Saturday, Dec 3:
Getting There: Since the conference is in Boston, I decided to take the train rather than fly. Amtrak costs about the same but is faster due to the lack of 2-hour wait for TSA and other airport things. I arrived in Boston at about 1pm, checked in at the hotel, changed, and went to the lobby to hang out.
Registration: Registration wouldn't open until 5pm so I hung out, talked with people, got some status updates from the Usenix staff about registration numbers and so on. Registration opened at 5pm spot on and I was 2nd in line :-) so I got registered fast.
Reunion: It was great to see so many familiar faces as people arrive. LISA is kind of one huge family. Kind of a "once a year family reunion" for people that know each other through technical mailing lists and other forums. It was particularly good to see people that haven't made it to LISA in years (hi Kurt!). It's also great to see so many new faces. I think everyone goes out of their way to make new people feel welcome. For example, around dinner time people form groups to go out and new people are recruited. Which brings me to...
Advice for new people: It's easy to be shy at a conference like this. Here's a tip to break out of that: It is always polite to turn to a person you don't know, stick your hand out (to shake their hand) and say, "Hi! I'm [your name]. What's your name?" This works great whether you are standing on line waiting for lunch, or sitting next to a stranger in waiting for a talk to begin. Some of the biggest opportunities to learn at LISA are from the other attendees. Strike up a conversation!
Dinner: Walked with a friend to an Indian restaurant called Kashmir on Newbury Street.
I went to sleep early because tomorrow was going to be a big day.