[Linux-aus] LCA: stuff you liked!

Mike Carden mike.carden at gmail.com
Wed Aug 29 23:02:24 EST 2012

Mary, thanks for starting such a positive thread. I rather like this. :)

So, back in 2004 I was a not-very-confident member of CLUG, pretty much
overawed by the likes of Tridge, Brad Hards and Martin Pool coming to
meetings and exploding my head with deeply technical stuff. Back then I
worked for Panasonic Australia and I remember proudly firing up my new
Panasonic Toughbook at a CLUG meeting then wanting to vanish under my chair
when it played the Windows login sound.

I heard that a thing called LCA was coming to Canberra in 2005 and I
resolved to cajole my new employer, the National Archives of Australia,
into letting me attend. And they did.

What a week. At the time I had never attended University, but I still
described it as "A year of University in a week". Since then I have
actually been to University and I've achieved a Masters Degree in IT. I
still think LCA is "A year of University in a week". Augmented Reality with
Dr Wayne, Eben Moglen, Astronaut Mark Shuttleworth and OMG - Tridge on
Bitkeeper hacking. Where hacking == help. So, so much fun. I was hooked.

2006 I flew with Steve Hanley to Dunedin for LCA. My first ever trip
outside Australia. I saw Van Jacobson bring a packed room to its feet,
talking about the edges of the network. Wow. I saw Andy Fitz knock peoples'
socks off with FOSS graphics. I laughed at Google recruiters. :)  There was
a Shaving.

2007 I was a speaker and I was even interviewed by a Sydney Morning Herald
journo with a photographer. I was their Geek Spread. :)  Great keynote by
Kathy Sierra and Geoffrey Bennett had Linus Torvalds riding his
backyard-built Segway scooter.

2008 in Melbourne. I may have consumed far too much bourbon while playing
500 with some Kiwis. The Waugh Partners OSS report came out in Melbourne
and some of us thought it might matter. :)  The conf dinner at the Vic
markets was epic. Bruce Schneier was a compelling but ultimately useless
keynote speaker.

2009 in Hobart. By now I was an old hand at LCA. The student accommodation
had good Internet, but speedtest.net thought I was in central Europe at 54
megabits per second. So much good stuff in Hobart, but I was one of the few
to be in the room for Rusty's Software Patents Interpretive Dance. Enough

2010 in Wellington. Colour me ever sad - I wasn't there. Ironically, I was
at the Welly convention centre a few weeks later to speak at a conference
and I could feel the residual LCA vibe in the place. Actually, the bit
about the vibe is a pure fabrication (aka a lie) but it's a fine venue.

2011 in Brisbane. What a great conf. By the time of this one I was an
elected member of the LA Council and with the Brisbane floods, running the
conf went right down to the wire and very nearly didn't happen. That the
crew moved it on incredibly short notice and still triumphed is amazing.
That Mark Pesce decided to "Skull-fuck Steve Jobs" from the keynote podium,
took some shine off an otherwise great week.

2012 in Ballarat. The nay-sayers said it couldn't be done, but Josh and Cam
and their amazing crew hosted an absolute gem of a conf in semi-rural
Victoria. Under The Stars was a brilliant LCA where the presentations and
the great people were, for me, slightly coloured by the fact that... OMG!
We are running LCA here in Canberra next year!

So in 2005 I was a proto-geek and now I'm the VP of Linux Australia and the
treasurer of the LCA2013 team in Canberra. I owe much of what I do and who
i am now to LCA.

You might say that I quite like LCA.

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