– Day 0

Me at LCA

Yesterday was day 0 of my adventure to in Brisbane. I woke up extremely early (5:15am AEDT, which is 4:15am AEST) and caught a flight to Sydney and then on to Brisbane. I caught the AirTrain into the city (which is awesome, so much better than any other capital city’s offering) and met my friend Michael to drop off my bag at the hotel. After catching up with my sister for lunch (she lives in Brisbane) I headed off to the venue for the conference, QUT in Kelvin Grove.

I sat around with a few of my friends from the ##australia IRC channel on Freenode, while discussing the conference’s preperation on on Freenode. After a while, I went and registered for the conference, and got some awesome swag. The item of note is a Yubico Yubikey, which seems to be a really awesome solution to the password problem.

The LCA Venue

After the registration, I went with a few of the other ##australia geeks to get pizza from a local place in Kelvin Grove. It was a lot of impromptu fun, especially when a few more geeks from showed up and also had a bite to eat.

After the pizza, it was back to the conference venue for the “noobie’s talk” which introduced us to what happens this week. In short, it sounds like a lot of fun. The presenter of the talk, Rusty Russell, has a great sense of humour. We then went off to the pub with the other first-time attendees, but we didn’t stay long because it was loud and we went off to something better.

Most of the attendees are staying at a place called Urbanest, which looks like an interesting place, mostly because of the density of geeks. Last night I went up to Urbanest for an hour or so, and watched the cricket and talked to a few other geeks. I met Jethro Carr, a geek from NZ whose blog I read. I then retired for the night, because you can only be awake for so long without a drip of caffeine.

30 Days of Geek #8: Preferred method of communication with humans

I’ve decided to partake in Jethro Carr’s 30 Days of Geek challenge, so I’ll be writing a post a day on my geekiness for an entire month! You can find all the posts in one spot here.

Naturally, I prefer to communicate with other humans in person. Every other form of communication leaves something to be desired (and usually, that something is something big).

I’m quite sure that I’m not the only person in the world who has trouble picking up on the subtle cues found in all human communications. The hints of sarcasm (or, in my case, the never-ending stream of it), the smiles, the hand movements, the stances, the tones of voice. A lot of it falls under the umbrella term of body language. Body language is just something the Internet cannot do at all. The telephone, surprisingly, does it even worse (at least in my experience). So I like talking in person the best, because it gives me the best chance to pick up on all these cues.

So, my preferences as far as communications goes:

  1. Human contact one on one or in a small group.
  2. Human contact in a large group conversation (there’s a large gap between 1 and 2).
  3. Instant Messaging (I use MSN and Facebook chat the most). Simply because I can log it.
  4. Internet Relay Chat (IRC). If you don’t know what this is, just think chatrooms.
  5. Text messages (SMS).
  6. And, right down the bottom, in a dusty box underneath the staircase, talking on the telephone.

I think the reason I hate the phone so much is because the person who gets called (usually me) has no choice about when the conversation happens. I could be in the middle of something requiring a lot of concentration (such as programming or web scripting, which requires juggling dozens of variables and logical statements in your head) and the phone rings. Concentration lost.

Of course, if I like you enough, I’ll be happy to shelve whatever I’m doing to talk to you. It’s just that this category isn’t large enough for my boss to be part of it.