Jul 152010

I realised after many years of living in Brisbane – the one thing that I had not really ever done was photograph Brisbane city.  I love photography and find it strange that I had never done this.  A few days ago I decided that it was time to change that and took my two beautiful girls out with a couple of different cameras (they had to have 1 each) and took a few quick snaps around the city from the far side of the river.  The girls wanted to see the amazing Kangaroo Point Cliffs, so we started there and then worked our way around to the story bridge where we ended up getting a little wet and dirty.  The photos are all over in the gallery at the Footless Fish Gallery – just click on the Brisbane link.  They were taken by my two girls and myself with an Olympus e-pl1, an Olympus tough 8000 (needed for when Maja drops it in the water) and an Olympus E3.

...there really is sand in the Brisbane river

...there really is sand in the Brisbane river

The Story Bridge

The iconic Story Bridge

Old Government House

Old Government House on QUT, Gardens Point Campus

All these images can be found at – just choose the link for Brisbane.

Jul 022010

Tonight has been another very long, yet productive night for the LCA2011 team.  The whole team has been working extremely hard over the last few weeks to ensure that the call for papers, miniconfs and posters will happen in the next few days.  The team has faced many challenges over the last few months on a number of different levels, but has been gradually working through these to ensure that 2011 is yet another great conference that everyone in the open source community has come to expect.  If you are planning to be a presenter, run a miniconf,  or even submit a poster then now is the time to get your ideas together ready for the official call for papers (official announcement very soon).  Alternatively, if you know of someone who would be a great speaker then give them a little prod about the conference and ask them about presenting.  Only 206 more days and LCA2011 will be upon us and while I had planned to be asleep at this time of the morning, I think I will go and look for bugs  – probably the sort of thing you need to do in the dark of the night.

Jun 172010

The first 5 winners for the LCA2011 competition have been announced on the Linux-Aus and LCA-Announce mailing lists as well as the group on Facebook, Twitter and  The LCA2011 team will be using all these mediums and others to make any LCA2011 announcements.  If you are not a member of the LCA-Announce mailing list you can join at to be kept updated.  The LCA2011 team has spent quite a bit of time reading through the suggestions that have been received and looking at the feasibility of many of them – even if it is a suggestion for cupcakes at morning tea :-)  Please also note that the recent announcement includes a slight date change for the conference.  It is now confirmed and locked in from the 24th to the 28th of January, with an open day to be held on the 29th.  This means we will have another LCA conference which includes the Australia Day celebrations.

Jun 152010

The last 3 or 4 weeks have been very busy for the LCA2011 Team with many preparations and changes being made for the conference in January next year.  The team has just spent the Queen’s birthday holiday planning and making further arrangements with a couple of announcements to be released in the next day or two.  The announcement which will be made on the LCA-announce mailing list and other social media such as Facebook and Twitter will include the start of some exciting news for a couple of people who entered the LCA 2011 competition at  For those who are anxious to know more about mini confs and the call for papers/presentations there will also be some updates very, very soon.  Now back to hoping there will be some down time shortly for a scuba dive or free dive :-)

May 122010

…is it really possible to sleep dive?  Having had some very long days/weeks recently and getting all my sleeping/waking times confused I think it really is possible.  I must have woken at some unfathomable time (lets just say it was pitch black outside) this morning while it was still a chilling 12 degrees and decided to drive  to a dive spot on the tweed coast.  I must have subconsciously unloaded my car and decided that I really was going to get wet and changed into a wet suit.  The outside temperature was about 14 degrees and as I geared up and then touched the water I realised that the warmth shooting up my leg (not down) really was from the water.  It was an amazing 23 degrees so in I went – camera and torch in hand.  I hit about 8m shortly after entering and then right in my face was this enormous school of catfish balling and deciding that they would just run me down – It was a real wakeup call as you can see from the pic below.

balling catfish

A face full of balling catfish

The temperature of the water was surprisingly warm – not as warm as the 30 degrees in Malaysia that I am used to but also not as cold as the icy sludge I have dived in at the Arctic. I once arrived in the Arctic a couple of years ago during winter and I was asked as I got off the plane and trudged through meters of snow whether I had brought my scuba gear and I laughed and said “as if” – the response was “anything is possible” so about a week later I found myself in a dry suit trudging through snow and watching the thermometer dip below -20 degrees Celsius.  Now that is getting close to crazy, but at least I am now enjoying the warmth of my study with all the computers and monitors to keep me warm again :-)  I wonder if LCA2011 will have scuba diving events ???

actic diving

...I wasn't kidding - here I am freezing in a dry suit

May 082010

….LCA2011 is really getting closer and the Zookeepr Hackfest this weekend really reinforces this.  It was great to see so many people turn up to QUT early this morning to for a general LCA meeting and then many stay to continue “playing” with Zookeepr.  I still really can not believe that people actually arrived for an 8am meeting, because as you would know, in geek land 8am is a fairly rare time to be awake.  I really really struggled to be awake at this time – but with my youngest daughter turning 3 this morning she was awake at 6am to tell me kow much she had grown (and to look for her presents).

This weekend promises to see quite a few changes integrated into Zookeepr , which in turn means that we are getting even closer to launching the system to the public.  So all of you out there waiting for the call for proposals – the wait will be soon over.  There seems to be some really neat things planned for the 2011 conference and I really should empty my camera and through up a few pics of recent events.

More on LCA2011 soon and for all of those out there who are keen to given suggestions/feedback for LCA2011, please visit and fill out the form – did I mention there are prizes which we will be announcing soon??  Now time to drag myself away from the computer and internet (or as someone recently referred to as the new age ball and chain).

May 062010

For those of us who play with various Linux distro’s in VM’s (usually because we have to), I came across a little problem with the keyboard input not being available after a recent upgrade to Ubuntu 10.04 from 9.04. The key to solving this little dilemma seemed to be to use the accessibility option and virtual keyboard input.  I did have to restart the VM to get this to work but was then able to use this to successfully login.  Once logged in I was able to use the keyboard and solve the issue by running sudo dpkg-reconfigure console-setup  in the terminal and reconfigure the various options I was presented with.  This happened to me on 2 different Ubuntu VM’s and after a little bit of reading it seems to be a common problem for those of us who have decided to upgrade our Ubuntu VM’s to 10.04.  Now – on to the next problem for the night (thankfully this was just a minor one).

Apr 232010

The firmware update for the Olympus MFT bodies has recently been released and it touts an improved  auto focus for these mirrorless DSLR cameras.  I haven’t had a good play yet as I am bogged down in Marking but took a little break to test the improvements.  I did notice some improvement, however, for the average person wanting to take family pics, I still find it too slow to catch that moment (perhaps I am just spoilt by my experience with other camera’s). For those who use these Pen cameras – please go to this link to download the firmware –

Apr 172010

What a week – I am sure the last 3 weeks have just blended into 1 very very long week.  I never though that this week would ever end – its been so full of surprises (and just ridiculous emails).  I think it was all topped off with a couple of my servers going offline late Thursday night and after some preliminary investigation, my concern being “where is the building”.  I thought these could wait to the next day with the servers being important – but not that critical for a late night drive. Next morning I arrive to find that the section of the building with the servers located in it just didn’t have power.  Who killed my power!!!!  A couple of very long extension cords and servers are online – temporary until someone finds out how to restore power to that section of the building.

Today has been long with a workshop in the morning and a very long but positive LCA2011 meeting in the afternoon.  It was good to see that we have some really awesome stuff planned for LCA2011 and its all starting to come together.  Some weeks just seem to be more productive than others. I can’t wait to be able to make some of the announcements (and keep some things as a surprise).

I now hear rain which hopefully means that if it will still be around in the morning and our grass can continue to grow uninterrupted by loud annoying lawn mowers.  It may just be a free day after  all tomorrow (though I will probably spend half the day fighting the flu that my two lovely girls have given me).

Apr 152010

LCA 2011 – 16th January – 22nd January 2011

Brisbane, Australia

What a week!  This has been a very busy couple of weeks for me, spending 2 weeks working in Malaysia and Vietnam and then flying back to Brisbane to host a meeting of previous LCA organisers (ghosts).  The LCA 2011 team spent both Saturday and Sunday discussing a whole range of items to ensure that we run the best conference ever.   Coinciding with this event we have been able to release the official dates for the conference as being held in January – this is good news to all thos that have sent me an email during and after LCA2010 asking for the conference not to be held in February.  I know we are not able to always please everyone – though we obviously have tried our best to do so.

The team has some nice things (and different) planned for the conference and as more details become confirmed I will post these here and in other social network forums.  We will also be communicating via all of the normal LCA channels.  Obviously there are a few things that we will not be releasing to people and hoping to keep as a surprise.  More details soon :-)