Blog entries tagged with "buzzconf"

More buzzing in Ballan

Sunday, December 4th, 2016 at 9:51 pm

Last weekend I returned to Ballan for the second BuzzConf. There have been a few write ups, including one in The Guardian and another where it is referred to as BuzzConf 2.0. I disagree with that, Ben and Rick organised a better event than last year, but through a number of minor improvements, so it was BuzzConf 1.1…

My view is that there were two themes running through the weekend, one about what we need to do/change/build/learn in order to get to, and the another about using virtual or augmented reality technology. It was cool to have a quick play with a HoloLens as well as an HTV Vive. That technology is cool, but my feeling is that there are not (yet) many use cases for it.

The weekend was also full of many conversations about all sorts of things. It is from one of those that I got the thing that I am most excited about in the short term: that Alton Brown is bringing back Good Eats as an online series

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The buzz in Ballan

Monday, November 16th, 2015 at 10:19 am

For a long time I have been a fan of conferences. You spend a couple of days with people of similar interests learning new things, catching up with people you met at previous conferences and meeting new people. I have been to every Australian (including the one in New Zealand) Open Source Developers’ Conference since the first one in 2004, I attended three of the last four linux.conf.au conferences, I based a month long US trip around two conferences, as well as some smaller things like BarCamps. Also throw in some skeptic conventions and camps…

I enjoy the conferences I go to, otherwise I wouldn’t keep going, but I get the impression that a fair number of people think of conferences as an obligation, something they are sent to by their employer, not something they want to go to. This comes up when I mention to someone that I am going to or have been at a conference and they respond negatively. The times I have pushed back to find out why they have that response it has been because their experience has only been of a vendor/commercial/corporate convention where a lot of money was thrown around to make it look impressive, but the content was nothing new and boiled down to a massive sales pitch for the sponsors (if they are not already the organisers).

Over the past weekend I was at the first BuzzConf which is the type of conference I enjoy, but made even better by being family friendly, having a broader appeal (eg not just programming related) and being very social with fires to clusters around and live music playing.

There were no fancy conference facilities, we were out in country Victoria at an old caravan park. Big tents were put up for the talks and other activities and while some people opted to stay in the cabins, most (myself included) brought their own tent (or campervan). Being a caravan park there was power everywhere, as well as internet, until we broken the nearby telephone exchange…

The talks and workshops were great, I am still overwhelmed by all of the interesting things. In one workshop I assembled a nodebot kit and started playing with it, there were talks about how the future will be awesome (but we need to be able to survive it), brain control, and internet of things. Telsa brought out a Model S which was cool to look over, we didn’t get to drive it, but the representative did take quite a few of us out on a test ride.

One of the closing announcements was that BuzzConf woulbe be back next year and there would be a short time where we could get ultra early bird tickets. I now know where I will be this time next year…

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