Monday, March 28, 2011

HTSQL and Indiana LinuxFest

Thanks and congratulations to Lord Drachenblut and the rest of the volunteer crew for putting on Indiana LinuxFest! They did a great job. I thought the participation was really impressive, looking and feeling more like a well-established conference than a brand-new one. Nothing will displace Ohio LinuxFest in my heart, naturally, but it looks like the community in this region can support and be bolstered by two annual conferences. It's almost enough to blunt the pain of missing PyCon... well, OK, not really. But it was still great. I got a chance to see Tarus Balog again, who's so gracious it's crazy, and meet a whole mess of FLOSS's other heroes... Thanks to all of them for making the trip to Indiana!

As a result of ILF, my determination to immerse myself in Puppet reached new heights. Earlier, I'd assumed it was only for people who administer servers by the dozens or hundreds, but now I see how much even my small server admin tasks need the sort of order and repeatability that Puppet can help give me.

I also got a chance to present on HTSQL, a new passion of mine since I first saw Clark Evan's submission for his PyCon talk. My slides are here (and, for once, they actually cover the bulk of what I said). However, you'll probably want to watch video from the PyCon talk by Clark Evans himself; he goes into much more detail than I did.

In a word, HTSQL is a gorgeously simple approach to database reporting. How gorgeous? Take a look at this dashboard. How simple? Go back to that dashboard and hit View Source. It's absurdly concise and comprehensible thanks to the HTRAF JavaScript library and HTSQL queries that fit comfortably and clearly into a URL, like this. Go spend some time playing with HTSQL if you care about data at all.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Indiana LinuxFest

First off, thanks to everybody who was at my Python intro at Millenicon. You can find the talk materials at under "Talks".

Second, have you seen the great schedule at Indiana LinuxFest this weekend? They've really put together a lot of great material. (And I don't just say that because I'll be presenting on HTSQL.) I'm especially pleased that they have talks that will cater to my new love affair with Puppet. There's still time to sign up... hope to see you there!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Amateur Computer Programming

It's true: I missed PyCon 2011. Unbelievable. We have a sick horse who can't be left alone even for six hours, and our last-ditch scheme to get him to the OSU veterinary hospital, just before we were to leave for PyCon, foundered (ha!) with a broken-down truck and trailer on a small rural road. In the dark. And snow. Wasn't a good night. (Sigh) Next year, with feeling!

Anyway, onward. Tonight I'm on a panel at Millennicon (a straight-up SF con) titled "Amateur Computer Programming". I wanted to gather links to some short screencasts to give people an idea of some of the interesting tools out there.