Blog entries tagged with "community"

BarCampMelbourne 2009

Sunday, September 27th, 2009 at 05:18pm

Two weeks ago, from the Saturday morning to the Sunday afternoon, I immersed myself in BarCampMelbourne. It was a great weekend, but I was a tiny bit disappointed. But that was because I couldn’t help by comparing it against the awesome StixCampNewstead.

BarCampMelbourne - September 2009 - Day 1 - 29

As this is an unconference there is no way to know ahead of time what the talks will be about. As it turned out, the topic that people wanted to talk about was hacking hardware, in particular using Arduino hardware and getting together at the melbourne HackerSpace.

BarCampMelbourne - September 2009 - Day 2 - 17

This re-kindled my interest in hardware, once I cross off some other items from my list (such as downsizing my computer collection) I will return to a specific box of bits in the cupboard, the one containing LCD character displays and temperature sensors.

If you want to know what you missed you can check out the photos on Flickr (my set or from others tagged bcm09 (also includes a Miami BarCamp) and barcampmelbourne) or watch the talks that were recorded such as Paul’s now infamous talk on Facebook Privacy.

BarCampMelbourne - September 2009 - Day 2 - 21

But what didn’t I like?

Unlike at StixCamp where people had to stay the night (mostly camping), about half the people went home on the Saturday night. This diluted the intensity of the event and resulted in a lot less interaction. Another issue I had was that a lot of people, when they weren’t listening to talks (and sometimes even then), seemed to be glued to their laptop screens.

Sometimes two at the same time:

BarCampMelbourne - September 2009 - Day 1 - 31

Although I’m only writing this post now, I did dent/tweet as the event unfolded and I managed to get my photos up on Flickr the day after.

I now cannot wait until the next event, be it a BarCamp or a StixCamp. Something that should tide me over is MXUG, a monthly meeting where the talks can be on anything technical.

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StixCampNewstead was awesome

Thursday, March 19th, 2009 at 08:16pm

Last weekend was StixCampNewstead, a Melbourne BarCamp out in the sticks. The general consensus is that the event can be summarised in a single word:


This one word covers:

  • the talks/discussions – schedule of talks
  • the venue – Welshmans Reef Vineyard
  • the food – BBQ lunch; wood fired pizzas; bacon, egg and sausage rolls; homemade dumplings
  • the people – too many to list
  • the adhoc discussions – to varied to list

If you didn’t come along, you must come along to the next BarCampMelbourne in September and next year’s StixCamp, wherever that will be.

Over the weekend I took almost 600 photos, earlier in the week I sorted through them an uploaded 129 into a set on Flickr. There are photos from others on Flickr, or you can check out what people said before, during and after the event on Twitter or

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Trying out a lens at the new Perl Mongers location

Sunday, April 20th, 2008 at 06:36pm

Wednesday week ago, Melbourne Perl Mongers was held at a new location in Southbank followed by dinner and drinks at the Town Hall Hotel in South Melbourne.

This afternoon I finally got around to sorting through the photos and uploading a select few to flickr:


Melbourne Perl Mongers (April 2008) – a set on Flickr

For the night I borrowed what a co-worker refers to as his “nifty fifty”, a 50mm f/1.8 lens. This is a pretty cheap and inexpensive lens, so I wanted to try one out before getting one. This was also my first opportunity to use my new camera bag, a Crumpler 5 Million Dollar Home.

I found that f/1.8 is a big improvement over the f/2.8 of my 28mm lens, but being 50mm it is too narrow which meant I didn’t use it for much of the night.

When talking to Wes I found that even though he has the better 50mm f/1.4 lens, he is finding that it is too narrow and is thinking about the faster 28mm lens.

That Canon 28mm f/1.8 lens is very temping as it gives a ‘normal’ angle of view on a crop body and is nice and fast due to its wide aperture. It also doesn’t hurt that it it a USM lens as the motor in the 28mm f/2.8 is slow and loud. What would hurt is the price and that it doesn’t appear to be anywhere near as available secondhand as the f/2.8 is.

I had also lined up a Speedlite 430EX flash to borrow for the night but that fell through at the last minute because its owner had to make a decision between catching the body or the flash before they encountered the floor. The flash is what ended up breaking.

This coming Wednesday is a Web Standards Group meeting which will give me another opportunity to experiment in low light.

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The first Pub Mongers

Thursday, March 13th, 2008 at 10:50pm

Due to venue issues, there was no Melbourne Perl Mongers last night. Instead there was a ‘Pub Mongers’, sort of the same thing except entirely at the pub with no planned talks.

But that didn’t stop Paul:

Paul using his portable presentation device

Pub Mongers (March 2008) – a photoset on Flickr.

One other change is that I didn’t bother taking my laptop along as the most I have used it for at a meeting for a long time is making a note of something to look up later. What I did take along was my good camera.

I only took along the kit 18-55mm lens (instead of the 28mm F2.8 lens I also have) as I still haven’t got a better walkaround lens (looking at a EF-S 17-85mm IS lens on eBay). This still gave me some experience in pretty bad light so hopefully things will only improve.

Continuing my plan on going to as many community events as I can I should be repeating this next week at Pub Standards Melbourne.

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The ‘talk’ and the ‘talks’

Thursday, February 28th, 2008 at 11:08pm

Tonight, I went into the city for the second time this week (the first was Amazon Web Services on Monday). This time for the February Web Standards Group meeting with Paul presenting the latest version of Starting an Open Source Business.

I wasn’t that interested in the talk as I had already seen it, definitely at a perl mongers meeting leading up to an OSDC and possibly another time (excellent all times I’ve heard it). But as I was saying to someone earlier in the week:

“The ‘talk’ doesn’t matter, the ‘talks’ do”

After 2008 was over I really regretted not going as it won’t be held in Melbourne for a few years. Then by the time I thought about going to BarCamp Melbourne the registrations were well over the limit. More regret as I hear it too was excellent.

Because of this I decided that I will make much more of an effort in going to (and possibly helping with) more of these type of community events. Even if the topic of the event doesn’t necessarily interest me. I generally get as much or more out of the discussions over drinks/dinner (the ‘talks’) than I get out of the main presentation (the ‘talk’). It is this type of thing that makes it a community.

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Software Freedom Day [2/3]

Saturday, September 16th, 2006 at 04:15pm

Apparently today is Software Freedom Day so after I picked up my latest acquisition I parked at Clifton Hill Station and made my way to the Melbourne Town Hall to check out the bazaar which had a representation.

I was only there for an hour and a half but I:

  • listened to Jon Oxer, Mark Gray, and Steve Middleton talk about combating the 20 billion dollar ICT trade defecit with FOSS, some pragmatic examples for small businesses and how FOSS enables a free media.
  • Found out about BarCampMelbourne that is happening in March next year. I shall keep my eye on this one.
  • Briefly caught up with some people I know through

There weren’t that many people there but I hope it picked up later in the afternoon.

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