Inside Foo Camp

Peter Coffee shares his experience at the inaugural "Friends of O'Reilly" event.

One attendee described this months "foo camp" as "two hundred people, all certain that everyone else there is smarter than they are." This inaugural "Friends of OReilly" ("foo," get it?) event was literally a campout: many of us brought tents and pitched them around the edge of the yard behind the OReilly campus in Sebastopol, an hour north of San Francisco, while others unrolled their pads and sleeping bags in conference rooms or cubicles. Not that we got much sleep: informal seminars, on everything from RFIDs to great camping tools, didnt break up until around 2 a.m. on either Friday or Saturday night.

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Take Peter Coffees virtual tour of foo camp

If the name "OReilly" doesnt ring an immediate bell, this is the OReilly that publishes the serious-hacker books with the line drawings of exotic animals on the covers. Head man Tim OReilly therefore has his finger on the pulse of programmer mind-share, and he had some interesting facts to share in his session on trends in his business (sorry about the odd colors in that photo, he gave it in a darkened room with a video projector, and I had to work up the colors from an infrared NightShot that I took with my DSC-F717.)

Among other tidbits, Tims data show that books about Microsoft technologies with "2000" in the title are still outselling titles containing "2002" or "2003" or ".Net" or even "XP," which some might interpret as a danger sign for the uptake of new Microsoft initiatives.

Next page: If technologists arent religiously tracking the moving targets launched by Redmond, then what are they watching?