LJ Archive

Lunacy Floats

Doc Searls

Issue #84, April 2001

Doc announces the October 2001 Geek Cruise.

What's 750 feet long, weighs more than 50,000 tons, floats on blue Caribbean water and has an IQ upwards of 190,000 that will only get higher by hanging out with itself for a week?

Try the Linux Lunacy 2001 cruise, which sails October 21-27. Copresented by GeekCruises.com and Linux Journal, Linux Lunacy will cruise between ports in the Bahamas, the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico in a Holland America ship featuring ten passenger decks and educational sessions on programming, languages, tools and issues ranging across free and open-source development cultures, privacy, hacker politics, ham radio and troubleshooting IT projects—among many other things.

Leading these sessions is an all-star cast of Linux Luminaries (and leading lunatics):

  • Richard Stallman—the world's leading authority on Free Software, a distinction he earned as founder of the GNU Project and author of its leading works, including GNU C compiler, Emacs, GDB and other tools that went into building what we call GNU/Linux, along with much of the common computing infrastructure we all enjoy today. His work has been recognized by Grace Hopper and MacArthur Foundation awards, among many other honors. Richard will teach classes on Emacs Lisp Programming and Emacs editing.

  • Eric S. Raymond—self-described hacker and anthropologist who studied the Hacker tribe for a decade and a half before achieving notoriety for his speaking and writing, which have together made him the prime figure in the Open Source movement. His best-known work is The Cathedral and the Bazaar, the influential paper that became an influential O'Reilly book by the same name. That book combined a series of papers that serve as the canon for the Open Source movement. A cofounder of the Open Source Initiative, Eric's name is also on the spine of The Hacker's Dictionary, now in its third edition. Eric will speak on “Twenty Years among the Hackers”.

  • Guido van Rossum—the creator of Python, an open-source scripting language that is exploding in popularity. Guido created Python in the early 1990s at CWI in Amsterdam and still leads development of the language. He moved to the US in 1995 and now works for Digital Creations, makers of Zope, the open-source web application platform that is written in Python. At Digital Creations he is director of PythonLabs, the core Python development group. Guido will teach a half-day introduction to Python.

  • Bruce Perens is a major GNU/Linux developer, cofounder of the Linux Capital Group, cofounder of the Open Source Initiative, and founder of the Linux Standard Base among many other distinctions. Bruce will teach classes on Debian development and speak on subjects ranging from “Hacking Politics” to the “Economy with Free Software” to venture capital and ham radio.

  • Jon “Maddog” Hall—the executive director of Linux International, the leading nonprofit organization promoting the use of Linux. His work with LI has been funded since 1999 by VA Linux Systems. As a familiar figure in the Linux community, Maddog is perhaps second only to Linus Torvalds himself (in fact he is godfather to Linus' children). As a Linux veteran, Maddog has a history that goes back through Compaq to Digital Equipment Corporation to IBM to Bell Laboratories' UNIX group. Among many other achievements, Maddog was directly responsible for the port of Linux to the Alpha processor. Maddog will speak on “Linux in Education” and “Task-Orientation: Where Linux Falls Down”.

  • Art Tyde is cofounder and CEO of LinuxCare, the leading Linux service and support provider. He was president of the Bay Area Linux Users Group (BALUG) when he founded LinuxCare with fellow BALUGer Dave Sifry (and he's still the president there). Art is a corporate information systems veteran and IT disaster planning and recovery expert who will be giving a half-day “Introduction to SAMBA”.

  • Dave Sifry is cofounder, CTO and VP of Engineering for LinuxCare, the company he founded with Art Tyde when both were leading Linux lunatics at BALUG. An authority on open-source development, Dave is still vice president of BALUG and serves on the board of Linux International. Dave will give a keynote speech on “The Future of Open Source”.

  • Barbee Davis is one of the leading authorities on project management, owner of Davis Consulting and ExecuTrain and coauthor of Macmillan's How to Learn Microsoft Project 2000 in 24 Hours. A certified project management professional (PMP) and a veteran of countless major IT projects, Barbee has had an impressive career working with corporations ranging in size from IBM on down to the five new enterprises she nurtured from concept to completion, winning numerous awards along the way. Barbee will give a full-day session on “Why 90% of All IT Projects Fail—and What To Do about It?”.

  • Randal L. Schwartz—one of the world's leading authorities on Perl. He coauthored the must-have standard texts on the subject: Programming Perl, Learning Perl, Learning Perl for Win32 Systems and Effective Perl Programming. He is also a columnist for WebTechniques and UnixReview magazines. His company is Stonehenge Consulting Services, Inc., which he has owned and operated since 1985. Randal will teach a full day of “Learning Perl”.

  • Simson L. Garfinkel is chief scientist at Broadband2Wireless and chief technology officer at Sandstorm Enterprises, a computer security company that develops offensive information warfare tools used to probe the security of computer systems and test defenses. Simson is also a veteran journalist whose byline has appeared in The Boston Globe, The San Jose Mercury News, The Christian Science Monitor, Technology Review Magazine, ComputerWorld, Forbes, The New York Times, Omni, Discover and WIRED, where he was a founding contributor. He is also the author or coauthor of nine books, the most recent of which is Database Nation: The Death of Privacy in the 21st Century. Simson will speak on privacy and data encryption.

  • Michael K. Johnson—has been working with Linux since Linux kernel version 0.02 was released. He has contributed to the kernel, utilities, toolkits, applications and documentation and is the coauthor of Linux Application Development, published by Addison-Wesley. He helped build Red Hat Linux as a developer for several years and is now Red Hat's manager of kernel engineering. He is also a private pilot, voracious reader and small-time tool aficionado.

  • Reuven M. Lerner—has been writing the popular “At the Forge” column for Linux Journal for over five years and published the first newspaper on the Web just after graduating from MIT. Named a “Web pioneer” by publisher O'Reilly and Associates, Reuven now runs a consulting company specializing in the creation of database-backed web sites that use a wide variety of open-source operating systems, utilities, databases and programming languages. Reuven lives halfway between Jerusalem and Tel-Aviv, in Modi'in, known as Israel's “city of the future”. Reuven will conduct a half-day “Application Server Shoot-Out”.

  • Steve Roberts—was driven by “a combination of chronic restlessness and midwestern torpor” into a “technomadic life”. That was when, to the horror of friends and family, he sold his suburban house, moved to a recumbent bicycle and began a 17,000-mile bicycle trip around the US—stopping now and again to write books about the adventure or rebuild the substrate. The third version of the bike, “Behemoth”, sported 72 watts of solar panels, a network of on-board computers with handlebar chord keyboard and head mouse, heads-up display, satellite Internet link, 105 speeds, ham shack and other goodies. By 1993, he was at work on the bike's aquatic successor, the Microship, which is based on a pair of canoe-scale amphibian pedal/solar/sail micro-trimarans with on-board Linux servers, live telemetry to a public server, video production tools, a complete suite of communications resources, deployable landing gear and 480 watts of peak-power tracked solar panels per boatlet, among other things. Steve will give a “Canoe's Not UNIX” talk and participate in various BOF (Birds of a Feather) sessions.

  • Michael “Monty” Widenius (like Linus, a Swedish-speaking Finn)--has been working with databases since 1978. He has been employed by and is part owner of TCX since 1981 and has written all of UNIREG (the predecessor to MySQL) and most of the MySQL server. He has studied physics at the Helsinki University of Technology but is mostly self-taught in BASIC, Assembler, C, LISP, Perl, SQL and C++; he is always willing to look at new languages when he gets the time. Monty will be speaking on “History and Introduction to MySQL”.

  • Doc Searls (yours truly)--senior editor of Linux Journal (being the oldest on the editorial staff) and of its new sister publication Embedded Linux Journal. He's also coauthor of The Cluetrain Manifesto, a New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Business Week best-seller. His byline has also appeared in OMNI, PC Magazine, The Globe and Mail, Upside and WIRED, among many other publications. At Linux Journal he obsesses out loud on issues of business, infrastructure-building and all the ways commerce and geekery get along without ever knowing it. He'll be speaking on one or more of those subjects.

And then there are the rest of the lunatics who sign up.

The number of technical sessions totals more than 30, plus there will be countless opportunities just to hang out, talk and have both geeky and other kinds of fun.

The conference fee is $750 but goes up to $875 after July 15, 2001 and includes all courses, course materials and the Bon Voyage and Wizards Cocktail Parties. Spouses and guests are welcome to join in the entertainment.

Doc Searls is senior editor of Linux Journal and a coauthor of The Cluetrain Manifesto.

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