I spent Thursday through Saturday at Usenix Technical '02 in Monterey along with Costa, Ramesh, and Tal from my research group at Stanford.
Linus Torvalds and Ted Ts'o led a Linux BoF. Representatives of FreeBSD, OpenBSD, NetBSD, MacOS X, and BSD/OS led a BSD BoF.
Costa is an OpenBSD maintainer, so we hung out with the OpenBSD folks quite a bit. There were lots of them there, perhaps a dozen in all. I met Theo de Raadt. He is friendly in person, which I did not expect from his on-line reputation.
There was a vendor fair, but it was very small. I bought an OpenBSD t-shirt ("So long and thanks for all the passwords" with a picture of a blowfish on the front, source code for the Blowfish algorithm on the back) and picked up a bunch of posters for the office. I also picked up a bunch of vendor goodies like tins of candy and packs of cards.
The talks were often not nearly so good as the papers. I went to a few that I was really excited about, only to find out that the speaker didn't speak English to the point that it was painful to listen.
Lots of very fat people at the conference. Even Linus is overweight. It's an inspiration to go out and get some exercise.
On the other hand, there was lots of good food around Monterey. It's nice being on a university expense account! The dessert reception at the Monterey Bay Aquarium on Friday night was particularly nice.
Being around all these smart, exciting people was inspirational. It made me want to go out and write a lot of software. Unfortunately, I don't have a good idea for something to write.