I've given up being able to remember what happened in chronological order. The week turned into a giant sleepdeprithon, but oddly enough I felt more in control and less chaotic than ever before. My memories of San Diego consist of my sprinting from one end of the conference and back again, fighting fire after fire after fire. This year I managed to take more of a "what happens happens" attitude, and combined with some changes that the always-wonderful O'Reilly conferences staff made, this lead to a lot less stress for me.
The sessions were great, but as always the highlights were people. Because of the decreased stress, I managed to meet a lot more people this time. I've already written of my brief stint at the bar with Jesse Vincent, Robert Spier, and others. The p5p meeting (was Ziggy the person who finally took responsibility for ordering pizza?) went faboo, as did the Wednesday night party in my suite.
The cabal party on Wednesday went a lot longer than I had imagined. It was slow to start (memo to self: start at 8:00 or 8:30 next time) but picked up speed and people well. Many thanks to Joe Johnston, Walt Mankowski, Ingy, and James Duncan for making beer runs. Tim O'Reilly and the O'Reilly CFO even turned up, which turned out good--the CFO approved expensing such parties in the future. Woot! Many thanks to Ziggy, Lisa, Graham Barr and the other person who left $$$ for me to buy beer--very appreciated!
I met some of the keynoters this time, too: Stormy Peters, who lives and works in the same town I do, and George Dyson, whose keynote blew me and everyone else away, spring to mind. George was really nice--he was on a roadtrip with his daughter. I hope to have him back next year, as I'm sure he hasn't begun to scratch the surface of his research. He told me he's off to Seattle for a year or more, working part-time for Jeff Bezos and Neal Stephenson's space company.
I put still more faces to names--for example, I've been at at least one conference with Andy Lester, but it took until this OSCON for my brain to be able to connect the name and the face. Unfortunately, that connection apparently came at the cost of the connection that linked Stas Bekman to his face. I was such a dork, introducing him to my family as Haim. This is why I can never be in politics (other than the copious trail of filth and obscenity I've left behind that Google can easily find
It was really good to see people deep in conversation whom I thought should get to know each other better. For example, Ask (perl sysadmin extraordinaire) and Milton (LOTR effects sysadmin extraordinaire) discovered they were sharing a flight back to LA and were deep in conversation right up until the plane left. And even some people whom I'd never have thought of connecting turned out to be bonding: Ingy talked to Dale of the O'Reilly Network about finding a new home for kwiki--expect details from Ingy soon.