Okay, third time lucky…

Last weekend I went to LUGRadio Live 2006. I had a blast from the moment I got to the initial Friday lunch meet to the moment I left, annoyed I couldn’t stay for the after show party (Damn hotel bills).

Good Things

Talks

I didn’t go to very many talks, mostly because I was too busy shooting the breeze with people and playing computer games. In fact the only two actual talks I went to were Sara Ewen’s talk on PlayStation 2 Linux (Though I missed the bit on PS3 Linux) and Simon’s talk on Django (Which has lead to the rebuilding of the “Storyville” and “PFD4-2” projects in it. Watch this space). I also went to Bruno Bord’s talk on how much they swear in LR, and bits of the Women in Open Source talk (I caught the last twenty minutes) (Actually, I’d quite like to know what Jen, Kat & Phated – who hosted the talk – think about the recently announced Fedora Women project and others of its ilk. They may have discussed that, I wasn’t there.

Oh, and Dotwaffle’s talk on the Linux Demo scene (including a demonstration of a 64k demo called Origami, which I highly recommend you watch. It’s beautiful.

I went to more talks than I realised.

People

I met and remet some wonderful people. I made them wince at bad jokes and I took the piss out of their beards. Some of the people had corsets, some had full tuxedos, most had jeans and T-Shirts. They were all wonderful.

LAN Gaming

We played Enemy Territory. I shot Aquarius. He shot me. Repeat. This would have been better had we not been on the same team.

The Party.

About more later.

The Low Tech Wiki

They set up a Low Tech WikiAKA, A black board – upon which notes were made about stuff that was changing.

But it got spammed, and used for random crap, and because we had no revision history we couldn’t revert the changes.

Simon Willison and I started a discussion page on the back of the board on the Saturday night and by the end of Sunday that was still going strong.

What went not so right

Don’t get me wrong, the entire event was a blast, but in order to help them do even better next time:

The Hotel

I stayed at a hotel universally referred to as the Quality Chin. As hotels go it was reasonably priced (Heh. Our prices were something like 33% of their normal rates. At full price I’d have been… disappointed). The breakfast was fine but nothing stellar.

The hotel’s heating broke down. Or, rather, broke up. It apparently – on one of the hottest days of the year – decided to put everything up to full whack until they ripped the fuses out. The hotel was hot.

My room’s bathroom had black bits.

The bedroom was definitely a single. The bathroom could have held the encampment for napoleon’s entire army. I found this odd.

None of this is the LUGRadio team’s fault or responsibility, obviously.

Too Many Things

As Aq mentioned I’m not entirely sure how you can resolve this. There were effectively seven things happening at any one time. One main stage, two smaller stages, three community group gathering events and just shooting the breeze. I suppose the only way around it is to see which talks people want to go, see if you can group them so that those things don’t clash, and hope it all works. So if you found that the people interested in Linux on PS2 tended to also want to go to see Matthew Garrett’s talk about “Linux and Laptops” but not the more ethereal talks such as “The Zen Of Free”, arrange that Zen clashes with PS2, for example. It’s the kind of system that requires a lot more organisation and a certain amount of living with the consequences, but since it’s not me who will have to do the organising, I can suggest things as I please.

The Party DJ

Of which more later.

The weather

Winter. LRL2007 needs to be in winter or at least autumn. If nothing else, flights are cheaper.

Beards

This year by the end of LR, there were significantly fewer beards, and this is a Good Thing.

The Party

So, upon the Saturday evening it was decided that there should be a Party. So there was a Party. Some people dressed up properly for it (well, two people did). Some dressed up a bit (wave) most didn’t bother. There were cakes, and the cakes were very fine indeed. There was Guinness, and that was very fine also (I haven’t drunk Guinness since I was at university, and since we were back in a student bar I decided to revert to form and sit in the dark with a pint of the black watching the social butterflies dance in the bright lights.

Watching the dancing was interesting. (No, of course I didn’t dance. If you say you saw me, you are wrong. I have a twin brother. His dancing is worse than mine). Mostly because the DJ was more of a club-style than disco-style, as he claimed. The result of this was he was playing lots of loud thumpy tracks at deafening volume and complaining that nobody was kickin’ it on the dance floor. Then he started playing cheesy stuff (The Time Warp – albeit a disco remix; Madness – which got Jono on the dance floor; and Breakfast at Tiffany’s. This brought a core of hard-core dancers onto the floor, where they danced as if nobody was watching. Natalie was intent on getting people to dance, but had to leave early, so it is for her benefit I mention the first person to start dancing was at 23:10.

Anyway, after a few cheesy tracks people could dance to, the DJ went back to the heavy thumpy stuff that drove them away. After that it turned into a tide effect: The DJ would play a few cheesy tracks to lure people into his domain, and then as he thought he had them in the groove would switch to something loud and thumpy, clearing the floor in seconds.

There was a MAME cabinet (Which played 4 player Gauntlet, which is something everyone should so at least twice), at one stage I counted 8 people around it with nobody on the dance floor at all.

Somewhere in this country there is a facility designed to get around the laws stopping them from cloning people. This facility is running a scientific study into how many times you can create an absolutely generic DJ, identical to all the others. Every so often one fails and is forced to become a fairground announcer (“If you’d like to ride, if you’d like to ride… scream if you want to faster…”) but the rest go out into the world of professional party DJing, and nobody can tell the difference…

…also, I notice that if you want to find out how many long haired people are in your audience, simply start playing “The Ace Of Spades” and they’ll all be in one place. Moshing like their hair was on fire.

The Macs

I can’t let this one go. At Linux User Group Radio Live 2006: the plasma announce boards, the recording software and – for a while – the Enemy Territory server were all PPC Macs running OS X, because they Just Worked when they needed to.

Nothing much I can add to that.

The final bit

It was great. Same time next month?