Rupert Goodwins' Diary

Tuesday 30/11/2004Roving reporter Ingrid Marson cables back from Madrid, where she's enjoying a couple of days at the HP Software Universe show. There's the usual cheerleading from the stage, especially about numbers -- 900 more delegates than expected, which probably put a strain on the finger buffets.

Tuesday 30/11/2004

Roving reporter Ingrid Marson cables back from Madrid, where she's enjoying a couple of days at the HP Software Universe show. There's the usual cheerleading from the stage, especially about numbers -- 900 more delegates than expected, which probably put a strain on the finger buffets. Curiously, Ingrid says, she had a hard time finding real customers: with loads of HP bods and tons of partners, the actual paying stiff was thin on the ground.

More excitement back at the hotel, though, where a large and rather imposing entourage sweeps through the lobby. It is Abdoulaye Wade, the third and current President of Senegal, together with the standard issue set of bag carriers, bodyguards, protocol pushers and deputies that accompany a head of state when he's out and about. As befits a mere peon, Ingrid lets the wash of people go past. The Prez is just getting into the lift when a rather loud voice says "Hello, lady!" in Ingrid's right ear. Recovering her wits, she finds the voice attached to a happy-looking chap from the Senegal party who crept up behind her and appeared to be looking -- in vain -- for some kind of positive response. Not getting one, he silently vanishes away and repeats the experiment on other, similarly chromosomed members of the press party. Some subtle PRing from HP, or a lost opportunity for exotic adventures? We shall never know.

At least 'Lady' is a bit more fun than 'Mrs Marson', which is how Gentoo addressed our noble scribe. The Gentoo operational manager, Chis Gianelloni, had a long chat with Ingrid about an upcoming live release of the software, and the Lady wrote it up. But not to Gentoo's satisfaction: there was a misunderstanding over package management tool functionality -- don't you hate it when that happens? -- Slashdot got overexcited and Gentoo reacted rather strongly -- including a missive addressed to Mrs Marson. Fortunately, all is now sorted out and we all love each other once again, but Ingrid probably remains the only person to get married by a Linux distro. We haven't told her boyfriend yet… nor yet the cultural attaché from Senegal. Too many hearts to break at once.