At LugRadio Live USA 2008

An interesting morning for me. I woke up, had breakfast at the Hilton Concierge Lounge (complimentary, seeing that I’m on the Executive floor), and decided to find my way, by public transport, to downtown San Francisco, from Santa Clara. Boy was I surprised as to how inane everything was: I spent about 2.5 hours travelling on a light rail (VTA), then a Caltrain, and finally a BART. I almost finished a book I was reading, all on public transport. Talk about a commute.

Anyway, arrived at LugRadio Live USA, registered (paid my paltry $10 in cash, since their credit card provider was wonky), and started the day with great talks. Some quick notes about the conference itself, and then my notes shall follow soon.

  • Turns out its very hard to see the screen, because of all the sunlight that was coming in. The Metreon is a great place, but the light hitting the projector screen was a real issue.
  • Lack of power everywhere, was a bit of a bummer. Tech conferences, laptops, one must charge one’s laptop!
  • When they recorded an episode of LugRadio Live and Unleashed, they looked for the folk that came the farthest – at first, it seemed like only Stewart (Melbourne) and I (Kuala Lumpur) were standing. Then two others from Kiev and Moscow stood up. Turns out we all walked away with a copy of The Ubuntu Book as a prize. Nice :)
  • Google was a major sponsor of the entire event. Kudos to them, the stuff was great.
  • Saw a PostgreSQL booth (and caught up with Josh Berkus). Saw an OpenSolaris booth, and learnt a bit more about IPS. Even managed to sneak a chat with Ian Murdock, about IPS, Sun, and so on. Most interesting. Wished for a, MySQL, and even Fedora booth, which were nowhere to be seen.
  • Lunch was at the food court. MySQL’er JD Duncan introduced me to some amazing pizza.
  • We saw a streaker, during the Gong-A-Thong. OK, not a streaker, just a guy, in his underwear hitting the gong. I’m sure pictures of this will be online soon enough.
  • Dinner? Cha-Ya. 16th and Mission (BART stop), probably closer to 18th and Valencia (by memory). Vegan Japanese food. Interesting, even the ice cream was made of soy.

All in all, great networking event. Whole day spent meeting new folk, speaking to old friends, and so on. Definitely worth the trip.

Remember the problem with public transport in San Francisco/Santa Clara? The BART/Caltrain/VTA all stop at midnight. Useless. Your only options are an expensive cab ride back, or sleeping on the street (don’t even dream of a hotel in downtown SF, they’re all booked out).

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  1. Jeff Trull says:

    Caltrain is particularly commuter-oriented. You could have probably shaved 30 minutes off your trip if you caught an express train (before 9AM). Bart from Millbrae is VERY slow. An alternative is to ride Caltrain all the way to the terminal at 4th and King, and then walk to the Metreon, which is also on 4th Street, about 10-15 minutes but faster and cheaper than the Bart approach IMO.

    But no matter what you do you’re basically stuck in SF at midnight. Good on you trying it out.

  2. Jeremy Cole says:

    You’re not *exactly* stuck at midnight, but the options to get out aren’t too fun.

    You can take SamTrans Bus 297/397 from Mission & First, connect to VTA Bus 22 in Palo Alto, which runs all the way down to San Jose. Both buses run 24 hours a day. (Although during the day the 297/397 is called KX and runs a lot more often.)

    Unfortunately the closest Bus 22 will get you is El Camino Real, but that’s at least a very short cab ride from almost anywhere you might want to go once you get close to your destination.,%20sf,%20ca