2018 Southern California Linux Expo (SCaLE) Report

Video (5 min 45 seconds) of some random pictures of SCaLE 16x.
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What is SCaLE? SCaLE is the largest community-run open-source and free software conference in North America. It’s held annually in Pasadena, CA.

All the SCaLE sessions are archived on YouTube.

SCaLE 16x Report by Alan Raul

I can’t believe I attended the first SCaLE event 16 years ago and many more in between. How time flies. More importantly, how Linux and SCaLE have changed dramatically. There seems to be less talk about the Linux Desktop and more about the Cloud and IoT at SCaLE.

SCaLE has been held in Pasadena the last 3 years. Ralph and I have our favorite Pasadena places to go to… Intelligentsia Coffee, a great sandwich shop and more. This year for dinner we ate Indian food again. We did a tour of the USC Pacific Asia Museum one evening. You would think that we just sat on our butts and listened to speakers all day but we averaged 5 miles a day walking!

The Diamond Sponsor this year was PIA (Private Internet Access) and the Platinum Sponsor was Microsoft. You would never have thought that Microsoft would be one of the main sponsors of a Linux Expo.

There is a “new guard” at Microsoft which is embracing Linux. Linux, Microsoft and computer technology are fast-moving industries. Microsoft is one of the top 5 contributors to the Linux kernel. Microsoft has a Skype Snap, open-sourced Visual Studio and has the Windows Subsystem for Linux which includes a lot of distributions for Windows 10. Microsoft in conjunction with Canonical will release Ubuntu 18.04 as a VHDX for Hyper-V in the next Windows 10 release.

I mainly go to SCaLE to attend UbuCon. We had a varied selection of good speakers over the two days of UbuCon.

I feel this year’s SCaLE was less organized than in the past. I didn’t see the job board go up till later in the show. Everything seemed to be “last-minute.” SCaLE is an all-volunteer event. I still would not miss it. I like talking with others which share my passion for technology on all levels.

Some SCaLE predictions...

I have a feeling Microsoft and Canonical (for-profit companies) are going to get a lot closer in the future. How this will relate to Linux and SCaLE remains uncertain.

I can't wait to see what SCaLE 17x has in store in 2019.

Alan Raul

A couple of links...

Keeping Your Ubuntu Systems Secure

Online Privacy and Security Using a Password Manger - der.hans - Page 76

Live from SCaLE 16x | Ask Noah 53

SCaLE 16x UbuCon Track Writeup by Ralph Sutter

I recently attended SCaLE 16X, the 16th annual Southern California Linux Expo.  It was held in the Pasadena Convention Center March 9-12, 2018 offering 17 separate tracks.  As in years past, I was looking forward to following the UbuCon track, which focused exclusively on Ubuntu.  When that track didn’t appear in the initial on-line schedule, I began to wonder if the volunteers from Ubicon had decided to opt out this time.  Finally, about 2 weeks before the convention, details about Ubicon began to appear on the SCaLE site.  Ubicon did indeed take place, running Thursday and Friday.

Thursday offered 5 sessions ranging from System 76 lamenting Canonicals’ unexpected cancellation of the Unity project and their launch of POP OS to presentations on Snap Apps, System Security and a talk by José Antonio Rey flying in from Perú to explain Open Source and Worldwide Communities.

Friday added 4 more sessions.  Following the theme of the open source community, J T Nelson detailed how he and his colleagues working in the Hollywood and Gaming industries, produced professional-quality video using powerful, readily available royalty-free on-line video editing software.

Author Nathan Haines gave a presentation on the evolution of Ubuntu followed by an Ubuntu Questions and Answers session.

The closing speaker, Jono Bacon, spoke on his time with Canonical as the Ubuntu Community Manager.  He along with other speakers on the UbuCon track, stressed the invaluable contributions of volunteers in developing and advancing Ubuntu.

In addition to the speakers, a principal attraction at SCaLE is walking the floor of the Exhibit Hall.  With over 100 exhibitors I had ample opportunity to collect swag for my grandkids and speak with reps from PIA, System 76, VideoLan and many others. 

Alan Raul and I carefully scoured the Pasadena Convention Center hoping to find free food to match the outstanding offerings of SCaLE 15x.  Alas, that was not to be.  The best we could do was complimentary coffee and bagels discovered when we followed a food cart to the DevOps Ballroom. 

We did manage to get comped cappuccino’s from Inteligencia Coffee thanks to two baristas curious about Linux.  We also scored free admission to the USC Asia Pacific Museum given the fortuitous coinciding of Art Night Pasadena with SCaLE 16X.

Will I attend SCaLE next year?  Most certainly.  It always affords something for all users of Linux, from end users like me to professional programmers and developers. I’m looking forward to 2019.

Ralph Sutter