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CodeCon 2006, Day 3

  • 24th Feb, 2006 at 12:04 AM

Originally uploaded by sfllaw.

Each morning, CodeCon started later and later. This is not just because us volunteers couldn't get there in time, but also because the attendees would show up more hungover and sleep-deprived as well. Thankfully, it's a hacker conference so we started at about noon. Or 12:30. Which is "morning" for some.

We kicked off the day with a talk on Dido which is meant to help you write voice-menu systems. Quinn did a neat demonstration involving a real telephone, which was quite novel. However, since I despise voice-menu systems, I have to hate his project on principle.

In the Q&A period, I nipped over to Bill Pollock's booth. He runs No Starch Press which is absolutely fabulous. He gave me a free mug, some tea, a book, and a T-shirt. In exchange, I had to buy a few books as well. I'm afraid that my book buying habit is starting to get uncontrollable. Every time I return from a trip, I bring five or ten books back. Now I have a copy of madduck's book which I will get him to sign at DebConf 6.

I completely zoned out on the Deme presentation. I think I was talking to someone who wanted to convert me to Evil, after hearing that I was a hacker. I'm afraid that I'm too noble for that. But what I did glean from the presentation is that deme is an actual English word.

My presentation on UniConf came up next, so I put on my red "Speaker" badge and hopped on to stage. You see, I was at CodeCon as a backup speaker, in case one of the others missed a flight or fell down some stairs. I had to resist doing any of them bodily harm. For my altruism, I gave a talk about how UniConf glues configuration systems together, and why people should use it instead of writing their own. I got a lot of questions afterwards, which was pretty cool.

At lunch, wealhtheow and Bill came by to ask me what I'd like on my pizza. Wow! I said that it didn't matter, and thought little of it. Then they showed up with boxes and boxes from the local Costco. Bill had just bought everyone lunch! We organised a queue that would have made the British proud and everyone got a slice to eat.

I remember first hearing about Monotone from Graydon, back at GCC Summit. So I was a little surprised to see Graydon sitting on stage looking pretty while Nathaniel was presenting. Monotone has inspired a couple of version control systems but it's never really gotten popular. But one thing it hasn't passed on is its use of Merkle trees to express differences.

Originally uploaded by sfllaw.

All throughout the conference, I had been selling drinks from behind the bar. Standing for all that time really hurts the feet, so I was sadden to discover that my shoes were not good for this. Still, I had a good time there. I've definitely found a calling in the service industry, if the computer bubble bursts again, I'd make a great bartender. I never knew! You make eye contact, smile and say something friendly. Then you chat as you pour a drink, take an interest in someone, and just be nice. If you give a little extra, smile and wink, like it's secret just between you.

I was busy chatting to my customers for the Rhizome presentation. Reading its description, I'm not really sure that I could tell you what it is. And I work with computers!

As I was selling drinks, I was also selling CodeCon T-shirts. Very snazzy T-shirts. Every time I sold a drink, I tried to sell a T-shirt along with it. Show off the front, show off the back, offer an appropriately sized shirt. Flattery seems to work very well, as does smiling when the person looks at it. You know they're sold when they're holding a shirt, so you offer to fold it for them and name the price. It was so easy!

Daniel came up again to do his Cqual++ presentation. Not only was this piece of software more difficult to write than delta, it's also less popular. Alas! He does some very impressive static dataflow analysis on C++ to find nasty, horrible bugs. But parsing out C++ is scarily difficult!

After the presentations were over, we had a very nice set of closing remarks which made all of us blush. And then we tore down all the stuff we put up and packed everything away. This is where I packed my own T-shirt in a box by accident. Jonathan's going to send it to me by post, which is very nice of him. Then I bid sad farewells to gorgeous Wealhþeow and charming akashayi who went off to dinner without me.

Six of us climbed into a taxi and we went to a sushi restaurant called Osaka, where we met up with breezip. Bree was the friend that the lovely and indefatigable spider88 kept trying to meet, but failed to. We were all quite exhausted from socialising with people since, after all, we are a group of introverts. So we enjoyed an excellent dinner with subdued, but fascinating, conversation. I was treated to the best uni I have tasted in my entire life. I think Bree was quite amused at my sea-urchin ecstacy. After dinner, Len paid with a thick wad of cash, which in conjunction with his suit, made him look like a mob boss.

I had a very good night.


( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
24th Feb, 2006 05:40 (UTC)
after that party at lola_joan's, i wouldn't have pegged you for an introvert :)
24th Feb, 2006 06:18 (UTC)

I'm very sly that way.
24th Feb, 2006 06:54 (UTC)
Rhizome looks interesting!
24th Feb, 2006 07:17 (UTC)
Good! Perhaps you can explain it to me?
24th Feb, 2006 17:42 (UTC)
I would have to see it first. I *imagine* its something along the lines of the Web 2.0 stuff I've been envisioning. Something that works like a wiki, but which has markup about the meaning of the text being used, as opposed to how to display it.

I plan to check it out to see for sure.
24th Feb, 2006 18:44 (UTC)
No Starch Press is one of my favorite tech book publishers, it's cool that you managed to get some shwag :)
24th Feb, 2006 19:10 (UTC)
Yeah, Bill is great!

If I ever get around to writing those books I've been meaning to spin out, he would be the first publisher I'd give a call to.
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )