WLW2009: Part 2: LugRadio Live

Last updated: Oct. 24, 2009, 7:14 p.m.

We're back at the hotel having had dinner now. It's been a really busy day but great fun. It was an early start for a Saturday so we could get breakfast before going over to the venue for doors opening at 9:30. It was a bit of a damp morning walking around the park to get to the Nothampton Arts Centre. We arrived just in time to here Ron telling us we could go in, people with the right change first. A potato stamp in the shape of a space invader replaced the lanyards and id tags last year. Then after a quick look around the stalls it was off to the first talk.

The first talk we went to was about [dead site] and was mainly about Arduino projects. The guy presenting (Brock Craft) had a favourite example of a homemade RFID enabled cat flap that only let in his cat based on the id number from the radio chip in the cat, by the end of it I thought the talk should have been called "Hack your cat". He also had a strange dislike for PIC microcontrollers saying that they couldn't be programmed from open source which I assume is based on a bad experience in the past as I've had no real problems using GPUtils. An interesting talk though.

The second talk was entitled "Hack the Planet" and focused on the idea that "hackers" are not necessarily bad they just think out of the box. Something I agree with, hacking into a secure system for personal gain is clearly a crime, adding features to an existing device by modifying the software is potentially helpful to other users and certainly useful to your self. A good (but fairly short) talk.

After that was a bit of a break and I had a go at building a Lego Technic model for a competition that never actually happened in the end. Still fun to do, and killed time until the next talk.

The third talk I went to was by Fabian Schershel (of LinuxOutlaws and was about his efforts pushing Linux in German schools. It was a good talk and interesting ideas, but I think the suggestions about using Linux on the desktop in the UK are unlikely to come to anything soon. What I don't think Fab realised was that the British education system is in the habit of buying site licenses which don't offer any real incentive to do a partial switch to Linux systems. The other problem I can see is that while Windows is the de-facto standard in commerce then students will expect (and rightly so) to be taught on a system that most closely resembles what they will need in every day life. Education should be practical for people to stay interested. I think Linux on servers (anywhere not just in schools) should be the goal, although until there's a good Active Directory implementation on Linux (SAMBA 4??) then this isn't going to be easy in a lot of cases as the work of integrating services on Windows clients without using Active Directory is excessive.

After Fab's talk was a trip to the chippy on the corner for lunch, but we managed to end up just behind the crew order so it took a while.

Probably the most educational talk for me was the next one which was only 30 minutes but gave an excellent summary of exploits for generic web apps and how to combat them in your own code. This was a useful reminder of some things and introduced some new ideas.

The next talk choice was a toss up between the two options, OpenPandora or OpenStreetMap in the end the choice was based on the fact that OpenStreetMap was in the same location as the last talk I wanted to see, and the bar was at the back of the room so I could get a drink. It was a good talk and didn't overlap with last years as much as I had feared it would. It turned out half way through that the other talk (OpenPandora) hadn't happened anyway.

The final talk was Bruno Bord with a talk entitled This is not a Talk. It was another classic Bruno talk brilliantly funny.

To round off the event of course was the final (maybe) recording of LugRadio Live. I haven't laughed so much in an hour for about a year and three months oddly enough. It was good fun and even covered a couple of genuine Open Source type subjects. Adding to the amusement was a projection screen that had been running all day showing a twitter feed of tweets tagged with #lrl2009 which the presenters couldn't see without turning round to look at it, by which time the tweet had usually been replaced by the next one. This along with Jono disposing of a large number of his recent book (mainly to Popey who was then selling them on eBay from the audience), and random penguins being thrown into the audience made for a hilarious hours entertainment.

At the start of the live show we were assured that this would be the last one, but by the end of the show the decision was not so clear cut, it looks like there could be another, or at least another recording of LugRadio at a future OggCamp event organised by other people. Only time will tell what will happen now.

After the event we went for dinner at Pizza Hut, and are now back at the hotel relaxing a bit with a cup of tea before going to the party tonight. Odd thing is the party is sponsored by Microsoft, I have a bad feeling about this ("It's a trap!").



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