Moving and Shaking

It’s been pretty hard to get steady internet access to write and post this entry but I’ve finally landed in Boston, on Week 2 of the tour and I have working wi-fi, so here goes.

Everything has been going phenomenally!!  Everything kicked off last week at Carnegie-Mellon.  CMU was a very gracious host and I got to meet many of the faculty and staff and we spoke about various topics, of course including Open Source and Linux.  The students at CMU were very eager for the talk and packed the room and it went off very well.  Not bad for the first time.  Yankee, who is at PITT also stopped by and helped me throughout the day as well with answering some of the questions.

Next stop was U of Penn.  I spent much of the day talking to some faculty members and people from the career services office.  Career services found Linux and Open Source to be very intriguing.  The university uses mostly SuSe, I guess because it is a hold over from their Novell NetWare days.  The IT staff really do love Red Hat and Fedora though, a number of the guys were running Fedora on their laptops.  The actual talk was moved from Engineering to Wharton (business school) because of some trouble scheduling and the turnout was rather low early on due to many people being confused.  More people trickled in during the talk and we had a great Q&A session for about an hour and a half afterwards.

Last Thursday I was at Cornell and that was very interesting.  Cornell is already working on several large scale Open Source projects, a number of which they hope to get into the kernel.  I spent the morning with Dr. Tardos, Dean of Computer Science, along with some other faculty talking about how we could possibly further help them with their research and getting integrated into the kernel community.  The afternoon was spent with the research faculty talking about all sorts of interesting projects.  There is alot of research going on at Cornell that will greatly benefit the Open Source community.  My presentation was a little later in the evening, but it went well to a very packed house and I stuck around for about 2 hours afterwards talking to many of the students and faculty about the talk itself and a few other geeky topics.

Friday was a sort of homecoming for me.  I was back in Syracuse at Syracuse University and spent a large portion of the day talking to faculty about how we can go about building Open Source methodology and concepts into a modern CS/CE curriculum and many ideas came out of that meeting.  I hope to put some notes up, once we solidify something with them.  The talk at SU was actually in the middle of both sets of meetings and it was absolutely an extremely packed house.  Many members of the faculty attended, as well as James Howison, who is doing alot of research about the Open Source community.  I was told that many of the student groups canceled their meetings, which are on friday, in order to be able to attend.  It was a great turnout and I pumped up the talk a bit and it was amazing!!  The presentation was taped and someone at SU is currently digitizing it, I hope to be able to post it up here once its done.

Yesterday, I got to visit the Computer Science House at Rochester Institute of Technology, Luke’s Alma Mater.  The talk started at 9pm due to a delay in pizza delivery, but in the meanwhile I got to take a tour of CSH and see all the cool stuff they have there and a sneek peak at all the projects they are working on.  All I can say is, WOW, that was amazing.  I won’t get into too much detail, but all you need to know is everything on the floor there is in the process of being hacked.  It was like walking into an issue of Make Magazine.  Once the food arrived and everyone was fed, I gave the talk in the CSH meeting room, packed to the brim!!! It was really cool, in a really informal setting and as a result everyone was very very relaxed.  I finally got back from CSH at like 1am because of the ongoing conversations afterwards and so many kids who were so interested in Fedora and Linux in general.

As for today, well I’m sitting in the conference room at Boston University’s schoo of engineering.  Show time is in 15 minutes.  I should have steady internet this whole week, so I’ll post up some more thoughts about my conversation with the students later tonight or tomorrow.  Really fascinating stuff.  Need to run and set up the projector now though!  I’m cutting it close!

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