mark :: blog :: trips

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20120928_prime For a two day trip I decided to test using my Android tablet instead of also taking a laptop, and it worked out okay for the most part.

I was booked to go to Red Hat HQ in Raleigh, NC at the start of August for a two-day business trip, well more accurately two-days in the office and another two-days of travelling. I'd usually take my trusty ThinkPad x201 on the trip with me, it's small and light, but it's battery life isn't so great anymore. Earlier this year I'd bought an Android tablet, an ASUS Transformer Prime which with a long battery life would be perfect for movies, but could it replace my ThinkPad completely and save me travelling with two devices? I worked through my requirements and it seemed plausible in theory, so here is how it stacked up in practice:

So in summary I think I got away with it; having just the tablet didn't stop me doing anything that had to be done on the trip and I'll definately do the same thing again in the future for very short trips. For anything more than a couple of days or where connectivity might be an issue I'd miss having a full-featured OS.


I'm out on holiday soon to Arizona, so we've been looking for ways to geocode the photos we'll be taking and get a record of our route. I use a Mio A701 phone which has built-in GPS, and this time we'll be using Tom Tom in the USA rather than Mapopolis. The problem with Tom Tom Navigator is that it doesn't keep a track log, and there doesn't seem to be any plugins to allow it to do so. So here is the solution I've been experimenting with over the weekend.

On the PocketPC:

On my Fedora machine:

The exif metadata inside each jpeg now contains the approximate co-ordinates of where you were when you took the photo along with a guess of the location (city, country, etc). You can load out.kml into GoogleEarth to see the tracklog and photos on a map. If you've allowed Flickr to read the location data from exif then uploading a geotagged photo will automatically place it on a map. (Make sure you consider the consequences before enabling that option or you may end up unintentionally leaking information like the location of your friends houses or parties you've been to). Here's a quick pic taken in the snow today to test it out:

Test of photo Geocoding output from exiftool:
GPS Position                    : 55 deg 46' 58.21" N, 4 deg 0' 5.50" W
City                            : Motherwell
Province-State                  : Scotland
Country-Primary Location Name   : United Kingdom


Nalin gave a great presentation in the last summit slot about single sign on. One of his slides read simply "Passwords Suck. More Passwords Suck More". I think this is a useful phrase that I am going to now subvert for a short rant:

American Airlines Experiences Suck
More American Airlines Experiences Suck More

First was the debacle which was a 7 hour delay getting to Nashville after a flight was cancelled. Now, at 9pm the day before my 6am flight from Nashville to London tommorrow they cancel my flight and are unable to get me to London in time for my Monday meeting. So I miss my meeting and total for the week I'll have had 18 hours of delays. Although perhaps I shouldn't blog this until I'm home as I'm still in Nashville and, nice that it is, don't want to spend another year here. So thats four out of my last six AA trips that have gone significantly wrong, and I only used AA this time because I wanted to upgrade and had miles left.

However, rant aside, this trip was all about the Red Hat Summit. I was pleasantly suprised by how smoothly it ran and how useful it was to have face-to-face meetings with some of the people I interact with daily by computer. There's a few cool things that the trip acted as a catalyst for, but you'll need to wait to find out ;) I tried to speak to many different attendees over breaks in the days, and consensus was positive with all the first-timers wishing to attend again in the future.

a few of my photos from the summit


Just back from my two presentations and I've uploaded the final versions (which replace the ones distributed on the conference CD).


Just back from a couple of days in London with the Red Hat world tour folks. It was awesome fun and I got to meet loads of interesting people. I've no idea how these guys have managed it, especially their rule on having no checked-in luggage. Two weeks without scissors or sharp instruments. Actually, given their close confinement that's probably a good thing.

I'm sure at the end of the Linux user group meeting yesterday a guy walked off with a couple of dozen of the world tour t-shirts we were giving away; wonder if they'll turn up on ebay.

My attempt to photo blog the event with my phone camera failed as I ended up sending all the pictures to the wrong email address. D'oh.

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Hi! I'm Mark Cox. This blog gives my thoughts and opinions on my security work, open source, fedora, home automation, and other topics.