LCA 2012: Ballarat

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So, a million people have blogged and tweeted about this, so I’m going to keep this short. Congratulations to Ballarat on their winning 2012 bid. They’ve stepped up for what is a massive job, with the added complications of being the first to try something a little new. As a ghost I appreciate them being willing to expend this effort for the benefit of all of us. I’ve had a few chances to spend time with the Ballarat core team this week, and I think they’re dedicated, smart, and going to do a great job.

I know some are concerned about transport, and to be honest I was at first too, but I don’t think it is actually all that bad. There is a shuttle bus just like any other modern city (it seems to take about 90 minutes on the airport shuttle, which isn’t that much longer than getting to the Melbourne CBD from that airport). There are also rental cars, and Google Maps tells me that you could save 8 minutes on your trip that way! Worst case it is only a 22 hour, 35 minute walk according to Google Maps.

Personally, I’m going to walk from Canberra, which will only take 5 days, 22 hours. Who wants to join me?

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LCA 2013 bid process opens – Canberra at the ready!

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For the last several months, a small group of people in Canberra including
myself have been preparing a bid for LCA 2013. This is not just to give us
more time to make the conference the most awesome, froody LCA you’ve
ever been to. No – 2013 is also the centenary of the founding of Canberra as
the nation’s capital. It’s a very significant year for us and we’d all be
thrilled if we could show the attendees of LCA our great city and Canberrans
the great work the FOSS community does to improve everyone’s lives.

So we’re really stoked that the bidding process is going to be opened early,
and I think it’ll lead to a really interesting competition that will result,
whoever wins, in the best LCA ever!

If you’re interested in getting involved, drop me a line!

[btags:]

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Bad Science

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I’ve been trying to read one non-fiction book a month recently, and this is the one for January. This book is simply excellent and I’m glad I read it. It is clearly written, entertaining, and easy to understand. Yet it covers complex issues about how mis-reporting of medicine result in people dying. It covers statistical errors, dodgy marketing, and self serving journalism. An excellent book that I am now going to force my wife to read.

[isbn: 0865479186;9780865479180]

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Things I’m taking to the Arduino miniconf

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I figured I’d go to the Arduino miniconf and help out with the assembly tutorial. That got me thinking about what I should take that’s relatively small, but likely to be helpful. So far I’ve got:

  • My butane soldering iron and solder (I’m not packing butane though, I’ll have to find that up there)
  • De-soldering wick and a solder sucker
  • Side cutters
  • Tweasers
  • A multimeter
  • A USBtinyISP
  • A couple of duemilanove boards
  • Some spare Atmega 328s
  • One of Doug’s ethernet boards
  • A spare development central heating controller (my current project)
  • My RS485 development stuff (so I can keep working on that)

What else should I bring?

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Days of Air and Darkness

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Rori and friends are attempting to lift the siege started in Days of Blood and Fire. This book is mostly action without much discussion or character development, which makes it fun to read. The big battle at the end is a bit unusual, because so many die, but I wont say any more because I don’t want to ruin it for you. An enjoyable book, the best bit of which would have to be the Jill and Rodry quest at the beginning.

[isbn: 0553572628]

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Starbound

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This is the newly released sequel for Marsbound which I really liked, so I was excited when this arrived the other day. This book is much like the previous one stylistically, being written as a set of mostly first person diary entries. However, the people writing these entries are older now, and this feels less like a teen fiction novel. There is also more than one narrator in this book, unlike the first, with generally each chapter being narrated by one of three people. This can be a bit jarring at first, because it takes a while to realize that a new person is narrating and that’s why the point of view changed. You get used to it though. This book is also quite Heinlein like in this level of sex, which is similar to Marsbound, but not true of all of the Haldeman books I’ve read — I think it might be a relatively recent change to his style.

Overall a good book, I enjoyed it, and I can’t wait for the next one in the series (which Joe finished at the end of 2010).

[isbn: 044101979X;9780441019793]

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