Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Expect Kakapo

Its of to Linux.Conf.Au 2010 in Wellington, New Zealand. Work isn't paying for the trip this time around, so I'll be going as a hobbist. I'll miss out on the Professional Delegates Networking session, which would have been good, but there is usually plenty of left over swag to buy at the end of the week. For those that missed the reference in the title, a Kakapo is a flightless nocturnal native New Zealand parrot. Some of the things I want to get out of this conference:
  • Peoples experiences, both good and bad, with organising a Linux User Group. There is a group of Adelaide people looking to start up one in the New Year... any advice would be most welcome.
  • Thoughts, comments on how to get people talking about, using and experiencing Free and Open Source Software (see first point).
  • Meeting other Linux Users who are also Ham Operators (VK5FPAW listening).
  • Put together an Arduino board by hand - see the Arduino mini-conference.
.. now what have I missed.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

When will Microsoft stop the FUD?

Looks like Microsoft are at it again.. apparently they now have 96% of the Netbook market, with four times the return rate from netbooks shipped with other operating systems. (The articles are here and here.) A rebuttal by Chris Kenyon of Canonical, along with it's coverage tries to put this into perspective, but the FUD is already out there. Australia has enough problems getting any form of choice into our markets. (You might say that we live in a country of monopolists.) Netbooks running Linux may well be available in other parts of the world, but the market that these machines were designed for, doesn't appear on the radar of the major retailers here. Not yet anyway.. and all the people that I know who have bought really cool netbooks, which run linux, have done so because they 1) travel and 2) bought it elsewhere. Microsoft can (and probably will) continue generating this sort of press. On the other hand, the Ubuntu community* and Canonical will continue to release an ever improving Operating System complete with application software every 6 months, like they have over the last 5 years and 10 releases. The Ubuntu release - 9.04 - is due 23rd April. * - includes all the contibuting Free and Open Source software developers around the world.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Expect squrrels...

Well, it's nearly time to head off to Linux.Conf.Au again, and I've gotten around to contemplating what this year may hold for Linux, and what hints may come out of the conference... but it's usually pretty unwise to ask this sort of question. Nobody actually knows. Yes there are big companies behind Linux and the Free and Open Source Software community. Yes, they pay for a majority of the software development on core systems like the Linux kernel, the desktop environment, and server software, but there are also an awful number of people who contribute just because they can. ... and it's these people that the Linux.Conf.Au conference is actually for. The program comittee has done an excellent job again this year. It involves a huge amount of work to go through all the various submissions, but the quality of the speakers and presentations looks as high as it has ever been. I'm also really looking forward to the lightening talks. Unfortunately several miniconfs have put their lightening sessions on at the same time. This is maybe something for future Linux.Conf.Au organisers to look at. If it were possible, I would go and see them all. This is where the really interesting technical gems will be found, and where future conference speakers will get their initial experience. So what will be the 'next big thing'? Come to the conference, watch this space, have a look at the video's of the presentations and make up your own mind. With Free and Open Source Software it all possible. Personally, I expect squirrels.