Last week I spent Monday through to Saturday at linux.conf.au, which was a very good conference on Linux stuff. I hoped to write about things as they happened, but lacking a laptop, I was only able to spend an hour or so per day using a computer and so it didn’t happen. So now I’ll go through and write about it. Given this is a few days later, I’ll probably not include as much detail as I would have if I did it closer to the time.
Monday, 23rd Jan
This day was devoted to the miniconferences. None of them was especially exciting to me, so I went to the Damian Conway one, which was him doing a talk on presentation skills in the morning, and Perl 6 in the afternoon. He is a very good speaker, and so the presentation skills one was well worth it, and the Perl 6 one was also. There’s a lot of good stuff coming into that. I’m thinking I might have to follow the development a bit, or perhaps even get involved.
If you ever have the chance to see Conway talk, do. It’s quite an experience. It was also pretty nice, as I’d previously done the presentation skills one, so seeing the Perl 6 one pointed out a lot of the things he’d been talking about.
Tuesday, 24th Jan
On Tuesday, I went to the Debian miniconf, which was less interesting. Given I’m not really involved in the Debian development or anything, this is probably to be expected. There was a few things that were worth seeing however.
Wednesday, 25th Jan
This day the conference proper started. The talk I went to in the morning was A whirlwind tour of changes in the Linux 2.6.x system call API. It covered a few of things that I’d heard about, but didn’t really know the details of. Now I think I’m going to have to play with some of them a bit. I already have an idea for something I’m going to do with this. As soon as I can make something using inotify compile on 2.6.12.
After lunch was Tridge’s Samba 4 Status Report, which demonstrated how good samba 4 is looking. It can now replace a Windows PDC with a few clicks and 30 seconds, which (as I understand it) is better than Windows can actually do. Oh, and they’re also going to have support for the network filesystem in Windows Vista before Vista actually comes out, which is really quite funny. It’s a bit of a pity I don’t do anything much with Samba, except for using it share files from my machine to Windows ones, so none of these advancements are any use to me. But I can see them being really good for anyone who has a sizable network.
The final talk of the day was From New Zealand to Bolivia, the Koha Library system flies. This one is about a New Zealand developed, open sourced library catalogue system. It covered more the social and background side of things, rather than the technical side, which was good. It described the kinds of organisation that have been using it, and the kind of work that has been done on it.
Later that evening was the keysigning. That had around 50 people at it, so hopefully some more of those people hurry up and do the actual signing thing. My current key can be found online, it already has a fair few new signatures.