27 Sep 2000

They stick out like a sore thumb

You can’t take us anywhere, right? Even to our own city. Obviously conrad fits in… He said the Australian word for ‘freaking’ twice, with linux.conf.au smack bang in the middle. I believe the correct response is “oath”, with the obligatory exclamation mark (eg. “oath!”).

Scaring Yanks

Had pizzas the other night: Crocodile, Kangaroo and Emu. The fact that we can eat our coat of arms was brought to my attention. Yes… so uniquely Australian. However, it did provide some ammunition for the traditional “scare the crap out of random Yanks bearing cameras” schtick when I went out the next night.

And what fun that was…

I went out with my ex-girlfriend (are you reading between the lines yet? No? Yes I am still hopelessly in love with her… That’s how these things work). There’s a carpark right on the harbour waiting to be demolished after the Olympics, so our kind and generous Lord Mayor has allowed it to be used for “youthful celebration” (henceforth referred to as “YC”). YC means having a thirty metre bar and taking over a multi-level carpark with numerous thinly defined variations upon the “doof doof doof” theme on each level.

Simone had to go home earlyish because the hockey was on the next day, and she had to leave at 6AM. Look how twisted and fucked up this country is: Someone finally turns the lights on after 1AM in this city and every second pathetic mug is carting themselves off to see “sport”. Feh. That’s not sport – the sweat behind your knees after dancing for three hours straight (choose your punctuation how you will) is evidence of true sport. Although the drug testing isn’t quite as stringent.

Heckling

Or did I mean hacking? Sadly I did nothing interesting Free Software-wise this week. Mainly working on INTERWEB crapola… and enjoying the feverish city. Starting to worry that my rampant cynicism is disfiguring itself into some kind of evil, Elephant Man-esque patriotism.

I now have a slower net connection than Telsa Gwynne

22 Sep 2000

Taming Nature

I’m living at my Dad’s place at the moment, which is pretty suckful, but if I weren’t, I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to clean the creek, which sounds much worse than the reality. Dad’s house has a creek and a waterfall running through it – okay, so it’s really a storm water channel, but it looks very cool nonetheless. It runs into a river through the bush. This being in the suburbs of Sydney, we have cool stuff like bush and nature. Australia rocks (even if we are stuck with the Marketing Olympics).

So anyway, a large log was caught and heaps of leaves were gathering behind it, restricting the flow of water. They had to be moved by human hands, because it’s probably not going to rain soon (and when it rains, the creek roars, it’s quite an incredible sight). Of course, the human in question was going to be me.

There’s a bridge over the creek that runs between the main house and the pool area/granny flat, and it’s right at the top of the waterfall. Again, very nice. Also the perfect place for a hi-fi when doing work down there. So, I set it up, and looked for some appropriate music.

Then it dawned on me: Dad’s collection of sixties music. Thwacked a bunch in the jukebox component and cranked it. There is nothing like very loud sixties music to inspire action. Me on the rocks of a waterfall with a high-pressure water hose, a pitchfork and very loud you-name-it-it-was-playing songs from the sixties. Nowhere to Run To by Martha and the Vandellas – yes!

Politics on Advogato

Hah. Socialism vs. Capitalism… Just to add my two cents into the wishing well, I’ll give you an opinion: read the words back carefully to yourself. Socialism vs. Capitalism. Which one actually sounds as if it’s about People? (Read: What’s really important here? Seriously and deeply?) That’s right. Socialism is about people, and Capitalism is a unique form of fallacious bastardry that turns humanity into objects. Of course, that’s just how the world looks through this person’s window.

<amazon> If you liked this opinion, you may also like, “The more you tell me that Free Software has nothing to do with Communism and Socialism, the more I laugh”“Which part of the word Communism did you misunderstand (accidentally adding years of hypocritical propaganda to your opinion in the process)?” </amazon>

Ahem. End rant, hey? 8)

Speaking in tongues

Une petit project has a name – The Gondwana Project. Meanwhile, I sprinkle words from random languages into most of my conversations, just to feel as if I’m uniquely qualified to lead this gargantuan task. Of course, it’s not gargantuan, and I could probably do it speaking pig latin, but sometimes you just need things to feel right.

Lots of responses so far, most of them encouraging; although I have to admit that I’ve also received some pretty disgustingly uninformed responses. I don’t understand why anyone could be totally against the participation of programmers/developers who don’t happen to speak English. I haven’t replied to any of these, frankly they disgust me.

To end on a positive note, I received one very endearing email from an Indian man who hoped that I could help save his country from the evil clutches of Bill Gates…! Somehow I think there’s a fair amount of work to do before we get to that stage. Plenty.

Awww, Mum you’re just jealous – it’s the Beastie Boys!

16 Sep 2000

Today is the day for saying silly things

Oh, how we do disregard the people around us! Today I met a girl whom I should have remembered from a drama class back in early high-school. It was a fairly eventful time, so I’m not surprised it didn’t click straight away – but she sure caught me out! Why do we miss people along the way when, for all intents and purposes, we really should have met? Strange. It’s not just people walking by.

Got cranky tonight. Started a project. It’s the result of a couple of threads running in my head, but this one seemed more accesible. Telsa and _Anarchy_ tried their darnedest to scare me out of it, but I was ready for that. :) I’m going to start with the GNOME Project, and see if I can help non-English speakers get more involved – not as translators (as is the aim of the GTP) – but as developers. There’s a great barrier to entry in this community for non-English speakers, and the results are already apparent. Please read my post to gnome-devel regarding this project. There are more people here than we realise – let’s not disregard them.

Very, very good discussions with whatever about his project, srced (no website because the slacker who said he’d get serverage hasn’t done so yet), and another project I’m looking at that fits in very well with his; a bug-tracker and reporting system. I fear these will become the IRC clients of 2001, but whetever and I have a few ideas that should keep it poking out above the possible crowd. Everyone needs a good bug-tracking system.

linux.conf.au – lots of confirmations, and we have a really good group of people already coming. Seems like we may have some trouble with music selection of all things. What, did we take on this role as organisers to make decisions or something? I’ve been looking through photos of conferences past – there’s some funny stuff out there. I believe this one is Miguel.

Update: Found out who _Anarchy_ is. /me walks into a glass door.

Gotta get me the new Radiohead album

14 Sep 2000

With the web caught in your hair, your concentration lapses

Why does it take someone in Wales to make someone in Sydney realise they knew someone else from the same university? Another small world experience, but at the same time highlighting the indifference we show towards people only metres away. Listen to more Radiohead.

Faith-restoring comments about linux.conf.au have set me on another “damn-fool crusade”… Mixing interests that were never meant to be mixed. Seems it will be yet another experiment to prove that ho-hum unexcitable Sydney dwelling Linux geeks can in fact be swirled into action. All these hypotheses and no results. Fie!

Lots of discussion about mentoring and gender in the Free Software community. Again! A lot closer to home this time too – Caitlin (on the linux.conf.au organisers committee) is understandably disappointed with the lack of female representation in the community, though I’m not sure she knows how well-trod this path really is. She was dismayed to see no women at all in the forst “possible invitations” list, and mortified to hear that “The Men” could think of three within seconds of her making this comment.

Having a bit of interest and some experience in documentation, I’ve been wanting to get in contact with Telsa and dria for some time. Telsa’s “apparently” already coming (her word!), and I’ve put off contacting Deb given that she’s on holiday (although her very recent diary entry suggests otherwise, unless cheap flights to Dagobah have suddenly come on the market). Skud has shown interest, and hopefully we can get a Women’s BOF off the ground. No, it’s not okay to call it Chicks Of a Feather!

Idea for project A reaches head. Project B finally presents itself as viable. Hand reaches phone, and confirmation for project A is attained. Project B is mentioned and an opening for project B is offered. This isn’t the monthly stars people! Project B is considered, notes are made. Project A is practised in the shower. Whether either succeeds is up to the winds. You are such an Aries.

if pain persists