I help with Melbourne Perl Mongers.
I spend an awful lot of time talking about Perl, and have had my picture in the Australian newspapers with a camel. That's rather scary.
Spent the last week in Canberra, teaching our Perl courses. While the courses went well, we're not particularly happy with our facilities providers who put us in a room that was too small for our needs, and which had decidedly dodgy air-conditioning. If you provide computer facilities for hire in Canberra, and have a policy of not screwing your customers, then now's a great time to get in touch.
One of the best aspects of the trip was the hotel. Rejane and Victor, the owners of Quest Canberra, get a huge thumbs up for their friendliness and service. We had our room upgraded (twice!), we were presented with a complimentary bottle of wine on check-in, and we were given a sufficency of drink vouchers for the pub next door. Plus they held our bags for us on the last day. It's so refreshing to encounter a business that's so committed to making its customers happy, and who properly understands the value of raising good-will.
While in Canberra I met up with the local Canberra Perl Mongers group. Unfortunately I didn't realise how long it would take for our food to arrive, so presentations happened much later than expected. I got a few chuckles from my Mind Control talk, and had a surprisingly good reaction from my old talk on Using Strict. Andrew Pollock also gave a presentation on watching directories in Linux and how to control his server by remote e-mail.
On Thursday night Jacinta and myself had the honour of catching up with Pia Waugh from Linux Australia. The meeting was held in the Pancake Parlour, which appears to be a happening place for geeky things in Canberra, due to its free and unrestricted wireless access, which incidentally was set up by one of the Canberra.PM members. We chatted with Pia about a variety of topics, including false teeth, quarantine, and open source, as well as resetting the password on a Linux box that one of our students had brought along.
Ian and Sofie are renovating their house in preparation for sale, and both Jacinta and myself, along with many other friends and family, have been having a grand time helping them out. My main tasks have been climbing on tall ladders, painting, and shovelling rocks and soil. In return we keep getting fed with extremely nice foodstuffs, so I think we're getting the better deal out of the bargain. Sofie's parents in particular have been excellent company, and have kept me well-stocked with beer, food, and humour during my visits.
After two years of running my 1st Ed AD&D roleplaying game, the party has defeated the incredibly hard encounter that was supposed to appear in the first adventure, and is almost up to the point where they can start to survive the main content. The running joke is that we'll still won't have finished in sixty years time.