, Day 4 (Thursday)

After the big night last night courtesy of Google, I woke up more-or-less on time this morning with no hangover, which was a bit of a small surprise considering I’ve never quite drunk that much before. (Whoo!) I didn’t quite early enough to make it to Jeff and Pia’s place for breakfast before heading off to the keynote, but I made up for that by grabbing a rather nice ham and cheese roll a bit later in the morning.

(Warning: geek content in this paragraph.) Dave Miller’s keynote was pretty good, and thankfully I understood a lot more in his talk today than his original TCP zero-copy talk at CALU in 1999 (gee, my technical knowledge has increased a bit in the past seven years — who would’ve thought?). The other talks that day didn’t set me off too much, with the exception of Rusty Russell’s talk on talloc. Here’s my take on talloc: if you absolutely have to use that portable assembly language named C, think of talloc as a gift from God. Memory management with talloc still isn’t completely painless, but it makes it nearly as nice to use as if you were coding in Objective-C with Cocoa, or in modern C++ (using references everywhere so you don’t have to new/delete everything). At any rate, it’s a hell of a lot better than using malloc/free. If you use C, use it: you will be much happier.

Since Rising Sun were kind enough to send me as a professional this year, that also meant I got to go to the professional delegates’ networking session (a.k.a. dinner). OK, if that was the professional delegates’ networking session that I attended, I’d love to see an unprofessional delegates’ networking session, because we had a riot of a time. The presence of the boisterous Aussies in combination with Australia Day led to quite an awesome night indeed: our dinner was held at the beautiful Larnach Castle in Dunedin, with yet more free beer and wine for the entire night. This, of course, led to plenty of singing and more singing on the bus back home, with even our beloved Linux Australia Vice President, Pia Waugh, quite energetically (and somewhat drunkenly) joining in our Australia Day celebrations.

So, chalk up another damn good day at — so far, it’s been four out of four (or five out of five if you count Sunday night, which I do). I’m a lucky man to be here!

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