“Oggcamp is not about corporate culture, it’s basically about enthusiasm”
joe ressington on maker positivity
Joe Ressington LXF:
Hi Joe, thanks for taking the time to talk to us. Please can you tell the readers more about yourself. Joe Ressington (JR): and I’m the host of and the co-host of LXF: JR: LXF: JR: LXF: JR: LXF: JR: Hi, I’m Joe Ressington podcast, LateNightLinux LinuxActionNews. So how long would you say you’ve been podcasting for?
I’ve been podcasting for around four to five years and I started out on podcast which was on the Mindset network, a network which isn’t really going anymore.
The podcast was a mix of conspiracy theorytype stuff and technology. I presented the podcast with Gareth Davies, a Mac user and we bonded together over our dislike of Windows. We started the podcast just before the Edward Snowden event and all of the conspiracy theories we had been talking about came true! So we felt vindicated! TheMindTech So your area of interest is in security?
No, I would say that I’m more interested in Open Source Software really. Open standards and security work hand in hand. You can’t really have proper security without open source or open standards.
So is Linux a secure operating system? Recently there have been some Linux security issues hitting the headlines: Dirty COW and the Bitcoin malware for Linux, and MulDrop.14 for Raspberry Pi.
You’re always going to have Zero day exploits because of code churn, but I like to think that Linux is more secure than Windows or Mac, insofar as someone can find the exploits in Linux and fix them. Whereas you’re relying on a closed source company to fix exploits and close back doors. So government agencies may possess back doors into Linux, but hopefully they’ll be found and fixed by the community.
So here we are at Oggcamp 17 in the lovely city of Canterbury, but this isn’t your first Oggcamp. How have you seen Oggcamp evolve over the years?
If I remember correctly my first Oggcamp was in 2011, in Farnham and I’ve only missed one event since then. I’ve seen the appeal of Oggcamp become more selective. It seems to be less popular than it once was. It’s still a good event and the people who attend are really cool, but there are just fewer people here than there have been in previous years and this is a trend that I’ve noticed.
Maybe this is because there are now more maker events, and when Oggcamp first started it was the only big event that was happening, whereas now there are a lot more events taking place. I suppose the community has become “fractured” or spread out, but Oggcamp is still a great event and I had a great time this weekend. LXF: Is there still a desire for Oggcamp? JR:
There’s still a desire for Oggcamp − people still want to come. Apart from anything else this is a social event, giving the community a chance to catch up. Granted, it’s good to talk online, but Oggcamp gives us the chance to have a drink and a chat face to face.
For me the most important aspect of Oggcamp is the “social track”. Sure I can see lots of great talks − in fact I watched a great talk on Open Suse, and then had the chance to talk to the speaker about his project and other interests in the pub afterwards. LXF: Do you think what makes Oggcamp different to other technology-focused or corporate conferences is that it addresses the community, rather than the technology? JR: Yeah that’s definitely it. Oggcamp is less corporate. Of course, there’s some networking going on and people will be learning new skills for their jobs, but at the same time there are talks going on that cover personal projects. You would never see that at a corporate conference because it has no corporate value. Oggcamp is not about corporate culture, it’s basically about enthusiasm. LXF: If you could change one thing about any Oggcamp, either past or present, then what would it be? JR: The location! So I can take the Tube there Joe Ressington favours a London venue. and back and not pay for a hotel! It’s all “up in the air” but we may have found a suitable venue in London, which would be great! More people coming would also be great. That said, it’s nice that it’s a small event and that you have the time to properly catch up with people.
This year, I think Canterbury put a few people off, especially those coming from the north because it’s quite a journey. The venue, Canterbury Christ Church University has been great, and by offering the event to Oggcamp for free it’s saved the organisers thousands of pounds and many weeks of work, which means they can concentrate on the event. LXF: So what has been your favourite part of Oggcamp 2017? JR: I think that for me it was the conversation that I had with Martin Wimpress (Ubuntu MATE Project Lead) and Richard Brown (Suse) in the pub last night. We talked about the new packaging format “Snap” and it became quite heated. I think that Snap is one of the biggest developments in Linux in recent years. LXF