scale12xDecompression can be a killer. A thousand pardons for taking so long to post about it, but the Southern California Linux Expo SCALE 12X was nothing short of fantastic on a variety of levels.

No, that’s not hyperbole.

Lawrence Lessig absolutely nailed it in the Friday night keynote. Don’t take my word for it — watch the keynote on the SCALE 12X site here. Also, Lessig is going to need a little help fixing the government, so if you’re so inclined just send an email to SCALE@lessig.org with a description of the sort of commitment/skills you can offer, and if helpful, a description of your background.

The rest was, frankly, a well-choreographed blur of 90 or so talks over three days, punctuated by two days of exhibits with around 100 exhibitors and whirlwind of volunteers who rhetorically knocked it out of the park.

If you were there and want to relate your experience, go for it in the comments.

The CrunchBang Birds of a Feather meetup went remarkably well, with about 25 attendees coming to hear about Waldorf and with a lively discussion about #! following. Mario Burgos, who had been the sole volunteer to staff a booth that we unfortunately surrendered (it wouldn’t be fair to stick Mario in the booth by himself for the entire show), was incredibly helpful during the course of the BoF by outlining his experiences with CrunchBang. I am hoping I can get some help with a CrunchBang booth at Linux Fest Northwest in April — I will be staffing it and I would welcome any volunteers. Anyone in the Pacific Northwest going?

But back to the “knocking it out of the park” thing, it inspires complete and utter awe how much this show improves every year. It all boils down to one question.

What makes a great show like SCALE 12X?

Everyone: The volunteers, the staff, the speakers, the exhibitors and the sponsors. But most importantly, the attendees tie the ribbon on a fantastic expo, making it the complete and wonderful package it is.

The final tally: There was an uptick of roughly 10 percent in registrations for SCALE 12X, with a new record number of people enjoying three days of presentations, workshops and exhibits.

It was great to see old friends and to meet those I have talked to on numerous occasions but finally got to meet in person: Leslie Hawthorn, whose outstanding keynote was SRO, and Steven Rosenberg of the L.A. Daily News, who gave us a pre-show story in the Daily News’ constellation of Southern California publications.

[Yes, I compared SCALE 12X to the Daytona 500 in that article — an afterthought that the press picked up (shame on me — I should know better). But the comparison is a valid one: Like NASCAR holding its biggest race first, so FOSS also holds its most important event at the beginning of the year.]

As the publicity chair, the Publicity Team fired on all cylinders for the entire weekend: Hannah Anderson, who handled social media and floor interview duties as if she was born to do these things, kept everyone informed, and a team of photographers and videographers — Dennis Rex, Michelle Klein-Hass, Sam Is, and Sean McCabe — kept the photos and videos flowing throughout the show.

Graphics: Mike Hamanaka and Josh Adler did a fantastic job in the graphics department — Mike with the signage, badges and stickers, and Josh with the publications and T-shirt design. I got a lot of comments on these during the course of the show and it bears special mention.

Again, I would stress that if anyone has any of their own tales of SCALE 12X they’d like to share, please post them in the comments. As for me, I was stuck marshalling the media forces in the press room for a better part of the show and I got most news second- and third-hand, so some first-hand accounts would be appreciated.

ZaReason at SCALE 12X: As I mentioned previously, ZaReason gave me an UltraLap 440 to review right around the time SCALE 12X was happening, so the laptop got a baptism by fire, sort of, at the show. I am still in the process of giving it a month-long, long-term road test, so to speak, with CrunchBang being one of the distros I’m testing on it. I should point out that at the show, the laptop performed flawlessly as my main machine. More on this will be detailed in an upcoming review.

One more thing
: Some of the more astute CrunchBangers may have noticed my absence in the CrunchBang forums as of late. Much of this had to do with the advent of SCALE 12X, but I seem to have been thrown a curveball in my career over the last few months — without going into much detail but giving more info as not to “vaguebook” — that has made my job as a wire news editor at the newspaper for which I work “obsolete.” The long and short of it is it appears that with trends in the media field being what they are, my 37-year career as a journalist is coming to a close. The flip side is that, under the right conditions and with an astute firm having the wisdom to hire me, my tech career is beginning; all of which is to say that over the past few months I have been seeking a job, which takes away from other activities like being a mod on the forums. The good news for most (or bad news for some) is that this is temporary and I will be back once I get this straightened out.

Creative Commons License
Larry the CrunchBang Guy and all other blogs by Larry Cafiero are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

(Larry Cafiero is one of the founders of the Lindependence Project and develops business software at Redwood Digital Research, a consultancy that provides FOSS solutions in the small business and home office environment.)

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