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Meetings of LVS people

by Joe jmack (at) wm7d (dot) net

Linux Expo at Raleigh, North Carolina, USA. May 1999

I had been going to this conference for several years - it's about 30km from my home. Wensong was scheduled to talk about LVS, and planned to stay at my place. The organisers waited many months before supplying the official invitation allowing Wensong to apply for a visa. I would check with Wensong occasionally and then when he still hadn't got the paperwork, I would prompt the organisers. The paperwork arrived a few days before Wensong had to leave for the conference. Wensong travelled to Beijing to get a visa from the US embassy on his way out of the country.

Unfortunately the day before Wensong arrived in Beijing, the US intellegence services (who suck up $10G$/yr of tax payers money) had bombed the Chinese Embassy in Belgrade, Yugoslavia thinking it was a warehouse. The Chinese people were offended and the US embassy in China closed for a few days till people calmed down a bit. Wensong couldn't get out of the China.

I gave Wensong's talk instead, with the images/html coming from alternating real-servers in a live LVS running kernel 2.0.36 that I'd wheeled in on a trolley. At the end of the presentation I demonstrated mon supported realserver failover by pulling the network cables one by one.

At the end of the talk, Lars, who till then had been a lurker on the LVS mailing, introduced himself and chatted for a few minutes. Lars had been using LVS and knew a lot about it. He was hoping to put it into a setup for one of his customers. Lars now works for SuSE and runs the LVS mailing list, out of Germany, on one of his personal machines.

LinuxExpo Shanghai, Jun 2000

Horms and Wensong attended this conference where Wensong gave a presentation on LVS. I didn't know about the conference and was trying to track down Wensong after he'd disappeared off the mailing list. I got a reply from Horms saying the Wensong was "right there in the hotel room with him". They were staying together at the conference.

Here's some comments and photos from Horms

Ottawa Linux Symposium, Jul 2000

Wensong had another attempt at giving a presentation in North America and this time succeeded. Ottawa is a much nicer town than Raleigh, there are restaurants and nice outdoor scenery (footpaths, canal with locks, the St Lawrence R. with parks on both side) and lots to do with your spare time. The weather is nice, while Raleigh is blastingly hot. Ottawa also has a Youth Hostel (the old Ottawa jail) located just blocks from the center of the city and costing only $20/night instead of $120 for the hotels.

I called up Matthew Kellet, living in Ottawa and part of the LVS in the early days (1999) and who had since gone onto better things with the (now defunct) I also said that I'd read the HOWTO in 30secs or less, accompanied by an interpretive dance. Ratz decided to come from Switzerland and join me as cell mates in the hospitable Ottawa jail (we had a good view of the exercise yard).

I wrote the 1st LVS trivia quiz for the amusement of those staying at home, and made up some LVS fashion designer T-shirts, buttons and stick-on tags for your realservers, for the people attending the conference, so we could intimidate people in other projects, by looking organised. BTW, we're still looking for an LVS handshake, song and vision statement. I mailed off a care-package to Julian in Bulgaria, and brought another for Horms (who couldn't make it), to go back with his room-mate, Raster, who was giving a presentation on his windowing code, "Enlightenment". I found out a year later, when I met Horms at OLS 2001, that both Raster and I had the misfortune to be sent to the same military and sports oriented high school for upper class twits in Sydney (Raster 20yrs later than I). I'd be a different person if I hadn't gone there, that's all I can say. I'll ask Raster what he thought of it when I see him next.

I sent "letters from OLS" to the LVS mailing list, describing the conference. These should be in the LVS mailing list archives.

Here are some photos from Matthew.

Varna Summit, Varna, Bulgaria, Mar 2001

Julian lives in a house overlooking the Black Sea in Varna, Bulgaria and sees no reason to leave there, to come to Ottawa or anywhere else at all for that matter. Ratz, who lives in Switzerland, realised that Varna must be a super nice place, and decided to visit Julian. The second leg of the flight was from Sophia to Varna. To get on a plane in Bulgaria, when you already have a ticket and seat assignments, still requires the greasing of palms ("Sorry Sir, the plane is over-booked, you'll have to wait for the next one tomorrow.") When you get on the plane after paying for the ticket again, you find the plane is empty.

Here's some photos of Ratz, Julian and Alex discussing the design of server state synchronisation tables (see the HOWTO if you want to know more).

I was interested to see a photo of Julian. For his care package from OLS 2000, I'd asked Julian for his shirt size and got back a rather large number. Even after converting from cm to inches, I still had a rather large shirt (60 inches, I seem to remember). It was hard to imagine anyone with that shirt size. I assumed that Julian was intellegent enough to answer such questions, so rather than ask for confirmation ("Geeze mate, you must be a porker!"), I ironed an LVS logo onto the biggest white T-shirt I could find in Wal-Mart and sent him an extra iron-on LVS logo with instructions in case he wanted to put it onto a shirt of his choice.

After seeing these photos, I asked Julian about his shirt size. He thought I'd asked for his height.

Ottawa Linux Symposium, 26-29 Jul 2001

Horms gave a presentation this time on Super Sparrow Global Load Balancing. I'd seen Horms talk at the LinuxExpo (in 1997?) on his efforts to load balance traffic at an ISP in Sydney, Australia. However I didn't talk to him and apart from a photo on his vergenet website, I didn't have much of an idea what he looked like. Since then, Horms had moved to USA for VA Linux and back to Sydney again and was flying in for the conference. (As of 2002, not being able to find work in Australia, Horms is working in Japan).

Ratz and I, having enjoyed our previous stay at the Ottawa jail, booked in again and not knowing where or when Horms was arriving, set off the first afternoon, for some serious discussions on LVS design. This time Ratz brought a high tech CCD camera and we were able to upload photos and text to the LVS website daily.

Here's an updated version of the postings.

Ottawa Linux Symposium, 26-29 Jun 2002

Here's a report on OLS 2002.

Ottawa Linux Symposium, 23-26 Jul 2003

Here's a report on OLS 2003. There is also report on the pre-OLS meeting of LVS people (Ratz and Joe) at Algonquin Park.

Joe jmack (at) wm7d (dot) net
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