2016 – Monday & Tuesday

So far this week I’ve been at, held in Geelong. As usual, it’s been the insane mix of seeing awesome talks by awesome people, hanging out with old friends, meeting new friends, and not getting quite enough sleep.

Of the awesome talks, a few stand out:

  • Bdale Garbee’s talk on whole-house audio, where instead of buying off the shelf hardware, he built his own USB to 30w stereo amplifier module and hooked nine of them up to an embedded PC. Mostly because he could.
  • Casey West’s two talks on cloud anti-patterns and twelve-factor apps, outlining a large number of good and bad practices in application development, containers, and clouds.
  • Steven Ellis’ talk on ManageIQ, which is a tool for managing cross-provider VMs. It looks like the perfect tool to manage my mix of Rackspace, Azure and AWS VMs and other tools, but I haven’t been able to check it out further yet (the downloadable image won’t work in VirtualBox, so I’ll have to wait until I get home).
  • Tammy Butow’s Site Reliability Engineering at Dropbox talk filled me with inspiration to work harder at getting better at systems administration. It was essentially a talk on Kaizen applied to engineering and how to achieve that.
The UnPDNS in progress...
The UnPDNS in progress…

Of course, LCA isn’t just about talks – if it was, I probably wouldn’t bother going. It’s about people. It’s been great to meet new people over dinner, and discuss talks with strangers after they end – it’s been fun to get some new views on what I thought were uncontroversial topics. I ended up playing Ingress late at night with a few people, and had great fun (and a lot of exercise, which I probably need). And there was of course the UnProfessional Delegates Networking Session, a barbecue organised by my friends Adam Harvey and Chris Neugebauer, which despite getting rained out was great fun – and then we all adjourned to the pub.

Geelong seems like a lovely city. I visited roughly fifteen years ago and I was fairly unimpressed at the time – it was dull and grey and seemed devoid of anything interesting. That can’t be said now. The waterfront is a lovely place to be, the weather is perfect (at least in summer), and there’s plenty of good food to be had (not on the level of Hobart or Melbourne, but that’s a tough standard to meet).

I’m looking forward to what the rest of the week brings!

Why I Have A Windows Laptop at

This is just a quick blog post to get something off my chest. It’s about the open-source conference I’m currently attending, The thing is this: I run a Windows 10-based laptop, I’ve brought it with me to LCA, and I’m proud of that.

  • I use Windows for work. I’m a .NET developer. It’s how I earn my cash to attend this conference. That, apart from anything else, is why I don’t run Linux on the desktop.
  • A lot of people run Apple Mac OS X, another closed-source operating system. I don’t understand why people don’t discriminate equally against that.
  • Speaking of Apple, nobody directs ill thoughts their way at LCA. Microsoft does attract this discrimination, despite them actually releasing a large quantity of open-source software (including most of .NET) over the last couple of years.
  • I write open-source software. I write this in C# on .NET, because it will make it easier for the end users of this software to install and use, since they will be Windows users for the most part. I consider myself to be doing a lot of good by writing this software, giving users options apart from closed-source and cloud-hosted software.

In my mind, when somebody makes fun of Windows at an open-source conference, they’re buying into an anti-Microsoft herd mentality, forgetting that Microsoft does a lot of FOSS stuff, that Microsoft users do a lot of FOSS stuff, and the Apple laptops and Android phones that the majority of delegates have all contain a lot of closed-source software too.

End rant.