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Fri, 09 Dec 2011

Pubbage and no business talk - 10:23
So a few weeks ago Pia asked if we had planned any social gathering on the friday night before ghosts for the people who had arrived in Canberra already. By social gathering she of course meant rock up to a pub and chat.

Anyway, though I live about 50 metres from All Bar Nun I only really go there about once every three months if that, and dont really go to pubs much. Too busy mtb riding or something I guess.

I said sure lca crew and other ghosts attendees in Canberra by friday night could rock up to All Bar and sit around chatting about all things unrelated to lca and LA.

So now the reason for this whole spiel, the amusing part is, Pia and Jeff decided they had to attend the SLUG meeting and are now not arriving in Canberra until around 11pm.

[/lca] link

Ghosts is over - 10:23
On the whole ghosts worked very well, and I believe helped the lca 2005 crew understand a lot more about wha gos into running this conference we have.

We had a rather large number of people at the ghosts session, I wonder if maybe this was a bad thing. It seemed a times we did not need quite so many people. One thing I noticed is the ghosts session was really for the new lca team to be able to learn from previous organising teams. Thinking about who was present I dont really see that we could have left many out. Maybe if the LA committee were not so strongly reccomended. For future ghosts I wonder if maybe just the LA president and Treasurer would be enough.

I suppose LA was strongly represented at the meeting due to the fact Rusty and Mikal are both on the committee and both lca people also, Michael Davies as the 2004 Lead organiser was necessary and also is on the LA committee. Mark Tearle was there from Perth but mostly there as the LA treasurer, we already have Tony Breeds on our lca crew from Perth. So looking a it this year the LA committee was almost all there by necessity, so bringing AfC and Stewart in for LA to meet afterwards kind of made sense.

The thing that strikes me is we had ~ 20 people in the meeting room all weekend, fortunately it worked well for us, we got through almost the entire agenda and people did not interrupt with out reason. However it just seems busy with that many people there. Also with the LA meeting at the end of the weekend before everyone flew out there was a bit of rushing and possibly some things left off the agenda or not discussed that should be. I think a large part of why the LA thing happened was due to the make up of who would already be there. I would be nice to be able to avoid that in the future for ghosts if possible I think.

I dont mean it as a criticism really as it did not impact heavily on us this weekend, more just something to think about for the future. As for the lca crew, we have a whole lot of new ideas stemming from this weekend, and some action items and the like. One thing that is very important is we need to be more active in getting the word out into the community and the pulic at large abotu this conference and what is happening. Time to send a lot of people email <g>

[/lca] link

Kind of no longer saturday - 10:23
So the first day of the ghosts session went well. Stewart missed his first flight to Canberra, Pia and Jeff ended up arriving this morning. Alli and Rusty were a few minutes late, but hey it took me a bit of time to set up the networking and power and such in the meeting room. We did not get through the entire agenda, but hey the discussion strayed as it is wont to do. On the whole the day went well, though looking through the minutes I was taking all day we have a large number of new action items.

[/lca] link

Ghosts starting to gather - 10:23
This weekend the Ghosts of lca meeting is happening, for those of you outside the lca world (ie most of you) each year we gather some of the organisers of previous conference organisers and some LA people at the venue for the coming conference to talk to the new organising team and work out stuff for the conference.

Anyway this morning Mark Tearle (LA Treasurer) arrived in Canberra at 6am on the red eye from Perth. AJ (Anthony Towns) will be arriving later today, as will most of the other people attending from outside Canberra (Michael Davies, Anand Kumria, Ryan Verner, Pia Smith, Jeff Waugh, etc, etc). This is going to be a pretty busy weekend.

[/lca] link

Mon, 24 Jan 2011

lca2013 in Canberra? - 14:39
As Mikal says there is a crew of people in Canberra keen to host again in 2013. We have a bid pretty much ready to send to LA and quite a good group of people are involved. Mikal is pushing the whole process along, though I did that last time I am rather happy to leave it up to him this time and help out as part of the team where I can. Remarkably quite a few of the people involved this time were there last time too, hopefully we get to promote Linux and Open Source in the centenary year of Canberra by holding again in 2013.

[/lca] link

Servers and Graphics cards - 13:18
Sitting in the Matthew Garret talk about enterprise power management, good talk. Some interesting stuff (disks, get rid of anything that spins and replace it with solid state if you care about low power). Anyway he mentioned the one place where server hardware is with GPU power management. This reminded me of the rather amusing case of the Graphics on the Power 5 machines at ANU. They were delivered with two (at the time) rather lovely 21" very high resolution (1920x1600 I think) LCD displays. However the graphics card is on a different bus internally and Linux is unable to drive them properly from the LPARs.

This is rather lovely server level hardware and the easiest way to do a graphical display of what is going on on the different LPARs was to connect a separate Linux box to display to the delivered LCD displays. Or get Anton to do some magic as he was the only person who had been able to get the hardware to display with X under Linux. So I definitely understand what he means when he says server hardware does not have much need for the graphical display stuff to work well.

[/lca] link

Mon, 17 Jan 2011

Things to look forward to at lca? - 15:31
So anyone in the community will be aware that 2011 begins next week on Monday and runs until Saturday with the open day concluding the conference then. As always I look forward to being at the best Linux and general open source conference in the world. What specific things are there to look forward to?

I guess Sunday getting to catch up with other lca Ghosts and the new Ghosts (Wellington crew that make it across) should be a fun intro to the week. Then Monday morning we get to the mini confs, I am most interested in the Open Programming and Southern Plumbers mini confs that day. Perl with Schwern should be awesome to start. Daniel Stone talking about some of the X Input stuff after lunch sounds pretty interesting, though Jonathan Corbet may have interesting insight into business from the LWN perspective which could be a turn up for the books, at least there will be few suits at the conference, more tie die (Bdale style) than ties.

On Tuesday Multicore and Parallel programming sounds interesting with a fair bit of System administration and Data Storage mini conferences thrown in. Though that is what I put on my original registration, now looking at the streams the Research and Student innovation stream looks pretty awesome, I could even suggest it ties into my work environment a little more closely. Though Vint Cerf is speaking just before lunch which along with his keynote may be a not to be missed session.

The keynotes for the main conference on the whole look likely to be pretty damn good this year, however the real stuff is the conference talks that start Wednesday morning, once again it will be far too hard to choose what to see. My picks are likely to be Behavioural Driven Infrastructure, Making file systems scale: A case study using ext4 (Ted is a great speaker and has interesting things to say most of the time), Making laptops work with Linux, X and the future of Linux Graphics (though maybe I should be at the Beyond init: systemd or Virtual Networking performance: flows, bridging and tunnels as they both look interesting and work relevant, damn hard choices), choosing between Horms with Network Bandwidth Control in Virtualised Environments and jk with Device trees on ARM will be tough and I am sure mean the need to resort to the conference videos, then Can't^W^W^W Touch This! about multi touch in Linux.

And so it goes on, too much cool stuff only one of me, once more where we all wish the clone () system call worked in real life. Bring on my 11th (or 12th if you count CALU in '99)

[/lca] link

Thu, 21 Jan 2010

Midnight Espresso is awesome - 17:39
Tony had been telling me for a while that he was really looking forward to returning to Wellington to go to Midnight Espresso, his favourite cafe in a town which is famous for a good cafe culture, he also hinted I may like it a lot. There does not appear to be a website, however details are on a few review sites.

I am impressed, though not vegetarian only they do have an extensive Vegetarian (and Vegan friendly) menu with some great food. All the cakes they have for sale are Vegan and their coffee is indeed excellent. This cafe is almost worth the trip to Wellington alone. If you are anywhere near Cuba street, or really I think if you are any where near New Zealand pop on over and visit this cafe. Maybe it is because I do not have the variety of Veggie friendly places to eat that is found in Melbourne, or maybe it is because this is a great place to hang out. Anyway with the fun mountain biking and here this week it would be silly not to come and now I know of another good reason to visit Wellington. Thanks Tony.

[/lca] link

Wed, 20 Jan 2010

My notes from the first day of lca (Miniconf day 1) - 22:22
I have written 34 pages of notes (in the a5 conference notebook) in the three days (2 days miniconfs, 1 day main conference) so far, however as my hand writing closely resembles and encryption standard I had better get them transcribed into the computer reasonably soon (before I completely forget how to decipher what I scrawled on paper). So I have just typed up the notes I took (9 a5 pages worth of my hand writing) from the first day of lca (miniconf day 1) and put it here in plain text.

I probably should put them directly up here but am not in the mood to add html formatting to the notes at the moment. Great stuff so far, I will see if I can find time to transcribe another day or two tomorrow.

[/lca] link

Day two lca finishing off with a great ride - 06:57

Skyline ride (fullsize)
I noticed yesterday at the finish of the miniconfs I already have 19 pages of notes written in the a5 conference notebook. I now need to find the time to put some of the notes into the computer I think.

Another great miniconf day, I really enjoyed the Weta digital high density computer room design talk. I have uploaded the photos from the ride I did around Skyline (awesome ride around the ridgelines and hills surrounding Wellington) on a Skyline MTB Ride photos page.

Oops, an update, I mentioned to a few people the gps map of the ride would be online, it is here if you wish to see it.

[/lca] link

Mon, 18 Jan 2010

Awesome New Zealand Food - 15:31

Penguino Ice Cream Cafe (fullsize)
The friend I did my Abel Tasman kayaking trip with has said a few times he could eat himself to death here in New Zealand. I tend to agree the food here is pretty good. Today I had lunch with Stewart, Bdale, Edale, TonyB and others at Midnight Espresso, a cafe recommended by Tony, who went to high school here, he said we would like it. I did it was excellent, lots of great Vegan options including all their cakes. I will be back tomorrow (possibly missing out on variety but OMG it was good.

The photo to the left is from a Penguin themed ice cream cafe in Nelson, they had some excellent Sorbet (an award winning boysenberry and a great apple and berry for example) that I was able to eat too. I thought I should put something penguin themed in a post to the lca tag here. (they have a Penguino Crossing sign too). I hope I can find a few more really good examples of local veggie friendly food before I have to head home on Saturday morning.

[/lca] link

Sun, 17 Jan 2010

In Wellington hanging out for lca. - 16:07

Makara Summit Weather (fullsize)
I am in Wellington, lca is starting tomorrow, I arrived yesterday however the weather was horrible so a hung out with a friend, Bec, who is living here for a few years. We saw the Sherlock Holmes movie which was awesome. Today when I went looking for coffee I ran across Jon Oxer so we headed in for some conference supplies, breakfast, coffee etc (along with Thomas). Then I went to the rego area and found MRD, AJ and others. After registering for the conference we headed out for some lunch.

Then as the weather was better today than yesterday (no heavy horizontal rain) Bec and I went for a mountain bike ride (in the photo above I am somewhat muddy but enjoying the summit of Makara Peak mtb park). Now I am about to go find some lca ghosts, what fun.

[/lca] link

Mon, 19 Jan 2009

Great campus accommodation for lca - 11:19
I thought it was worth commenting on how good the residences accommodation we are staying in for lca this year is. UTas has these buildings which are like apartments, 6 bedrooms (remarkably spacious with good desks and storage) around a shared kitchen/living area and bathrooms. I recall seeing a similar thing for UTS students in Sydney, and ANU has just finished having some built in the University lodge area between ANU and civic (though they are over $300 per week from what I hear for students).

The view from high up on the hill out over the bay is great, the accommodation is roomy and clean and I think the best lca accommodation yet for the general punters.

[/lca] link

First miniconf talk - 10:24
I went to Paul McKenney's talk about parallel programming being hard at the kernel miniconf. A good part of it is when he kept reminding us that refocusing and changing your problem so it can be applied to certain restrictions is a good way to think about things.

Of course there were entertaining parts, such as the dining philosophers and partitioning them so we have Non Uniform Philosopher Architecture. Also the toilet paper that was a good representation of a cache miss, though there were not two rolls of toilet paper so we did not have a dual core problem. Good talk though.

[/lca] link

Sun, 18 Jan 2009

In Hobart - 22:23
Left Canberra this morning around 10am. Had lunch in Melbourne with a mountain biking friend. Arrived in Hobart around 4:30pm, Neill, Anthony and a bunch of other lca delegates were on the plane also. Got to the colleges and checked in. Briefly tried to alleviate the email withdrawl. Wandered down the hill to a bar (Metz a little bit to night club sort of feeling to me) with Crash and the other Canberra crew staying together at the colleges. Had a good dinner, now back up the hill.

A good return so far to lca, bring on the rest of the week. Oh and speaking of hills, I feel the need to pass on the rather entertaining (and I think possibly accurate description of Hobart) I heard (and that I think makes for some good tough runs this week).

If your feet are not wet, you are standing on a hill.

[/lca] link

Fri, 01 Feb 2008

Casa Del Gelato - 11:33
Completely by accident last night after dinner, Mikal, MRD and I stumbled into Casa Del Gelato to feed MRD's Gelati habit (the man is hooked on the stuff, he seems to be on a constant sugar high here at lca due to feeding his gelati cravings).

Interestingly we had no idea that this was an award winning ice cream and gelato outlet, sold on premises and no where else. If Andrew Chalmers is to be believed this gelato wins awards and prizes in Italy so we were lucky to stumble in there by chance. Just using this as a reminder of where to get ice cream and gelato in Melbourne.

[/lca] link

A few more days at geek Nirvana - 10:52
I am wearing the t-shirt today so I should probably live up to it and write some stuff. There have been some seriously cool talks at lca. I adored the Parrot talk from Allison Randal, largely because it is incredible to see how far Parrot has come and how capable the entire set of tools based upon it now is. I am seriously tempted to show it off to some academics at work and see what they think of it for next generation language creation. At the same time yesterday there was a talk about a fire fighting robot, from what I hear this is likely one of the best talks this year. Everyone I spoke to who was at the robot talk thought it the best they have seen.

I liked the keynote yesterday from Stormy Peters, though when she mentioned the Iranian child care centre example, it sounded as if it were part of her research, the example comes from the book Freakonomics and it seemed a bit weird to have it unacknowledged. I tend to agree with a lot of what I have heard about Bruce's keynote, he was simply repeating stuff we have all seen before if we read his stuff a lot. IT was good, however alas not as cool as I suspect it could have been. I was really looking forward to his keynote so I may have built it up a bit in my expectations. However Anthony Baxter was a good keynote today also so makes up for it a bit.

Google non professional delegate party last night was alright, though the venue was a little strange, I am surprised Leslie chose it, she flew out from the US a while back to check out venues, so I imagine it did meet her requirements for the laid back atmosphere. Mikal had gone down to get the venue ready early, MRD and I wandered down to hang out with Mikal until other delegates rocked up. Around 9pm Mikal, MRD and I headed off to have dinner elsewhere and continue chatting. MRD and I spent the night learning of all manner of things that were or were not "Googly" according to Mikal. Of course with Mikal's sense of humour and heavy sarcasm who really knows what is or is not real. Fun was had, one more day of full on conference to go, fun is being had.

[/lca] link

Tue, 29 Jan 2008

How not to prepare for the first day at lca - 10:45
I arrived in Melbourne yesterday morning around 7:45am (06:40am flight out of Canberra) and managed to get to Melbourne Uni around 8:30am... alas I was not ready to tackle the first day at lca and the Debian Mini Conf as much as I would have liked.

On the weekend I competed in the AROC Edge of Reason 25 Hour Adventure race near Narooma on the coast. I was racing with Dave and Ben in the team My Physio Keeps Me Moving, alas the Physio got sent to Europe for work and missed the race, however I was her replacement.

The Leaderboard and results and race news are all online so you can see it took us 38 hours to complete the race trekking/running, paddling and mountain biking out through the bush and on the ocean. I had fun and had a very easy/relaxed race. I think Dave and Ben had a pretty hard time of it due to never having done such a long race before and not having the training base in them that I and many others have.

Dave and Ben's partners were both racing in the 50 hour race (longer and tougher), they were on different teams, Dave's partner Selina finished in first placed mixed (the premier category) 3rd overall in 44 hours, Ben's partner Danielle finished in 2nd place mixed, 4th overall in 45h40m. Good to see such good results for both of them.

I had been hoping to finish the race by around 2pm on Sunday so I could have a snooze for a few hours before driving back to Canberra. However with the course being longer and tougher than expected and with the speed we travelled I did not finish until 9pm, I then had to get back to Canberra, have 2 hours sleep (got home around 2:30am) and hop on my flight to Melbourne for the week of geeking it up at

With 2 hours of sleep and a little bit of activity outdoors for 38 hours non stop, when I sat down in the Debian mini conference yesterday morning I was finding it difficult to stay awake. Thus I have to admit I was a little too tired to be able to concentrate on the miniconfs all day. I am thankfully a lot better now after a full night of sleep and am enjoying the Gnome Mini Conf a lot.

[/lca] link

Tue, 03 Jul 2007

lca2008 have a fantastic first keynote - 16:28
So the lca2008 crew just made their first keynote announcement and man does this make me happy. Bruce Schneier will be presenting a keynote at lca2008, rock on.

When we ran lca2005 the speaker I wanted to get there most of all as a keynote invite was Bruce Schneier, we sent of an invite and also had a colleague in the crypto field ask him to attend as a keynote invite. Alas he had other commitments and was not available. Sure we had some great keynotes, Eben's for example was incredible and the standing ovation he received was well deserved, however I was always upset we had not managed to get Schneier out to Way to go Melbourne crew you make me happy.

[/lca] link

Mon, 04 Dec 2006

I wonder where that email notification is - 18:28
Nice to know that the early bird registration for lca2007 I made will have a 10 day payment window once they inform everyone who registered for early bird by email that we can pay.

I wonder when they will contact people and tell them they can pay? Not everyone who has registered will read blogs, nor will they all be hitting reload on the conference website every few hours, it is nice to know we gave our email addresses with our registrations for a reason. At this rate I at least will not have to get my boss to enter credit card details until the 14th of December at the earliest....

Yes this post is somewhat tongue in cheek, however I am entirely convinced they need to honour their 10 day window from the time of notification by email.

[/lca] link

Mon, 18 Sep 2006 is a damn good name - 17:20
There has been a discussion (and in another thread) on the linux-aus mailing list sparked off by Jeff Waugh suggesting both Linux Australia and should have a name change.

Personally I disagree wholeheartedly with the idea of changing the name of the conference, and though I do not have a strong opinion on changing the name of Linux Australia, I have not seen an argument with any real reasoning and well thought out points as to why it is entirely necessary. So I weighed into the discussion on Friday afternoon with a semi lengthy set of thoughts on the matter.

One thing I realise I forgot to mention is that Linux is the generic most recognised term worldwide for Open/Free Software already. Jon "Maddog" Hall reminded me of this in his response to the discussion (recommended reading). We have a well known brand with, as was pointed out by Andrew Cowie, a conference can change their name as "" has from the old Linux Bangalore name they had, however their name change was in part because they saw how incredibly cool the name was for a technical geeky conference.

Geeks get the idea of and appreciate the conference name. If you wish to attract sponsors or delegates that do not understand the conference enough to grok this I wonder if you really wish to run There has been some suggestions of running some other event for a number of years, a new alternately focused event could utilise the potential delegates Jeff may be after (those who do not find the all encompassing geekiness or existing feeling of to be their cup of tea) (and potential sponsors) and that way can stay as is.

[/lca] link

Sat, 28 Jan 2006

Mark Shuttleworth talk notes. - 12:54
So the keynote this morning was from Mark Shuttleworth, talking about collaboration between open source projects (lca link), as I missed the best of sessions (too busy running around telling people what the best of sessions were.... oh and I guess a need to use some bandwidth before I lose it for two weeks) this is the last of the talk notes I will be uploading from lca.

[/lca] link

Fri, 27 Jan 2006

Van Jacobson rocks - 15:13
The next two talks I saw today were David Gibson talking about the new device trees and device tree compiler they are using for all powerpc archs (and could in theory be used for unrelated archs such as arm or x86 variants). Device Trees for embedded systems (lca link)

However the standout talk of the entire conference was probably the next one I saw. Van Jacobson, you know one of the guys that was involved with creating the Internet, and designed protocols in such a way that they do not suck and thus the Internet does not fall over. Anyway he presented a seminar with suggestions for speeding up the Linux tcp stack (lca link).

Van Jacobson had done the code, the tests and the work had really obvious merit for the conclusions, he presented to the likes of Dave M, Linus and Rusty, everyone else liked the talk too.

[/lca] link

More trench notes. - 11:12
Last night we had a rather cool Professional Delegates Networking Session, with thanks to IBM and HP for the beers and food, at the Larnarch Castle in Dunedin, neat location. This morning the keynote was from Damian Conway talking about lessons learnt (technical and social) from the perl 6 development process. Next I went to Chris Yeoh's talk about Managing Memory in variable sized chunks. Then I got to see the cool new stuff Wayne Piekarski has done in the augmented reality gear and software he has been presenting about since lca began in 1999.

I have uploaded some notes, not much from Chris' talk but a but from the rest.

Wayne has managed to make the tinmith system a lot smaller now, to the extent the entire system fits in a bum bag sized case with some batteries mounted on the hips (2 8 Amp Hour batteries, I suspect if he used NiMH 4.4 Amp Hour cells he could get the battery packs even smaller and lighter too).

Damian Conway rocked seriously, a great speaker and I am a perl fan so it was fun to see.

[/lca] link

Thu, 26 Jan 2006

Trench notes - 15:04
So the title of this is somewhat incorrect, the stuff I am seeing is not a negative experience, thus not trench style, ahh well. It is really good to see and attend the talks. I have for the heck of it been taking notes of most of the presentations I have been going to. Not many notes at some, such as the LA AGM, partly because more details from LA will be imparted on Saturday and partly because it is not particularly fascinating. Anyway I have placed my notes (in order of seeing them) in a directory on this web server.

So far I have put notes up from

The notes are fairly rough, and just my interpretation of things. Also I recorded stuff from the slides a bit so if you look at them when they are eventually released by the organisers there will be some overlap.

[/lca] link

Wed, 25 Jan 2006 2006, bring it on - 10:25
I will be using Australian times on blog entries, though I am right now in Dunedin, New Zealand for 2006. This is hell fun, as I kind of had to miss the conference last year, what with running the thing I have not seen all this cool technical content since Adelaide 2004.

Mike Beattie and his crew have put on another awesome conference this year. Some of the highlights are going to be Van Jacobson (yes that Van Jacobson) with suggestions on how to improve the speed and integration of the Linux tcp stack. Damien Conway's keynote (I really tried to get Damien to lca last year but alas he had to pull out for various reasons), Dave Miller, the guy who melted all our brains at CALU in Melbourne and lca in Sydney. And a whole heap of other stuff, if you are not here, why the heck not?

Heck as Mike said in the conference handbook, they even improved on the cardboard cutout Linus technology we used in Canberra last year to the extent you can talk with Linus in a real interactive conversation, though Mike does request that no one try to fold him up and take him home in their suitcase.

Right now I have just been taking notes in a tutorial from Andrew Fitsimon on open source graphic design. Showing off the features and capabilities of inkscape, scribus, the gimp, fontforge and how to produce web and print quality stuff well. The tools are amazing, and in the hands of a graphic designer as capable as Andrew some cool stuff can be created.

Looking forward to a whole lot more cool geekery over the coming days.

[/lca] link

Wed, 21 Dec 2005

Not so much pay for, more a case of implicitly support - 10:45
Lindsay Holmwood seemed to think I was suggesting schools pay for conference attendance, as nice as that would be, I was not really suggesting that. I know from long experience (parents were teachers, many of my friends are teachers) how pitifully underfunded schools are so would not imagine it is possible.

What I was suggesting is that if a student wishes to attend a conference being held during school time for a week, they should be encouraged by the school and allowed the week off with no penalty or problems. This is because requesting to attend a conference shows a lot of initiative, also of course the incredible knowledge gain available from a good conference. There is an issue of what is a good conference and what is not, however the pricing of contiki style conferences (3 day marketing thingy at the beach or similar, you know what I am talking about) are priced well out of the budget of students. Most of the good conferences however appear to be priced very well, especially for students. The two examples I gave of GUADEC and definitely fit the bill.

The problem as I see it is that a school, and possibly parents, would not realise the huge advantage a student would have knowledge wise by going to something like GUADEC for a week over a week of school.

[/lca] link

Tue, 20 Dec 2005

Students at conferences - 13:52
Yesterday I read something on p.l.o.a written by Pascal Klein, discussing a school student attending lca.

It seems obvious when you think about it, however if a highschool age student is in to Linux or related technologies and they are able to attend a nearby technical conference it should be encouraged by the school and parents. Whether the conference is, GUADEC or some other equally great open source related conference. The price is low, especially for students, and in one week of conference attendance a student will gain far more interesting and technical computing related knowledge than would be obtained in any highschool or similar I can think of in a few months.

For example Bdale Garbee's daughter Elizabeth attended lca2005, initially her school appeared to be a little upset at her missing the school time, however with subsequent good marks and probably increase in enthusiasm from lca I suspect they were convinced of the benefit.

[/lca] link

Fri, 23 Sep 2005

Special conference features for the little people - 21:44
I notice Arjen Lentz discussing a mysql t-shirt he had on his baby daughter, I do not know if he is planing to have a line of baby clothing available for sale at the next mysql event, or is simply considering it for the mysql clothing line they have somewhere.

I do however think it is interesting to get a few special items like this for a conference or event. In the case of lca, part of what makes the conference fun is little special features organisers have at the conference or similar. Such as the Perth guys putting unusual hints in their DNS records and the hidden badge label stuff on their rego system (which we copied).

One of the cute things we (2005) did was copied an idea from the Adelaide people (2004) and got some kids clothing made up. Partly because our organising crew followed in the footsteps of the 2004 crew and their were 3 babies born to organiser's families in the course of the year leading up to lca2005 and partly because it looks cool to see babies and young kids wandering around in your geeky t-shirts. (well we all seem to think so)

It is good to see Arjen is at least working on some of these fun sort of aspects, the fun or unusual items are often one of the lasting impressions from a conference. Well that and hearing DaveM make our brains melt talking about making the Linux networking stack go even faster (CALU talk).

[/lca] link

Tue, 12 Jul 2005 2006 Call For Presentations is open - 22:48
Partay! The CFP for lca2006 is now open. After reading that announcement email go and submit a really cool abstract.

[/lca] link

Wed, 27 Apr 2005

My lca photos online - 14:21
To add to the collection (Michael Davies, Marc Merlin, and for a list) of photos from lca online. I have just uploaded a few also.

[/lca] link

Tue, 19 Apr 2005

Another new talk - 10:57
We had another speaker pull out, Wim Coekaerts was told by his doctor it would not be safe to fly to Australia at the moment so was unable to come over to speak. Fortunately Andrew "Tridge" Tridgell has offered to do a conference presentation on top of his Thursday morning keynote.

Tridge will be talking on Friday afternoon in MCCT1 following Mark Shuttleworth's talk from 14:30 to 15:15. The topic will be on some cool thing Tridge has been doing recently and will be a great presentation.

At the moment it appears the Friday afternoon MCCT1 stream is cursed, I just hope Jon Corbet stays in the country until Friday afternoon...

[/lca] link

Mon, 18 Apr 2005

A speaker replacement - 19:19
One of our speakers had to return to the US, Jimi Xenidis, we have been able to find a replacement speaker for his session in MCC T1 on Friday at 13:30 to 14:15. Mark Shutleworth has agreed to speak about his space flight experiences and Canonical (the company behind Ubuntu Linux) on Friday afternoon. I hope you all enjoy this talk as much as the other really cool stuff we have happening a the conference.

The conference program will be updated later tonight (in all supported formats including LaTeX, html, and the new iCal version for people to use in their personal organisers or Korganiser or similar)

[/lca] link secret wmd business - 17:23

Organisers moving something? (full size)
I managed to take this photo late last night of a few of the lca crew (Jeremy, Tony and Andrew) moving something that may be the secret lca plutonium stash, or it may be something harmless, who knows?

[/lca] link

Sun, 17 Apr 2005 2005 is go - 17:28
No one else on the ground at lca has talked about the conference yet, I guess because the rest of the crew are too busy and the delegates are too excited.

Anyway all is cool, people are here and doing early sign in, vibe is happening. I am eating lunch (yes at 5:30pm) and in a few minutes will drive to the airport to pick up some cool speakers.

I hope everyone else is having fun here too. Oh and happy wedding day Jeff and Pia.

[/lca] link

Tue, 12 Apr 2005

A whole lot more information for just went out - 22:39
I just sent an email to the various forum with more details people attending need to know. Read it here if you did not receive it by email.

[/lca] link

Wed, 30 Mar 2005

Mindless 2005 flickr fun - 18:30
So I have been seeing these spell with flickr links for a week or two now, I guess repeated exposure eventually became too much and I felt the need to type this one in.

LTrain Logo CircleN_01uXp.e.r.i.o.dCONo parkingF_01p.e.r.i.o.daU
2Brought to you by the number zeroDirty Zeroclaim check 5

Sourced from here.

[/lca] link

Tue, 29 Mar 2005

Sold Out - 23:09
I really need to go to bed, and I still have a TODO list for lca stuff for today that is unfinished, however I feel the need to mention this (even though both Mikal (with countdown) and Jeremy have already done so). 2005 sold out earlier today, we have a limit of 500 delegates imposed upon us by the largest theatre in the complex we are using for the conference. We had an alternative plan available to allow for more people we could have implemented 8-10 weeks ago, however registration numbers at the time suggested we should not, thus we stuck with our original limit of 500 delegates.

It is a good feeling to reach this point, though once more I am sure there is still a fairly large amount of work in front of us, all of you coming to the conference, are going to have a great time, if you missed out, book and pay early next year for Dunedin, New Zealand in January 2006.

[/lca] link

Tue, 08 Mar 2005

Thinking along the same lines - 18:53
It is kind of funny, though at times annoying, how with distributed groups of people working on similar things, there can be misunderstandings even though you are thinking along the same lines and there really ought not be. Looking at what Joey Hess has just written about a recent Debian release team meeting seemed so familiar to me. is run as a project of Linux Australia, it is however run by a team of people selected each year in a new location. Due to this the Linux Australia committee are not on the ground seeing the day to day conference business, and the crew for any given year do not see the Linux Australia day to day stuff or concerns often.

Both groups of people want the same thing, a kick arse Linux conference each year, however due to the lack of face to face time and the fact that the groups have separate day to day concerns misunderstandings often happen. The good (or bad, depending how you view it) is that when such communication breakdowns or problems occur, after taking the time, or if there is face to face time, to understand what each group of people is actually talking about or saying, it usually seems we were all thinking almost identical things, but somehow the mechanism by which we communicated this did not convey this well.

We can probably all sit around over a beer sometime after the conference is over and laugh at it, and on the whole things happen the way we expect them to.

[/lca] link

Tue, 22 Feb 2005

Eben and the GPL as discussed by Groklaw - 17:09
Eben Moglen is a speaker at 2005, delivering a keynote address. Eben is the original Author of the GNU General Public Licence and is the General Counsel for the Free Software Foundation. Thus he has a lot of experience in the licencing of free software, the theories behind the licences and also in legal issues surrounding software licenced under the GPL.

I mention all this because today I saw on Groklaw a really good article "How Not to Kill the Golden Goose" talking about why the GPL is and has been necessary and why it has allowed Linux to ignore commercial interests rather than pander to them.

The article and the comments contain some good imagery or metaphors and views. Such as pointing out how Linux is more comfortable for users than proprietary software

Proprietary software lets me use their software, but only the way they want it used. Like staying at a friend or relatives house. They want certain things in the kitchen done a certain way, and this spice goes on the right and that one next to it, and those glasses can't go in the dish washer, and this pot has to be shined with this product, blah blah. At home, I make those decisions, and if I want to stand the little bottle of basil on its head in the spice rack or throw it in the freezer or mix it with the pepper, there is nothing but common sense to stop me. Do you understand?

Or later when discussing how businesses seem so short sighted, they see this huge cash cow and wish to subvert it to their current way of doing things, even though in the long term that will kill it off.

silly. Business sees one golden egg, Linux, and all it sees is gold, this minute, and if it needs to grab it, killing the goose to get it, so what? I know it's hard to change one's way of thinking, but this is a time when you simply must. Why? Because if you shut down the way Linux was developed in some misguided attempt to bottle it, or remove the license that made it so powerful, you will destroy it. And that's just counterproductive. Instead, you need to figure out not how Linux and the GPL need to change for you, but how you need to change for it.

This is a current concern in the way businesses, end even, unfortunately, governments around the world tend to operate. Governments often do not fund education anywhere near as much as far less important services, if you remember that the more educated your populace the more productive your entire country will be, and thus more prosperous in the world, it does make one wonder about the lack of funding to education around the world. Or in Australia some obvious recent examples, the Australian government selling off Telstra, or in Canberra, the DFAT building, which was sold to private enterprise. Both these actions bring in a large immediate cash swell but in the long term (20 years or more) will cost the government (The Australian People) more. This is the same sort of mindset that seems to behind (though possibly unconsciously) a business wishing to privatise and subvert Linux, a technology that they could never afford to develop or extend into the future.

PJ writes some great stuff here, I should mention a year ago when we were discussing who the invited speakers for 2005 should be, PJ was on the short list. However no one we knew had seen her speak and we could not find out easily if she would be able to deliver a great keynote. In the end we decided to invite Eben Moglen, who will bring a relevant and important perspective to the Australian and international Linux development community members attending 2005, especially in light of the FTA issue in Australia and the Legal issues surrounding Linux currently.

[/lca] link

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