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Mon, 31 Jan 2011

Going to the theatre during lca in Brisbane, keeping up the tradition - 16:11
Keeping a Brisbane tradition (I have now done this twice, so obviously a tradition at lca in Brisbane) of theatre while at lca. I went and saw I love you, you're perfect, now change at the Brisbane arts theatre with Matt and Amanda. I saw the Maria Callas based show Master Class in 2002 with Martijn after missing it in Canberra

The show was largely very good, however I thought the first half was much stronger and more entertaining than the post intermission stuff. Also the US American bent and style was a little too much, it seemed it would have been easy to modify it in a few places to make it Australian and retain the humour and subject matter of the play accurately.

Still an immensely fun musical. Interesting to see the theatre has performed the Terry Pratchett adaption play Maskerade previously and in October/November this year will perform Monstrous Regiment which could be worth the visit to see.

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Thu, 27 Jan 2011

Brisbane cafes, start here maybe? - 18:25
So with a bit of free time between the end of the sessions today and the beginning of the conference dinner I decided to go looking for a cafe for a good coffee and maybe some other food. My criteria was vegetarian friendly, and I started looking around the west end as I had heard there was a good scene there.

Due to that I am now having a Monteith's Crushed Pear cider, soy mocha and vegan raspberry cheese cake at The Forest Cafe on Boundary Rd. The food and coffee I am trying is pretty good, I should try their other food some time later in the trip if I can, maybe Saturday sometime.

Tomorrow morning I will have breakfast out (to keep up with my normal Friday morning tradition), with MRD, Mikal and Crash here in the west end somewhere before heading in to QUT.

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Mon, 24 Jan 2011

lca2013 in Canberra? - 14:39
As Mikal says there is a crew of people in Canberra keen to host again in 2013. We have a bid pretty much ready to send to LA and quite a good group of people are involved. Mikal is pushing the whole process along, though I did that last time I am rather happy to leave it up to him this time and help out as part of the team where I can. Remarkably quite a few of the people involved this time were there last time too, hopefully we get to promote Linux and Open Source in the centenary year of Canberra by holding again in 2013.

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Servers and Graphics cards - 13:18
Sitting in the Matthew Garret talk about enterprise power management, good talk. Some interesting stuff (disks, get rid of anything that spins and replace it with solid state if you care about low power). Anyway he mentioned the one place where server hardware is with GPU power management. This reminded me of the rather amusing case of the Graphics on the Power 5 machines at ANU. They were delivered with two (at the time) rather lovely 21" very high resolution (1920x1600 I think) LCD displays. However the graphics card is on a different bus internally and Linux is unable to drive them properly from the LPARs.

This is rather lovely server level hardware and the easiest way to do a graphical display of what is going on on the different LPARs was to connect a separate Linux box to display to the delivered LCD displays. Or get Anton to do some magic as he was the only person who had been able to get the hardware to display with X under Linux. So I definitely understand what he means when he says server hardware does not have much need for the graphical display stuff to work well.

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Wed, 19 Jan 2011

Wetlands development cycle access problems - 17:14
Some new wetlands appeared behind O'Connor shops (near where I live) a few years ago. The ACT Government and various community groups obviously liked them enough that they are spreading. Development near the Banksia St tennis courts in O'Connor blocked and then changed cycle access off the bike path to Banksia st for a while to develop the wetlands there.

The interruption was not too annoying as it left the bike path in place and open for the entire development time of the wetlands, also the access to Banksia st toward Lyneham shops from the bike path there was never really a high traffic cycle destination so did not really interrupt cycle access (and now with the changed paths around the wetlands still has little problems). However the two latest developments in this wetland spread are not so easily ignored.

There is some discussion on abc and riot act about the new Lyneham wetlands near the high school and the Dickson wetlands near the Dickson ovals, The environment ACT site about this is also of some interest to view. So the plans look pretty and cycle access will be fine and dandy in both locations once construction is finished. However my big complaint is that they seem to have completely ignored cycle access and safety during the construction.

Dickson is not the worst, it at least has some crossing points and gravel laid on the ovals to make cycling possible away from roads and traffic, not optimal but it will do I think. However the diversion at Goodwin St in Lyneham during construction is dangerous, adds a lot of time and is serious inconvenient. This is one of the highest use cycle paths in the inner north of Canberra and the diversion suggested during construction is to cross Goodwin st twice and go well out of your way on the path toward Gungahlin before diverting back toward Dickson past Lyneham High. This may not negatively impact too many high school students as they can go along that diversion. However any access between ANU/O'Connor area and Dickson shops via bike path is a mess now.

The quick way to go is simply to stay on Goodwin st, which unfortunately means mixing it up with traffic a lot of the time. I notice construction workers parking along the verge there often on the drain side of Goodwin St, however the best access compromise during construction here would be if they made a separate dedicated cycle lane for two way cycle traffic along that side of the road there. If it had only been a 1 month interruption to cycle access we could deal with it, however the slated finish date is June 2011, 7 months of this dangerous diversion onto Goodwin st, or extra distance and two crossings of Goodwin st is annoying.

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Tue, 18 Jan 2011

Withdrawl - 17:39
I do not know how people who do not exercise often can manage it. Of course this may have a lot more to do with my exercise addiction than I am willing to admit. Monday last week I had to go to the doctor to get a rather uncomfortable thing on the outside of my glute looked at and fixed. She ended up digging around with a scalpel and cleaning it all up. However the upshot of that is I ave been unable to do any exercise (cycling, running, paddling in order to avoid aggravating the wound and slowing healing, swimming to avoid infection) since Monday afternoon last week.

I did ride back to ANU from Belconnen after the work was done, but that hurt quite a bit and the Doctor was not amused. Since then I have not done much. I was able to ride to Fyshwick markets for shopping on Sunday and it only hurt a little bit. Now the wick has been taken out it seems to hurt less most days. I still can not sit on it but cycling seems to be getting better. Tomorrow I intend to do the morning road ride in an easy group and then ride to Belconnen for my next doctor/nurse appointment for a new dressing so hopefully that will not hurt.

I know I have been told that moving too much/vigorously may slow healing, however I really need to do something energetic and I like to think the same applies as with some other healing I have had to go through in the past, so long as it is not hurting it is probably not too bad for it and exercise is good for you so get out there and have fun.

The past few months I have tended to around 4 hours intense exercise on Tuesdays, more than 1 hour on Monday and Wednesday, around 2 or 3 hours on Thursday and usually about 1 hour of hard exercise plus the morning mtb ride on Friday. Going from my normal pattern to nothing is definitely quite challenging, hope to do something about that and see how it feels lets hope I can get back into it.

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Mon, 17 Jan 2011

Things to look forward to at lca? - 15:31
So anyone in the community will be aware that 2011 begins next week on Monday and runs until Saturday with the open day concluding the conference then. As always I look forward to being at the best Linux and general open source conference in the world. What specific things are there to look forward to?

I guess Sunday getting to catch up with other lca Ghosts and the new Ghosts (Wellington crew that make it across) should be a fun intro to the week. Then Monday morning we get to the mini confs, I am most interested in the Open Programming and Southern Plumbers mini confs that day. Perl with Schwern should be awesome to start. Daniel Stone talking about some of the X Input stuff after lunch sounds pretty interesting, though Jonathan Corbet may have interesting insight into business from the LWN perspective which could be a turn up for the books, at least there will be few suits at the conference, more tie die (Bdale style) than ties.

On Tuesday Multicore and Parallel programming sounds interesting with a fair bit of System administration and Data Storage mini conferences thrown in. Though that is what I put on my original registration, now looking at the streams the Research and Student innovation stream looks pretty awesome, I could even suggest it ties into my work environment a little more closely. Though Vint Cerf is speaking just before lunch which along with his keynote may be a not to be missed session.

The keynotes for the main conference on the whole look likely to be pretty damn good this year, however the real stuff is the conference talks that start Wednesday morning, once again it will be far too hard to choose what to see. My picks are likely to be Behavioural Driven Infrastructure, Making file systems scale: A case study using ext4 (Ted is a great speaker and has interesting things to say most of the time), Making laptops work with Linux, X and the future of Linux Graphics (though maybe I should be at the Beyond init: systemd or Virtual Networking performance: flows, bridging and tunnels as they both look interesting and work relevant, damn hard choices), choosing between Horms with Network Bandwidth Control in Virtualised Environments and jk with Device trees on ARM will be tough and I am sure mean the need to resort to the conference videos, then Can't^W^W^W Touch This! about multi touch in Linux.

And so it goes on, too much cool stuff only one of me, once more where we all wish the clone () system call worked in real life. Bring on my 11th (or 12th if you count CALU in '99)

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Still slow on the diary front - 14:15
I notice it has been a whole month since i last wrote something here, oops. Oh well I guess it shows I am writing it when I get around to it.

I noticed a rather amusing thing at work the other week, there was steam cleaning of the carpets happening and rather than having a van parked out the front of the building a mobile device was being used inside the building, probably slower and covering less area than the normal dry cleaning vans manage.

The cleaner was called "Predator Mk II", which I still find somewhat entertaining, it is strange enough to call a carpet cleaning device a predator, obviously carpets are very similar with gazelles or whatever else various predators may go for, however even stranger is that it was Mk II. Obviously the first model was a little bit ineffective, must have sat around reading Voltaire rather than chasing down "gazelles" on the prairies of office carpets around the place, so back to the design board for another try.

I can sort of see why a machete may be named and marketed as "Predator", or even a pair of running shoes or something, these items share some traits with more well known predators. I am still trying to work out if there are any predators in the wild that are well known for their ability to steam clean the environment or similar.

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