W-Day (Shallow Thoughts)

Akkana's Musings on Open Source, Science, and Nature.

Thu, 31 Jan 2008

W-Day

Wednesday was W-Day -- the day I was giving my tutorial on GIMP Scripting, first thing after the keynote. (Cue portentous music.)

But first, the keynote: the day opened with a highly anticipated appearance by Bruce Schneier. He discussed the illusion of security versus the reality, and how to bring the two closer together. Most of his points were familiar to anyone familiar with his writing, but he's still an excellent and polished presenter. Worth noting: no slides, just Bruce. Worked great.

After the keynote I skipped the morning tea and headed over to the lecture room to make sure I had enough time for setup. (You never know when a particular projector and laptop will develop a dislike for each other, though I'm happy to say I've been pretty lucky with my Vaio.)

The talk went well. I had been worried about the code-heavy topic being too dry, so after watching Jacinta's coding talk on Tuesday I'd made an effort to find more graphics and add more variety to the slides. I think it worked -- I got laughs where I hoped for them, and people were certainly following closely, as they were quick to point out when I made typos or other errors in the live coding section. A great audience -- I hope I lived up to their expectations.

In the afternoon, Dirk Horndel's "Make hardware vendors love open source" was right on target and very well presented. (Again, no slides, and as with the keynote, there was no need for them.) Dirk offered plenty of food for thought, even for those of us who don't often interact directly with hardware vendors.

Following afternoon tea, I squeezed into Bdale Garbee's standing-room-only "Peace, Love and Rockets" presentation. He has a little board bristling with sensors (a pressure sensor for altitude, a three-axis accelerometer and I forget what else) that includes a processor and enough RAM to record a rocket's flight profile. It's all designed under the Open Hardware License and driven by GPL software, of course. Very cool!

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[ 15:27 Jan 31, 2008    More conferences/lca2008 | permalink to this entry ]