[Linux-aus] when are barcamps planned?

Peter Miller millerp at canb.auug.org.au
Mon Jul 9 23:20:56 UTC 2007

On Tue, 2007-07-10 at 06:38 +0930, Janet Hawtin wrote:
> On 7/9/07, Peter Miller <millerp at canb.auug.org.au> wrote:
> > It's not a bar camp, however it is similar, and has been going for a few
> > years now...
> >
> > I run an annual "Coding and Camping" weekend, inspired by the original
> > CodeCon, but with no net connectivity.  Very cheap, very informal, very
> > enjoyable, very outdoors.
> > See http://slug.org.au/node/65
> > 2007-09-21,22,23

> Thanks Peter
> Most excellent. Who is your camp aimed at?

Open source coders.

> We are thrashing out the details of a camp for coding teams for schools:
> CodeCamp Friday April 18th to Monday 21st April 2008
> School teams which have been working on open programming projects
> are invited to attend. We have 36 places.

That's going to be a lot of logistics, compared to what I do, and not
much of it about the computers.  Tents, generators, folding chairs,
drinking water, cooking facilities, toilets, bathing, what to do when
kids turn up with *no* gear or food, etc, etc.  And lower on the list:
data projectors, projection screens (tent walls are all wrinkles) and
maybe wifi APs and a file server.

Do you expect the kids to BYO laptop?  or BYO desktop?  Remember that
laptops these days suck about 60W (except those horrible generic power
blocks which suck 300W) and desktop systems can suck 5 or 600W.  Data
projectors anywhere between 500W and 2400W.  The expected equipment list
has a *huge* impact on the size and power of the generators you need to
hire.  I use Kennards, who have quite reasonable rates, but expect to
pay a deposit of about 30% of the value of the generator, which you get
back when you return it.  E.g. 600W * 36 = 22KW but you will need some
margin, say 5 of 5KW generators... but a 5KW generator needs box trailer
to move it (definitely will not fit in your car boot) and requires two
people to lift.

However 60W * 36 = 2.2KW and with margin that's 2 of 2.5KW generators,
which are twice the volume of a domestic sewing machine.  They can be
lifted by adult male fairly easily, but the are heavy, not what you want
on the back seat of your sedan.  A box trailer really helps.

Then there is the issue of children and petrol to manage.  Not
insurmountable, but locked storage of some kind is probably warranted.
Place the generators _well_ away from camp fires (even though this can
mean well away form adult supervision) you seriously don't want flash
over when filling generator fuel tanks.

Also, a 6m by 4m marquee costs over $100 to hire for a weekend, but it
needs a station waggon or a box trailer to move around, and you need at
least 2 if not 3 of them.

> This is at a camp spot in a national park too.

NPWS is a pita about generators.  You can use a huge loud 5MW generator
if you are a mining company tearing up a national park, but you can't
use one if you are a normal person like you and me, even when the new
Honda E20 generator is so quiet you can have a conversation next to it
without raising your voice.  All because of a truly bizarre
interpretation of one section of the Act that has not been tested in
court.  Sheesh.  Use a state forest (or private land) instead.

> Not sure on our bandwidth status yet.

This was a concern for me when I started doing this.  It turns out that
for the folks who come, it isn't an issue (and they knew beforehand) and
you get much more coding done :-)  And no mobile phone coverage means no
interruptions by work or spouses or children.

Peter Miller <millerp at canb.auug.org.au>
/\/\*        http://miller.emu.id.au/pmiller/

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