Miniconfs Day 1

I’m going to write about the conference here, mainly summarising talks. Next time, go yourselves! Miniconfs Day 1

I left Sydney with spiv at 7:00am this morning after having to throw out a pair of nail clippers and a pair of scissors I’ve been carrying around for at least a year (being one of those people who always has everything in their handbag finally came back to bite me). Was delivered in Adelaide at 8:30am local time, 9:00 Sydney time. I’ve only once been further away from home (New Zealand 1998), and feel very very strange because of course, there’s absolutely no culture shock at all. Adelaide reminds me of Christchurch, but warmer and with Australian accents. Borders even sells the Sydney Morning Herald.

The conference proper starts on Wednesday, today was the first day of the miniconfs. I attended the first two talks in the Audio miniconf program.

Mark Greenaway repeated his SLUG talk on audio, which I missed the first time. Apparently the set of demos that didn’t work this time didn’t intersect at all with the set of demos that didn’t work last time. He briefly showed off jack, ardour, sweep, hydrogen, qcontrol, freqtweak and alsamodularsynth. Mark is a good speaker — I was his housemate for one and a half years and completely missed seeing him do any speaking in that time.

Peter Chubb talked about typesetting musical notation (and checking your typesetting via MIDI) using LilyPond, which I cannot convince myself to stop thinking of as “lilypad”.

The immense level of organisation required for this conference only really hit me when I reached the registration desk . Every attendee has their name tag in a little plastic wallet hung from their neck with cords labelled “ 2004”. The wallet contains a mini-progamme, a second nametag to go in the conference bag’s name placeholder, tickets to the dinner for those who ordered them, and a voucher for icecreams. Several days of solid work probably went into that alone.

All has run smoothly so far except for the wired network for attendees (wireless was a-go-go) which didn’t come up until this afternoon. But it was up in time for spiv to start on his Python miniconf talk.

spiv and I have elected to share a double room in a pub rather than stay in the college — it’s a nice room, but we’re yet to see how noisy it will be.