Computers, bikes and things I’d like to remember.

Linux World Australia

March 31st, 2006 Posted in General

Well, LinuxWorld Australia has been and gone. I was initially excited, and by turns frustrated and skeptical when Pia Waugh contacted me via the NAA and asked me to speak.

Excited because I really wanted to talk to people about how fundamental Open Source and Open Standards are to what we do. Frustrated because getting permission to speak on behalf of the NAA is like getting permission from the Pope to intercede at the UN. Skeptical because the whole arrangement to speak seemed to benefit the conference organisers more than it did the speakers or delegates.

As it turns out, the experience was excellent. As usual for any public speaking that I’m lined up for, I was crapping myself in advance. Like a great many people I’m terrified of getting up in public and speaking, but for the most part I really enjoy it when it works. This time I was pretty on edge because the audience was almost silent for the whole 20 minutes that it took to thrash through my planned talk. I thought I’d bored them stiff.

Then a few questions and I felt a bit more at ease. Then the finish and people queued to talk. Then the several hours of back to back interviews with journalists and chats with people from government and industry. Seems I hit a theme that people are thinking about.

So a day later I have a couple of articles posted on the web about the talk. I have an email from IBM asking for my slides. I have NAA asking me “How did it go?”

Yeah, it went okay.

Enough about me, me, me. What about the rest of the event?

The expo associated with the conference (or was it the other way around?) looked pretty good with representation from the likes of Linux Australia, HP, IBM, Sun, Novell, Red Hat, Oracle, Sophos and the like. I didn’t get to see much of it between speaking, listening and being interviewed. I did pick up a Fedora Core 5 DVD from Red Hat, along with a red plastic Fedora and a Red Hat pocket knife. Luckily, Steve Walsh agreed to take the knife home for me so airport security wouldn’t confiscate it.

I caught a few speakers at the conference and I count myself lucky to have witnessed Peter Quinn speaking on the Massachusetts move to Open Formats in government. I think that history will show the stand taken by Peter in Ma as a pivotal event in the global adoption of Open Formats. I can’t wait to get access to Peter’s presentation on line.

Last but far from least, I briefly caught up with Jeff Waugh who showed me Dapper Drake running the amazing XGL desktop goodness. If I thought Kororaa impressive a week ago, I just about blew my boiler seeing the same thing on Ubuntu. Time for some Dapper Downloads methinks.

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