I've said this before and let me say this again - we need to let people play around with stuff. The freedom, stability and all the other advantages of F/OSS do not appeal to the layman - you've got to get him interested by other means, if only to start with. And IMHO that's exactly what LCA Open Day did.
There were people of all ages, sizes and interests around. And quite a lot of interesting stuff, even for seen'em all folks like me. For instance, there was this cool motion detection and tracking tool, projected onto a huge screen. I realized what it was when I walked in and saw a few stars move exactly like I did. As I stepped back, those exploded and were replaced by others tracking the other folks coming in. Perfect eye-candy which can keep people interested in the show (which it really was). But what really caught my eye was the MythTV demos, running on some sw33t spankin' hardware.
I think it can be called a total success in terms of attendance and crowd pulling ability. But it sort of pokes fun of my previous post about LCA not being an evangelism event - I don't mind, really.--
The problem of leadership is inevitably: Who will play God?
-- Maud'Dib, Dune
I've been asked this question a couple of times today. Whenever I mention that I've flown in from Bangalore to attend this conference, someone does ask again - What brings you here ?. Considering the loopy hoops I've had to jump through to get here - in fact, not having an apartment to go back to in Bangalore - I've asked myself that question more than a few times.
Why LCA ?: There are a lot of conferences around the world. Some of them are commercial, or rather of a more corporate flavour - which basically covers a fair bit of them. Then there are conferences focussed on evangelism, which I'm not really into, can't sit around teaching people stuff. And then there are those organized for users, like our grand old install fests. But in between all these, right there in the sweet spot of developer heaven is LCA - developer stuff and literally nothing else.
Why this year ?: Now, that's a really interesting question. I had to think a lot about that. First up, last year had been awesome - I was totally transformed when I went back to India. I was sort of in a pit, in a lot of ways, somewhat like this year. But that whole week at Dunedin sort of put the spirit back in me and I came back raring to code out all 8"sorts of things - which I did, even slayed that bug from hell.
But three days into the conference, I'm still not even at level zero. It is the little things isn't it ? The laptop I had borrowed from yahoo has a crap hdd and is randomly destroying bits of my data - photos mostly. Basically a b0rked bit of hardware is an irresistable challenge and wasted a fair bit of my time.
And the other fun thing was meeting new people. Except this year, half the people I met were people I already knew from last year. Being split up into multiple hostels doesn't help that and neither does the lack of a common room in New College.
I've still got two days left to go and probably the cricket match on saturday. All of which and the rest of the week of not coding should push me out of this coding lull (no code since mid-nov, zOMG).
*fingers crossed* ...--
When in doubt, mumble;
When in trouble, delegate;
When in charge, ponder.
-- James H. Boren