LugRadio Live Event Review


LUGRadioLive 2008 by sheilaellen (cc-by-2.0)

This weekend, I learnt lots of things while at LugRadio Live in Wolverhampton. One thing was the surprising delay between posting something on this site and it actually appearing in the feed on my mobile phone. Another is that I can’t post to my new blog hosting from my mobile phone, which I’ll debug Real Soon Now. So, this is a bit later than when I first wrote it and it’s now one post instead of seven or so…

Thanks to some unexplained delay travelling through Birmingham, I walked into LugRadio Live during the Introduction. The venue was generally pretty good, but the stage obstructed the entrance the acoustics in the atrium only seemed to work for the four gents. No idea what they said: I got past the stage into the audience and it finished almost immediately.

For the first talk session, I went to see Rufus Pollock of Open Knowledge Foundation introduce a plan for the Comprehensive Knowledge Archive Network. Seems like a good idea. I’ve tons of questions, but I can’t quite get them into words, I don’t know when I’ll have time for this and I’m not sure they really matter anyway. I think I’ll mention CKAN to some librarians anyway and see what they make of it.

I expected Emma Jane Hogbin‘s “Form an orderly queue, ladies” to start an argument with the usual chix silliness but I was pleasantly surprised by how reasonable the advice was. In fact, the speaker also criticised the “chix” movements, although it appeared she participates in some women-only clubs, so not a 100% win for equality there. Sadly, much of the talk has been overshadowed in my mind by the memory of a giant furry racoon walking in unexpectedly, so I’ll probably grab the video of the LRL-USA version sometime soon.

James Hooker‘s talk titled “Taming the dragons — entrepreneurship and VCs” launched venturex as described on his own site already (along with more talk descriptions). It was an interesting demo, but it requires hackers to sell some votes in their companies to Venture Capitalists, which I believe is a bad thing for free software developers to do. We need to look more at a form of social entrepreneurism.</soapbox> I tried to ask a question, but the terrible atrium acoustics did funny things with my not-so-good hearing and I lost my way somewhat.

At the end of that talk, I got chatting to an interesting web developer from Leicester who also forsook The Gong-a-Thong Lightbulb Talk Extravaganza and headed up to the Lightning Stage for Robert Collins and the Bzr talk. As well as some glimpses of how it’s changed since forking from tla, it was interesting to see a real (imperfect) demo and a non-Emacs version control GUI. The web interface for casual users to submit patches sounded very interesting and I also learned that some people pronounce “svn” like “Sven”. Most things that Robert thought were benefits sounded like drawbacks to me, so I’ll stay with git for now.

Steve Lamb‘s Green IT talk was the last presentation I saw. This talk really disappointed me because it seemed to be skewed towards the corporate governance nonsense instead of seeing Green IT as a vital pragmatic step, mentioning points I’d seen put more clearly elsewhere, as well as advertising Vista virtualisation and some panoramic webcam from Microsoft (who employ him) that doesn’t work with any free software, according to a deserved verbal shoe-ing in the Q+A. Only thing I remember that seems useful: charging from USB is more efficient than using wallwarts. Is that right?

Finally, the main event: LugRadio Live and Unleashed. It opened with the shock announcement that LRL will continue into 2009, as announced elsewhere already. The rest of the madness will presumably appear online shortly and I don’t remember it well enough to do it justice…

A tech conference crossed with a rocking gig by the strangest boyband ever, with a cheerleading racoon and some very cool people. I’ll try to be at LRL 2009. Will you be there? Were you at LRL this last weekend?

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