I just finished a week in Montreal. This was my first time in Québec, and while the weather could have been better, I really enjoyed the trip.

Québec is like France but with subtitles.

The primary language is French, but many signs are also in English. The rule seems to be that the English translation has to be below, and in a point size no larger than 50%, of the original French. Hence, subtitles.

I stayed downtown and took the Metro out to the customer site. They are a managed service provider with a goal to manage more than 50,000 access points across the country. They had been using OpenNMS for awhile, so it was a lot of fun for me since I got to help solve interesting problems, but it was also a lot of work because I got to help solve interesting problems. They worked my brain pretty hard to come up with a way for OpenNMS to address their needs, not just from a functionality standpoint but to come up with solutions that could also be automated and scaled. It was amazing how flexible OpenNMS can be, and with one exception we were able to address everything without changing the code.

I can honestly say that they would not have been able to do this with any other product out there. Not only are other solutions too rigid, their cost struction (i.e. per node pricing) would make them prohibitive on cost alone. Score one for open source.

It wasn’t all work. I did get to sample some fine cuisine (Montréal has a large number of nice restaurants) as well as local favorites such as “steamies” (hot dogs) and poutin (fried, fresh cut potatoes covered in a gravy sauce and cheese curds).

We also went out to see a midnight showing of “The Avengers” (review: very good, but unless you are a huge comic fan, maybe not as great as some of the reviews suggest – and stay until the very end of the credits) so I”m beat.

Plus I only had 30 hours at home before heading to Germany for the OpenNMS Users Conference Europe.


I’m sitting at DFW as I write this, on my way to FRA. The trip started out poorly since I forgot both my jacket and my headphones (which usually live in my case but were in my jacket since I’d only been home for a short while and, hey, I’d obviously remember to get it on the way out) but I did manage to find an inexpensive jacket at the airport (thank goodness for the changing seasons).

But things started to get better as I managed an upgrade on the first flight, and as I walked into the Admiral’s Club I almost bumped into Snoop Dogg, who was heading out. I’m glad I didn’t as the enormous bodyguard with him would have crushed me like a piece of paper.

I’m looking forward to seeing everyone in Fulda, and I’ll try to keep the blog updated throughout the week. Remember that we are bringing the goodness that is the OpenNMS Users Conference to the US this year. Hope to see you there.

One thought on “Montréal

  1. When I was in Quebec the first time I came from Dulles. My resumé was: It’s like the US but fewer people with weight issues. And as I failed miserably in understanding the canadian french I quickly went back to my version of english.

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