(Written earlier, but just now getting around to syncing off of the PDA.) Ok – let's try this posting thing again.  I had a long post about 90% written, and then AvantGo chose that inconvenient moment to lock my palm up so hard that it required a hard reset to get it working again.  *grumbles*  So anyway – been in Boston for 3  days now.  Thus far, it's been a really good time… <lj-cut text="More Usenix than you can shake a stick at…"> Got in at about 9:00 Saturday night.  The flight was pretty uneventful, aside from having to sit on the tarmac in Cincinatti for 20 minutes due to the fact that the fire alarms were going off in the terminal.  Slightly disconcerting.  Remarkably, though, my connecting flight was on time, and we even made it into Boston a little early. Took a cab from the airport to the hotel.  (Could have taken the subway (the T), but was tired, and didn't feel like trying to navigate an unfamiliar subway system with my luggage.)  The hotel is kind of cool – it's called Hotel@MIT, and is affiliated with MIT – so it's appropriately geeky – bedspreads with equations on them, robotic sculpture in the lobby, whatnot.  (I want one of the bedspreads, but I'm not sure shawna_sue would let one near the bedroom, even if the giftshop does sell them.  :->) After unpacking and decompressing for a few minutes, I headed out to figure out where I was, what was nearby, and to find something to eat.  None of these were terribly difficult – simply head for the crowds of students.  Found some chicken cous-cous, a hefeweizen, and the T stop I'd need in the morning, and headed back to the hotel to get some sleep. Sunday: Woke up bright and early at 7:00, due to the sun shining directly into the east-facing hotel window.  Oh well, the alarm was set for 7:30 anyway.  Showered, dressed, and was out the door by 8:00.  Managed to convince the T to do my bidding, and made it to the conference hotel pretty quickly, got my registration stuff, got caffeinated, and easily made it to my first tutorial session at 9.  Sunday's tutorial was an excellent start to the conference – Dan Appelman, Intellectual Property lawyer, talking about the morass of issues surrounding software and IP.  While it's not exactly related to work, it's a topic that is of extreme interest to me personally, and it was good to hear a lot of the information from someone who is an authority on the topic instead of some guy who once was in the same building with an IP lawyer and is now posting on /. . I missed about half an hour of the presentation in the afternoon while I went in search of a nearby PCS store, as my phone had, somewhat inconveniently, chosen this week to go from "shut off on its own every now and then" to "turn itself off every time I put it in my pocket".  Unfortunately, I'd had it long enough that it wasn't eligible for replacement, but I was eligible for a $150 discount on a new one – so I wound up getting a new phone.  It's a pretty basic phone, but does have a camera, which could prove interesting. After the tutorial, I ran into a guy that I'd met at Usenix '02, and, after grabbing some soda and listening to conversations between the assembled collection of interesting people, we wandered out to search for something to eat.  Found a decent pan-Asian restaurant down the street and had some tasty tuna steaks and good conversation.  Afterwards, walked around Copley Square for a little while, then headed back to the hotel for sleep. Monday: Up around 7:30, to conference at around 8:45.  Had to beg a paperclip from the registration desk to reset my Palm, as it had crashed as I was trying to finish the first version of this entry on the train in.  As a result, wasn't in the best of moods, but got over it quickly enough after doing a sync and restoring my data.  Got that done during Alan Nugent (CTO of Novell) speaking about Open Source and business models – well-presented, but not my cup of tea.  When that was over, headed off to Monday's tutorial (I can't convince my brain that today's only Tuesday – the conference starting on Sunday has me all messed up) was, well, not nearly as good as Sunday's.  It was advertised as a "securing your network by hacking into it" sort of course, but it turned out to be "here's some fundamental network concepts and here's some tools – have fun".  Mostly, it seemed significantly higher-level than I was hoping.  I skipped out a bit early and took care of a few things for work. Afterward, hit the happy hour and had a couple of Guinni, then headed to the CACert.org BoF session.  Listened to their stuff for a while, and was interested, but they were going to be around all week, and the panel on SCO and Open Source Intellectual Property issues was at the same time, and I really wanted to listen to that.  Unfortunately, while the speakers were very well-qualified (Dan Appelman, again; Brad Fuhrmann of the FSF; and Jonathan Zittrain from Harvard, whose ability to pull relevant information from the internet nearly instantly was remarkable), the discussion rapidly devolved into a whole lot of "well, what if…[some absurd situation]", which got kind of boring.  There were a few high points, however – a heated debate of Unix code licensing being brought to a swift end by Dennis Ritchie standing up and saying, "Well, actually…", for example.  Once I'd gotten bored with the plethora of "What if"s, I headed back over to the last few minutes of the CACert.org BoF session, and talked to them for a bit, and then ended up going down to the bar at the hotel and having some nachos and a beer with the rather international batch of guys that makes up CACert, plus Rod, the guy I'd met in Monterey a couple of years ago.  (Two Australians, three Americans, a German and a Dutch guy walk into a bar…)  We had a good time talking about all kinds of random stuff, but since the T shuts down at about 12:30, I caught the train back to my hotel about midnight, and crashed out.  More later…