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First off, we have a couple of birthdays in the house this month. That’s Hizzy or hiz-ouse for Dwight.

H.G. Wells 143rd birthday hit earlier this week, and may have slipped under the radar of many an Internet user if not for Google’s doodle’s the last few weeks.

If you haven’t had to search for anything on the web lately or if you’re one of those “bing people”, then you may not have noticed the recent outbreak of crop circle activity and alien abductions on the main Google search page.

In addition to arranging an alien abduction of the second O’s in the Google searcg page’s main drawing or doodle, as they’re officially known, Google sent out a Twitter containing a string of numbers that, when swapped for letters in the English alphabet, stated, “All your O are belong to us.”

Which is the perfect segueue into our second birthday of the month, the 1989 side-scrolling Japanese arcade game, Zero Wing. The original release date is a little fuzzy, though many speculate that it was earlier this month. What we know for sure is that the PC Engine port of that game was released on September 18th. I’m taking a little license with the original birthday. Google did it first, though, so it must be OK.

Someone else turned 50 this year, though I’ll save that for next week’s BarretTime. A hint is that they have more lines of code in financial institutions that just about anyone else, and they caused quite a scare a little under a decade ago.

So, with that said, this Saturday, September 23rd, plays host to the 2009 Houston Tech Fest at the University of Houston.

What is a Tech Fest?

First off, it’s by and for the community.

TechFest’s are about the community at large. They are meant to be a place for developers and IT Professionals to come and learn from their peers. Topics are always based on community interest and never determined by anyone other than the community. It’s also always free for attendees. The organizers understand that many times people can’t leave work for a day or two to attend training or even seminars. The beauty of the TechFest is that they always occur on weekends.

Another Tenent? TechFest uses community developed material.

The success of TechFest is that it is based on community content. All content that is delivered is original. All presentation content must be
provided (including the presenter’s code and any slide decks). The organizers state that, “If you have content you don’t want to share or provide to attendees then the TechFest is not the place for you.”

Now, this sounds a lot like a code camp. What’s the differece, you ask?

A Code Camp is strictly focused on the Developer where our TechFest is all about Technology, any technology. This doesn’t mean that there won’t be a lot of talks aimed at the code slinging masses. It just means that if you can’t crank out a Hello World in CoBOL, there’s no need to worry.

Surf to www.houstontechfest.com to see the specific goings on of the day and be sure to register if you plan to attend.

Also this Saturday, the Houston Linux Users Group is having the second of their two monthy meetings at the HAL-PC Headquarters, located ever so conveniently close to Microcenter on the West side of the 610 loop. The presentation starts at two, with things wrapping up at four. I’ve never attended anything short of a good presentation at this groups meetings, and have always taken something away from it.

Hit www.hal-pc.org for details and directions.

That’s it for this month’s Birthday Bash and that’s that for BarretTime.

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