Thursday, March 01, 2007

PyCon all up in my veins

First off.... Yes, yes, I know I don't update blogs consistently. I haven't had a bunch to say on the "trekking" angle for a bit, what with Winter & all. But all that's a-changin'....

I drove off to PyCon 2007 in Dallas, TX (right down the road from where I was born a life time ago) and crashed at the Marriott Quorum to see what other Python junkies look like. (More attractive than average, I found to my complete surprise!)

I went with a simple plan:

  • I took no computers, no books, and nothing that could seriously distract me from the actual conference & general having of a good time.
  • I sought out volunteer opportunities, and did a few hours as a session chair Friday. This turned out to be a great idea, a chance to meet some really cool people and help them get through some public speaking without having to worry about anything but the presentation.
  • I gave away to random attendees these spiffy little credit card sized multitools with my name & a link to a website I'm putting up soon. People love multitools, and I love seeing the looks on people's faces when they get one gratis & unexpectedly.
  • I figure I at least briefly talked to a significant percentage of the people in attendance, if only to be friendly while in the elevator.
  • I also attended various talks & hit the jython BoF. I aim to try to help that project out any way I can, and tried to get a feel for the current state of things. By the looks of things, if nothing else, I can write documentation.

I made the trek in a rental Pontiac Grand Prix, arriving in Dallas after dark, which translated to an additional four hours of driving lost in a clusterf!ck that frankly John Crichton would've had trouble navigating.

By the time I arrived at the Springhill (because the Marriott bumped my roommates & me at the last minute, forcing us to crash in one hotel for the night & live out of the car for most of the next day in a limbo state of sorts), I swore that once I left, I'd never step foot in Dallas again.

Once I was at PyCon, I was over it in about 15 seconds. heh

One of the first talks was Visual Python in Computational Physics, presented by some students at the University of Dallas and their professor Dr. Richard P Olenick. This was, without question, one of the coolest things I've seen sober. Whoever hires these guys when they graduate is in for a treat.

In between conference rates & a couple of roommates, having a bed to sleep in turned out to be one of my more reasonable expenses during the trip. The roommates thing worked out pretty well, and as they'd bought new Macbooks (one the day before he arrived, and the other a full two days before), they were able to entertain themselves! ;)

As for my own entertainment, I talked, ate, and drank with lots of random people, and the local night life proved ample. Fortunately, an old friend from back in the day called me up to show me how the locals party Friday night, and my nose for food & conversation took care of the rest.

I recently found myself nailed to the floor by acute bronchitis, so my body wasn't all the way back in prime, which makes for a hard trek. In between that & the weather, my conference experience included no golf. :(

I've got more to blog about later, but all in good time....

1 comment:

Carl said...

My wife had a hard time with getting around in Dallas - sounds like she's not the only one.

We had that my work pick up that was parked it the Quorum lot (the muddy one with the buggy whip and obnoxious back up alarm - I forgot to take them off before the trip). The size of the thing made it even more difficult driving in the city. I just stayed at the hotel and took in as much of the conference as I could.

I saw the Visual Python talk too and listed it as one of my 5 favorites on the eval form. Killer stuff, even if you don't know all the math behind it.

The conference was definitely cool.