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Reporter's Notebook: Open Solutions Summit, Day One

Blizzard conditions, Samba updates and Windows interoperability, as well as a trendy Linux Internet tablet greet reporter Jack Loftus at LinuxWorld, day one.

NEW YORK CITY -- Allow me to channel Denzel Washington from Training Day for a moment: New York City blizzards ain't got nothing on me. Well, at least when it comes to conference coverage. After a ten block trek through this reporter's first substantial snowfall of the season, the LinuxWorld Open Solutions Summit was before me and ready to begin.

Samba's Gerald Carter kicked things off with his session on user authentication and identity management, and if there was one thing to take away from the session, it's that Linux and Unix administrators need to be lazier. Well, they need to stop with all the redundancy that happens when they go to locally manage user access privileges on all their Linux boxes. For more on that, I suggest you check out the full article [link to story here] for an in depth look at what's driving the Samba conversation these days.

With Windows and Linux interoperability still fresh in my mind, I headed to an afternoon session with author Jeremy Moskowitz. His book, Windows & Linux Integration: Hands-on solutions for a mixed environment, covers a topic that is exactly up the alley of many readers.

I won a copy of his book because I happened to be sitting in the seat with a special "you win" postcard affixed underneath, but my journalistic sense of objectivity has barred me from keeping it. Instead, I'll be offering this signed copy of Moskowitz's book on making Windows and Linux play nice as a prize in a future newsletter. Stay tuned.

I also dove into the exhibition hall to see what the various vendors were peddling to conference goers and journalists like me. There were a few items I saw that I included in a quick product round up, which you can find here.

Lastly, I've been tooling around the conference with a Linux-based Internet tablet in my back pocket provided on loan from Nokia. The N800 is pretty slick and navigates the Web nicely for email and the infamous YouTube videos I share with colleagues back at TechTarget HQ, but other than that I lost interest after a while. It could be that I'm not enough of a gadgetophile to appreciate the VoIP capabilities or Bluetooth features, but I think it's because I've got a perfectly capable (if not a little bit past its prime) Dell laptop that does all that with a 15" screen.

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