the further adventures of

Mike Pirnat

a leaf on the wind

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PyCon (Day One)

It was a long but exciting day at PyCon, with many interesting presentations and discussions. Some of them were relevant to my professional life (thus justifying sending me in the first place), and some were extremely useful for personal projects (I think I finally found a satisfactory way to do neat things with my wife's Address data to make life easier at Christmas time).

At one point, I found myself seated directly behind Guido van Rossum, Python's creator and "Benevolant Dictator For Life," and I got a chance to see the master in action as he tinkered on slides for his keynote address tomorrow morning.

I got my second free T-shirt of the day upon the purchase of the newly-released (today, in fact) second edition of the Python Cookbook. Hooray for stuff!

I did have a small laugh to myself when, during the PyWebOff presentation, the speaker made a statement about it being unlikely that anyone would ever have more than 100 users trying to hit your website all at once. I'm sure that she was talking about small sites with limited scaling needs, but I'm also used to an environment where our load balancers are coping with thousands of connections per second, and where we have pushed close to 1.7 gigabits per second for hours at a time, so the idea of having 100 users on the site at a time seems to me like a vacation for the servers.

I spent an interesting hour in an ad-hoc discussion of various Python topics this evening; ostensibly on the subject of OO issues, but the discussion largely focused on some of the recent language controversies in Python, specifically interfaces and (optional) static typing.

After things wound down, Dave, [info]trygve, and I went out to El Chalan. We arrived at the decision by looking at a provided list of local restaurants and picking the one that we couldn't figure out just from the name. It turned out to be Peruvian, and pretty damn good at that. I skipped the ceviches for budgetary and waistline reasons, but had a nice little salad and the Lomo Saltado, a house specialty of beef strips sauteed with fried potatoes, onions, and tomatoes. The by-the-bottle wine list looked really fun, with lots of Tempranillo and related blends, but as I was the only one interested, I just defaulted to the Concha y Toro Cab, the only red offered by the glass. (Enjoyable wine, but pretty pedestrian.)


The only thing I really dislike about PyCon is that the auditoriums and conference rooms are hot. Hot like Disneyworld in July. Just plain disgusting. I think their A/C systems must be overcompensating for the mild and lightly rainy day that we had, but still... Even our hotel rooms are like saunas! Yikes!

I haven't been around this kind of sweaty geek aroma since Trilogy Tuesday.


On an interestingly subversive note, what at first blush appears to be a paid-only gate on all internet traffic here at the hotel is apparently only trapping web browsers, and then only web browsers that seem to be more "well known" than others. I was getting ready to pay up when GAIM magically reconnected me! I was able to rdate to sync my damn drifting clock, I can ssh into my home machine, and if I feel like using lynx, I've got all the web that's fit to read! w00t!

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