Brainshare Sunday night

Sunday night is Brainshare's welcome party. Novell puts on a pretty good bash (though nothing to match Wednesday) to welcome people to the conference. This year the party theme was 'nightclub'. They had a beefy bouncer at the front who was 'looking' at people's 'ID', lasers, glow sticks, and fog. The band was a cover band that was doing a pretty good job. Other attractions included a Laser Tag arena (inflatable), archaic arcade games (Asteroids, PacMan, Donkey Kong, etc), and as open a bar as Utah's liquor laws permit. Plus, food. This is the Sunday Dinner.

The food had a nice variety. The theme, such as there was one, seemed to be Asian influenced. They had the standard cold-cut tray for those of us who aren't even close to adventurous when it comes to food. They do get points for offering sushi at the buffet. They also had a smoked salmon that was pretty good, though I begin to suspect I may have a Thing against chemical smoke. Gosh, I hope not.

Overall the crowd is looking a bit younger than it was when I was here in 2001. Since then Novell purchased SuSe and has delved deeply into the land of Linux. This has had the effect of dropping the average age of Brainshare attendees a year or two. This is good. Also, I suspect that if you lined up all the people with long hair on the stage, there would be a 50/50 split between the men and the women; this is the double-whammy of a 80/20 men/women ratio and a much higher per-capita incidence of long hair in linux-geekdom.

Not a lot of content yet, though the vendor hall was open for business. One thing that caught my eye is that SyncSort is a Platinum sponsor and Veritas isn't even here officially. I know one fairly high-up Veritas guy who is here, but I suspect that isn't in a 'sell our stuff' mode, and more of a 'keep up with what's happening' mode. Unknown if this is a side-effect of the Symantec merger.

I did find one odd thing this afternoon:

eth0 IEEE 802.11-DS ESSID:"FBI-Trace-BS4U" Nickname:"mark"

Strangely, when my wireless card found this particular access-point, I could still get to the network. I also had a private address instead of the Brainshare network's address. Laura Chappel playing with our heads? Some funny guy? Or really the FBI? Who knows. All I know was that I was tunneling my HTTP through SSH at the time, and am probably safe for a few days.

Another thing I noticed from last time is that HP/Compaq is not the exclusive hardware vendor. I've seen both Dell, IBM, and what looks like whiteboxes here. INteresting.