February 16, 2013
So I didn’t end up posting that much about LCA…
The main conference was fantastic:
- Clojure is awesome for concurrency
- Unix party tricks are extremely fun, and rather scary, and now I just want to disappear off teh interwebz
- Schwern taught me lots about Git – I now have a Github account and I feel a lot more confident with it!
- Repent, for the end of the Unix epoch is nigh!
- Pia Waugh can talk very fast, particularly given some sleep deprivation
- bunnie’s keynote provided some very interesting insights into the world of consumer manufacturing, particularly pricing
- TBL can speak even faster than Pia – this was actually problematic…
- Asheesh Laroia and OpenHatch are pretty awesome
- Paul Fenwick can talk very, very fast given a 90 second timeslot…
Anyway, it was awesome. I highly recommend it, and I’m already planning to make my way to Perth for 2014.
January 29, 2013
So, after not posting on this blog since… 2009 (which was before I started uni), I’ve decided I might try getting back into this whole blogging business again. Maybe. We’ll see.
Anyway, I’m at linux.conf.au 2013 here in the most wonderful city of Canberra. It’s my first LCA, and so far I’m rather liking it.
Today is Day 2, where we had a most excellent keynote by Radia Perlman, the inventor of the Spanning Tree Protocol among many other important networking things. There are a few summaries of the talks already up on Planet LCA so I shan’t do so again.
The rest of today consists of Miniconfs – one-day streams dedicated to particular topics, organised separately from the main conference. For most of today I attended Open Government, which I found rather dry for the most part although there were quite a few interesting insights I heard. Currently in Haecksen, where Jacinta Richardson has just spoken on the topic of conference presentations, and later my good friend and fellow ANU undergraduate Sam Cheah will be presenting on her beloved Robogals. Great stuff!
Also, I managed to get my hands on a free copy of Perlman’s Interconnections: Bridges, Routers, Switches, and Internetworking Protocols. Some books were given away in connection with her keynote (as is LCA tradition), and one of the winners decided she was willing to give her copy away to someone else who might want it better. It is thus joining the CSSA Common Room library.
May 23, 2009
So now I’m being syndicated on the Linux.com Debian community blog, which means I actually have an excuse to do a bit of blogging now and then.
In other news, I have an external hard drive now. Time to install Debian on it
April 28, 2008
Publishers of books, magazines and other print, sound and video materials are required under the Copyright Act to deposit publications with the National Library (and, under State Copyright Acts, to various State and University libraries). The reason for legal deposit is obvious: use by the general public, both now and into the future. Having copies of books available in libraries means that they will still be available after they go out of print or the publishers disappear. It’s a good protection for cultural material.
One thing not covered by legal deposit (at least in most jurisdictions) is software. The nature of the software industry makes it far more likely that a given program will go ‘out of print’ – over the past 25 years countless software companies have gone out of business. Unlike books, however, the copies of the software purchased by consumers aren’t human-readable. While an old software package may be available on eBay, its source code may very well be lost forever when the company collapses. Source code needs to be preserved for several reasons: it’s needed for future usage (recompiling and porting to newer architectures and operating systems) and it’s needed so the software can be studied.
I propose a legal deposit system for computer software. Software publishers with an annual turnover of more than $1 million would be required to submit a full, complete copy of their final source code, release binaries, documentation and associated materials to the National Software and Multimedia Archive. The Archive would keep access to the material (other than documentation and freely available material) closed for 15 years, when it would be released for public access. An extension on this period would be available if the company could prove that the software is still of commercial value.
A software archive has other advantages: access could be provided to government agencies and academics on NDAs for security research and bugfixing purposes, and software indexes could be of great value to consumers and procurement agencies.
Legal deposit needs to protect today’s software, before it goes forever.
(NB: The best solution, of course, is to release all software as Free Software. Not that that will happen soon, unfortunately.)
March 22, 2008
Head down to Sustaining Contributors, then find the eleventh name on that list.
November 12, 2007
Yay! No more English! (Until Year 11, that is.)
I think I’m probably the only Year 10 student in the state who:
- mentioned Linux
- implicitly criticised Microsoft
- mentioned the School Certificate itself
- managed to answer a question with a story involving how had writers block and couldn’t answer the question
in one test.
Everyone I have talked to has said it was very easy, and being the SC you’d expect that.
October 23, 2007
For the first time in ages I’ve installed Flash. I don’t usually do this.
And I wouldn’t be installing had I not payed $20 for access to some resources which happened to be FlashPaper. Nor would I be installing it if Gnash were somewhat more mature and actually capable of rendering it.
I’ve thought about setting up an isolation VM to keep Adobe stuff away from my installation, but these resources are for exams which conveniently happen to be tomorrow.
As soon as I’ve used the PDF printer to convert them all, Flash is going.
April 18, 2007
I’m watching the current discussion on linux-aus about the Tux 500 project.
Firstly, it would look cool. But looking cool doesn’t mean that it’s effective, or worth the money.
But THREE HUNDRED AND FIFTY THOUSAND US DOLLARS… it’s a bit much. Raising $345000 in a month? Unlikely.
Also, it doesn’t really have any benefit to Australia. Something like what was suggested about supporting a local charity with money plus tech would get us coverage here.