And so I’m

back, from outer space. Or at least Salt Lake City, where I had the privilege to visit Novell’s annual BrainShare conference. Not only did I visit it, but I presented two sessions, attended every evening shindig and sat the CLE9 exam (which I failed, just). To say it was an exhausting experience is a slight understatement. After coming home to Manchester on the red eye from JFK, I expected to be able to resume normal operations straight away, albeit with some slight fatigue thrown in. Man, how I was wrong! It’s hard to put your finger on the phenomenon, but I think owing to sheer exhaustion from throwing myself into the event and the 17hr journey home with all the loving that the TSA give you at airport security, it’s taken me the best part of two weeks to feel like my old self again.

Speaking of the TSA, nice of you to treat all passengers equally, especially at JFK. What I mean by that is that you treat all passengers, regardless of age, as a total criminal. It’s a nice feeling, especially for those of an elderly age who have enough trouble getting shoes and belts off to walk through the metal detector. I know 9/11 was a bad thing, but I do sometimes wonder if the Bush administration took this as a green light to bestow draconian measures on the travelling public.

Anyway, SLC itself is a nice place, surrounded by the most amazing mountain views. A blog entry can’t do adequate justice do describing what it’s like, you just have to try it yourself. And no, you don’t get assaulted by Mormons on every street corner (far and away the #1 I have been asked since I returned) and no, they don’t wear badges or try and tap you up to convert. For the record, I don’t believe in God and you are wasting your time trying. I posted pictures from the event at my Flickr stream. Sadly I think that owing to internal restructuring at work, I’ll never be at this event again, at least presuming I stay with my current employer.

The event itself was again more Linux, which was co-incidentally what my sessions were about. If you happened to be reading this and you came along, thanks for your support! Hopefully you gave me a fantastic review, even if you didn’t mean it! 😉 I got back and immediately got cracking with XEN virtualisation, building my first XEN-ed server in no time (SLES10 on SLES10) and I do believe from what I’ve heard that as well as identity management, server virtualisation skills are the way to go in future.

It’s already occurred to me that in order to sell this as a solution at work, I have some “hearts and minds” work to do with colleagues. This was brought home with informal conversations with colleagues and their superiors. The good news is that I see a lot more GroupWise on Linux this summer, provided the server replacement fund is allocated.

Away from BrainShare, I’ve bought a PS3! I know they are expensive, but I had a bit of extra money and I thought, why not? It’s not like a have a social life to speak of! I wasn’t sure if the games were region free, so I went to BestBuy, out in the SLC suburbs to check out what was available. In the end, I bought MotorStorm, Ridge Racer 7 and an extra controller. Along with a DS game, it came to around $220, which is about £120. The point here is that is considerably less than what I would have paid in the UK, where we continue to be right royally ripped off by everyone. Even Bill Gates’ notion on the dollar to pounds conversion (like for like – $200 equals £200) seems hard to explain. Thankfully I won’t be buying Windows Vista while I have a hole in my arse.

What else is new? Too much for me to cover now, and my fingers are very cold, so not much typing here I don’t think. Maybe next time!

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