Here I am in Portland, Oregon. Oregon seems a bit odd to me, actually…. no offense to anybody who lives here (let’s see, verso is the only one I can think of). The Oregonians seem to have a lot of state pride, which I find a bit strange… the same way I find rabid fans of a specific sports team strange. For instance, there’s a store in the Lloyd Center mall that’s called “Just For Oregon” or “Made In Oregon” or some such…. also, I had some fruit punch the other night called Portland Punch that is obviously made in Portland and absolutely *not* exported. I mean, it was decent and all, but I’m not entirely sure if it’s something to be proud of. Also there’s that whole thing from several years ago regarding the overwhelmingly large percentage of Oregonians who didn’t think homosexuals deserved equal rights. I told myself I’d never come here just based solely on that (not that I’m homosexual (insert Seinfeld footnote here)), but since I’m here on somebody else’s dime – in fact, getting paid decently – I guess it’s okay.
Portland itself seems like a decent enough city, anyway. It looks cool at night because there’s a good number of buildings with wacky lighting. It does make me appreciate the greater geographical diversity to be found in Seattle, however.
Met up with verso on monday evening, and that was good fun :) Having known her for several years thanks to IRC, it was pretty much as I expected – that is, a pleasant evening of conversation and a spot of the obligatory geekiness thrown in for good measure :)
Of the troupe of IRC folk with which I’ve associated over these last ~4 years or so, I’ve met a good deal of them in person:
there’s blackmagic, of course… saitan and sewshi and vira from fairfax, VA; lenox in ft lauderdale, FL; n3ph in the british virgin islands (though he lives in Boulder); kyozz and datafirm in seattle; pahn, `rico and billabong from NYC, that dude in Sarasota, FL whose nick I forget that gren and I met at the ‘roo; isteph, also in florida, but now in NY (although I’m not entirley sure if we met first in person or over IRC); murr in Cupertino, most recently verso in Portland, and probably a couple others I’m forgetting. And that’s just the IRC people :) There’s a whole bunch more left, though…
Oh, and we’re halfway though this week’s class. Spent the first two days on Mac OS X, and Wed – Friday is Server, which is a bit more interesting, since each student has two machines – one client and one server – and they get to practice client-server stuff in a controlled environment. Yesterday after the troubleshooting chapter we did the customary break-fix exercise, where the students leave the room and I go around and hose up their machines, then they come back and try to accomplish a set of tasks that will force them to troubleshoot the problems. I did basic things like changing their passwords and messing with tcp/ip settings, to more slightly underhanded things like partially unplugging ethernet cables and messing with the boot-args with /usr/sbin/nvram, to downright nasty things like installing realistic looking startup items that do things like shut the machine down or throw it into an infinite loop, or unplugging the ethernet from the server they had to access; all this stuff is fixable based on the stuff they get taught, though :)
Guess that’s about all for now… will possibly hook up with Verso again tomorrow evening… then friday we finish up and head back up to Sea town. I rode down with a co-worker who is attending the class, which is nice since it lets me avoid the damn airports for once.