E-Scribe : a programmer’s blog

About Me

PBX I'm Paul Bissex. I build web applications using open source software, especially Django. Started my career doing graphic design for newspapers and magazines in the '90s. Then wrote tech commentary and reviews for Wired, Salon, Chicago Tribune, and others you never heard of. Then I built operations software at a photography school. Then I helped big media serve 40 million pages a day. Then I worked on a translation services API doing millions of dollars of business. Now I'm building the core platform of a global startup accelerator. Feel free to email me.


I co-wrote "Python Web Development with Django". It was the first book to cover the long-awaited Django 1.0. Published by Addison-Wesley and still in print!


Built using Django, served with gunicorn and nginx. The database is SQLite. Hosted on a FreeBSD VPS at Johncompanies.com. Comment-spam protection by Akismet.


Pile o'Tags

Stuff I Use

Bitbucket, Debian Linux, Django, Emacs, FreeBSD, Git, jQuery, LaunchBar, macOS, Markdown, Mercurial, Python, S3, SQLite, Sublime Text, xmonad

Spam Report

At least 237132 pieces of comment spam killed since 2008, mostly via Akismet.


It's possible that there's still some guy doing laps around the Oregon Convention Center on a Segway with security chasing after him, but as of 1:30PM today OSCON 2005 was officially over.

This was my first time attending the conference, and I had a great time. I learned a lot, had some excellent discussions and unexpected laughs, and got myself fired up again about being part of the open source anti-massacree movement.

In general I found the regular conference sessions more engaging than the tutorials. It's much easier to hold an audience for 45 minutes than for three hours. I also think that a three-hour "tutorial" with no hands-on component is a bit of stretch for most people. Even if one stipulates that most OSCONers are hyper-cerebral brainiacs, they are also people who learn by doing and building. Many attendees had laptops, but none of the tutorials I attended took advantage of that fact. Perhaps the lonely, lost Apple Developer Connection computer lab could be refactored next year into multiple smaller lab spaces closer to the action, so that tutorial participants could do some sociable hacking on breaks while the material was still fresh in their minds.

That said, I'm definitely going to try to come back next year (especially if it's in Portland, which I love). Thanks to O'Reilly and all the presenters and participants who make this conf what it is.

Friday, August 5th, 2005

Comments are closed for this post. But I welcome questions/comments via email or Twitter.