Okay, now that I've braindumped about organisation stuff, I'll braindump about the conference in general (what I experienced of it).
The (warm body) networking was the best part for me (again). It was terrific that so many overseas Debian and Canonical/Ubuntu people were here this year (or was it just that since LCA 2004, and probably more importantly, Planet Debian, I recognise more names?). It was great to meet for the first time Scott James Remnant, Colin Watson (who has a totally awesome accent), the much maligned James Troup (who I didn't get an opportunity to buy a beer), Mako, Matthew Garrett, Matt Zimmerman, and probably a whole bunch of other people that I've forgotten to mention.
One of the definite highlights for me was the opportunity to have a one-on-one chat with Mark Shuttleworth. He is one exceptional person. He's got himself one metric spankload of money, but he's doing some really good stuff with it, rather than just pissing it up against the wall being an uber-rich dude.
He laid out his vision (and it really is visionary stuff) for where he wants to take Ubuntu and what he wants to do, and I was really impressed with the breadth, depth and clarity of what he had to say for himself. He knows exactly what he wants to do and how he wants to do it, and he's got the money to make it happen. Totally inspirational stuff. As I have said before, I think I need to jump on the Ubuntu bandwagon.
I also made his talk about going to space, and that was truly amazing. Again, here was a guy with a metric spankload of cash, and rather than just paying his way into it (granted, he did part with a wad of cash to get in) he went through all the rigorous training, and really became a cosmonaut, complete with a mission to accomplish while he was up there. I really don't think "space tourist" is a terribly accurate definition for him. From the sounds of it, it took some real determination on his behalf to get to where he got. He told his story really well, and you can tell he really enjoys talking about it. I hope that one got video recorded successfully, as I really want Sarah to see it.
I didn't catch a lot of Eben's talk, which was one I really wanted to catch, because I was running around trying to deal with drinks for lunch, which had been overlooked. Everyone was raving about him and his talk though, so that's another one I hope I can catch on video.
Unfortunately I didn't see a lot of what I really wanted to catch, which was the Debian Miniconf. I came in the tail-end of Mark Shuttleworth talking about Ubuntu and Debian. I suspect it was a similiar spiel to what I'd had when I spoke to him earlier, so hopefully I didn't miss too much. There was just too much initial registration stuff and general firefighting to do to allow me to have the first two days totally not doing organisational stuff. Oh well. I should have seen that coming.
I caught bits and pieces of Ted Ts'o's Recovering from Hard Drive Disasters tutorial, and what I caught was pretty cool. I missed the Bitkeeper part of Tridge's keynote, which was right towards the end, because I was doing morning tea preparation stuff, but based on some of the media coverage, it sounded interesting. Hopefully that one was recorded okay as well. I think I caught bits and pieces of Jeremy Allison's CIFS to the UNIX Desktop talk, but kept getting dragged out to attempt to deal with the issue whereby some flog was running a rogue wireless access point, and doing all sorts of nasty man-in-the-middle attacks on people. That really pissed me off (the fact that someone came to the conference and did that). Unfortunately due to the nature of wireless LANs, we really couldn't do a lot about it, but there was a small lynch mob of geeks (myself included) running around for the remainder of the day running iwlist scan on their laptops non-stop, attempting to get a whiff of the bastard again.
I was really looking forward to JB's talk about Asterisk. As it turned out, I had done my RHCE course with him last year in Brisbane (small world). The talk was disappointing. JB was an inexperienced speaker (but it is good to give those types an opportunity to improve) and his talk wasn't technical enough, and a lot of people actually thought he was trying to sell Asterisk, and it was perceived as being too salesy.
I successfully caught all of Martin Pool's talk about Bazaar-NG, and it was really excellent. (I still don't have the whole GNU/Arch, tla/baz/Bazaar/Bazaar-NG thing 100% clear in my head though, not being a really big user of revision control systems).
I also caught all of the OzTivo talk, unfortunately not realising it was on at the same time as Marc MERLIN's talk about spam evasion with Exim. Fortunately I did have a bit of a chat with him at the Professional Delegate's Networking Session, and he's convinced me that I need to give Exim a thorough investigation.
Andrew Morton's keynote on Friday was good. I was really interested to hear what he had to say, but was having a bit of trouble catching everything from right up the back. Fingers crossed the audio was recorded successfully. He didn't use any slides so that's all I really need.
I caught all of Elizabeth Garbee's talk on Tuxracer. I was really impressed by her speaking ability. She was really confident, spoken extremely well, and was humorous. The content probably wasn't technical enough for LCA, but it was great to see a young woman presenting, and it was a really enjoyable presentation nevertheless. I'm glad the CFP guys selected it.
That was about the extent of the talks that I made it to.
I'm really looking forward to Dunedin, where I can socialise more and
generally be a normal delegate again. In the meantime, I can get back to
having a lifestudying.