Thursday, April 21, 2005 Day 4

The day started with me not winning a laptop, and a keynote from Tridge. He talked about

The second talk I attended was entitled Open Source: Code vs. Culture, by Pia Waugh (not Pia Smith as the program said. I guess there was a mix up somewhere). Pia talked about how the Open Source movement is more than just a chunk of code, and how there are lots of people who can't write software but can still contribute to the efforts. She also talked about how Open Source could deal with and fight the things like the Free Trade Agreement. It was an excellent talk, and much like the Debian talks, gave me a real sense that there was a community behind Open Source.

After lunch I decided to listen to Bdale Garbee talk about bouncing ham radio signals off the moon. I couldn't really decide between the three talks that were on - nothing jumped out and grabbed me. But after realising that Garbee was the bearded HP guy from a couple of days ago, I figured I really wanted to hear him present something. I bumped into Stilly on my way, and he said it was a really cool talk. Turns out that again my geek guru was right.
Among other cool things, Garbee talked about the antenna he'd recently built in his backyard, having made most of the parts himself. I was struck by some of the similarities with Wayne Piekaraski from yesterday - hackers scavenging for parts to build cool things and generally playing Myth Busters. Lots of fun.

Next up Jermery Mark Malcolm talked about the FTA and how it impacted on Open Source. It was a really nice follow on from Pia's talk, and again had that feeling of community. Malcolm had some trouble getting his slides to work (what does he expect trying to run MacOS X at a Linux convention?), but was able to hold things together pretty well until his slides were up and running. I learnt the difference between copyright and a patient, I'm a lot more familar with the process of applying for a patient, and I understand why (most) software patients are bad. The most interesting thing I learnt was that Open Source isn't necessarily more at risk from software patients than commercial software, they're just less able to defend themselves.

For the first time (aside from the keynotes) since the conference started, I decided not to listen to something in MCC3, and went to hear David Boucher talk about Virtualizing Linux on a PPC64. Somehow I'd managed to miss read the title and abstract, and so I thought it was going to be a talk on running Linux on Mac hardware. Actually it was about running Linux on really uber IBM computers. The talk was done well, but it was a bit out of my league.

Lastly, I went to hear Warren Toomey talk about the Hacking the OzTiVo. Having helped set up Anthony's TiVi, I thought this would be pretty interesting and fun. And it was. It was nice to put a face to the "guy in Queensland" who provides the guide data. It was really interesting hearing about the history of hacking the TiVos, and hearing a slightly different approach to hacking them. Pretty cool stuff.

I had been looking forward to the WorldForge talk tomorrow, but now that Mark Shuttleworth is giving an Ubuntu talk at the same time, I think I'll have to give it a miss.

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