Brian "Krow" Aker (krow) wrote,
Brian "Krow" Aker

Thoughts on Foocamp

I was just reading Tim's comments on Foo Camp.

Unless you saw me on the last day of Foo Camp, you wouldn't have seen
me with a laptop at all. I made a point of leaving it in the trunk of
the rental car.


When I have it, I use it. This means that I don't pay 100% attention
to the room. Sometimes this is ok, I multitask well, but I wanted to
see how this changed my interactions with people. One thing that
didn't happen was that I didn't race off and write code at the drop
of a hat. Normally at these events I find some interesting idea and
just write it up quickly (yeah... this is how I do note taking for
projects... I write prototypes).

Instead? I used my cell phone. I wrote my notes in it. Not great, but
it worked. The adventure at FooCamp is pushing me to consider buying
a Nokia 800. I can look up stuff on it, but I can't really program on
it which would be just fine. My phone also makes for an easy
communication device, text messaging, but not enough people text
message me so its not completely distracting.

What did I notice? Twitter and a number of other companies are all
building Queue based engines. Some of these were originally based on
MySQL (which is a horrible idea...), but all of the sites needing one
of these just wrote their own. There was a long discussion at one
talk on the ubiquity of MySQL with web technologists.

EC2 and S3 were big crowd draws. The audiences for both of these were
surprising. The Firefox extension for EC2 is amazing. I'll be
blogging about that more in the future. Storage in general is a
problem for people, and the favorite solution is "buy more machines".
Big SAN devices are not in vogue. From conversations it looks like
capacity is not meeting the current demand for virtual servers.

I was surprised from a conversation with Tim that books on PThreads
are not on the upswing. Issues around multi-core chips right now are
a bit of an obsession of mine, and I suspect that this has not dawned
on enough people yet. I spoke to a few different people who are
working on problems in this space, but it was not a strong
undercurrent of conversation. I am waiting for a language to appear
that will be "good enough" and will solve threading issues, much like
how Perl and Python solved the weakly typed/memory management
language problem we had more then a decade ago.

Spent an hour one evening learning Poi. I've now ordered one of the
Poi toys from FlowToys :)

I met a number of people from Seattle that I am hoping to connect
with again. While I live in this city, I rarely venture far enough
from my own social groups. The MySQL meetups are about it for Geek
Events that I attend in Seattle (and while we do talk about MySQL...
we talk about Asterisk, MythTV, and open source projects in general).

On Sunday I traded access to a printer to one of O'Reilly's
datawarehousing developers. ROLLUP folks, it is amazing. Too few
people know that MySQL can do it.

The hallway track was excellent, and the wine was good as well :)
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