06 February 2006

AJ's LCA2006 wrapup

Our esteemed Secretary blogs about the experiments and achievements in Linux Conference Australiaasia 2006.

Much to agree with. I did indeed have fun getting a passport, and reading between the lines, DIMIA (or whatever most of it was called at the time) has a sampling of decade or so worth of immigrants in the same boat. I came in on Dad’s British passport (“for the Colony of Australia”) annotated as “a Subject of the Commonwealth” so in principle I could get a British passport as well.

As to the cost, the total cost of airfares and taxes for my trip worked out at AUD$1089+NZD$127 thanks to a super duper yew-beuwdy special from Qantas arriving at the right time. That’s still pretty horrific compared with ≅AUD$550 to fly to Sydney and back (full price economy), but not so steep when you factor in conf, accomodation and other costs. The difference probably worked out at about 30% overall. AUD$780 for SYD-BME at full price economy falls about halfway between the two. Of course for speakers and overseas delegates the difference is squat, a bucket of water to a drowning man.

The ramp-down from LCA2006 seems to be lasting a bit longer than usual. I think MRD should have left the Planet up for a little longer, but the mailing-list, abused as it occasionally is, and heavily-trafficked as it was leading up to the conf (but, hey, filter it into a separate box — it ain’t rocket science) has been used well past the expected EOL. Put another way, as well as introducing Kiwis, it seems to have introduced the rest of us to one another a bit more as well.

The touring was pretty much a given. If you’re going to go to the trouble of getting there in the first place, you’d be silly to not take advantage of your position. Any takers for an LCA in Taswegia?

The plethora of streams was an advatage for me. It was difficult to avoid finding something interesting to be at, and the few times truly interesting things crossed the streams I put one ear into a headphone and watched the second-favourite stream on video from my laptop. I think setting up the video early and often (ie, in every theatre) and making sure that the network can handle it and then telling people it exists would probably deal quite well with that.

Part of it is attitude: are you (“dear reader”, not necessarily AJ) focussing on the 80% you didn’t see, at least some of which is going to be unintersting to you, or 100% of what you did see?

The “smaller rooms” advantage might be fairly important for a smaller venue.

Mark’s private jet might come in handy at Broome, there’s lots to see up there and a surprisingly large number of jet-rated airstrips draped over the sparsely populated landscape.

I think the press stuff is important, but not so much for the conference itself as to maintain an understanding in the mind of Joe Average Citizen that Linux and FOSS are happening things in (and this year, near) Australia.

I don’t think we’re going to have to work very hard to attract people to the conference, and in fact I think a few heads are going to explode leading up to and during LCA2007 — and not just geeks’ heads, either.

Possibly including mine. That Waugh bloke was dangerous even before crossing streams with his missus. (-:

Speaking purely for Perth, we’re only just now approaching the point where there are enough qualified Linux people around that I could consider changing occupations — if I did that now, it’d leave too large a hole in the IT landscape and a number of customers in the lurch, which is a pretty sad situation for a state with nearly two million people in it.

So, yes, let’s by all means Press on!

The Dunedin crew did a mighty fine job overall, and in the face of technical difficulties beyond their control, too. Round of applause, that team!

Things I would do differently if I were doing this again include turning up even earlier and pre-populating the wiki a bit more so that new arrivals had more information at their fingertips. There are more people in Sydney to pre-populate the sections on Things To Do For Computer Geeks, Things To Do For Audio Geeks, Getting To And From The Airport(s) and so on, so I’d expect most of that done before anyone rocks up next year.

Peripheral and cultural stuff should be “no worries” 4X, if the conf crosses Australia Day, Sydney will be a top place to celebrate it in.

I note that Bayswater Hire now has a Sydney depot, which will get you reliable hire cars for $15 a day (1/4 of the cost of a taxi from the airport at Dunedin).


John Dalton said...

Having LCA2007 in Tassie would be a great idea. :) It sounds like everyone had a great time in NZ.

Leon Brooks said...

Ah, but can the Apple Islanders make decent icecream? (-: