Issue #3 January 2005

Ten things to do before the Red Hat Summit

So much to do, so little time

The Red Hat Summit in New Orleans is just around the corner. Okay, so it's in five-and-a-half months — but that time will be here and gone before you know it. It's never too early to get prepared for a big trip, and we've got some ideas to get you moving.

The Top Ten

  1. Register for the Summit. That's item number one of course, because if you don't register, you can't attend, and as much as we'd like to, we can't accommodate everyone. Spaces are available now, but they're filling up. Don't wait too long.
  2. Install Fedora Core 3. If you've got a system or a big hard drive to spare, and most of you do, go download the latest version of Fedora Core and install it. Today's version of Fedora is tomorrow's version of Red Hat Enterprise Linux, and you can bet that the big technologies in Fedora Core 3 will be well-represented in the technical sessions at the Summit.
  3. Embrace the Spicy. Train your palate to handle spicy food. You've got enough time if you start now. Go get yourself some Crystal Hot Sauce — note that Crystal, not Tabasco, is the hot sauce native to New Orleans — and put yourself into hot sauce training. Start with a drop of Crystal on the tongue, once a day. Work your way up to a generous pour at every meal. By Summit time, you'll be enjoying hot sauce on everything from eggs to chocolate ice cream. It's good for you.
  4. Play with SELinux. Imagine a world in which a malicious hacker gets root to your boxes and your response is a yawn and a shrug. That's the world of Security-Enhanced Linux (SELinux for short). Of course, with increased security comes increased complexity, so if you're interested in truly hacker-proofing your system, start with Russell Coker's excellent article on the subject. Then, if you've got the guts, put your box under lockdown, hand out the root password, and dare people to break into it. That's what Russell did.
  5. Install NetworkManager. Especially if you've installed Fedora on your laptop and you're bringing that laptop to New Orleans with you. With NetworkManager, you can teach your laptop to select the right network for you automatically, whether you're in the conference in the middle of the afternoon or at Huey's Diner at three in the morning.
  6. Take a history lesson. If history holds any interest at all for you, then you should learn a little bit about the history of New Orleans. There are lots of good historical references online to explore. Or, if history isn't your thing, read a good vampire novel to soak up some flavor. Anne Rice once owned half the city, after all.
  7. Set up a stateless Linux server. Learn about the latest way to maintain system images in Linux by setting up your own stateless Linux server based on Fedora Core 3. Sure, you need a 60-gig hard drive to store the images, but you can get one of those for peanuts these days.
  8. Learn at least one good joke about Boudreaux and Thibodeaux. That way, when your cab driver asks you if you heard the one about ol' Boudreaux and Thibodeaux, you can beat him to the punch.
  9. Watch the Open Source Triple Play video. If you haven't watched it, watch it; anyone who does business using open source technologies should understand the true value of open source. Customers want to be innovators, and with open source, customers can be innovators. Michael Tiemann shows the way.
  10. Bring the right shoes. This advice is especially for the ladies: if you like pretty shoes, find a comfy pair and go for a two-mile walk in them. If your feet hurt, go buy a new pair. Lather, rinse, repeat, until you find a pair that doesn't hurt even the least little bit. If that means sneakers, wear sneakers. New Orleans is a walking city, oh yes it is. Don't think for a second that those lovely suede pumps are "just fine" because "they only rub a little bit." This is a recipe for blisters and misery. Disregard this hard-won wisdom at your own peril.

About the author

Greg DeKoenigsberg is the Community Relations Manager for Red Hat. He has sprinted down Canal Street to find band-aids for severely blistered feet on two completely separate occasions.