Sad as I was to hear of Steve Irwin's death, I was reminded last night of our own stocky khaki-decked bundle of enthusiasm: Ray Mears. He is unlikely to ever say, "Crikey! Look at the teeth on that fella!", but in his own intense, geeky Grey Owl way he is just as entertaining.
It must seem like Team Linux Format is becoming a bona fide member of the jet-set. Over the last two months, various members of the team have crawled their way across half the northern hemisphere. I was in Portland for OSCON at the end of July, Nick was then in Lyon for OpenOffice.org, then Nick and Paul were both in Belgium last week for EuroOSCON. We all seem to have taken our holidays at the same time too, as I've just got back from Corsica, Andrew's just returned from Berlin and Prague while Paul has managed to fit in a trip to Hungary and is off to Russia.
No, not Brain Party. Mark Shuttleworth has given the closing keynote for EuroOSCON 06, and we're now all wrapped up. There's the usual feeling of emptiness as the signs come down, the geeks leave, the few remaining Coke bottles get put away and the laptops get switched off. On the plus side, it means the wireless is a darn sight faster for the rest of us - hurrah!
Yesterday was a bit of a yawnathon here at OSCON, largely because the style for the previous days was flipped: great keynotes (Tom Steinberg, TheyWorkForYou/MySociety; Dale Dougherty, MAKE; Jim Purbrick, Second Life; Marten Mickos, MySQL), but many more dull sessions. So, the lobby became the place to hang out, the wireless took slowness to all new levels, many games of Set were played, and we all got to make new friends. I'm a bit bored.
Yes, it is only lunchtime here, but I thought I would nip in with a quick post so I can avoid being called a slacker again. I should perhaps recap on some of the stuff I went to that Paul didn't over the last few days.
Unlike that slacker EvilNick and that slacker Degville, I really will be (and am!) blogging each day of this conference. OSCON has taken off for real now, and it's buzzing. Sure, it's nothing like the size of OSCON US, but it's great to be rushing from room to room to hear great topics back to back. The opening keynotes were so-so: the Web 2.0-esque talk about Open Source 2.0 was inevitably given by Tim O'Reilly 2.0, and the consistent O'Reilly 2.0 fashion for branding everything 2.0 has now become a running joke (2.0).
Nick and I are in Brussels attending a conference double-whammy: EuroFoo and EuroOSCON back to back. I've been to OSCON in the US a couple of times before, and it's always been great fun. But it has also been rather hectic: the need to cram in interviews usually means I get very little time to talk to people, and even less time to attend some sessions.
So childhood is being poisoned. What do we point the finger at?
'[Michael Morpurgo] described video games and Internet sites as "toxic" influences on juvenile minds.'
No, he's describing rubbish video games. Do the bright, absorbing, creative and clever worlds in Nintendo games, which encourage a child (or adult) to explore and have fun, have a 'toxic' effect? What a load of twaddle.
On discovering Linux (possibly):
The sky turns white it all becomes clear
They felt lifted from their fears
They shed tears in the light
After 6 dark years
Young bold soldiers, the fire burns
Cracks and smoulders
(Copyright Mike Skinner, probably)
[CC, Pieter Baert]
… and Mike S
I was excited to discover in the Observer's 'Woman' supplement yesterday that they are producing a version of LXF's very own Anatomy of a Geek Desktop feature from the back page of the magazine! There's a nice colour photograph of an office, a picture of said desktopee, and interesting-looking captions. Imitation is the sincerest form and all that.