2006, Day 2 (Tuesday)

One interesting rule of thumb that Damian Conway mentioned in his presentation skills session is that, on average, it takes 8 hours of preparation per one hour of talking. I initially raised by eyebrows at this figure, but it turns out that Damian’s likely right (as usual): I ended staying up until around 4:30am to finish off our slides, and got up rather excruciatingly at 8am to grab breakfast at Jeff and Pia’s again. For those interested: Weet-bix + three pancakes (although I made a token attempt to be too polite to have their lovely pancakes, since I’d already had the weet-bix…). Ah yes, and the excellent Otago Daily Times’s front page story today was about how all the poor Dunedin citizens were all pasty-white thanks to a lack of sun this summer at the beach. I read this as a very nice excuse to slap pictures of three hot chicks in two-pieces on the front page of the paper.

I actually decided to skip the morning talks that day to work on the slides, so I ended up holing myself up in the (lovely) apartment until around 12. Yes, I think Damian’s 8 hours of preparation was correct indeed: Anthony and I probably spent around 10 hours of prep in total, though I’m fairly type A when it comes to making sure all the details are nailed down right.

I ended up having an energy bar and a Coke for lunch (sorry about that mum!) and managed to catch the end of Conrad’s talk on CMMLWiki when I got back, as well as watch parts of Keith Packard’s hilarious talk on Linux-powered rockets (complete with pictures of rockets hitting the earth at 800KM/h, and stories of their failed recovery of a CompactFlash card inside said rocket…).

I’m glad to report that I think our talk went pretty well: we had around 30 people attending, and Anthony and I got to chat afterwards with some people who were pretty interested in the stuff we were doing. Hopefully we’ll be able to get a videotape of it some time in the future, and I can place it here as a contribution to embarrassing myself more.

Since the talk was over, we decided that having some dinner was in order soon. No-one had any plans, so I made an executive decision to meet up at the Terrace at 7 o’clock, and the 4 or 5 folks who decided to go there grew to 8, then 10, then about 18. Hooray for lots of company! I had a most excellent mixed grill on hot rocks and more Speights beer for dinner, and enjoyed the merry company of all the other geeks until around midnight. Catching up with everyone here is truly great; since I’ve moved over to using a Mac as my main platform, I’m not so involved with the Linux community these days, and I forget from time to time how awesome everyone is (both from a social standpoint, and just how damn good these people are at what they do).

P.S. Linus is here, for those fanboys who are interested. The more amusing thing is that he’s really sunburnt. For the serious geeks, Van Jacobson (yep, that Van Jacobson) is also giving a talk. You can bet I’ll be attending that one.

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