2014 – December 30

I’m (sporadically and with much delay) blogging my yearly pilgrimage to 2014, this year being held at the University of Western Australia in Perth.

Today was the flight from Hobart (HBA) to Perth (PER) via Melbourne (MEL). After a morning waiting (both my girlfriend and I had both already done most of our packing the night before) we had a fairly uneventful flight from Hobart to Melbourne (737-800, seats 29D and 29E). Bit of turbulence but nothing unexpected from economy class on Virgin.

20131230_165309The flight over to Perth was on one of Virgin’s two older (ex-Emirates apparently) A330-200 aircraft (seats 9J and 9K). This was slightly disappointing as these two aircraft don’t have in-seat power, a nice extra on a 4-hour flight (which is about as long as my laptop battery lasts). The TVs were pretty blurry picture-wise and the sound was choppy (not that I cared, I had my laptop to watch). Chicken-based meal wasn’t too bad, but my girlfriend’s vegetarian meal was… very average. You can tell these planes have been in use for a while. That said, the flight was smooth, fast and safe… so I can’t complain too much! Other than that it was a pretty nice flight.

I have to say I’m really looking forward to this year’s LCA. All the usual great speakers are there, including some of my favourites (Matthew Garrett, Katie Miller and Adam Harvey to name a few). As well as this, it is the first LCA trip I’ve managed to drag my girlfriend along to (which is the real reason we are going a week early, as she has family in Perth). Hopefully there are more of these trips to come!

I imagine we won’t be coming back to Perth for a while (unfortunately trans-continental flights are quite expensive), so there are a few sights we want to see. I really want to visit the Perth Mint and see the minting of gold and silver bullion coins (yeah, I’m weird). My partner wants to go to Nottnest Island and do lots of swimming in some of the marine parks around the Perth/Fremantle area.

My 2013 Plans (my favourite tech conference, and one of the best in Australia/NZ) is on again next year, in Canberra from the 28th of January to the 2nd of February. I’m excited! I love being so immersed in enthusiastic talks on every sphere of open-source technology, from the deepest bowels of the Linux kernel to the talks on legal and social issues. The week is also a great opportunity to catch up with some of my Internet friends, most of whom I don’t see between LCA events.

I’ll be travelling to Canberra on Sunday the 27th of January, on Virgin Australia flights DJ1533 (HBA -> SYD) and DJ654 (SYD -> CBR). One more airport than strictly necessary, but I like that – I’m a fan of airports, aeroplanes, and public transportation in general. During the week I’ll be staying in the John XXIII student accomodation; mainly because it’s closer to the breakfast venue than the other location. I’ll be travelling back to Hobart on Sunday the 4th on DJ1205 (a direct flight, because I suspect I’ll be quite tired by then – LCA has a habit of finding energy and destroying it in a haze of excited geeky exhaustion).

You may have noticed this leaves Saturday the 3rd with no plans at all. I’ve never been to Canberra before, so I thought I would stay around on the Saturday and Sunday to explore Canberra a bit. I might go to the War Memorial, Old Parliament House, the National Museum, and maybe the Black Mountain Tower (logistics depending, I won’t have a car). It should be a fun trip!

My 2012 Plans

This summer, like last summer, I’ll be travelling to This year it’s being held in Ballarat, which presents the opportunity for one of my favourite modes of transport: TRAIN! Here, tentatively, are my plans for that week:

  • On Sunday the 15th I’ll awake early, catch the 8:45am Jetstar flight from Hobart (HBA) to Melbourne Tullamarine (MEL). That arrives at 10:00am. I’ll then make my way into the city, have lunch at a trendy cafĂ© with friends from Melbourne. I will then catch the 3:08pm train from Southern Cross Station to Ballarat. My good friend Michael Wheeler will join me for that leg of the journey. I will then be in the conference city, ready for finding all the cool people to annoy.
  • I will stay at the on-campus accommodation, for maximum NCSS-style bonus points.
  • I will attend the Penguin dinner.
  • The next Saturday (the 21st) I will do the same journey in reverse. I don’t have lunch plans that day, so if you’d like to catch up in Melbourne (and prevent me from spending all my money in stationery shops) let me know!

I’ve also recently re-installed Debian on my laptop. Running Windows 7 last conference was embarrasing. I ran PuTTY full-screen the entire time just to cover up the fact.

I hope to see you all there!

Eight Things I Love About Living In Hobart

  1. The natural environment. In Hobart, you’re always really close to nature. Shadowing over the entire city is Mount Wellington, the suburbs are built around beaches and there’s more parks than you can poke a stick at.
  2. Everything is really close. I can drive from one end of the city to the other in about 30 minutes. The CBD is small enough to cover on foot without getting tired.
  3. You’re at the end of the Earth. If there’s going to be a nuclear war, Hobart is the place to be if you want to survive. It’s about as far away from anywhere as it’s possible to be, and still have an international airport.
  4. The weather. Despite how much Hobartians love complaining about it, it’s really not that bad. It doesn’t get stinking hot in the summer, nor is it freezing cold in winter. We don’t have acid rain and we’re not on a fault line.
  5. There’s still enough drinking water to go around. For the moment.
  6. The city itself is beautiful. Aside from a few buildings which really need to get pulled down, everything in Hobart is generally very pretty. The flower beds are all tended to nicely as well.
  7. The busses are always empty. To a Hobartian, a ‘full’ bus is one where more than half the seats are taken. If anybody has to stand up… well, something has probably gone wrong.
  8. It’s only an hour’s drive into the middle of nowhere. When you get there, there’s tonnes of pretty mountains and rivers where you can walk. And that’s probably the most underated thing of all.