, I have more hair than the other Bob.

I met Vincent Massol, Stan Silvert and Julien Viet for the first time. I met Emmanual Bernard, Max Andersen, and a host of other JBossers yet again.

During the entire trip, I managed to get yelled at a lot (hat shopkeeper, hotel matron, inn keeper, bar maid) and had that Alecia Keys song injected into my skull everywhere I went.

Overall, a success!

Java and Waffles

06 December 2007

events java jbossorg opensource traveling

In about 24 hours I'll be jetting towards Antwerp, Belgium to attend JavaPolis. I'll also be meeting most of my team for the first time, as the development stars from Poland wing their way westward.

JBoss has a booth, and a bundle of core developers (and management) will either be attending or speaking.

Land of Cheese

21 September 2007

cheese day-job java jbossorg traveling

Picture 9.pngNo, not Wisconsin.

Nor the Happy Cows of California.

I'm heading to Switzerland next week.

Finally, I get to actually use Dopplr. I'm one of those remote-type web workers, so this international trip is chance for me to actually have some face-time with my boss.

"Stop by my office before you go home" doesn't work so well in a distributed company such as Red Hat.

JBoss at JavaOne 2007

02 May 2007

community events java jboss jbossorg traveling

Picture 5.png JavaOne is next week. Would you believe this is the first JavaOne I'll ever have attended?

Some of my colleagues have put together a page detailing JBoss's participation at the conference.

Speakers from JBoss include Gavin King and Emmanuel Bernard, Michael Yuan, Tom Baeyens and many others.

I'll be hanging out at Booth #1418 along with James and Mark from my team. We'll also be wandering the halls talking to anyone who looks like they need some opensource Java love.

Wednesday night, there's going to be a party at the Metreon. You'll need to go register.

Trip Report: TSSJS Vegas

24 March 2007

business community events jboss opensource traveling

tssjs_bob.jpg Just got back from Vegas, where I participated on a panel about opensource and business at TheServerSide Java Symposium. It involved five of us from businesses that were related to opensource in some form. It did not include Geir Magnusson, who apparently had better things to do.

Questions that Joe Ottinger and the audience threw at us ran the gamut from business strategy to licensing minutia. On the topic of how each contributes back to the community, JBoss, Interface21, and Liferay obviously employ developers, while SpikeSource primarily upstreams improvements, since they are basically just expert community members.

tssjs_dan.jpg I think an audience member brought up the idea of the company "holding documentation hostage" for paying customers. Most everyone agreed that ultimately it depends on what you view your business as. If a company holds its docs hostage, someone else will ultimately create some competing docs. It might be the community. It could be a book publisher, who is an expert in creating fantastic docs and holding them hostage until you pay the cover price. That's how O'Reilly, APress, Manning and other companies participate in opensource.

One audience question involved how to define success in an opensource company. Once again, we all seemed to violently agree that success is defined just as for any other company. Profit! It's a dirty but true secret. Companies try to make profits. Opensource is just a method of software development, not a complete business model.

tssjs_dion.jpg The issue of trademarks did arise. I'm not going to poke the bear here, but company counsel has replied on some of the other blogs out there.

On a different note, I finally got to meet Hani Suleiman, Ross Mason and Mike Cannon-Brookes in person. I ran into Dan Diephouse, Dion Almaer, Jonas Bon and Geert Bevin again.

Only lost $90 on the slots between me and my wife.

Promiscuous Networking

03 March 2007

network technology traveling

addhealth.gifThis has been an interesting week in terms of networking. Actual TCP/IP networking, that is. First, there's the normal jumping between the hotel and office networks. The hotel, nicely enough, was completely free. The office was also free, after entering what seemed to be an 480-character security key and avoiding the other 9 visible secure WAPs in the vicinity of my desk. One was at least amusingly named "Magical Monkeys".

I've spent the cost of a nice meal across 4 airport encounters for probably a sum total of 45 minutes online. Austin's WayPort network is at least cheaper than a day-pass on T-Mobile's in Dallas. Though, a single T-Mobile day-pass should in theory work in multiple airports over a single day, assuming they all have T-Mobile.

Once I finally got home, I discovered my wifi wasn't connecting. "Oh yeah," says the wife, "the internet's down."

Of course it is!

After a few reboots of the router, I notice that way too many lights are blinking. Not a good sign.

I think my house was built upon an ancient router burial ground. The router gods are angry at us for desecrating the 7 layers of buried networking equipment. I've somehow burned through no less than 5 routers in the past 18 months. The most recent D-Link has definitely been heartier than the previous four steaming piles bearing the Cisco name. But even it met its demise in a little less than 6 months.

A little creative re-cabling later, the MacBook is jacked straight into the DSL thing-a-ma-bob flinging PPPoE. And boy does it feel naked to not have a firewall between me and the interwebs. Thank jebus I'm on a Mac.

Firing up the Cisco VPN software exposes a fancy OSX/Intel/PPP bug with this specific version of the client. And Cisco, in its infinite wisdom, puts updates of the client software behind a password-protected site.

Cisco is not my favorite company today.

I finally have to head upstairs to basically climb the radio tower and see if a neighbor's WAP is visible. Alas, I'm now blazing along with 1 bar (27% signal), but at least the VPN works. If you're on a Mac, I can highly recommend iStumbler for locating connection opportunities.

Tomorrow, I'll be off to the store to buy another router to sacrifice to the networking gods. This one, perhaps I'll plug into the UPS.

Uncle Traveling Bob

23 February 2007

day-job java jboss traveling

mattpicture8we.jpg I'm going to be in Austin, Texas all next week for the Day Job. Seems like most folks I used to know in Austin have moved to Houston or other places. If you are in Austin, and particularly if you want to buy me some beers, let me know.

I don't know the area, but it seems I'll be near the Northwest District Park.