Upcoming OSCON/Firefox Summit trip for Mozdev

In 8 days (next Tuesday) I'll be heading to Portland for OSCON 2008. Several days later I'll be heading up to Canada for the Firefox Summit.

This is simultaneously awesome and scary. Awesome parts:

  • Meeting my colleagues and board members from Mozdev for the first time
  • Being able to attend sessions and meet/brainstorm with so many people from the open source community, and more specifically, the Mozilla community

Some of the scary parts:

  • I haven't flown in a long time. I have no idea what to expect from the experience, and have some gaps in some basic logistical processes (How do I get from the airport to the hotel? Taxi? How's do I get a taxi? What's the typical interaction between taxi driver and drivee (never taken a taxi, either))? What do I do for 7 hours in the air? Are my neighbors in coach going to call me a terrorist for playing with my laptop and GPS? Will I be able to use my GPS? Am I carrying too much/little gear/clothes/etc?).
  • I'm an introvert, and thus don't really talk unless being spoken too; even then, if it's a topic I'm not familiar and/or interested in with I don't do a great job at "chit-chat"
  • I don't have a very, um, "cultured palate". I plan on trying to broaden that a bit.
  • I have no idea what I'm doing at either event - oh, in general I know I'm going to help grow the Mozdev/Mozilla community (they're very symbiotic) and learn what I can from the sessions being offered at both, but there's a lot of "unknowns" about what I should be doing.

So most of the "scary" parts are probably just personality quirks and I really think I'll be fine, even if I don't have all my minutiae in order. It'll definitely be an big experience for me.

6 comments

Laura (visitor) says:

Hey Doug,

- No GPS on the plane, and turn off your wifi on laptop before takeoff
- In Portland, you can typically catch the Max (lightrail) from the airport to your hotel.
- If it's been a while since you've flown, I recommend reading up on current security procecdures and packing guidelines especially for carry on bags as it's changed beyond belief.

I look forward to meeting you at OSCON and/or at the Summit.

Cheers

Laura

JeffG (visitor) says:

Having done a LOT of travelling this year, I'd like to think I can help a bit:

1. Airport => Hotel. In Portland there is a somewhat-rapid transit train that goes from the Airport right to the Convention Center:
http://www.flypdx.com/Grnd_Trans.aspx

This will be somewhat time consuming but a LOT cheaper than a cab. If you just want to get a cab though, there is more info on that on the same site.

2. "What do I do for 7 hours in the air? Are my neighbors in coach going to call me a terrorist for playing with my laptop and GPS? Will I be able to use my GPS?"

This depends a lot on how you are with flying, but I like to either listen to music ( iPod-like device ) watch movies ( Laptop / PSP? ) or read. Having a good book is a good back-up plan because most airlines still don't have laptop plugins in Coach. I'm not sure if the GPS will work as I don't have one, but I do know for sure you will be told to have it turned off during take-off and landing.

3. "I'm an introvert, and thus don't really talk unless being spoken too" I wouldn't worry about that, especially if you have your nose in a book as previously mentioned. Most people on flights are not aggressively social, and almost all will give it up if you don't come back with much energy on your end of the conversation.

4. "I don't have a very, um, "cultured palate". I plan on trying to broaden that a bit." Awesome! I am going to be helping Zak out with the Fosscoach event; we know Portland quite well and there are any number of great restaurants there. Feel free to tag along.

dwarner's picture
dwarner says:

Thanks for the tips, Laura. I had actually read at a blog last week about the Max, but I won't be getting into town until close to Midnight and I heard that might be a problem. Any ideas about that?

Laura (visitor) says:

Yes, the Max may be finished by the time you get there (finishes about then, not sure of exact times but schedules are here: http://trimet.org/) Not to worry, the taxi drivers in Portland are mostly very friendly. (I too will be cabbing it this year as I arrive in town well after midnight.)

Dennis (visitor) says:

You'll be fine! Enjoy the flight, if you get on a decent plane they'll have good entertainment. Your social skills were ok when we used to work together, have no fear!

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