ApacheCon Wrapup

20 Nov 2003

ApacheCon is over. When trying to think of all of the people that I hung out with or met for the first time (or both), I came up with the following list: Stas Bekman, Marcus Boerger, Rich Bowen, Philippe Chiasson, John Coggeshall, Rael Dornfest, Sterling Hughes, Rasmus Lerdorf, Theo Schlossnagle, Greg Stein, Nathan Torkington, Adam Trachtenberg, Casey West, and Geoff Young.

Adam and I went to see Geoff's talk, mod_perl 2.0 sucks; mod_perl 2.0 rocks, on Wednesday morning. As expected, this was an excellent talk, and I found a complimentary review shortly after that declared Geoff to be a star. Of course, I already knew that. After his talk, Geoff, Adam, and I went back to Mary's for a burger, and we all had the Hawaiian burger (since I had been raving about it since Sunday). My talk, PHP Attacks and Defense, was after lunch. The room was extremely large, which had good and bad points. More people were able to attend than when I spoke at OSCON (my talk there was very overcrowded, which prevented a lot of people from being able to get in), but the large room makes everything less intimate. I think the talk went pretty well, and those who filled out the comment cards had very nice things to say.

I took a nap before going to dinner at the Stratosphere, courtesy of Pair Networks (thanks Casey!). The restaurant was very nice, and it provided a great view of the city. It was one of those revolving restaurants (and located at the very top), so we got to see pretty much everything. One interesting thing about Las Vegas is how the city is in the middle of the desert, and this is clearly visible from atop the Stratosphere, because the city lights don't stretch very far in any direction. Dinner conversation was interesting, and we talked about pretty much everything. The dinner party consisted of Casey (the host), Nat, Geoff, Philippe, Rasmus, and myself. Rasmus had some interesting stories about Yahoo. I was particularly interested in the types of Web-based attacks that they have to deal with. There are some very creative and malicious people out there with way too much time on their hands, and Yahoo is a popular target.

Casey and I rode the Big Shot, which was the most thrilling ride I have ridden. As you can tell from the picture, we didn't play it very cool. There are a lot of funny captions that could go along with this picture, but "This thing is powered by Microsoft?!?!?!" was the best thing I could think of. That would be scary indeed. :-) As frightening as it was, I don't think it's the worst ride there. One new ride is a mechanical arm that extends far over the edge. It is basically a segment of track from a roller coaster, and you ride in a car that propels toward the end of the arm at very high speeds (the arm itself also moves up and down during this process), braking just at the brink of death. Nat cleverly described its motion as someone trying to shake a "boogie" from their finger. Once you've seen it, you will never ride it.

After dinner, we walked down the entire strip and all the way back to the Alexis. Everyone was too tired to do anything else after that, so we all went to bed.

I shared a cab to the airport with Marcus, and I wrote this blog on the plane. All in all, ApacheCon was a great experience, and I feel like I've learned a lot as well as made some good friends. Bye bye, Las Vegas.