presentation days 2 and 3

See also my l.c.a. photos, other l.c.a. photos and other l.c.a. blogs.

This is the belated final l.c.a. entry. I wrote it several days back and since I no longer have my own computer, it took several days to resize, reorient and caption all the photos. Presentation Day 2 continued

After lunch I went to jdub‘s GNOME strategy talk, which was good. I would have liked to have seen more screenshots, but that’s just a personal thing — I want to see more of what I can expect from GNOME 2.x — but he actually wasn’t given a screenshot style talk. It wasn’t a talk about “things in the GNOME desktop”, it was a talk about upcoming release strategy.

I skipped Andrew Tridgell‘s junkcode talk in favour of behoffski’s grep talk. The grep talk was really badly attended, and we could hear faint joy from tridge’s talk next door. It also lacked oodles of finite state machines, which was a shame. Conference Dinner

I didn’t really anticipate the speed with which tables would be taken, I also didn’t feel any need to figure out in advance who I’d be sharing a table with. This was a mistake. For the record: tables were taken swiftly. spiv and I were lucky to grab a table with Bradley, later to be joined by James, thom, Gus, Stewart and Drew. We were right up the front, close enough to see Rusty’s flame show (featuring the “so have you ever kissed a girl?” reply to davem, which doesn’t seem to be archived anywere on the web. [Edit: That was before Rusty uploaded the text of the flames]).

The staff seemed to me to be on anti-madness patrol, keeping our water glasses filled up all the time, and not leaving bottles on tables. Most people found the dinner really un-crazy, but I’m assured that somewhere up the back there were a few people who had to be carried out.

Rusty conducted a couple of auctions: first the l.c.a. signed T-Shirt. Bidders were goaded by several tables throwing in extra money if the bidding reached a certain amount. Several project incentives were offered too: Linus offered an Australian animal for the next kernel release, jdub offered (I think) a choice of name for the GNOME 2.6 desktop release. The Debian project is yet to release, so last year’s purchaser still has that one.

The second auction was for the opportunity to sink Linus. The ozlabs guys put together $1500, but the community started assembling notes, and made it to $2700. This made things a bit difficult: Rusty described it as “some kind of raffle.” mrd was chosen to sink Linus by popular acclaimation.

jdub assembled a group of people to go and grab gelato. It was quite nice gelato, and the walk gave me a chance to meet mbp, which was excellent (although he thinks we’ve met before).

I was back in my room around 1 — it was pretty cold out there, and I wasn’t really interested in making the trek to north Adelaide that night. Presentation Day 3

spiv and I were up in time to check out and to make it to hp‘s keynote. I really liked this keynote, I thought it was one of the best talks of the conference. hp ran through the reasons to aim for a Linux desktop, challenges to the Linux desktop and strength’s of the Linux desktop. In his view, Open Source is the single strongest unchallengable, unduplicatable advantage.

I went to Janis Johnson’s regressions talk before lunch, which I quite liked, although I think again it would have been better if it had pushed through the introductory stuff faster, and had some case studies. This was, to me, the biggest disappointment in most of the talks I attended: perhaps I’m idealising tridge’s 2001 “hacking the TiVo” keynote in 2001.

The dunking followed at lunch. It was fun for a while — most people ended up having to run up and push the button to dunk their target: mrd must have been lucky (or a good shot) to sink Linus on his first ball, which was good considering that with an extra donation that shot was costing over $5000. thom got the opportunity to sink rasmus and I think managed to do it without pressing the target with a hand. The most amusing effort was that of tridge and jallison, who struggled to sit on the dunking seat together, tridge nearly slipping in a number of times. A few non-speakers were offered up for their sins: gman and daniels. After a while, the dunking got less exciting unless you had a debt of honour involving the person on the seat, and people drifted away. There were meant to be water pistol fights as well, but it was a cold day and I don’t think it seemed appealing.

After lunch, tridge’s talk was repeated in the best of series. It was indeed a good talk, but the audience was pretty flat compared to the last one. thom kept nodding off. The talk seems to be partly evangelical (keep your junk code, put it on the web) but would have worked just as well without an actual message. tridge’s talks are generally “look! look! hacking is fun!” talks anyway. See them if you feel a bit jaded and need a good kick.

The energy was definitely leeching away after the dunking, and everyone was very sleepy by the time of mrd’s conference close and the handover to the Canberra team.

Most people stuck around until Sunday I think, but spiv and I went off to gelato with keithp and people he’d managed to drag along for icecream before we headed to the airport. The plane to Sydney was a bit of a SLUG-express but I was getting far too sleepy to talk to anyone by then.