The Bazaar 1999 (tech conference)

This was a conference that ran one time, December 14-16, in NYC.’s archives list it as “attendance is light” and there’s a good chance this User Friendly webcomic is in reference to the event.

The big features of the show were VA Linux Systems, who had recently had their IPO, and Andover’s “.NET Pavilion” featuring SlashDot and a lot of jokes about Andover as “Handover” due to a recent acquisition.

I was living in Pennsylvania then and couch-surfed at the Lodi, New Jersey, apartment of a friend who was also attending. That friend was there as a vendor with one of the *BSD foundations and got a vendor pass for me. I had paid for my own admission anyhow; functionally it meant I could get in early with her.

It wasn’t a notable conference but was my first foray into that part of tech. The main memories are as follows.

  • Sony Vaio super-slim laptops everywhere. They had a stylus that stored in the screen bezel.
  • The only time I sat in an Aeron chair.
  • Hanging out with the SlashDot people before hours and them exclaiming that The Onion had announced their Man of the Millennium: Death.
  • A party at FAO Schwarz where we hatched a “gotta install them all” song, parodying the Pokemon slogan and referring to the large number of Linux distributions of the day, and got some then-well-known tech people to play along.