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Rising early for Linus

We had to deviate from our normal-so-far routine of staying up until 3 or 4 in the morning in order to get up in time to attend Linus Torvalds' keynote address at 9:30 a.m. at the Javits Center.

Linus Torvalds delivers his keynote address Wednesday morning.
We arrived at the Javits Center around 8:45 a.m. Chadd had to get a badge since his did not arrive in the mail to his home until after he had already left for New York. Once we got that taken care of, we headed down and got in line for the keynote address. The line seemed pretty long when we arrived, but it probably for three to four times longer by the time they finally opened the doors to let everyone in. We still got second row seats and a good place to videotape the address from.

Linus's speech talked about people's fears of fragmentation among the Linux community- something which has happened in the traditional Unix community. While Linus pointed out several kinds of fragmentation which can be negative influences on Linux, he tried to explain how fragmentation could be a good thing for Linux. Linus explained that Linux's modularity means it can be used for supercomputers and devices which are so small they don't even resemble computers. This kind of fragmentation, he says, is an asset to the Linux.

Linus said the version 2.4 kernel is due out in the next few months and it will be approximately 18 months after the release of the 2.2 kernel which puts it on a far more aggressive schedule than 2.2 was on.

Some of the planned features of 2.4 include scalability to 8 CPUs, support for up to 16 GB of RAM, and support for accelerated 3D video. Linus also acknowledged that benchmark tests like the ... have considerably motivated the kernel developers to improve the performance.

Into the Expo

The side of a paper bag given to expo attendees by LinuxCare.
The Expo this year is larger than ever. Hundreds of companies and organizations attended. The e-mail gardens were a much needed improvement over the Spring 1999 LWCE where there were lines 4 or 5 people deep waiting to get a terminal to read e-mail.

SGI had a huge booth this year, as did IBM.

I noticed right away that Red Hat's booth was a big disappointment to me. While other distribution vendors were alive with energy, Red Hat's booth seemed, empty and devoid of life.

The Slashdot booth, of course, was always full of energy.

The scariest booth had to be Tarantella. I was too frightened by their Village People impersonators to approach their booth and find out what "My T-A-A" stood for.


Doran and Linus Torvalds pose for a photo at the Wednesday night party.

Compaq, IDG, LinuxCare, and threw a big party at the Javits Center Wednesday night from 6 until 10 p.m. full with free food and drinks, free arcade games, pool, foosball, and air hockey tables, and funky lighting and music.

The food included tacos, pizza, and chinese. The drink selection included soda pop, beer, wines, and bottled water.

These parties are great because it lets you get one-on-one with some of the key members of the community. Several attendees took advantage of this and played a round of pool with Linus Torvalds. Others just hung out in the Guru Lounge (which should have been named the Guru-Wannabe Lounge because nobody who was hanging out in there was was anyone you would know).