Technical Topics in Computing, December 2016

Recently I’ve been feeling like I’ve been missing the chance to hear about cool technical projects people are working on in a depth not possible at a CLUG meeting because of time constraints. I am therefore running a simple weekend meetup in Canberra on Saturday 3 December and Sunday 4 December.

The Saturday of the event will be organised talks, with the goal of the talks being to inspire attendees to have a hack on a new project on the second day of the weekend. The second day would be an unstructured hackfest to explore whatever is interesting after the talks of the previous day. I think reserving the Saturday evening for board games and general “hanging out” sounds like fun too.

More details can be found at the conference wiki, with tickets being sold at eventbrite for $20.

These talks are currently signed up:

  • Richard Jones, Hacking Minecraft in Python
  • Alastair D’Silva, Getting started with MQTT and the ESP8266
  • Michael Carden, Introduction to radio
  • Tim Ansell, Using FPGAs with Python
  • …and more to come!

A Technical Topics Status Update

(The featured image for this post is by hobbymb on flickr).

So, its been a couple of days since I went mad and decided I should run a weekend conference. A bit has happened in that time, so here’s a quick status update…

First off, people have bought tickets! In fact, we’ve sold 20% of my original goal of 50 tickets, which is pretty impressive for a conference with no venue or agenda. Thanks to everyone who has made a leap of faith and done that thing. One of the things that I need to sort out is public liability insurance, and I am chasing quotes for that at the moment. Its hard to tell how many tickets I need to sell to cover the cost of that as I have no idea what the insurance will cost yet.

In other positive news, a surprising number of people have offered to present as well. The current plan is to try and focus on talks which have a good chance of leaving people to want to have a hack on the Sunday. I’d love to be in a place where people have to make hard choices about what to hack on because there is more than one thing that excites them on the Saturday. That said, keep the proposals rolling in to the talk proposals form.

That said, I’ve accepted our first talk, which is from Richard Jones. Richard has kindly agreed to come up from Melbourne to run a tutorial on writing Minecraft Mods in Python for people with limited Python experience. I know that’s not super deep technically, but I am excited by getting my own kids into a room with a smart developer with significant teaching experience and I’m hoping other people are too.

A reminder of the details — the first Saturday and Sunday in December (3-4 December) in Canberra. A basic non-conference, with a room, a set of speakers, and a lot of enthusiasm. Only $20 to attend to cover some simple venue costs.

So you know what to do people! Use the little box thingie down below to buy a ticket!

Technical Topics in Computing, Canberra December 2016

Recently I’ve been feeling like I’ve been missing the chance to hear about cool technical projects people are working on in a depth not possible at a CLUG meeting because of time constraints.

Many years ago, AUUG used to run a weekend “summer conference” that was almost free and addressed some of this issue. That conference died a natural death when linux.conf.au got big, but I think maybe it’s time to bring that back.

So, I’d like to propose a simple weekend meetup in Canberra. I would make it free, but I feel like the no-show rate is lower for events which charge a token amount. I’m thinking something like $20 is small enough not to be painful, but enough that people will value their tickets. Any profit would be donated to some form of community group at the end, but I haven’t picked one yet.

The Saturday of the event would be organised talks, with the goal of the talks being to inspire attendees to have a hack on a new project on the second day of the weekend. The second day would be an unstructured hackfest to explore whatever is interesting after the talks of the previous day. I think reserving the Saturday evening for board games and general “hanging out” sounds like fun too.

Venue wise, I was thinking of doing something a bit out of left field like hosting the event at Macarthur Scout Hall, mostly because I have easy access to it, but also because it is in a good location with easy parking, cafes and pizza nearby. It would also mean that people could sleep over in the hall overnight instead of paying for accommodation if they wanted to. The venue is not yet confirmed though.

Looking at my calendar, I’d like to suggest the first weekend of December as the dates for the event, which is 3-4 December.

If you’d be interested in talking on the Saturday, there is a Google form you can fill in to express interest at https://goo.gl/forms/EHIvGvDfoceweMnk2

For the super keen, you can buy at ticket for this super speculative event at eventbrite now — https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/technical-topics-in-computing-tickets-27377136753 . If the event doesn’t run, I will refund your ticket purchase.

For those with an accepted linux.conf.au 2017 talk it might be a good way to get a practice run in before the big event?