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gnat (29)

gnat
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Journal of gnat (29)

Tuesday July 23, 2002
02:49 AM

Monday at OSCON

[ #6560 ]
The first tutorial day! I've not had good sleep in the hotel beds--perhaps I just miss my own bed. It's odd the way you get used to your own bed, however uncomfortable it seemed when it was new.

Breakfast was mostly over when we finally made it. Mum and Dad had checked in last night, so we all went down as a horde and ate together. Mum and Mother-in-Law and Jenine went up to Anaheim to visit Jenine's friend and see a quilt shop. Apparently the quilt shop was amazing--acres of discount fabrics, far beyond the human ability to browse. They spent $80 and could have spent $8,000.

I went to the Apple Store with James Duncan Davidson, Rael Dornfest, Dirk-Willem van Gulik, and an insane guy I can't remember the name of. It was my first Apple Store. Ziggy tried to convince me to go to Fry's with him and David Asher, but Rael seduced me. Fry's is a cheap painted whore. Apple Store is expensive glam callgirl. I'm a sucker for makeup and boob jobs.

I also spent $80. I bought a USB microphone adapter, cables to connect the iBook to the stereo (which I used tonight to listen to Alison Krauss via the room's sound system), and a computer game for William. I could have spent $8,000. The hardware is dead sexy. I have a major boner for a 40G firewire external drives. I have an MP3 collection that begs for this. There were some very nice digital cameras, and a DV capture card that let me import analog signals into iMovie.

Speaking of iMovie, I've loaned my video camera to Leon Brocard. I was impressed with his Buffy.pm meeting movie, and explained my vision for a new movie. Ultimately, though, he can ignore the vision and make whatever he likes. I think he'll have fun.

Rael Dornfest, Jon Orwant and Chris diBona have an idea for movies to make on Tuesday. I'm not sure where they plan to put the files but I'll make sure they go on the web. I am amazed at how iMovie is doing for video production what the original Mac did for publishing. Desktop moviemaking is now possible on anyone's (Apple) laptop. This may do some very interesting things to the way people document events.

I felt all day like I was trying to get work done but I kept being interrupted with more things to do. I dealt with 200 email messages tonight instead of going out and socializing, and that's brought things back under control. I have more of a grasp on lightning talks than I did before, and that's the main thing I wanted to have controlled.

I popped my head into as many tutorials as I could find. I was impressed once more with Paul Grassie's class. Paul really knows his stuff, and he has no ego. You get a positive engaging alert speaker (and not a monotone drone) who knows the topic and has put a lot of time into working out how to present it. I looked in on Rasmus's PHP class, and he also had the class in his thrall. It's always a good sign when they're staring ahead with eyes wide open and slowly nodding. You know that the knowledge is flowing like a firehose from the instructor into their brains.

I poked my head into David Blank-Edelman's class and he proceeded to embarrass me by making them thank me for the conference. Hey, wait until Friday to decide whether it's worth thanking me for! His class also looked like they were having fun. That's what I really look for in a good instructor, fun. Because ultimately, all this information is in FAQs or man pages or books. The reason we come to classes is because the pure information is DEADLY BORING. We need jokes and friendliness and happiness to temporarily make us interested. A good instructor could teach you to conjugate Attic Greek verbs and you'd go away with a smile on your face.

Mark-Jason Dominus is one of those presenters. His Conference Presentation Judo will be mandatory reading for 2003 conference presenters. I ran into him in the speaker room after his class, shortly before he lay down on the floor to rest. It turned out that we were both dreading meeting each other at the conference. Him because he thought I was expecting him to do lightning talk work that he hadn't done. Me, because I'd disregarded his advice to let him handle everything to do with lightning talks, and now I was regretting it. So when I said "Mark! I'm sorry! You were RIGHT! RIGHT! RIGHT! I was WRONG! WRONG! WRONG!", we were both relieved.

Whose Code Is It Anyway rehearsal tonight. We're getting the hang of more of the games. I'm unsure whether it'll be a raging success or just a bit of fun, but either way we'll consider ourselves a success if we don't have fruit hurled at us :-). Highlights of this set of games: Asthmatron! Orwant's Inaugural Nobel Prize for Sex. Allison's Incredible Hulk (apparently with incredibly shrinking testicles from steroids). And Damian's constant references to invidious New Zealanders.

I think that's all the news that's fit to print. Don't forget to read Boojum's blog. G'night!

--Nat

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  • I seem to remember acme making some sort of vow on Friday that he wouldn't touch iMovie or a DV cam for the entire week of TPC. :-) Hmmm.