Thursday, Friday and Saturday @ LCA

I forgot to mention Stormy Peters’ talk at the LinuxChix miniconf on Tuesday. It was about being an online community manager. I hadn’t heard anything about this before but I identified most of what I do, regarding the Teen Challenge website and forum, as coming under this title of a community manager. Even taking care of the Murray Bridge TC centre is being a community manager too just not online. Everyone’s a volunteer, we don’t get hung up on status or who does what but Jenny’s and my role is to, with God’s help and direction, guide the work of Teen Challenge in our local community.

Stormy’s keynote talk was “Would You Do It Again For Free?”. I enjoyed this talk but it wasn’t really gripping or all that relevant to me. I’m sure others enjoyed it and may have found it challenging to them.

Jason White’s talk, “By Sound and By Touch: Using Linux with Speech and Braille Output Interfaces” was good. Jason gave good information on hardware and software accessibility as well as showing his braille keyboard and demonstrating his screen reader software. The reading was too fast for me to understand, apparently it is set slow to start with and you can set it faster as you get used to it. Slides and video are here.

“Rockhopper Robot: Designing and Programming an Autonomous Robot with Linux and Open Source” wow, Doug Chapman’s talk was voted one of the ‘Best of’ talks. Doug explained all of his processes in building his robot from making the linux kernel work on a single board computer to writing device drivers for the reading sensors and controlling motors. Instead of bringing the competition winning robot with him from America to Australia he arranged a demonstration. Doug contacted a friend in America and we were able to watch live demonstrations of the robot navigating a maze ‘house’ and extinguishing a candle. Slides and video of Doug’s talk are here.

Elizabeth Garbee’s “An Introduction To Open Source Animation”. As usual Elizabeth gave a great presentation. She was clear, thorough and well organised in her talk. Stopmotion was her preferred animation program but I can’t remember the other program she reviewed. I didn’t write a lot of notes during this talk, to create my own animations I would need to watch the video. This is my fault it’s nothing to do with Elizabeth’s presenting style or the content of her talk which was great, I just should have written more notes.

Friday I was tired and didn’t go to many talks – Stop In The Name Of The Law, Create Your Own Open Source Dance Mat & The Aus. Open Source Census. Videos are here. I enjoyed the Google party, nice food and again some good conversations. Not being a drinker I was fine with having a blue wrist band.

Saturday – Open Day
I helped at the LinuxChix stand for Open Day. It was good talking to people about LinuxChix and the support it provides to women in Open Source. I also took heaps of photos of all the Open Day stands and the people running them. I feel there weren’t as many different things to look at and do as last year but it was still a fantastic event!! I think it was the stand holders who could’ve been a bit more innovative (us included) with what they were presenting. I’ve been involved in two local health fair days. What they did was a Yellow Brick Road. Everyone starts off with a bag which has the names of every stand at the event on it. They have to go to every stand and participate in some form of activity there then they get a stamp on their bag. When they’ve finished the whole lot then there is a prize. We got people to make anti-drug posters and do quizzes on our computers. It could even be done as a scavenger hunt where you have to find a specific item from each stand.

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