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PyCon day 3

Filed under: General,Python — Thomas @ 19:04


After day 2, I went out with Donald to a cocktail bar that had some new people to meet and a very good Caipiroska.

I overslept a teenie bit, missing the "Python@Google" talk. I started working on my slides with the goal of trimming down my 30 slides to a smaller number for a 25 minute presentation, but ended up with 40 because I wanted to explain some of the Python-specific stuff.

I went to Abe's talk on Yarn which was very interesting. I wish I had some time to look into the problem space he's trying to solve.

During the lunch break I went over the demos I wanted to do for my talk. The first would be just streaming from my webcam on my own machine, which would be easy. For the second, I actually wanted to connect a worker from my laptop to the manager at work and stream the Firewire camera from work through my laptop.

Unfortunately, Firewire and Linux kernels not liking each other is a problem - while stopping the test the server hung. Of course, it's Semana Santa in Spain, no one is in the office, and Christian couldn't be reached. I had to bribe Andy to go to the office and reboot the machine (I now have to find five pounds of grits as a result)

Saw a good chunk of Itamar's talk on Fast Networking while preparing for my talk. and waiting for the machine to come back up. Itamar overran his slot slightly, causing me to rush through the slides as quickly as possible. The demos went nicely, and Andy had made a little show for the PyCon people, which drew laughter from the crowd. I had to skim over some of the nice things I wanted to show. I did show the UI tests we have, slowing them down so people could see what was going on. I also did a false commit, but buildbot was too slow in actually insulting me on IRC for people to see.

In any case I need to rework this talk a little in the future if I have such time constraints. I had one person coming up to me saying that this was the nicest Python application he had ever seen. Another said it was the "ballsiest" demo he had ever seen during a presentation :) And a third guy said he has used Quicktime's tools a lot, and ours looks way better than that in his opinion. All in all, good comments.

Spent some time after my talk talking to a guy called Lutz who said he was impressed as well. He showed me some of his stuff, including some Python plugins for Maya, the 3D rendering engine, to control particles. If I understand correctly he'd like to be able to export Maya rendering somehow to GStreamer and use Flumotion to stream it. That would be interesting.

As a consequence I did miss the last talk I really wanted to see - Glyph's talk (Glyph started Twisted). And after that the conference quickly came apart, with people leaving all over. That was a bit annoying - having my presentation so late meant I didn't get to discuss some of my stuff with people the way I would have liked. Going into a conference it's hard to find the people that might be interested in what you do. Doing a talk that people enjoy makes a good incentive for those people to come and talk to you. Something to remember for next time.

In any case, the conference was a success - I met lots of interesting people, discussed some of our problems with Twisted people, as well as possible solutions, had some ideas for buildbot stuff I want to do, and got to enjoy the general vibe and lots of people's approaches to working with Python and building projects and businesses around it.

I put some pictures online - I didn't take that many, but hey...

After the conference, went into town and bought 14 (!) books. Two of them are work-related, three programming-related, and I stocked up on some literature material for my flight back and because Barcelona doesn't really have a good English book store that I know of.

In the evening I took out my house hosts Donald and Paolo to a place of Donald's choice. He chose a place called La Tasca that served Tapas :) I must say, they were quite good, and some of them I hadn't had in Barcelona yet - Gambas with bacon was exceptionally good.

I don't really have a jetlag problem, which I contribute to the fact that I left Barcelona around noon, so I didn't have to get up really early. Last time I had to get up at 5, which means you end up having a 24hour+ day. The downside is that every day feels like I've been out until six in the morning and slept as long as possible, but only about six hours. And now I need to find a decent way to deal with the trip back.

All worries for later - now it's time to hit DC proper, find a good comic book store and CD store, and go to the museum - which is free !

PyCon day 2

Filed under: General,Python — Thomas @ 23:21


If all you have is a hammer
screws are stupid

Day 2 of the conference. Keynote by Guido this morning. Went to an interesting talk just now by one of the DivMod people about how he used a text indexing engine called Xapian to index 40 GB of patent information. He says he'll put the whole database he has online as a bittorrent link. I'll be sure to grab it.

I'm learning a whole bunch of cool stuff about Python and related projects, and got a bunch of new ideas to do specific stuff. I miss having Johan around at this conference - I feel more comfortable asking stupid newbie stuff to someone that probably doesn't hold it against me :)

Moshe squished me into a corner to get totem-gstreamer running on his machine. He claimed it crashed all the time. (UPDATE: Moshe asked me to clarify he did not use the word "crash". So we tried it and it played his file - but only the audio. He didn't have gstreamer-ffmpeg installed. I couldn't find a deb for debian proper, but he installed the ubuntu package and that worked just fine, as I suspected. Another new convert ?

Yesterday I tried to tag along with the DivMod crowd for dinner because really I don't know anyone here from before the conference and I don't mind listening in on knowledgeable people. But one of them I didn't know seemed to really want to have a DivMod-only dinner and (probably jokingly) requested everyone else to piss off, so I did.

Went to a Towers record store right across from the venue instead and bought a Bill Hicks and Denis Leary album, as well as Riko Kiley. Then I went to some mexican place and got a "dos manos" burrito, which was a really big one, and strangely enough, I got two. For 8 $. I only took in 1.5 of the two.

Seriously considering getting a QOTSA ticket from craigslist for Sunday...

Arriving in Washington

Filed under: General,Python — Thomas @ 17:39


In Frankfurt I got baggage-checked four different times. Fun. I also got assigned the wrong seat. Luckily this seat was in Business Class, even though the seat was already taken. No worries - the guy in my seat was bumped up to First Class :) So the flight was nice and the food was good.

Donald was at the airport to come and pick me up and he drove me around Washington a little to show me some sights. Then he took me to his place and proceeded to put my stuff in his bedroom. He slept on the couch. He really is too nice.

Got up this morning around six-ish, feeling OK jetlag-wise. On the way to PyCon I sampled some of the US breakfast food - the cream cheese salmon sesame bagle was especially nice. First talk I saw was about IronPython, and it really was a good talk. Met some Twisted people already, hope to meet some more. Yay !


Filed under: General,Python — Thomas @ 00:03


Off to Washington tomorrow for a week. I'm going to do a talk on Flumotion at PyCon on Friday. Hope to meet interesting people, discuss Pythony stuff, get some new ideas, and maybe find some people that want to work with us. If you're at the conference, or just in Washington, and want to meet up, let me know.

I'm staying with Donald, a friend we made here in Barcelona that went back to the US. Hope to do some sightseeing as well while I'm there. I hope he can get tickets for either the Interpol or QOTSA show at the 9.30 club in Washington - both are sold out atm. Would be great to go see a show there.

Anyway, back to packing ...

Update: Donald just messaged us to tell me we're going to Interpol !!! /me jumps up and down with joy...


Filed under: General,Life — Thomas @ 23:58


Back from a week of snowboarding with Kristien, Christian, Wim, Andy, Sven and Anja. Pictures are online for those that didn't join. It was nice to be the best in the group for once. Next year I need to practice some more in the halfpipe and the rest of the snowpark. Oh, and I need to make sure there is a next year of snowboarding, and many more after that. I noticed some "older" people on the slopes on the snowboards, so there yet is hope.

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