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Ottawa Linux Symposium 2001

July 30, 2001
J. Corbet, F. Cook

In many ways, this year's Ottawa Linux Symposium looks much like last year's event. It's in the same place, with a similar schedule of seriously technical talks mostly oriented around the kernel and GNOME. But the differences jump out after a short time. Many companies who were here in force last year - Corel, Zero Knowledge, VA Linux - have much reduced attendance (or zero attendance) this year. And a number of the more prominent speakers from last year (David Miller, Alan Cox) are not around.

There is also a distinct reduction in the availability of free beer; fewer companies seem to feel they can afford to throw a party for the attendees this time around. [Artsy Ottawa photo]

OLS remains a high-quality event, however, with many interesting speakers and topics. It is one of the definitive, development-oriented conferences for Linux and free software. And Ottawa is still a fun place for a conference.

Here's our impressions from the event:


There were only minor glitches in getting the wireless networking going this time around; evidently the DHCP server didn't want to cooperate at the beginning. Wireless networking is great; every conference should offer it. Now if they would only figure out how to offer wireless power as well. OLS attendees came equipped with an impressive collection of plug strips and extension cords. Everybody who needed to was able to plug in, but the incredible mass of wires around the (few) power outlets presented a serious hazard to any unwary person who happened to walk by.



One has to appreciate a conference that doesn't start until 10:30 in the morning. These folks understand their attendees...



The conference wound down with the giveaway of several Agenda PDA systems. The contest must have been rigged, however, since your correspondents failed to win one. [Monkey Munchies]

The real closing, of course, was the party kindly hosted by Ximian at the Black Thorn that evening. Free Beer of great quality was much in abundance, as were bananas and silly giveaways in general. A good time was had by all; when your correspondents stumbled out (almost 1:00 AM), things were still going strong. Some rather tired, incoherent-looking OLS attendees were seen in the airport the next morning...

For those who are interested, here's the contents of the proceedings CD that was distributed at the conference. Most of the conference presentation slides are there, in (unencrypted) PDF format.

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