RSVP for the Geek Train to .NET Fringe

Cascadian Flag
Cascadian Flag

The .NET Fringe Conference guests coming from northern Cascadia (north of Portland) will have the excellent benefit of taking the Geek Train to the conference. It’s also only $10 friggin’ bucks!

RSVP link here | RSVP link here | RSVP link here | RSVP link here | RSVP link here


We’ll depart Saturday, April 11th at 2pm, with an ETA into Portland at 5:50pm.


  • 1:40pm Arrive at train station in Seattle to join group for boarding. **
  • 2:00pm Departing Seattle King Street Station (i.e. you better be on the train)
  • 2:10pm We’ll be seated and get setup for…
  • 2:15pm We’ll break into teams of ~4 or so people (or however many of us there are we’ll break out to a reasonable size groups).
  • 2:17pm I’ll announce hacking goals and ideas for the teams and we’ll launch into coding. More information will be announced soon, but suffice it to say we’ll be planning a hack around geo and logistics based solutions! The solutions hacking begins!
  • – – – much hacking and enjoying of the trip occurs here! 🙂 – – –
  • 5:00pm We announce who’s completed what and we’ll demo and discuss the app awesomeness of what we’ve managed to come up with.
  • 5:50pm or before we arrive in Portland and the fringe fun shall begin.

I’ll have more information posted here along with some other ideas about what the hackfest will include, so stay tuned and also be sure to follow @dotnetfringe, and check out all the speakers to start figuring out your plans!

Could you answer a few questions about hackathons for me?

Hacking Hackathons
Hacking Hackathons

Recently I was talking to Jeff Martens of CPUsage about Hackathons. A few questions came up about what would make a hackathon fun, exciting and worth your time. Here’s a few questions, that I’d love to have a conversation about…

  • What type of hacking would you or do you prefer to do at a Hackathon? Hardware Hacking? Software Hacking?
  • How important are the prizes?
  • What should the prizes or rewards be?
  • How many people should attend that would actually make the Hackthon fun?
  • Have you attended, and if so, what was the coolest thing about the hackathon to you?
  • Are hackathons better as 1 day or 2 days or more?
  • Should hackathons be during the week or the weekend?

…and as you can imagine, there’s a million other questions. What’s your take on hackathons? Got a few thoughts? Throw down a comment or two, much appreciation for your thoughts, next beer is on me!  😉

OS Bridge Day #1

Keynote: Hacking for Freedom

(Description of Hacking for Freedom)

Day #1 has kicked off with a bang. A keynote that really pulled at the heart strings for the love of freedom and liberty! The notion of technology being involved directly to those pushing for their freedom. Below I’ve snagged a part of the description:


A first-hand talk about the politics, technology and ethics of hacktivism. I’ll give an overview of some of the active groups, including Anonymous and Telecomix and discuss some of the projects I’ve worked on in the past few months. See this blog post and video of lightning talk from Pycon.

  • organizing protests in support of WikiLeaks and freedom information. Over one hundred cities in two weeks.
  • supporting communications in the Middle East: working 20 hours / day for a week for Egypt without dying
  • When the Net is up: proxies, mirrors, VPNs, encryption, retweeting
  • When the Net is down: dialup modem pools, fax blasts, ham radio
  • Works in Progress: two-way radio HOWTOs, Intranet LiveCDs

This keynote really made me realize I’ve gotten disconnected from a lot of things that pulled me into technology. The connected aspirations of people to change the world for the better is massive. The efforts that are going on around the world were described well by Peter Fein. Putting emphasis on the importance of having cell phones that can take video and get the word out when a regime is getting out of control. Having this immediate communication to call out the evil in the world has grown exponentially.

Peter Fein
Peter Fein

To learn more about what Peter Fein (@petewearspants) is up to and learn more about hacking for freedom check out Anonymous and Telecomix.  Also be sure to check out his blog at

Cloud Scaling: High Performance Even in Virtualized Environments

(Description of Cloud Scaling: High Performance Even in Virtualized Environments)

After the keynote I attended the Cloud Scaling Session by Gavin McQuillan (@gmcquillan) who works at Urban Airship and blogs at Omnifarious.

Gavin spoke about how to design an architecture, primarily using Amazon Web Services, to build for scalability and uptime. Some of the main take home points I tweeted:

Adron HallThe ongoing problem with the cloud is high volume/throughput/iops w/ storage. < Is there a pending solution? #osb11 #aws
Adron Hall#osb11 Only get ~10G of true local storage? <- me: why are you depending heavily on this? Use S3, SimpleDB, or other?
to which I received a follow up…
Vanessa Alvarez@adronbh interested in the answer to that, if anyone dares
Vanessa Alvarez@adronbh yes, would agree on #EMC #Isilon, still kind of hard and expensive;-)
…to which I ponder also, who is working on a legitimate price conscious, reasonable, high volume and high throughput storage medium that can be utilized via cloud computing?
All that and tons more, before lunch. :) Stay tuned for more coverage of the OS Bridge Conference.  Cheers!