Archive for September 27th, 2006

Linux.Conf.Au 2007 to be the biggest and brightest yet! 2007 meets demand by extending the official conference period to a full week, and broadening the scope and number of community organised streams, called “miniconfs”.

“ is regarded as one of the world’s best events for Linux and Open Source developers – this year, we have received more responses to our Call for Participation than ever before”, says Jeff Waugh, lead organiser, “Our audience demands quality and diversity, so for 2007, we are extending the main conference period to six days, promoting our much-loved miniconfs and adding fresh ideas such as Open Day.”

Over two hundred and fifty submissions were received for talks, tutorials, and miniconfs. The 2007 programme will run over six days, with four keynote speakers, four complete days of miniconfs and presentations, an Open Day to present FLOSS achievements to families, students and the general public and our traditional recipe of fantastic evening events for conference attendees to catch up and unwind.

“Miniconfs are community organised streams, focusing on particular projects or interest groups in the Open Source world. Next year, we will host more than ever before, with thirteen events over two days”, said James Purser, miniconf chair and Linux Australia committee member. “Our attendees will be treated to an eclectic mix of old favourites such as Debian and Education,
and brand new streams such as LinuxChix and Open Source in the computer game and film industries.” 2007 participants can look forward to the following topics:

* Debian: Ever present and always popular, the Debian miniconf focuses on
the world’s largest community developed operating system.

* Education: For educators and technologists interested in the use of Open
Source in education.

* Embedded: A showcase of amazing devices with Linux at their heart, and a
fine opportunity to share and learn about this fast-growing topic.

* Gaming: Bringing game developers together to promote Open Source games,
and Open Source in game development.

* A meeting of the minds for developers and users of GNOME,
a desktop environment and developer platform.

* Movies: Covering the increasing uptake of Open Source solutions in film
production, in imaging and infrastructure.

* MySQL: Presenting practical applications of MySQL and related software,
through tutorials and developer discussion.

* Case studies, workshops, demonstrations and tutorials
about the FLOSS world’s answer to Microsoft Office.

* PostgreSQL: Introductory and advanced topics for database administrators
working with PostgreSQL and developers keen to learn about the code.

* Research: Presentation of papers, case studies and workshops relating to
Open Source in Australian research.

* LinuxChix: Celebrating achievements in the Free Software world by women,
and presenting some of their experiences.

* Kernel: Lots of kernel developers getting together to teach and perform
their black arts. Presentations will range from introductory to scary.

* Virtualisation: A huge topic in the Open Source world over the last year
or two, this will cover virtualisation projects, problems and solutions.

(My first ever direct copy of a press release!).

For the record, I was going to submit a proposal for a speech, but decided against it on the grounds that I’m not sure that I’m even going to be able to make it to Sydney for LCA.


September 27th, 2006 at 05:29pm

The IT Crowd on ABC TV, 9pm Tonight

Channel 4’s rather odd comedy, The IT Crowd is premiering on ABC TV tonight at 9pm…the humour is very offbeat and probably won’t appeal to many, but I found it rather amusing when I watched it on Channel 4’s website back in February.

The first (and only so far) series has a mere six episodes, so it will be over very quickly, but the international sale of the series during the television ratings season is a pretty decent indicator that Channel 4 plan on filming another series…hopefully slightly better than the first.


3 comments September 27th, 2006 at 02:21pm

Framey’s “Just what you need and so you Shoprite”

Well I was going to write a post featuring a classic Canberra television commercial from 2004 (it was a remake of one from many years prior) for the now (once again) defunct Shoprite Supermarket chain…but as I watched the ad last night (for the first time this year) I spotted something I hadn’t spotted before, so I watched it again, and then it dawned on me…I recognised one of the “shoppers”…It’s 2CC’s Mike “occasionally in the plane” Frame!

It’s quite funny to think that my favourite ad (I drove plenty of people mad by playing it over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over) of 2004 features a person I chatted with on the phone and on Canberra’s airwaves, and I didn’t even know it…and of course by the time I actually met Framey, I had forgotten all about the ad.

Here’s the ad, those of you based in Canberra might remember it, those outside of Canberra can get a glimpse of what we saw and heard day in day out for months (I distinctally remember Shoprite sponsoring 2CC’s news twice, their second sponsor tagline was “This news brought to you by Shoprite supermarkets, right around the corner from anywhere”).

This is my first time uploading videos to Google Video and YouTube, and they both shrunk the video to about the size of a matchstick, so for your convenience, you can download my original version here. Overall I’m happier with YouTube, uploading was easier, faster, and didn’t ruin the aspect ratio (I had to remaster the video for Google to accept the aspect ratio).

And just in case, like me, you want to sing along with it, here are the lyrics:

Just what you need and so you shoprite
Just what you want, just what you like
Just what you need and so you shoprite
Just before work, just any night
Just what you need and so you shoprite
Just for the service, just for the smile
Just for that genuine shoprite style
Just for the specials that make it worthwile
Just ‘cos you’re busy, just ‘cos you’re bright
Just what you need and so you shoprite

In my view this is a brilliant ad, and contains something that so many ads are missing these days, a good solid recognisable jingle…sure, it’ll drive you up the wall if you watch or hear it often enough, but I think it’s fantastic.

Now for a look at Framey’s journey through the Shoprite supermarket.

There’s quite a few groceries in that trolley, I think I can see some celery and even a distinctive older style “Black & Gold” label.
Mike Frame in Shoprite Commercial

Framey’s considering which product from Shoprite’s massive collection he will next add to his nearly overflowing trolley.
Mike Frame in Shoprite Commercial

A wry smile from Framey as he finds the item he was looking for.
Mike Frame in Shoprite Commercial

It’s always a good idea to weight a watermelon before purchasing it.
Mike Frame in Shoprite Commercial

What happened to the trolley???
Mike Frame in Shoprite Commercial

And then we don’t see Framey again…maybe he went searching for his trolley?


1 comment September 27th, 2006 at 10:15am

Citizen Lockout: Immigration Deletes Nearly 5000 Travelling Australians

It just keeps getting worse for the embattled Department of Immigration…this time they’ve managed to delete just over 4,900 records of Australian citizens currently travelling overseas, effectively locking them out of the country until the data can be manually re-entered from paper.

Sources inside the Department of Immigration have informed me (and subsequently verified) that the records were lost late last week during routine staff training. Staff were being trained in the use of a system for managing records of Australians who are currently overseas (and possibly others), and were using dummy records for training. Near the end of the day, on a day late last week, the Immigration official supervising the training went home, leaving a mostly trained trainer in charge. Sometime around 5:10pm one of the trainees entered some data incorrectly and asked the trainer for assistance, the trainer advised them to press the delete key, the trainee subsequently queried this advice by asking “are you sure?”, to which the trainer said “yes, press the delete key”.

According to sources, when the delete key is pressed on this system it does not ask for confirmation, and pops up a message when it has completed the task. On this occasion it is believed that the cursor was in the wrong location because the system whirred away for a little while before popping up a message stating that it had successfully deleted 4900 or so records…unfortunately very few of those were dummy records, and most of them were real records, and without them, people in those records are unable to re-enter the country.

“What about backups?” I hear you ask…this system doesn’t have them…apparently it is a deterrent to people playing around with the system…more like a very tempting chaos creator if you ask me.

Immigration are working on restoring the deleted data from other systems and from paper at the moment, no disciplinary action is likely as this was a genuine accident, but procedures are being reviewed.

It is unknown how many people have been affected as they attempted to re-enter the country.


1 comment September 27th, 2006 at 07:16am


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