Bar Camp 2009

barcamplogo_logo Beaver Bar Camp 2009 was held at Kelley Engineering Center on Saturday April 4. Didn’t get quite the sponsorship of last year’s event, which I attributed to the economic meltdown. Still, there was food and T-shirts and excellent space to host the ad-hoc presentations that happen at Bar Camps.

Lance Albertson made a presentation on a dream he has to deploy the opensource Calagator software to create a unified community calendar locally. It was the same dream I had when I created wazzuplocal three years ago (single-handedly and in a technical void compared to what’s available today I might add.) The technical issues pale in comparison to the socio-political issues involved in getting something like that to fly. I wish the project all success and hope to contribute technically, as well as to help them avoid some of the human issues there were with wazzup. As Alan Deitch said to me, I guess wazzuplocal was just ahead of it’s time. *Sigh* the story of my life. I was also trying to distribute shareware in the late 80’s when the people just weren’t there.

I did a talk called “the M word for Geeks: personal branding in an uncertain economy,” in which I shared the results of my networking and online social networking experience with a full room of receptive mostly young audience. (OO-Presentation slides here.) I implored them not to make the fundamental career-limiting mistake I had made when I was a young techie: namely to focus so hard on the technical side that you neglect the warm fuzzy connections to people. It was the first time I had ever made a “warm fuzzy” presentation! And I’ll be giving it again in Eugene OR on 21 April for the IT-Pros group.

I also grazed on a talk given by Verso on PDX’s online/offline social communities, another on how to behave if you get involved with an open source software project and what it can do for you, and another on hacking wireless networks, the upshot of that was that WEP has a fundamental flaw that allows for pretty easy cracking using a program that runs statistical probabilities, but WPA is only crackable by capturing the authentication and running a dictionary attack on it (which only works for weak passwords), and at the end of the day verso, geekygirldawn, and another PDX chick answered questions about how geeks can pick up women in general, geek girls specifically, but it sort of drifted into an open discussion of why women are fleeing tech, which I’ve heard before. The bar camp site will have detailed notes on all these talks

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