The last few weeks have been pretty intense for me, what with a perfect storm of work stuff. Much is related to Campware’s SummerCAMP 2005 developers’ conference last week, which was excellent, with around 25 programmers, end users and system integrators from 11 countries descending on Kafkaville to talk about our software and ways it can be improved. And when I say 11 countries, that includes not just North America and Western Europe, but also places like Serbia, Guatemala and Jordan.

The days were intense, and left me at the end with that feeling like one gets when taking the SATs or playing intense chess. And as usual, I’m always pleasantly reminded of how many smart people there are in the world. Then the beer-soaked nights were, um, náročné.

At the same time as SummerCAMP was going on, the LiveSupport team was getting LiveSupport 1.0 ready for release. In case you haven’t been keeping up, LiveSupport is our open source playout and automation system for radio stations. Think of iTunes combined with a day planner and connected to a radio transmitter, and you get an idea of what it does.

A release candidate will be ready next week, and 1.0 will be out the door by the end of June. It’s close. It’s tantalizingly close. Its development has had more twists and turns than a good telenovela, , so it will be a great relief and pleasure for the entire team to finally have the software available.

Interest has been coming in from around the world about LiveSupport, and that’s been gratifying. The coolest thing will be when people see how easy it is to add the features they need. It’ll be even cooler when we start putting it into communities worldwide that really need independent and reliable information.

The perfect storm hit its climax last week when both my hard disks died, taking with them 160 gigs of info, including, most painfully, all my carefully-maintained music library. Only the files I had on my iPod – about 1/5 of my total library – were saved.

Maybe everything bad is good for something, because the whole experience of having to reinstall and reformat made me finally take the step and use Linux as my primary operating system. In the end I chose Ubuntu, because it installed flawlessly and is really user-friendly. Now the next step will be to a) re-rip all my music and b) get familiar with Linux-based DJ software packages. Go figure.

Next week I’ll be heading to California for a long-awaited and much-needed vacation. I’m looking forward to meeting lots of friends and family when there, and have promised myself to keep the laptop closed at least 23 hours a day.

I’ll be using that remaining one hour a day mainly to check in – and maybe blog more than I’ve been doing recently – in addition to possibly doing some LiveSupport demos for interested parties. The rest of the time I’ll be doing a whole lotta nothing.

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