On Monday Evening, IBM hosted a social event at The Rock, which is
one of London’s hottest night spots. We took busses to a place
on the Thames, within view of Big Ben and the London Eye, and
enjoyed an evening of VERY loud music, drinks and snacks, VR video
games, and massages. This was a fun time, but not a particularly
good time to talk shop, since it was so loud, and the open bar
did not do much to foster technical conversations.
There was a raffle at the end of the evening, in which I won a
lovely IBM bathrobe.
The evening was sponsored by WebSphere, an IBM
product based on the Apache Server.
The rest of the week moved at about the same pace as Monday.
Douglas Adams, the author of the popular “Hitchhikers Guide To The
Galaxy” series of books, as well as the “Dirk Gently” detective
books, gave a talk entitled “Living in a Virtual World.” In his talk,
Adams talked about the ability of the human mind to deal with
concepts entirely foreign to our understanding, and the amazing
fact that things that amaze us so much now will be completely
commonplace to our children. The talk was amusing, but very
insightful, and encouraged us, in the words of Alan Kay, to predict
the future by inventing it.
Rather than having some governing
body hand down to us The Way Things Are, we are, in a very real sense,
reversing this centuries-old order of things, and, more than any
other generation, we are seeing a move to a world where the common
people dictate the way that things should be. The Internet, of course,
is a huge part of this shift, as we are able to be the source of
information, rather than passive recipients of it. In our lifetime,
the old saw that “the freedom of the press belongs to everyone that
owns one” has lost its humor, and become a reality, where huge
numbers of people are able to have direct access to the publishing
Jim Jagielski, who runs jaguNET, a web hosting
and Interenet Service provider, gave a very informative talk about how
one might go about setting up and running a web hosting company, based
on the Apache server. He recommended that one focus on certain
niche markets, such as secure servers, or PHP, in order to set oneself
apart from the mass of other providers.
William Rowe gave a demonstration of steps that one might go through
to secure an installation of Apache Server on Windows 2000, and various
things that one might do in general to secure a Windows 2000
server that will be on the Internet. Several things did not go quite
according to plan during the presentation, but it gave a lot of useful
tips about what one needs to lock down to prevent a machine from being
In the closing session, Ken wrapped up the conference, introduced the
core ASF developers, and opened things up for comments and questions.
We were all pretty worn out from the conference, and there were rather
few questions, but a lot of suggestions as to what might be done
differently next time.
ApacheCon 2001 will be held April 4-6 in Santa Clara, CA. We hope to
see you there.