Saturday, February 10, 2007

SCALE 5x, Day 1+1

Went to SoCal Linux Expo, Day 1 today. The first thing I noticed - and kept noticing the same thing over and over throughout the day in various presentation sessions as well as on the show floor - was the proliferation of Mac laptops.

In fact, I think there were more Mac laptops than any other single model of laptop. In all there were more non-Apple laptops (HP+IBM+Dell) than Apple, but not by much. And if you consider that those non-Apple machines were running some version of Linux, usually Ubuntu (or, in a few cases, Windows), while most of the Macs were actually running OSX, then there was more OSX in general than any other OS.

I went to SCALE 4x last year, and 2x two years before that. At 2x I think I saw 2 Macs, and one was an old TiBook that was running Debian. Last year at 4x there were a few more, but nothing like this year. And just as significantly as the hardware was the OS. And a number of the people were actually presenters who were presenting to a crowd of (supposedly) Linux people using OSX and Keynote. And there was not a peep from the audience. Not a single word or sound of complaint. The OS was accepted as a "fellow traveler" as it were.

Most interestingly were these two.

Jean T. Anderson, a committer on the Apache Derby project was presenting "How to Particpate at the ASF" from her MBP. Now, she actually flipped from OSX into Parallels where she was running Linux and then presented from Open Office's presenter program. But for the entire :90 minutes of the presentation preceding I watched her working furiously on something, and that was in OSX. She actually went to the podium and attached her machine in OSX, and then flipped over to Parallels. (That got an "ooh, aah!" from some of the crowd.)

Today I saw Patrick McGovern present "Leveraging the IT Community", which was really a presentation about his company's very cool server/network monitoring application. The company and the application are both called Splunk. He presented this server monitoring application (actually it is a server log search application) from his Mac laptop and from Keynote. He used some cool transitions (though the basic template was rather plain, and the content was heavy on words and light on graphic enhancements). But again, the audience didn't even peep.

I've been reading that the *nix IT community has more and more been taking to OSX, but this was the first time I got to see it up close and personal. I guess I have to admit to feeling some personal vindication and validation of my choice of preferred OS. And there's no question that while OSX has been moving more toward the *nix community, it's also true that the community has been expanding to include OSX as a member of the common platform.

More later about Day 1 and Day 1+1 and the presentations and exhibits. Of course tomorrow is Day 2 and I'll be going to that too. Will see how much I can actually get posted up.