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LISA trip report for Thursday

Another good day of LISA with some extra sightseeing this morning. With all of the extra BoF hours last night and this evening, I took a break this morning. There were no sessions that I had any real interest in and several friends wanted to go to the International Spy Museum near Chinatown. We spent a few hours going through the museum and had a great time. They charge $15 (it's private), but it's worth it. I know my nephew would have loved it. It put on display how spying was conducted going way back from early models of bugs to modern times. They had videos and tools used to pick locks. Several interactive computers were around too. There are a lot of details here and too much to spell it all out here.

After the museum we were starved. ted_badger suggested hitting a burger joint nearby called "Five Guys, Famous Burgers". The small restaurant was completely packed with people and a long line. We got lucky and manley1 found us (ocelot_flavored and ted_badger) a table. That was definitely one of the best burgers we've had! The fries (also cut fresh at the restaurant) were the best and were hot. Apparently they have quite the reputation for excellent burgers.

From 1830-2030 was the USENIX Reception. They provided a carnival atmosphere and had all kinds of food available. Finally got to spend some time with ljtourist and catch up with him. After that I went to visit the Google vendor BoF for some ice cream, but it was terribly crowded and no real Google folks to be found to talk to. It was really hot in the room too with so many people.

First afternoon session was for the "Guru Is In: How to Get Your Paper Accepted at LISA". This was a good talk by yesthattom and Adam and covered many of the finer points of how to submit an effective paper for future conferences. I have some ideas for papers to publish and this is a goal for next year. I also want to publish some small articles in ;login soon too.

Next afternoon session was "Command and Control: System Administration at U.S. Central Command". This was an excellent and occasionally funny talk by someone who does a great deal of work for the DOD. He talked a great deal about the challenges of conducting system administration in the field for key computing systems that support the commanders of the military deployed all over the world. One of the funniest things he came across was a scenario where he had very poor communications between Florida and the Middle East and it was critical for them to send a very large dump of a tape, but it could only be sent in small chunks via FTP. He started to talk about how we wrote a program in Perl to do this and jokingly asked the audience if they new of any tool that already did this. The audience replied in unison with, "SPLIT"! He was quite embarrassed. :) He then asked how to put them pieces back together. Again, audience responded with "CAT"! :D For those that don't know, split and cat a very basic tools found on just about any UNIX system. :) Nevertheless, he wrote this thing in Perl and got the job done.

The evening BoF at 2130 was another I sponsored on Blackboard/Sakai. There were only 5 other people there, but it was very worthwhile. There were several comments about the problems with version 7 where the session entries completely spiral out of control and create millions of needless inodes. There were more problems with the purge accumulator if you use custom authentication. A gentlemen from another university is going to send me some detailed information (this is a problem we've been working on for some time). The other part of this BoF talked about Sakai that is an open source type of software for web-based course management. No one was using it in this group. However, it was mentioned there is another one called Moogle and showed a great deal of promise. Definitely going to pass this along to the group when I get back home.

Hung out at the LOPSA hospitality suite and caught up more with friends and finally headed back to my room a little bit after midnight. G'night...

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