Walkabout JXTA Style
For a sizeable part of Jan '04 I was on the road. First stop, bondolo and I presented a "JXTA Tutorial" at the
IEEE CCNC "Consumer Networking: Closing the Digital Divide" conference. The tricky part was condensing a two day tutorial down to a single four hour session. That work aside the day went by smoothly and was extremely interactive ... the type of class I like attending. Attendance was on the low side as looked to be the norm for the other sessions as well. I believe this was the CCNC's first run at sponsoring technical forums adjacent to CES which likely played a part in the turnout. JXTA was among good company as the session topics included: UPnP, Interactive DVTV, and OSGi. JXTA was on everyone's radar so to a large degree the session dealt with updates and quick dive downs to more detailed discussions.
Given that I don't often travel and when I do I travel really light I opted to pack only the shoes on my feet; my beloved docs ... big mistake. By the end of the first day I was walking on the worst blisters I've had for years ... and this with two days left in the journey. Not pretty.
We then hit CES to which I hobbled along behind my quick footed colleague as we darted hither and dither on the show floor. All in all CES was a bit much for me, too much information, although I did gravitate to the killer car audio systems ... likely a result of all the noise and assorted distractions. We did run into Coolio, who, as fate would have it, turns out to be a JXTA fan. Having met "the man" followed by some quick JXTA Config design ideas
and associated use cases I opted to crawl to the airport and catch an early flight home. Mission accomplished.
Next up, Lauren and I took on Times Square NYC to represent JXTA at LinuxWorld during one of the coldest seasons on record. Very cool ... literally. Being my first time to the Big Apple I was in a bit of awe. With Zamberlans firmly on foot I hit a couple of the delis within a 3 block radius of the hotel as that's about as far as I cared to venture out in the cold. Little did I know Rupert's Hello Deli was only 5 blocks away or else I would've gotten his take on JXTA as well.
The JXTA demos worked like a charm once we exercised some local networking demons. JXTA was listed as a Best Open Source Project finalist along with GenToo, KDE and Helix, which won the category. Suffice to say we were in good company. Regarding GenToo, I can't find a soul who has a disparaging word against it and the folks I chatted with in the GenToo booth were pretty cool. Upon perusing the LinuxWorld Product Excellence finalist something feels amiss. I don't know, it could just be me but the selections just seem odd.
All in all good times. savage was debugging and churning out revs of his JXTA Go application realtime via JXTA JNLP and folks were drawn like moths to a light bulb to the JackNet/GlowingOrb demo. We're working to provide a running example of JackNet live, webcam and all, in the near future. Also, word is that Ted Kosan and the JackNet crew are working on JackNet.nextGen ... stay tuned. Should be fun.
The booth traffic was pretty much non-stop. Most folks had heard of JXTA and were eager to better understand and explore architecture, security and deployment scenarios. Great dialogs. Some folks are really pushing the boundaries. Beyond JXTA, JDS was a massive hit. Java, in general was a constant theme in addition to Solaris/x86.
Laruen is an excellent travel partner as she compliments (my words) my "adhoc" approach to travel. My wife thinks I'm not all that well organized ... and she's likely right. Following Lauren's game plan we had a great dinner in Grenwich Village (Wasabi Salmon ... hmmmmmm), too many "Mango Margs" at Zanzibar and an excellent night time tour of the Empire State Building with no lines ... as it was BLOODY COLD yet none-the-less gorgeous. We missed out on seeing the Daily Show earlier in the week but on a whim got standby tickets for the Letterman Show. We were fortunate enough to get in as two of the last four and could even be seen on TV during the "Stump the Band" segment. A "20 seconds of fame" event I was sure to notify my family about. Attending a Letterman Show is something I've wanted to do for years ... and with that we claimed victory and headed home :)
in my ears: The Crystal Method/Legion of Boom/Bound Too Long