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Linux.conf.au coming back to Canberra!

By 24 January 2012 52

linuxconf poster

What better way for the nerds of Canberra to celebrate the Centenary than gathering at ANU for linux.conf.au!

Canberra turns 100 next year. That’s pretty old, but we’re pretty sure that she still knows how to party. All of Canberra will have their party shoes on during 2013, including the geeks. And what better way to have a geek party than to host the best Linux conference in the southern hemisphere, right here in the middle of our town?

Linux Australia announced today that linux.conf.au will be held at the Australian National University campus next year, from 28 January to 2 February, 2013.

Conference Director Michael Still said that he was delighted with the announcement, and praised the work already put in by the Canberra committee to organise the bid. “We have a lot of work to do before January 2013, but we plan to deliver a great conference, and have some fun while we’re doing it.”

linux.conf.au is one of the foremost open source conferences in the world, and is considered the most prestigious in the southern hemisphere. Every year open source geeks from across the globe gather in Australia to meet their fellow technologists, share the latest ideas and innovations, and spend a week collaborating on free, open source software projects.

Canberra last hosted the conference in 2005, to universal acclaim. Eight years on, we are delighted to see the conference return to the capital.

For those wondering what Linux is, it’s a computer operating system of great reliability maintained by the community. It runs my netbook, the RiotACT webserver, and android smartphones amongst many other things.

Legend has it the linux penguin was inspired by a penguin at the Canberra Zoo biting Linus Torvalds.

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52 Responses to
Linux.conf.au coming back to Canberra!
Dilandach 12:49 pm
24 Jan 12
#1

Sweet. Something to look forward to.

Freyberg 1:17 pm
24 Jan 12
#2

That would be the Taronga Zoo – bit north from the ACT :)

Deref 1:29 pm
24 Jan 12
#3

:-) A most excellent thing. Perhaps our wholly-owned subsidiaries of Microsoft, aka our governments, will come along and learn something.

Jivrashia 1:41 pm
24 Jan 12
#4

DO NOT TALK ABOUT DISTROS at these venues.

You will see blood…

poetix 1:52 pm
24 Jan 12
#5

Thanks for explaining what Linux is. It sounds like a great idea in allowing free access, but is probably one of those things only accessible to people who know what they’re talking about in the first place. The Wiki entry was enough to me feel hopeless. This is why people end up spending so much; the total gap between ‘geeks’ (their word) and the rest.

That’s the chasm where Steve Jobs made his money.

Duffbowl 2:01 pm
24 Jan 12
#6

Jivrashia said :

DO NOT TALK ABOUT DISTROS at these venues.

You will see blood…

The blood of heretics that doubt the power of Gentoo… :)

johnboy 2:07 pm
24 Jan 12
#7

Duffbowl said :

The blood of heretics that doubt the power of Gentoo… :)

You’ll still be compiling the drivers for your death ray when the ubuntites mow you down!

Dilandach 3:25 pm
24 Jan 12
#8

johnboy said :

Duffbowl said :

The blood of heretics that doubt the power of Gentoo… :)

You’ll still be compiling the drivers for your death ray when the ubuntites mow you down!

…just before the glorious slackware empire enslaves all. One distro to rule them all.

PantsMan 3:31 pm
24 Jan 12
#9

Dilandach said :

johnboy said :

Duffbowl said :

The blood of heretics that doubt the power of Gentoo… :)

You’ll still be compiling the drivers for your death ray when the ubuntites mow you down!

…just before the glorious slackware empire enslaves all. One distro to rule them all.

I run FeeDOS.

thumper109 3:32 pm
24 Jan 12
#10

Dilandach said :

johnboy said :

Duffbowl said :

The blood of heretics that doubt the power of Gentoo… :)

You’ll still be compiling the drivers for your death ray when the ubuntites mow you down!

…just before the glorious debian frees all. One distro to free them all.

fixed*

PantsMan 3:40 pm
24 Jan 12
#11

PantsMan said :

Dilandach said :

johnboy said :

Duffbowl said :

The blood of heretics that doubt the power of Gentoo… :)

You’ll still be compiling the drivers for your death ray when the ubuntites mow you down!

…just before the glorious slackware empire enslaves all. One distro to rule them all.

I run FeeDOS.

Ops, I meant “FreeDOS”.

I have to use PS/2 keyboards becasue that’s all that’s supported, and the only one I can find has a dodgy “r”.

mikal 4:16 pm
24 Jan 12
#12

Freyberg said :

That would be the Taronga Zoo – bit north from the ACT :)

Nup. Linus was assaulted at Canberra Zoo and Aquarium. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:TheStoryBehindTux.jpg

Duffbowl 4:31 pm
24 Jan 12
#13

PantsMan said :

PantsMan said :

I run FeeDOS.

Ops, I meant “FreeDOS”.

I have to use PS/2 keyboards becasue that’s all that’s supported, and the only one I can find has a dodgy “r”.

We all are sinners… however, some obviously sin more than others.

dvaey 6:45 pm
24 Jan 12
#14

mikal said :

Freyberg said :

That would be the Taronga Zoo – bit north from the ACT :)

Nup. Linus was assaulted at Canberra Zoo and Aquarium. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:TheStoryBehindTux.jpg

I read that first comment, and was sure I wasnt imagining being at the Canberra Zoo and Aquarium with him when he first saw the penguin..

It sure doesnt seem like 15 years ago though, time flies..

Spectra 9:58 pm
24 Jan 12
#15

…but is probably one of those things only accessible to people who know what they’re talking about in the first place

Spoken like someone who’s never even tried. If downloading and burning a DVD is beyond you, then yes, you’ll probably have difficulty getting Linux installed under your own steam. If not, well that’s about all there is to dipping your toe in the water. Download, burn, boot off the DVD and try it out.

This is why people end up spending so much; the total gap between ‘geeks’ (their word) and the rest.

If you want to try Linux out, and want your hand held, there’s probably a dozen people on this site alone who’d be more than happy to help out – myself included. If you have any suggestions about how we “geeks” could bridge the “total gap”, I can promise you they’d love to hear it. Nothing would make us happier than seeing more people using Linux. For the record, I have several friends, lawyers, actuaries and teachers who use linux – nary a geek amongst them. Have an Android smartphone? Hey, you’re already running it! I can’t offer a lower barrier to entry than that.

That’s the chasm where Steve Jobs made his money.

Android phones outsold iPhones by something in the region of 2:1 last year. Not exactly what I’d consider a chasm. Unless you’re suggesting that 2/3 of the population is “geeks” and the rest are on the other side of some gap or other. Or in the gap. I’m not sure I fully followed your metaphor, to be honest.

Spectra 10:15 pm
24 Jan 12
#16

PS: LinuxMint is the One True Way. Can’t let a distro war go un-waded-into :)

LSWCHP 10:25 pm
24 Jan 12
#17

I am currently in Hell. Or to put it another way, I’m an old time Unix hacker who has suddenly been forced to do some development work under Windoze. Something inside me has been dying. This afternoon I actually wrote my own cross-thread comms library, because the OS is so lame. Unbelievable.

So, this news is the best thing that has happened to me all day. Tridge will be dancing in the streets.

LSWCHP 10:47 pm
24 Jan 12
#18

dvaey said :

mikal said :

Freyberg said :

That would be the Taronga Zoo – bit north from the ACT :)

Nup. Linus was assaulted at Canberra Zoo and Aquarium. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:TheStoryBehindTux.jpg

I read that first comment, and was sure I wasnt imagining being at the Canberra Zoo and Aquarium with him when he first saw the penguin..

It sure doesnt seem like 15 years ago though, time flies..

Off topic I know but what the hell…

I’ve never met him, but everything I’ve ever seen has indicated to me that…how shall I put this diplomatically…Linus Isn’t Easy To Like. Technically outstanding, yeah, but he seems like someone who believes his own PR, more than most of us would. I made this assessment during his dispute with Andrew Tannenbaum, and it’s been reinforced over the years through a number of episodes such as his totally unnecessary spray against the Subversion folks.

Comments anyone? Confirmation? Refutation? Outraged abuse?

poetix 11:03 pm
24 Jan 12
#19

Spectra said :

…but is probably one of those things only accessible to people who know what they%u2019re talking about in the first place

Spoken like someone who’s never even tried. If downloading and burning a DVD is beyond you, then yes, you’ll probably have difficulty getting Linux installed under your own steam. If not, well that’s about all there is to dipping your toe in the water. Download, burn, boot off the DVD and try it out.

This is why people end up spending so much; the total gap between %u2018geeks%u2019 (their word) and the rest.

If you want to try Linux out, and want your hand held, there’s probably a dozen people on this site alone who’d be more than happy to help out – myself included. If you have any suggestions about how we “geeks” could bridge the “total gap”, I can promise you they’d love to hear it. Nothing would make us happier than seeing more people using Linux. For the record, I have several friends, lawyers, actuaries and teachers who use linux – nary a geek amongst them. Have an Android smartphone? Hey, you’re already running it! I can’t offer a lower barrier to entry than that.

That%u2019s the chasm where Steve Jobs made his money.

Android phones outsold iPhones by something in the region of 2:1 last year. Not exactly what I’d consider a chasm. Unless you’re suggesting that 2/3 of the population is “geeks” and the rest are on the other side of some gap or other. Or in the gap. I’m not sure I fully followed your metaphor, to be honest.

The really funny thing about this comment is that you probably don’t realise how incredibly patronising it is. At least I got one laugh out of a thread where all the intentional jokes are well over my wimpy and uneducated head. I’ll leave the rest of it to people like you who deserve to be here!

(P.S. Looks like the eunuchs are messing up my apostrophes again…)

LSWCHP 11:41 pm
24 Jan 12
#20

Spectra said :

…but is probably one of those things only accessible to people who know what they’re talking about in the first place

Spoken like someone who’s never even tried. If downloading and burning a DVD is beyond you, then yes, you’ll probably have difficulty getting Linux installed under your own steam.

That seems a bit harsh. You have to remember that the great majority of people are not technically inclined, so even the idea of an alternative boot device is simply going to invoke a collective WTF from most folks. And that’s not intended as a criticism of anybody, BTW.

Starting off in a hardcore manner like that, and then subsequently suggesting that Poetix could come to you for advice doesn’t seem like it’s going to work out somehow.

OpenYourMind 6:18 am
25 Jan 12
#21

LSWCHP said :

Spectra said :

…but is probably one of those things only accessible to people who know what they’re talking about in the first place

Spoken like someone who’s never even tried. If downloading and burning a DVD is beyond you, then yes, you’ll probably have difficulty getting Linux installed under your own steam.

That seems a bit harsh. You have to remember that the great majority of people are not technically inclined, so even the idea of an alternative boot device is simply going to invoke a collective WTF from most folks. And that’s not intended as a criticism of anybody, BTW.

Starting off in a hardcore manner like that, and then subsequently suggesting that Poetix could come to you for advice doesn’t seem like it’s going to work out somehow.

Exactly. And there in lies the whole problem with Linux and the Linux community. For the average Joe Punter, there’s no way I would recommend using Linux. There is this whole attitude of ‘hey you should use Linux, it’s better blah blah blah’, but then this superiority and assumed level of technical ability coupled with internal turf war over Linux distros, and linux packages. Win7 and OSX are so polished, the OS is packaged nicely with the computer and they’ve both reached a great level of stability and maturity. There’s not a lot of strong arguments for Average Joe to use Linux, but there’s lots of reasons not to such as lack of driver support, difficulty running apps especially as many of the things Joe Punter may be adding to their system are built and targeted at OSX or Win7.

mikal 8:59 am
25 Jan 12
#22

There is an active Linux user’s group in Canberra (it meets tomorrow night in fact). If people are interested in trying Linux out I’m sure an installfest / live CD burning session could be arranged. So, are people interested in such a thing?

(I know the complaining on this thread is mostly about complaining for the sake of it. Sorry if I’ve ruined your fun.)

basketcase 9:20 am
25 Jan 12
#23

There is also a group that caters for interested users, http://www.pcug.org.au/LinuxSIG/

Its meetings are in day time so it attracts the interested retirees

Dilandach 9:37 am
25 Jan 12
#24

mikal said :

There is an active Linux user’s group in Canberra (it meets tomorrow night in fact). If people are interested in trying Linux out I’m sure an installfest / live CD burning session could be arranged. So, are people interested in such a thing?

(I know the complaining on this thread is mostly about complaining for the sake of it. Sorry if I’ve ruined your fun.)

I keep meaning to go to that. Never have yet. I might get off my date and go along.

Anyone here been?

Spectra 10:08 am
25 Jan 12
#25

The really funny thing about this comment is that you probably don’t realise how incredibly patronising it is.

I apologise unreservedly if it sounded patronising (I wrote it while feeling like crap with a nasty cold, so I probably misjudged the tone, but that’s not an excuse). That was not my intention. I was simply trying to make the point that you’d made a very negative assumption about the difficulty level and dismissed it out of hand as a result, but had clearly not so much as actually looked at it yourself. If you’re interested in trying it, my offer still stands (though I’d imagine you’d rather it be someone else – I’m sure any of the lovely people at CLUG would be equally happy to help you out). I’ll stop talking now.

DermottBanana 10:15 am
25 Jan 12
#26

Spectra said :

Spoken like someone who’s never even tried.

With evangelists like this, is it any wonder the mainstream reject it?

Deref 10:16 am
25 Jan 12
#27

LSWCHP said :

I am currently in Hell. Or to put it another way, I’m an old time Unix hacker who has suddenly been forced to do some development work under Windoze. Something inside me has been dying. This afternoon I actually wrote my own cross-thread comms library, because the OS is so lame. Unbelievable.

Poor bastard. I’ll pray to the FSM for you.

Deref 10:26 am
25 Jan 12
#28

Spectra said :

PS: LinuxMint is the One True Way. Can’t let a distro war go un-waded-into :)

:D Aye, brother! All non-Mint users are foul sinners who

Spectra said :

The really funny thing about this comment is that you probably don’t realise how incredibly patronising it is.

I apologise unreservedly if it sounded patronising (I wrote it while feeling like crap with a nasty cold, so I probably misjudged the tone, but that’s not an excuse). That was not my intention. I was simply trying to make the point that you’d made a very negative assumption about the difficulty level and dismissed it out of hand as a result, but had clearly not so much as actually looked at it yourself. If you’re interested in trying it, my offer still stands (though I’d imagine you’d rather it be someone else – I’m sure any of the lovely people at CLUG would be equally happy to help you out). I’ll stop talking now.

Werd.

The biggest thing working against Linux is the number of patronising geeks in the community (not suggesting that you are one). The vast majority of the world’s computer users aren’t geeks and have no wish to be geeks but there are an awful (literally) lot of Linux users out there who look down on them as lesser beings.

We’re not all like that, and I hope people won’t judge us by that nasty and ignorant rump. Most of us are more than willing to help people take the first easy and tentative steps into Linux. I, too, have lots of friends who have made the transition and their most common comment is “if I’d known it was that easy I’d have done it years ago.”

Deref 10:28 am
25 Jan 12
#29

Whoops…I meant:

Deref said :

Spectra said :

PS: LinuxMint is the One True Way. Can’t let a distro war go un-waded-into :)

:D Aye, brother! All non-Mint users are foul sinners who should be drowned in spaghetti and meatballs!

Disinformation 11:10 am
25 Jan 12
#30

The biggest issues against linux being adopted by the average person isn’t the technical knowledge required, arrogance of the users, lack of driver support or any other reason that has been mentioned so far. The average person is willfully resistant to frustration. They don’t like it. They will give up if there is not sufficient motivation to overcome it.
This applies to every single person on the planet with every single skill that they need and don’t need. Most of the world has learned the windows way of things. Once they’ve done that, there is insufficient motivation to overcome the frustration of learning something else. For a rank beginner with no experience, the most intuitive (With the least frustration) interfaces to powerful computing capability are the most popular.

The iphone demonstrated that low frustration levels equal popularity.

It takes a very large amount of effort to keep things simple enough for the average person. Linux is finally putting the focus on making things easy. Now it is starting to accelerate in its adoption.

There is so much simple documentation available online on how to try linux out on an average PC or Laptop , that the only thing stopping someone from doing it is the resistance to trying it out.

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