From Brisbane to Beunos Aires... From the UK to France to Romania... from New York to San Francisco and everywhere in between, we had well over 100s of parties and over 2,300 registered attendees scattered around the world. Many of them got boxes of t-shirts and ThinkGeek gift certificates (and some of them even got them on time). We've seen cakes with legos and logos, we seen nerf gun fights, and even a lawn sporking. I've put a tiny sampling of my favorite pictures online. The grand prize winner is of the $1k store credit at ThinkGeek is Lindsi from Minneapolis. Their party featured a lolcats cake, a taco bar and a dude in a helmet smashing computers with a sledge hammer in a raining parking lot. They earned it. We had a great time in both Palo Alto and Ann Arbor- I hope you guys had fun wherever you gathered. See you again in 2017!
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The Slashdot 10 Year Anniversary Charity Auction for the EFF is at an end and the numbers are in. We are still waiting for payment on one of the six items, but the grand total for the auctions is $9186.83. The big surprise was the anonymous reader who bought the Swag Bag AND the Low UID: he decided to donate an extra $1200 beyond his bids! Thanks to Daniel Peacock (who bought Hemos's burnt copy of Watchmen) and Michael Ravnitzk who bought Triton, the case of the first x86 that ran Slashdot in Feb 1998. He then turned around and told us to shelve it, to try to sell it again later. Instead he got a box of shirts. We're still waiting for payment on the email address, but hopefully nobody would be so crappy that they would scam a charity auction. And lastly, we would like to give special thanks to the University of Advancing Technology (here's a Coral Cache link) who paid $3,550.00 for that hyperlink you just read past. They wanted to express their support for Slashdot and for the EFF, and I think both of us appreciate it. Thanks to everyone who bid on items and congratulations to the winners. And the rest of you - don't feel bad that you missed it. You can always make a donation later - the EFF does good work. Tell them Slashdot sent you.
Today is your last chance to enter the Slashdot 10-Year Anniversary party contest. All you need to do is send pictures, videos, or whatever party evidence you can email to anniversary at slashdot dot org. The winner will be whoever sends the things that make their party look the coolest, the most nerdish etc. We've seen signs, games, etc so far... and of course, the winner gets $1k at ThinkGeek. Both the Ann Arbor and Silicon Valley parties were great. Much alcohol consumed. Old friends chatted with. New friends met. I hope many of you around the net got your t-shirts and had good times.
Today we have Part 2 in our exciting 2 part series about the infrastructure that powers Slashdot. Last week Uriah told us all about the hardware powering the system. This week, Jamie McCarthy picks up the story and tells us about the software... from pound to memcached to mysql and more. Hit that link and read on.
If you can imagine working in the office of a school for gifted, troubled, and criminally insane children, inside an international airport, you can get a taste of what it is like to do support for Slashdot. I've worked here around 5 years now and have seen some crazy things. From a guy showing up at the office and offering me a car if I let him "reverse engineer Rob Malda's life", to people shaking and on the verge of tears because they got a Slashdot sticker. I was really tempted to take the car by the way but the thought of Rob spending his last few weeks in a hole, while this guy lowered a bucket of lotion and water down to him once a day, made me feel bad. Most of my time is spent answering email. Most days I receive about 50. When it's busy I can get well over a hundred. As everyone knows, people are precisely 500% more rude and angry online than they are in real life. Something about not having to see the tears or dodge the fist of the person you are swearing at brings out the worst in some people. We decided it would be fun to go through some of the more 'interesting' mails we've got through the years as part of our 10 year anniversary. Below you'll find some of my favorite rants, conspiracy theories and tantrums. (CT: Don't forget to put in your charity bid for the EFF- time is almost up.)
As part of our 10-Year anniversary, we've decided to have a little charity auction, with the cash going to the EFF. The items currently up for bidding are 'Triton' (the big old tower case from the first x86 used to host Slashdot from Feb 11 1998 through much of 1999... picture is attached to the story if you're curious). A low numbered UID (3 or maybe 2 digits!) so you can win those stupid low UID pissing match threads. Your URL plugged in the story where we announce the auction winners. Oh the fame! The Slashdot Grab Bag: We're putting stuff around the office in a box- random t-shirts, hats, even an old Nokia NGage. The mystery box could contain anything that we stuff in the box before the contest ends... there's a picture of what we have so far attached. A copy of the watchmen trade paperback singed in Hemos's 1999 house fire. An @slashdot.org email alias (tasteful names only ;) The auctions will be running for like 10 days, and we'll post the results when they come up.
When last we left off, Slashdot had grown beyond my ability to maintain it as a hobby, as well as beyond the simple DEC Alpha Multia 166 that had served it so well for the first week or two, and then immediately buckled under the traffic. Here in Part 2, we ride the wave of Slashdot's growth from early '98 until whenever my wrists get tired enough that I stop yakking until next week.
We have 700 T-Shirts coming in today and now we need to know where to ship them. So while you can continue to sign up for parties, today is the last day we'll be looking at the sign-ups to determine where to send shirts. You can sign up or host your own party and we'll try to mail lots of you schwag and ThinkGeek gift certificates. A note to people signed on for my party in Ann Arbor- we will be at Leopold Bros Oct 20. Pudge has a large party coming together near Seattle, Zonk has 30+ in Madison, and of course there's a big party in Palo Alto Oct 25 that Hemos & I will both be at as well. A reminder to all party planners- make SURE your email address is accurate so we can spam you guys and get snail mail addresses. Remember to take pictures/videos/etc at your local gatherings and submit them to us (we'll have an email address later). Whoever impresses us the most with their creativity in submission will win $1k ThinkGeek prize.
We last interviewed CmdrTaco, along with Hemos, in January 2000. Slashdot's 10th anniversary seems like a good time to put Rob back on the hot seat. He's older now and married, his former hobby site now has well over one million registered user IDs, and Linux has gone from "upstart" operating system to a normal part of the IT landscape. So ask away, one question per post. Expect to see answers to at least 10 of the highest-moderated questions next week. And if you miss your chance to participate in this interview, don't worry. We'll probably do another one with CmdrTaco sometime between 2014 and 2017. CT: Also the clock is ticking if you want to sign up for a Slashdot 10-Year Anniversary party if you want a T-Shirt or a shot at the $1k ThinkGeek gift certificate.
Reminder to check for parties in your area. You can still create new parties through the weekend, but you'll need to RSVP ASAP in order to make your location eligible to get a care package of ThinkGeek gift certificates, and Slashdot T-Shirts. Remember to read the discussions on your party to be notified of location changes or updates. Party planners- make sure your email address is up to date- we'll need to get a shipping address for shirts. We've upped the number of shirts to 700 to accommodate a quite impressive number of parties and attendees. The corporate drones demand that I share with you official rules to be eligible for the $1000 gift certificate. The winner will be selected by me, based on who sends in the picture/video/story from their party that proves theirs was best/coolest/whatever. Some folks have already contacted me with some creative ideas so the competition is gonna be tough. Choreography? Synchronized Swimming? Group Chanting? Streaking? Lastly, A special note to Ann Arbor party attendees (Oct 20!)- we've moved the location to Leopold Bros. It's only a block away, but they can handle a larger group. I'll be in attendance trading T-Shirts for booze ;) The Palo Alto party is looking large as well. Looking forward to attending both.
October marks 10 friggin years of Slashdot, and nobody is more surprised about any of this than me. Throughout the month we'll be running a series of navel gazing meta news articles about our history, infrastructure and plans for the future. We're also going to give away 500 t-shirts and ThinkGeek gift certificates to people willing to organize and attend their own local Slashdot parties. One lucky winner will get a cool grand to blow at ThinkGeek! I'm going to attend "official" gatherings in Ann Arbor, MI on Oct 20 and in Palo Alto, CA on Oct 25. But you can read on for details about party organization and how you can win the grand prize.
A few quick notes on some recent code updates. The smaller function is that we've added text messaging stuff for phones. If you visit the messages page (you must be logged in) you can define your cell phone's email address, and get notifications sent to it. The more interesting update is for Discussion2 users (turn it on on any article page). There is an option now to restrict page sizes and you will retrieve comments by score. This means you can configure your Slashdot to return smaller, more bandwidth friendly pages that you can expand without loading fresh pages. Anyone still running D1 is a sucker.
Logged in users have noticed for some time the request to drink from the Slashdot Firehose. Well now we're ready to start having everybody test it out. It's partially a collaborative news system, partially a redesigned & dynamic next-generation Slashdot index. It's got a lot of really cool features, and a lot of equally annoying new problems for us to find and fix for the next few weeks. I've attached a rough draft of the FAQ to the end of this article. A quick read of it will probably answer most questions from how it works, what all the color codes mean, to what we intend to do with it.
Slashdot users of the Discussion2 system now have a new 'Update' button visible on their floating control slider, as well at the end of the discussion. This button will update your page to include comments posted since the page was loaded, so now you can keep discussion pages up to date without doing a full reload. It's nowhere near complete yet, but it's a nice step that goes a long ways towards making it easier to use larger discussions while they are actively updating. If you aren't using Discussion2, you need to log in, and toggle the checkbox visible on every page. You probably need bother only if you are using Firefox 1.5 or 2.x or Safari. You can send bug reports to me if you want.
We have a number of Slashdot features that we've added in recent months that I've neglected to mention so I wanted to take a moment to share them with everyone today. I'd like to start by reminding all logged in users to try playing with our new experimental Discussion2 system. It's very nearly complete at this point. You can activate it with a checkbox on any article page (provided you actually have logged in). Read on to learn about Podcasts, IM, improved quoting in discussions, new subscriber options and more.