Awesome Conferences

December 2010 Archives

New submission deadline for casitconf'11 is: Midnight (PST), the night of Sunday, 9 JAN, 2011.

Posted by Tom Limoncelli

First was January. This was followed by February which transitioned rather abruptly into March. April followed, as did May. June, July and August were next, in that order. September came and went. October followed September, just as it has for as long as I can remember. Soon it was November and lastly December.

I look forward to seeing what 2011 brings.

Posted by Tom Limoncelli in FunnyMisc

Happy Hoidays!

No el!

Sincerey, Tom imoncei

Posted by Tom Limoncelli

You can read it online here:

A Plea to Software Vendors from Sysadmins - 10 Do's and Don'ts

ACM Queue approached me a year ago and asked for suggestions on how to make Queue magazine more appealing to system administrators. As part of the process I helped wrangle a number of sysadmins to contribute articles. Some were in the previous issue and you'll see more in coming months. Of course, I couldn't help but write one myself :-).

ACM Queue magazine is published online, but they cross-publish articles into Communications of the ACM (printed edition), which is a magazine I respect and highly recommend. It isn't just for computer scientists!

I welcome your comments on the new article!

Update: The article has been mentioned on Slashdot! If you are visiting my site after seeing this on Slashdot, welcome! Please subscribe to my RSS feed!

Update 2: Check next week... I'll have a new batch of videos up!

Posted by Tom Limoncelli

Please let the world know... The registration system for the 2011 Cascadia IT Conference is online now at:

Congrats to the conference planning committee for reaching this goal. A lot of stuff has to happen before you can start selling tickets. This is a fantastic milestone! I'm sure this is going to be an awesome conference!

If you are within a 10-hour drive of Seattle I expect you to attend this conference, damn it! Tell your boss I told them you have to go to this so that your company remains competitive. Regional conferences are the most economical way to get cutting-edge training. This kind of training pays for itself in weeks if not days.


Posted by Tom Limoncelli in Community

New Brunswick, NJ, December 7, 2010 - The New Jersey Chapter of the League of Professional System Administrators has announced the Call for Participation for the 2011 Professional IT Community Conference (PICC).

This is the second year for the conference, which caters to system administrations in the New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and New York region. Last year's conference was attended by over eighty administrators representing an array of organizations.

The backbone of any conference is its technical program, and the PICC organizers are announcing that the conference's Call for Participation is open. This is an open invitation to all interested parties to email an overview of content that they are interested in presenting at the conference to the address [email protected] before the deadline of January 28th, 2011.

The conference program committee encourages interested people to submit proposals for experience reports, posters, panels, and papers. In order to be considered, the email should contain 2-3 paragraphs describing the content, format, and length of the proposed presentation (either short, at 30 minutes, or long, at 60 minutes).

PICC Chair Matt Simmons spoke about the increased availability of lengths and formats, saying, "This is a community conference, and we're trying to encourage more members of the community to participate. By being open to presentations of varying time and content, we're really hoping to get a wide array of people presenting for the first time. We want to know what people are doing, and to learn from their failures and successes. Only by sharing our experiences can we all learn from each other."

Brian K Jones, co-author of "Linux Server Hacks, Volume 2" recalled participating in last year's conference, remarking, "As rewarding as it is to participate in any conference, being able to do it in front of your local community makes it that much better. It's always fun to present technical information, and I'm looking forward to the coming conference in April."

The conference itself will take place from Friday, April 29th to Saturday, April 30th, and more information can be found online on the conference homepage,

Matt Simmons
PICC Conference Chair
Email: [email protected]
Tel: +1 (740) 403-9997

Posted by Tom Limoncelli in Community

Sysadmin Mantras

You may have already seen this, but it's good to read it again anyway.

This is a good post about Ops Mantras, or doing sysadmin the right way. It is still valid.

(full text after the bump)

Posted by Tom Limoncelli in Career Advice

This is a good time of the year to send email to your employees reminding them that if they are going to be away for the holidays they should take some steps to save energy, and money.

(free free to cut and paste from this... I stole it from somewhere else too)

Some simple steps you can take:

  • Power off your monitors. Many people leave their monitors on or in standby, which uses more power than actually turning them off.

  • Shut off or put your computer in sleep mode if you won't need your computer at all over the holidays. Note: some machines don't have an effective sleep mode so if possible, turn them off.

  • In general, put your machine in sleep mode when you are away from your desk, especially at night or on the weekends. Even if you're not on vacation this week, use sleep mode to help save energy and reduce emissions.

  • Set your screen saver to "blank" if you do need to leave your machine on so you can access it remotely. Screen savers can cause some processors to use more energy than just a blank setting, and they aren't even necessary for monitors anymore - other than providing nice eye candy for someone watching. (generating those fancy graphics requires extra CPU work and that consumes more energy)

  • Unplug other electronics. While you're at it, please check your area for other non-essential loads that could be unplugged or turned off over the holiday (lamps, holiday lights, electronic picture frames, etc.). This is a good idea to do all the time, not just before the holidays. Even though we employ motion detectors and timers to shut down lights, these aren't everywhere, and it saves even more if you manually turn lights and projectors off when leaving the room.

  • Do NOT shut off a computer that isn't yours. Ask the owner FIRST or offer to power it off for them. Some machines may be controlling critical processes that run when people aren't around or have a special shutdown procedure (not just "hit the button"). Of course, any computer in a "computer room" or "computer closet" should not be powered off except by the IT staff. You wouldn't want us to not be able to process invoices (or payroll!) because someone powered off the wrong machine.

Finally, if you're traveling away from home you might consider unplugging things at home, too - helping the environment a bit while saving your money. shows typical savings for appliances. For more tips the EPA and Sierra Club have suggestions.

Have a great and safe end-of-the-year whatever-holiday-you-celebrate-even-if-it-is-none time of the year!

ACM Queue magazine is adding a lot of sysadmin-related articles these next few issues. Here's one from the issue that just "shipped".

For sysadmins, solving problems usually involves collaborating with others. How can we make it more effective?

Authors: Eben M. Haber, Eser Kandogan, Paul Maglio

(By the way... Eben was a keynote at PICC. If you missed his excellent talk you owe it to yourself to read this article.)

Posted by Tom Limoncelli

One of the most important tips I give about time management is developing routines and habits. Here's a video clip from a larger lecture I gave on time management.

[Please excuse the quality of the audio and video. (I should also point out that I feel like I was under-rehearsed and do a better job of this now)]

Posted by Tom Limoncelli in Time Management

SysAdvent has started!

25 days of sysadmin articles from all sorts of people.

Posted by Tom Limoncelli in Community