CompCon 2013

July 9, 2013

While I’m logged in to WordPress, I should perhaps blog about this…

For the past few months, myself and a bunch of us at the ANU Computer Science Students’ Association have been working on putting together a conference for Australian computer science students.

We present to you CompCon 2013, the inaugural national conference for computing students! It’s on 28-30 September 2013 at the ANU in Canberra.

We’re currently looking for speakers – we’ll be getting a CFP up tomorrow. We’re looking for talks and workshops on any computing-related topic, whether it be technical, research or professional/community.

We’re also looking for delegates – tickets will be going on sale this week at the early bird price of just $35, so get in quick!

For more info, check out the website (where you can sign up for the newsletter) or our Facebook and Twitter accounts.


A Belated New Year’s Resolution

February 16, 2013

“Now we’re going to have a quick get-to-know-you exercise. We’ll go around the room, and I’ll get each of you to just quickly introduce yourselves. What’s your name? Where are you from? What degree are you studying? And what’s the last book you’ve read?”

“I’m Andrew, I’m from Port Macquarie, doing my first year of Arts/Science, and, um, I don’t really read books that much, so I can’t actually remember to be honest.”

“Oh, don’t worry about that – we’ll fix that up by the end of this course!”

The above exchange was paraphrased from one of my first year politics tutorials.

It’s been three years since.

I still don’t read books. (Admittedly, I have read one book so far this year – Tim Keller’s excellent The Prodigal God – but that one’s rather short.)

As a highly-edumacated soon-to-be Arts graduate, I see this as a problem. (More pressingly, as a student who has just received, for the first time, a book review assignment, I have to learn to read these book things lest I be left unable to make sensible critique of World War II historiography.)

So, my New Year’s Resolution for 2013 – albeit, a resolution made in mid-February – is to read a book a week. Possibly two weeks, if I’m reading particularly heavy stuff.

My first target is a book I started reading a few months ago, but alas I stopped halfway – Hofstadter’s modern classic, Gödel, Escher, Bach.

We’ll see how we go with this.


LCA2013 – Wrap-up

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.


linux.conf.au 2013

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. :)


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