28 Nov 2000 »
Diary of Releasing OSDA at AOSS2
This is a long one. It covers my weekend just past.
After a hectic week, I made my way from home to the airport with my frantically packed carry-on and laptop, and thus to the Qantas Club with unseemly haste. I had a couple in the Club before boarding my flight to Adelaide.
Once in Adelaide, I zoomed to the cafe where people from the conference were having dinner. I should have caught an earlier flight – I do like my food, but good company is so much more. Adelaide didn’t disappoint on the cake and coffee front, and the company was fine. I met up again with my friend Skud and met Sarah, one of the organisers, and a few of the other speakers for the first time.
Got up a little too early; dang that half-hour time zone difference! Breakfast being delivered is the nicest part about staying away from home, and this was no exception.
I was dropped off by the cab almost at the conference venue, but since I needed to make a booking for a hire car for the next day, I didn’t mind too much. I was a little early, and managed to organise a car and still be the first person to register for the day. Conference attendees received these nifty packs with stuff in them, like Caldera’s Linux Technology Preview. I thought I had every RedHat publication under the sun, so I avoided one of their folders, and so missed out on Red Hat 7.0 CD’s. Not a great loss.
The conference kicked off well, with pretty good attendance for a smaller city like Adelaide. We had a quick pep talk from one of the local IT boosters, and then onto the main program.
Dan Shearer: Open Source, Opening Doors
A good talk aimed at increasing OSS usage in companies. The entry by stealth model is falling away as the desired mechanism and how you can make money doing open source.
Richard Sharpe: Cutting code in Qantas Club
Richard is probably best known for his Samba work, but this talk was more about Ethereal, which I use extensively. Richard didn’t have time to discuss how he codes at the Qantas Club, but I imagine with the free booze and other distractions available there… 🙂
Greg Lehey: Revamping the FreeBSD SMP implementation
Excellent talk given by a master of the trade. Greg detailed how the new SMP implementation differed from previous efforts, and the benefits of the new implementation.
Michael Still: Panda
Michael gave us a talk about his PDF enabled graphics library. Panda allows programs to directly output to PDF at the highest quality available to them. It’s still a work in progress, but it seemed to work nicely.
Jay Schulist: Implementing Network Device Drivers in the Linux kernel
Jay knew his stuff and he gave an excellent presentation, showing us how easy it is to make a working network driver. Of course, it was one that he had prepared earlier, but he did run make. 🙂
Lunch was nice, and I had a good chat with various people.
Geoffrey D. Bennett: The Katie revision control system
Katie is a clearcase filesystem revision control system. It worked very nicely and with a bit of polishing will be an excellent tool for developers sick of CVS.
Kirrily “Skud” Robert: Perl 6
A good talk, certainly one of the more interesting to me as they seem to be applying large scale software engineering to the open source model. I will be very interested to see how this turns out. Skud used Mr Laptop who runs Win2K. She still used a HTML presentation, though 🙂
Presentations, AUUG and SAGE-AU (and ISOC-AU)
This one was a surprise for me as I didn’t expect to have to do this one. So I winged it. ISOC-AU were probably unaware of it as well, as no one was there who was a member (unusual) or from the exec. I presented first and got the message across as to what SAGE-AU does for its members (which is quite a lot, but not everyone sees that).
I was pleasantly surprised to be hunted down by Phil Kernick. Phil is one of our SAGE-SA members, but SAGE-SA doesn’t exist yet, and I’d like it to. Phil basically demanded to be let run it, so by the time you read this SAGE-SA should be off the ground. Yeehah! Who says conferences are a waste of time?
Glen Turner: Writing programs for future networks
Glen’s talk was excellent and I managed to talk to him later about IPv6, a major pet project of mine. AARnet are likely to be an excellent test bunny for my subversive ideas. 🙂
Conrad Parker: Sweep
About the only end user application presented at the conference, which made a pleasant change. Conrad showed off Sweep, a sound program that does for sound what Gimp does for graphics. Very nice. He gave out handouts with the Sweep plugin SDK.
Andrew van der Stock: OSDA
I did the only PowerPoint presentation of the entire conference! 🙂 I couldn’t contact my ISP due to my modem dialling too fast for the hotel’s poor excuse for a PABX, so Luke’s magicpoint HTML simply didn’t come through in time. OSDA details can be found at
Michael Neuling: Linux packet filtering
Michael, one of the authors of IP chains, gave an overview of the more flexible NetFilter which is due to appear in 2.4 when it finally finishes baking. As a security freak, I enjoyed the talk.
After the conference had finished, we headed off to the pub, and had a few drinkies. North Terrace is where the Hyundai Excel Rice Boy Car Club has their unofficial 20 km/h drag races, so we saw a wide range of tricked up Excels. Very amusing.
After the pub, we walked clear across town to a Japanese restaurant. They took a long time to serve us, which detracted from an otherwise excellent feed. Again, the company was excellent. I had turned into major pumpkin and decided to call it a night after that. The others pottered off with the change to another pub.
Had a late breakfast and picked up the car and then Skud before driving out to Greg Lehey’s place. Skud doesn’t have a license I found out, and surprisingly enough for a SCA person, her navigational skills with a map were fairly rusty. Since I’m of the Dirk Gently school of thought when it comes to going places, we missed our turn off and drove a little further than we expected to.
Once we arrived a little after the 11 am start time, we found that we were the first lot of people to turn up there that day, with Luigi seemingly staying at Greg’s. Greg and his family live on acreage out in the country. It made a nice change. It’s only 35 minutes out of Adelaide, but it really is the country.
They have a lovely rambling house, horses and whippets. Unfortunately, whilst we were waiting for the others to arrive, one of the family’s two cats was found dead on the highway outside the property. Luigi and Greg gave it a proper burial. I felt so bad, and I thank Greg and his family for continuing on the BBQ. If Greebo or Meebles died, I would have sent everyone home whilst I had a good blubber.
Despite this tragedy, we had a good lunch with mostly everyone turning up after getting lost in various ways. Greg gave us good directions, but unfortunately, no one had a GPS receiver and metropolitan maps do not detail every little C road, and signage in South Australia could be better.
Greg showed off his computer rooms. He has a wide variety of equipment in various stages of disrepair or working order. His guestrooms even have their own terminals.
After a long day, Skud and I departed for the airport. Skud is off to the wide white land of Canada soon. I wish her well; she’ll do great at e-Smith.