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OSCON days 0 and 1
by Kevin "kj" Woolley

Kevin "kj" Woolley, July 27, 2006

Got to Portland yesterday (Tuesday), got the booth set up, went to the Tuesday night event, and slept. The Tuesday night event was pretty good. I got there a bit before Larry Wall took the stage. I'd been wanting to...

Got to Portland yesterday (Tuesday), got the booth set up, went to the Tuesday night event, and slept.

The Tuesday night event was pretty good. I got there a bit before Larry Wall took the stage. I'd been wanting to see a State of the Onion talk (rather than just read them afterwards), and it was great -- many a chuckle. The White Camel awards were good, and Kathy Sierra's talk on Cognitive Seduction was excellent. Damien Conway's talk (The Da Vinci Codebase) was amusing, but I couldn't totally get into it.

Today brought three sessions, all of which got me in the mood to code. The first was Jim Weirich's Test-Driven Design Meets Design By Contract. Second was Deploying Rails with Capistrano by Mike Clark. Extending Ruby with C by Garrett Rooney finished off the day.

The balance of the day was spent helping at the booth. This was my first time on the vendor side of the booth, and it was pretty interesting. I worked in technical sales for a while when I lived up north, and I found myself relying a lot on skills I learned there -- the primary one being going into what I call "sales mode".

When I'm in sales mode I tend towards being extroverted, friendly, and helpful. I also completely lose track of who I've talked to. Sometimes I even lose track of who it is I'm talking to. Today was one of those days.

The afternoon was pretty busy at the booth, and I was fielding questions about just about everything. Most of the questions were in the vein of "What is Komodo?" and "So, what do you guys do?" One gentleman came up to me and surprised me somewhat.

Warning: The following conversation is approximate. The funny part is accurate, though.

Him: So, I hear... Some squabble about PerlApp. The output files are 30 megabytes or something like that on Windows.

Me: Wow. I haven't heard that one. I've never heard of one that big. I think the biggest I've seen was 19-point-something megs, and that included a heap of DLLs and graphics for the UI -- it was a pretty complex app from one of our enterprise customers.

Him: Oh. So it's only about 20 megabytes.

Me: It depends -- Hello World weighs in at about 3.5 or 4 megabytes, but that includes the Unicode modules and translation tables. If you're sure you don't need those you can trim them out, and if I remember correctly, that takes the size down to 2 or 2.5 megs. So that's really where you start.

[short conversation on PerlApp's module inclusion strategy omitted]

Him: So 20 megabytes is pretty much what you can expect.

Me: Yup, that's a pretty darn big app, too.

Him: So you won't hit 30 megabytes?

Me: No, not unless you're reimplementing Emacs or something like that.

We both had a good laugh, and the gentleman took his leave.

A short time later I was walking through the halls near the exhibition hall, and saw the OSCON Portraits bulletin board. It was then that I realised something that should have been obvious all along.

I'm pretty sure I had been talking to RMS.

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kj is ActiveState’s Systems Administrator. He was born in London, Ontario, grew up in North Vancouver, and spent several years in the Northwest Territories doing technical sales. As a technical infrastructure specialist, he brings over twenty years of systems administration experience to ActiveState.

Comments

2 comments for OSCON days 0 and 1
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HaHa, I had a hearty laugh at this one. Good article. Sometimes some misunderstandings in life give birth to funny situations and bring a smile to everyone's lips.

Raj
temporary jobs London and the UK

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Hi,
The author has done a great work. I appreciate his work.

KIM

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