So, another full year of my life is over and done. As years go it’s not been the best one. Family troubles, time (and money, lots of money) spent dealing with lawyers and the passing of my grandfather, someone I saw nearly daily and often find myself thinking about, have all conspired to stop that annoying smile I often get. This post is a little more indulgent than usual but it’s my birthday and I’m full of cold caffine and napalmesque curry - so tough! Read on →

I’m not too keen on yesterdays UGU tip of the day and it doesn’t take much to make it work a chunk better, so I thought I’d whine about it on my blog. Here’s the original snippet: grep -v "#" /etc/hosts | awk '{print $1}' | while read host do ping -c 1 $host done But this has some very fixable caveats. It doesn’t deal with blank lines, it’ll try and ping IPv6 addresses (and too many distros put IPv6 entries in the host table these days - even if you disable the IPv6 options) and it will ignore any lines that have a comment, even if the comment is after the field we want. Read on →

I’ve been tagged by Dave Cross so here are some things that you probably don’t know about me but I’m not too worried about sharing. Although they ain’t very juicy. I simultaneously broke both my wrists while playing football in secondary school - it involved a concrete pitch and a diving goal keeper. In addition to hurting like hell for what seemed like forever it was also the last time I actually played football. Read on →

My first session of the day (I was lucky enough to spend a big chunk of the real first one talking to Richard Weideman, the Education Programme Manager at Canonical) was recommended to me by all the local people I know at the conference - and it was as good as they said. Unlike most people who speak on these topics at Linux / OpenSource / Free Software conferences, Kimberlee Weatherall IS a lawyer (IP) and was actively involved in the amendments to the Australian laws. Read on →

I was back in the LinuxChix room for the next (two separate half) session. Jacinta Richardson gave a short, pragmatic and quite practical, primer on social networking. The material was solid if basic - although from looking around while she spoke it seemed to be perfectly targeted to the majority of the people in the room - much note taking was going on. Val Henson then presented on salary negotiation and how to close the pay gap. Read on →

My second day of talks began with the ever enjoyable Jono Bacon (a fellow Brit and all round top guy) introducing Jokosher, a new sound editing project for GNOME. He covered how it came to be (a mobilising of some of the LUG Radio audience) and took the audience through some of its features (with some very Slayeresque backing music). The session went well and the audience soon feel in to a rapport with him. Read on →

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 →