Over and above the actual attending and enjoying of talks I’ve got another reason to be here, to see how they organise events on this side of the planet and to see how the wider communities seem to be doing. I’ve been chatting to a number of locals who are involved in different groups and the level of cooperation is embarrassingly good compared to what we’ve got at home. I sat in on the Linux Australia AGM last night and I’ve now got a short list of people to hassle about how they’ve managed to get certain projects off the ground; so if you’re an LA board member watch out for the sunburnt pom with a list of “How’d ya…” questions. Read on →

I’ve been running on an ever diminishing amount of battery since yesterday morning, which was when my VAIO power adaptor decided to go boom. And it did go boom. If you’ve heard stories about a strange foreign man setting off the smoke alarms in one of Sydneys highest regarded hotels then they may be true. I’m not going to comment. EVER. So this morning I made an unplanned trip to the Sydney Sony Centre and spent 200AUD on a new transformer. Read on →

I was about ten minutes late for the start of the Tuesday opening talk, although I’m finding it hard to feel guilty about it. I got on the wrong bus and ended up on a sunny beach where I had a nice bacon roll and a cold diet coke while I waited for the right bus. I’ve been commuting pretty much every work day for my entire adult life and I’ve got to say this is the first time I’ve ended up on a beach. Read on →

Getting back from lunch with more time to spare than I expected I continued hunting Jon Oxer. His Self Healing MySQL Schema talk was interesting but I’m not sure we’d ever use it. In essence he keeps a copy of his schema with the relevant application module (as a reference) and, using error trapping, any time a query hits certain error conditions, such as a table not existing, it looks up the reference schema and if it knows about it then it creates it on the fly. Read on →

The first session on my list was Pia Waugh on Open Source in Australian Education, I wasn’t that interested in the topic (Aus is a long way from home) but I was looking forward to seeing her present, I’ve been told she’s a great speaker (nothing like raising the audiences expectations ;)) but I’ve never been able to pin people down on any details on her style; so I thought I’d have a look-see. Read on →

My hotel has two connectivity options, I can either sit in the lounge and pay by the minute to use a machine any one could have installed anything on or I can pay silly money to get wireless for a couple of hours - and to add insult to injury if you buy a days worth you get a cap on how much you can download. Starbucks has never looked so appealing! Read on →

After trying to get out here for an LCA over the last three years I finally made it for Sydney 2007, and so far so good. The venue is huge, the University of New South Wales is full of big, open airy spaces between buildings and it’s lovely to walk around. The rooms themselves were a little hard to find at first (the LCA team put a lot of signs up in the first break which really helped) but they’re functional and have people presenting in them so what more can I ask for? Read on →

I’m starting to realise that the custom agencies of the world take one look at me as I pass through and assume that I’m possibly the worlds most naive and optimistic smuggler. It seems to be the combination of being (sorta) young, travelling light, and alone, to a country for only a couple of days that triggers every flag they’ve got. I can imagine the conversation “He’s only got one bag.” “Come on, he’s too obvious…” “It’s as if he tempting us… Sod it, get the gloves.” I travel light because I travel a lot, and I’ve learned exactly what I do and don’t need. Read on →

And now to one of my pet annoyances… Change Control is a formal process used to ensure a product, service or process is only modified in line with the identified necessary change. – Wikipedia - change control Revision control (also known as version control, source control or (source) code management (SCM)) is the management of multiple revisions of the same unit of information. – Wikipedia - revision control As you can tell from the different definitions these two terms do not mean the same thing. Read on →

I like del.icio.us and I’ve been using it for a long while now, but what used to be one of the more handy features, the ability to subscribe to a tag, like ‘ruby’ or ‘linux’, has gradually become less useful as more and more people find old links or repost the same link. Again. And again. And, well, you get the idea. So I wrote the del.icio.us de.dup.er script, a small perl cgi that sits between you and del.icio.us and weeds out any duplicate links. Read on →