Coding By Numbers - Episode 22 (linux.conf.au)

Craig: In this episode of Coding By Numbers Steve and I talk about Linux conf Australia, make some announcements about competitions, meetups and other conferences you might be interested in.

Steve: Hi, I’m Steve Dalton from Refactor.

Craig: And I’m Craig Aspinell from Suncorp.  Welcome back.

Steve: G’day Craig, how are you?

Craig: I feel like I haven’t recorded with you for ages.

Steve: I think it was before Christmas wasn’t it, I think, around Christmas.

Craig: End of year wrap up.

Steve: Yeah.

Craig: You’ve been a busy boy in the mean time.

Steve: Yeah, I had a good month off it was great.

Craig: Scoping lots of really good interviews.

Steve: I could’ve done a lot more actually.

Craig: Yeah.

Steve: It was quite interesting.  I could’ve literally...LCA I only did one last week.  I was so busy.  I could’ve done ten at LCA last week.  But in Sydney I could’ve done a lot.  I did two good casts in Sydney, one of them’s are already out, by the time you listen to this podcast, both of them will be out.

Craig: Yeah.

Steve: They would good fun.  Got to have a bit of a nose at Google offices and...

Craig: And Atlassian.

Steve: Atlassian yeah.

Craig: Yeah.  Some interesting companies particularly from an Australian point of view.

Steve: Yeah, very good.  Had a great week in general in Sydney actually.  I only had four days in Sydney and I thought...I just packed as much as I could into Sydney.  I met up with lots of old friends and I pretty much had coffees, lunches and beers all day.  In between, I was just doing the whole city vagrant thing - where I’m just trying to find power.  I’m going into cafes and looking for where power points are.  There’s actually a web site, I can’t remember the name of it, I’ll look it up for the show notes but it will tell you in any city where all the power points are.  Where you can nick free power for your laptop.

Craig: Get your power and your coffee and your free Wifi.

Steve: Yeah.  I didn’t feel bad about it as long as I was having coffee.  It was pretty cool.

Craig: Cool.  So we thought we’d get together and just do a quick catch up and a bit of housekeeping I suppose.  A little bit of a wrap up for LCA - which we were both at last week.  You were more involved than I was.  I guess the first thing to announce really is the competition winner.

Steve: Yeah, we did that competition quite a long time ago.  Didn’t we?

Craig: It was in the last episode we were together.

Steve: That was it, yeah.  The question was: Where can you get a free degree in New Zealand?  And it’s actually, the answer is Invercargill.  I did get one person say Dunedin.  I did mention Dunedin in the podcast.  So they must have missed that.  We had a few entries.  And the first person to give us the right answer was Paul O’Keefe.  

Craig: Yeah.

Steve: Well done Paul you get a copy of IntelliJ Ultimate...

Craig: Indeed.

Steve: It will be in the post.

Craig: I think Paul answered it in about four hours of the podcast being released.

Steve: He was pretty quick.  So that’s the incentive to listen to the podcast early.  I think we’ll make it from now on, we will make it the first correct answer.  

Craig: Yes.

Steve: To encourage you to download it quick.  We don’t have to then muck about...doing the draw or writing silly little programs to randomly pick people and all that sort of stuff.  It’s pretty easy.

Craig: Congratulations Paul.

Steve: New competition for this one?  For this podcast?

Craig: We could do a Groovy mag.

Steve: JS Mags, Groovy Mags.  I’ll think about a question at the end of this podcast.  I’m not going to tell you too early.

Craig: Listen carefully.  There’s a hint.  We’ll give you fair warning this time around.  So congratulations Paul who’s the competition winner.  Listen out for a competition at the end.  The other little bit of news is that Andrew Newman, who is a friend of the show, I guess is the best phrase for him, occasional co-host, has started doing transcripts of the episodes for us.  If you want to actually see what we’ve said as opposed to listen to it, or you want to see and listen to it.  Then you can go back to some of the recent episodes have got the links in now.  I think going back to episode 18.

Steve: There’s about three or four in there.  

Craig: Something like that.

Steve: Andrew’s is insane.  He likes the sounds of our voice.  Hello Andrew.

Craig: Or the sound of a typing of the keyboard.  One of the other, I’m not really sure which.

Steve: It relaxes him.  There’s some great little ad libs in there. When I’m talking too fast or he can’t understand what I was saying - its his interpretations of things sometimes is funny.  I’ve left all of those little idiosyncrasies in there.

Craig: We need something really complicated for him.  We need to talk really quickly at the same time.

Steve: Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.

Craig: So thank you Andrew.  We really appreciate that.  Like I said, the links to the transcripts will be in the show notes along with the download links for the audio files.  If you’re interested in those go and grab them...

Steve: When Andrew gets sick of it we’ll send it to Mechanical Turk.  Someone said to me, “Why the hell aren’t you putting that through mechanical Turk.”  And I said, “Oh no”.

Craig: So a couple of other announcements for...

Steve: Locals...

Craig: ...people who are in and around Brisbane and the Gold Coast - near where we live and work and record.  We’re running a Groovy Grails meetup group which we’ve changed this year to a more generic Queensland JVM meetup group - as of last month.

Steve: It was like that a few months ago but we only ever did Groovy meetups.

Craig: Yeah.  We’ve only ever had Groovy related stuff.  So we’ve officially changed that now so we’re going to cover a lot more of the canonical JVM languages.  So we’re still going to include Groovy stuff, when there’s new and interesting Groovy stuff to talk about, but we’re also going to look at things like Clojure, Scala, Phantom, Fortress, any of the languages like that.  Maybe we’ll cover a bit of JRuby and Jython and things like that if there’s something interesting...

Steve: Or even how and even how to write you own one....

Craig: Or even how and even how to write you own one or...

Steve: There was a guy at LCA that did a talk on that.  How to write your own JVM language.

Craig: Ohh...scary stuff.

Steve: He was doing it in Scala.  

Craig: Yeah I suppose...

Steve: He was using the Scala DSL stuff...but you could do the same in Groovy or even Java.

Craig: That’s right. In fact, Clojure’s not a bad language for writing DSLs either.  So that’s one thing.  The next meetup is on the 28th of February in Brisbane.

Steve: The last Monday of the month.

Craig: It’s always the last Monday of the month.  I’m going to do a presentation about Groovy.  A kind of reintroduction of Groovy as the second most popular JVM language - which it is by a bit of a margin.  What it’s good for?  What kind of things make it unique and different to Java apart from the dynamic typing.  And then we’re going to move on from there, we may well do Clojure or Phantom as the next one after that possibly.  It’s all on the meetup group.  If you got to meetups.com/qldjvm - you will find it there.  We’ll put a link to that in the show notes.

Steve: I got an email from someone the other day actually offering us free tickets to JAX conference in the US.  For anyone who’s in the meetup and the organiser.  I can’t go.  If there’s anyone listening who wants a ticket - there’s got two free tickets to JAX conf which I thinks in...I can’t remember what city it’s in actually...

Craig: San Jose, I think.

Steve: San Jose, yeah.

Craig: It’s the middle of the year, so June...

Steve: I thought they usually have that in London that conference...

Craig: JAX is the big European Java and related technology conference and this is the first time they’re gonna try and do it in the US.  So, it could be quite interesting.  It’s quite popular in Europe.

Steve: Yeah, so if anyone wants the ticket drop me a mail.  I don’t think the lady would mind me just giving it to someone.  She just wanted to get a few free tickets out there.  She asked me...tell her where I told it as well.  So they’ll put a link on their website to us too.  So that will be good.

Craig: Indeed.  The other thing that is meetup related, that we’ve got, we’re going to do a complementary meetup to the Queensland JVM one for more generic kinds of topics and we’re going to setup that up under the “Coding by Numbers” banner so that people who are listening to the podcast and want to come along and meet us and learn some new stuff that we’re kind of looking at and listen to some of the people that we actually interview on the podcast.  We’re going to set that up at meetup.com/codingbynumbers. Imaginatively enough.  We’re going to go set up things like sessions on Google Go and maybe a bit of functional programming a bit of instruction to Haskell and stuff like that.  We’re also going to cover maybe things like Pair Programming and some of the techniques like Test Driven Development and do some stuff around that.

Steve: Even some hardware maybe.

Craig: Maybe even some hacking or things like that. Stuff that we’re interested in. Stuff that we like to do to broaden our own horizons.  Stuff that you might want to come along and just learn a little bit about and you never know you might pick up a new hobby or a new language or something a long the way.  So again, we’ll put a link to the meetup group in the show notes which will have the actual dates and topics and things that we’re going to setup in there.  I think for the house keeping type stuff that just about wraps it up.  Steve?

Steve: Yeah.  I was just going to say something.  I can’t remember what it was.  No...that’s fine.

Craig: So the other big event that happened in Brisbane last month was Linux conf of course.  Linux conf Australia.  Of which you were a pretty core part.

Steve: Yeah.  I wasn’t an organiser but I was a volunteer.  A lot of people saw me.

Craig: A volunteer and you also did...


Steve: I did three talks.

Craig: Yeah.

Steve: Two of which were completely impromptu.  One was a bit of a fail.  That’s alright.  I don’t talk very much.  I don’t talk in public very much.  I thought I’d just give it a go.  I did one on Java.  Basically, it was entitled “Java Rumours of my demise are greatly Exaggerated”.  Something like that.  It’s on blip.tv if you want to find it.  Linuxconfau.blip.tv.  You can see me, fumbling a long.  Lots of people have said they liked it.  So maybe I’m just overly critical.  I did another talk in the mobile conference.  Which was a very, very last minute thing on Android scripting.  Which really failed because my laptop wouldn’t talk to the projector.  I had all this really nice demo stuff setup and I had to reboot my laptop to get it to talk to the thing and then once I rebooted of course nothing worked.  

Craig: Unfortunately.

Steve: It was pretty...I just ended up talking for a bit.  I got some good questions and I was able to answer them.  That was good.  Sometimes it might be better just to throw it all away and say, “Questions?”

Craig: At least you knew the answers.  That’s the main thing.

Steve: I did a lightening talk about podcasting and I talked about this podcast and the way we do the podcast.  Just trying a bit of a wake up call...not a wake up call...a little bit of a call to arms...for developers to get talking again - podcasting.  I think podcasting has gotten a little out of vogue.  Part of that is because people make it too complicated.  You’ve got to make it simple.  My talk was really based around simple workflows and to make things sustainable.  So you can get passed that dip - the whole dip of you know - the three - two or three and then you give up.  We’ve got twenty-two now and I think we’re well out of the dip now.  For keeping it fairly simple...

Craig: I think it took us a while to find our stride as to what we wanted to do.  The way the podcast has turned out really isn’t what we had in mind.  Certainly not what I thought it was going to be when we set out to do it.  But we did set out with the mentality that we were going to give it a go and see where it went.  And if we were just going to find our little niche - which I think we’ve kind of done now.

Steve: Eventually things do get stale and you do have to recognise this is stale and I’m going to give it up or change the name or whatever.  I was talking Andy Piper at LCA, he’s a guy from IBM, he does a podcast called, what is it called, “The dog eat something”, something to do with dogs. I’ll put it in the show notes.  They’ve done 200 odd episodes and it’s all about social media and he says they’re wrapping it up at the moment.  He says we might start something else new and that’s cool too.


Craig: As long as the hosts are interested and excited about doing it, which we still very much are, then hopefully that comes through in the show.

Steve: I think the fact we can both sit in a room and do it together as well helps.  I think Andy’s one they’re in different countries and they’re doing it all over Skype.  We sort of based our whole podcast around just the regular chats we had anyway.  And it’s fairly easy.  We don’t have to do any particular notes or prepare much at all.  It’s just a chat.  I did a talk on that.  And I was a volunteer for the rest of the week, I was introducing people.  That was kind of scary but fun.  Good speaking practice.

Craig: I think you had the good analogy for the volunteers and organisers was the swan on the lake.  Where it all looks very smooth on the surface cause certainly my experience was that things seemed to be going really well considering the whole venue got changed at the last minute because of the Brisbane floods.  

Steve: Ten days out.

Craig: It was amazingly well organised from my point of view as a delegate there.  From what you were saying there was an awful lot of running around.

Steve: We had an IRC channel open over the whole conference.  All the organisers and the volunteers were hooked into that.  We had runners running all over the place.  I had my certain fair share of mishaps like losing the gifts and things like that.  We had the last day, some people - builders - just turned up and decided to put tape all around one of the buildings for asbestos clearing.  We were like, “Hang on, hang on, we’re doing a conference here!  What are you doing?”.  So all those sorts of things, the fire fighting.  Hats off to the volunteers and the organisers.  I had lots things happen in my room that I didn’t even know about.  And they came up to me afterward, “We fixed the stream, the video stream”.  I was like, what? Did it break?  They’d fixed it all already.  The thing about LCA and I won’t harp on about it - it’s a really awesome conference.  They do a lot of things that I haven’t seen any other conference, and other conferences with a lot more money, and they pay people do nowhere near as goods as LCA.  Their audio video is spectacular - they have every single room streamed at the time of the conference.  You basically sit at home and be part of the conference if you want.  Every single video is recorded and put on the web and they’re gradually going up onto blip at the moment.

Craig: I would say, this is my first time going to Linux conf.  The first thing I would say is a huge kudos to the organisers and the volunteers.  Because it was amazingly well run.  Comparing it with TechEd that we both went to last year...you wouldn’t...the amount of money that’s gone into TechEd compared to the kind of money that goes into Linux conf.  You would not tell really, that everything about the organisation was...

Steve: I don’t believe that TechEd stream their videos.

Craig: No they didn’t.

Steve: And they took a while to get them up online, as well.  There are still some ones that aren’t up there.

Craig:  Exactly.  And things like the Wifi access that was available, considering all that was done within ten days, basically, to get it reorganised for that venue.

Steve: They had IPV6 on the network.  I didn’t realise until the Friday I’d actually been running IPV6 all week.  And I’m going to people. “I don’t run IPV6”.  And someone said, “You do”.  Someone was doing some tracing or something on the network and my laptop came up.  And they said, “You’re on it”.  And I’m like okay, alright, fair enough.

Craig: The Wifi was the best Wifi I had ever seen.  There were rooms where I had no phone signal and I had full Wifi access.  As I said, it was the first time I’ve been to Linux conf.  Steve’s a bit more of a Linux conf veteran.

Steve: I’ve actually only been twice.  I have been to a few OSDCs as well - which are a smaller thing.

Craig: I think in some ways, it’s perhaps, a poorly named conference because it’s about an awful lot more than just Linux.  I didn’t fully appreciate that, even though Steve had told me about it.

Steve: It should be called FLOSS Australian and New Zealand or something,         really.


Craig: There are a lot of topics that get discussed.  Some really interesting stuff.  There’s a lot of very smart people that are there presenting.  I picked up a whole bunch of that’s useful for my day job, for some of the more research or R&D elements of what I’m doing at the moment.  Not specific information necessarily from the talks that were there, the presentations that were there,  but pointers into areas where there is really useful information for what I’m working on.  We did a half day tutorial on Google Go which was given by Andrew Durant.  Who Steve interviewed for the podcast a couple of episodes ago.

Steve: I did this tutorial on Monday - it was just brilliant.  It was so good.  I’ve just got to really hand it to John Ox and his team that did that.  It was all the guys from Brisbane Hacker space, mainly, and the other hacker spaces that did a lot of the hands on training.  They had about 50 people in the room, maybe, at a guess.  But about half as many volunteers, going around, showing people, giving them tips on soldering and all sorts of stuff.  I actually learnt how to solder properly, really, during those two hours.  I was crap at Uni - I did electrical engineering.  Two hours with those guys and I was pretty good.  I turned the thing on at the end and it worked first time.  Nothing ever worked first time for me at Uni.  That was really valuable.  I would’ve paid the entry fee just for that to be honest.

Craig: That’s the other thing. Linux conf is not a huge amount of money.  I was on a professional ticket that was paid for by work - which was awesome.

Steve: 600 bucks, I think the professional one, 640, 749 for the full price.

Craig: 750 was what it cost because we were very late.  It was only a few days before the conference that I got confirmation that work was going to pay for it.  I would strongly recommend anybody who has a geek background.  There’s plenty of programming stuff, so if you’re a developer it’s interesting, but there’s lots and lots of other stuff that’s going on.  If you have the chance to go to Linux conf and you haven’t been before, go.  It’s fantastic, it really is.

Steve: And Linus comes as well.  It’s one of the only conferences you see Linus at.  I still didn’t get to meet him - he’s a bit of a shy guy.  You also get some super stars there.  Super stars in that community I guess.  I got to meet Andrew Tridgell again.  Introduced his talk on the Friday - the coffee roaster.  He’s the guy that wrote Samba, he also did rsync.  He also was pretty much the guy that got Microsoft to release 500 specs for all of their various protocols.  He’s just absolutely awesome.  I went to dinner on Friday night.  I met the guy from Google that does the ext4 file system.  I can’t remember his name now, Toju or something.  I can’t think of the name off the top of my head.  I met quite a few interesting people during the conference.  I picked up a bit of free advice from a few people on some work things.  It’s a great place to get a little bit of free advice.  I wanted to talk someone about 2nd Life and this guy just popped up and gave me a quick 5 minute consult.  And I got what I needed to know I guess.  So yeah, very, very good.

Craig: It’s good.  It’s really well organised. There’s a keynote every morning.  They’ve got really good speakers for the keynotes.  There’s the mini conf day.  There’s tutorials, there’s presentation.

Steve: There’s dinner.

Craig: There’s plenty of time and space for you to sit down and talk to people - do the whole networking thing.  If you want to sit quietly and hack on something, you’ve just had a presentation about.  You’ve got the Wifi access there to go and do it.  It was great.  It was a fantastic conference.

Steve: The keynotes were particularly good this year I thought.  I don’t know how many you went to?

Craig: Unfortunately I only got go for the two days.

Steve: So you can talk about those two.  I can talk about the Tuesday and Wednesday.  On Tuesday basically it was Vinton Cerf.  Who many people might know or not know.  He’s basically the chief Internet evangelist at Google.  He is one of the two guys that basically started the Internet.  I can’t remember the other guy.  Doug...Doug something I can’t remember his name.  They basically did the original TCP/IP stuff when the Internet was basically three machines.  It was all done for defence.

Craig: It’s not done bad so far.

Steve: Very interesting guy.  He’s getting on a bit on now.  He turned up in the three piece suite.  He’s quite deaf.  So when they did the questions they had to take his little FM hearing aid, communicator thing.  His talks on Loopsy, I won’t go into it, but you can have a look at it, it’s all about basically the decisions they made, and why they did them, and the things that have happened to the Internet that they didn’t really expect and what the future is.  His hobby is interplanetary Internet.  He does a lot of stuff with that.  And they’re coming up with different ways to deal with the excess lag that you can get, for a manned Mars mission or to the Moon or whatever.

Craig: Who are you going to talk to?  We haven’t found anybody out there yet.

Steve: He’s thinking of the future.  He did that back in the 60s.  The second one on the Wednesday, I actually didn’t go to Vint because I had something else on but I watched the video.  The second one is Geof Huston he is the guy that works for APNIC which is the Asia Pacific Network that’s responsible for giving out IP addresses basically within this part of the world, ICAAN is the US equivalent I believe.  That talk really caused a big stir.  He’s basically saying IPV4, IPV6.  IPV4 addresses are basically gone within in the next few weeks.  They’ve already released the last lot.

Craig: This week is the last block, just gone I think.

Steve: His talk was really interesting because we were thinking he’s going come out and say, “Oh, everyone go to IPV6”. But he basically said it’s too late.  There are...we are already going to have to start thinking about different things.  Again look at his talk.  Really awesome.  I don’t know what his job is at the moment he was at Telstra for a while.  I said before he’s at APNIC.  Thursday...you can talk about the Thursday and Friday if you like.

Craig: Thursday was Eric Allman who was the original author of sendmail.  Which must one of the most widely used pieces of software in the world today.  His talk was about the experience, what was going on at the time, in his life when sendmail was created, how it came about, his experience over the years of how it was developed and what the changing requirements were and how he dealt with those.  He wrapped up with a round up of what he would do the same and what he would differently.

Steve: It was bit like Vint in a way.  We did this, and now we regret that and it was quite honest.

Craig: Yeah, it was really good and he apologised for some of the things he did, like using tabs as control characters in the config and things like that.  He really did put his hands up and say, “Look you know that was a mistake, I shouldn’t have done that” but you only learn these things in hindsight.  It was really interesting.  Somebody actually asked him the question, if you were going to set one up today would you use sendmail or would you use something else.  He said, “Nope, I would use Postfix”.  Which I thought was really honest of him.  He said he had a lot of conversations with the authors of Postfix when they were writing it.  Tried to help them with advice, he doesn’t completely agree with everything they’ve done, but he thinks they’ve done a lot of things well.  They’ve learned a lot of lessons from the things he went through with sendmail.

Friday was Mark Pesce, who people may know from television.  He was the inventor of VRML which I remember was... it was funny listening to him talk about his experiences of coming up with this thing.  It was a big subject when I was at university...it was the new shiny thing that everyone was going ooh.  All the projects were around VRML.  That kind of thing, he sank his life savings into it and it all kind of flopped.  Which he was very honest about.  The main crux of his talk was really about, what did he call it, the handbook for anarchists or something like that, was the subtext of it.  It was about how we’ve all handed over control of the most sensitive data that we own...being our social network graph to companies like Facebook and Twitter and Google with Gmail and things like that and how dangerous that could be.  It was a very dystopian view of how things were going. But it also was very, very though provoking.

Steve: It was a call to arms, certainly.

Craig: It was very much a call to arms for geeks to take ownership of their data back and put it somewhere safe.  He’s working on...

Steve: Nexus...

Craig: Plexus I think it was.  For ways of enabling people to talk...

Steve: I downloaded it the other day I’ll put the link up. It’s just a GitHub repository at the moment.

Craig: Again, is the video for Mark’s talk up as well?

Steve: There’s some controversy there...Mark was...very...let’s just say...he had a really strong point to make...and he made it with some very strong language at times...and some strong imagery...which unfortunately breached the conference policy...and I thought it was awesome but he did breach the rules.  He said the f-word several times very loud and forcefully.  I don’t think people were so bothered about the language...there were three images in his talk that people didn’t like.  But the thing is he’s put the talk out as Creative Commons so you can get the slides anyway.  And the talk itself people are saying, I just hope they don’t censor it...the slides are out anyway...the audio really doesn’t do anything...there’s nothing bad in the audio apart from a bit of swearing...the slides are there...hopefully they will put it out unedited...he did apologise.  But its caused a bit of stink.  This stuff happens all the time.  It’s unfortunate but...

Craig: I think the full transcripts that he was working from and the slides are on his Posterous site and we’ll put a link to the uncensored version, if they’ve got a link up by the time we do the show notes for the actual video then we’ll that up as well.

Steve: He is an absolutely awesome speaker.  I was watching him.  I was pretty much the closest to him.  The way he spoke.  I just loved the way he just had his notes and threw them on the floor.  That’s awesome.  I’ve done that before.  I haven’t done that and I’ve got mixed up and I’ve pulled a page back that I’d already read.  He just threw them on the floor.  He was fired up and ready to go.

Craig: As he said, he does talks that he gets paid for and he does talks that he doesn’t get paid for.  This was one he wasn’t getting paid for and we were going to get his opinion.  

Steve: His unbiased opinion.

Craig: He was going to give it to us no holds barred and boy did he deliver.

Steve: I found it really interesting that the day he gave that talk he went on a Twitter holiday for a week.

Craig: Oh right.

Steve: And then two days later he came off his holiday, issued a policy and then he went back again and he says, “I’m back to my Twitter holiday”.  I don’t know if maybe he knew what he was doing.

Craig: Well I don’t know.  The other interesting thing was he was talking about all the control that governments and large organisation have.  And this was at exactly the same time that Egypt is breaking into civil war basically.  One of the first things that happened was that all Internet communications out of Egypt was killed - were turned off - and that happened during the talk.  Where he was saying, this is the danger that we’re now facing, that we’ve given so much control over to these organisations.

Steve: Egypt had to do it the old fashion way.  So they did their million man march thing they did it word of mouth - person to person.  So they can’t...you can’t stop that. Well you can, you can just send out the secret police.

Craig: It’s scary stuff. It was poignant that that happened. And somebody actually pointed it out to him at the end of his speech.  I’m not sure who that was.  I think it might have been Nick Hodge.

Steve: I think it was Nick.  He was very interesting, I was a bit sad that I didn’t get to meet him but he had a big group of people around him and I was busy so I didn’t but...

Craig: I saw him several times later on in the day and he was always talking to somebody.

Steve: It’s pretty hard at these conferences to get to talk to these people.  Unless you can just stand behind them in the coffee queue or something which I have before.  I didn’t see Eric during the week but I know he was around.  I didn’t see Geof.  I think Vint just came in and out for the day. It’s a bit of a shame that they don’t get to stay.  I know these people are really, really busy.  I had a great chat with the two PHP guys Jethro Carr and Adam Harper...sorry Adam...Adam...I always say Adam Harper...but it’s not Adam Harper.  I can’t think of it off the top of my head.  Sorry Adam.  

Craig: Their podcast is coming up next.

Steve: Their podcast is coming up so you can have a listen to that.  That was pretty interesting.

Craig: That will be the one after this.

Steve: Yeah.  So we’re going to do it after this one.  Cool.  So they were good.  So I’ve covered PHP now.  I did have some names...I was going to some people about PHP...I was going to talk to the Linux chicks people about girls in IT.  I actually found a girl, Python developer who I was going to talk to but I just didn’t get time to do it.  We’ll cover those things in due course.

Craig: We’ve got a few things that we’ve got to get done in the next few months.  Watch this space.  In summary, LCA, awesome, go there if you can possibly can.

Steve: We’ve got coming up next year, we’ve got LCA happening in Balarat.  People who don’t know where Balarat is, it’s a town west of Melbourne with only 70,000 people - population.  They’re going to have 700 geeks descending on them, increasing their population by 1%.  I think that’s going to be really awesome - because it’s going to get press.  It’s always hard for us to get media.  In a small place, you know you’re not such a minnow in the sea type of thing.  So that will be interesting.  Also, OSDC is going to be in Canberra for the first time, this year, at the end of this year.  So that will be cool.  Future conferences - watch this space.

Craig: Yes.

Steve: I might be doing something.  So we will see.  It might take me several years to get there.  By hook or crook I’m going to do one of these conferences because they are rather good.  I was just going to say, we used to do “Pick of the Week”.  Do you want to do “Pick of the Week”?  Just for the hell of it. Do you have anything just off the top of your head?  I have one just off of the top of my head that I found at LCA.  The guys from Open Australia and they have got this thing “Planning Alert” which is quite well know.  I can’t remember the guys name, Degen, sorry I’m forgetting names again, he showed me Layer.  Have you seen Layer?  It’s a mobile app.  You can get it on the iPhone and Android.  And it’s basically an augmented reality thing.  It’s got a really quite nice API to it.  If you’ve got an app with any sort of geo stuff in there, you can expose it as a layer and they’ve even got a market place where you can sell them.  There’s a layer for “Planning Alerts”.  But there’s heaps of layers.  You can go in there.  They’ve got ones for cafes, pubs, I pulled up the cafe one the other day in Brisbane and you just move your phone around...as I pointed it out to all the different coffee shops it told me the coffee shops...

Craig: I think it’s actually...not to toe the party line too much...the first time I heard about it was somebody had created a layer for Suncorp ATMs.  So I think there’s a Suncorp ATM one you can install.  Which I think is about the only thing that Suncorp does on mobiles at the moment.

Steve: It sounds like it was a really easy thing to expose.

Craig: Yeah, somebody did it in there spare time, it’s not an official thing.

Steve: There are paid ones, I don’t know why you would pay for one, maybe there is some particular data that you would pay for.  That looked pretty cool, so I’m going to have a play with that.  Anything that you’ve found that has helped you in your life?

Craig: Not really software wise, no.  The only thing that’s kind of shiny and new and isn’t really a pick of the week.  I have ordered a replacement laptop for my very battered MacBook.

Steve: What did you get?

Craig: I’ve ordered a ThinkPad.  

Steve: Cool.

Craig: So I’m working away from my Apple dependency.

Steve: Good on you.

Craig: Trying to ween myself off.

Steve: They’re all Lenovos now.  

Craig: Yeah.

Steve: It’s all Lenovo, is that a separate company to IBM or is it still a subsidiary or...

Craig: I’m not sure what the actual...

Steve: I think IBM acquired them.  Didn’t they?  It came the other way.  But then they kept the brand.

Craig: Yeah, they moved the ThinkPads under the Lenovo brand...

Steve: I had a ThinkPad for years.  I always liked ThinkPads.  Even though they were bigger, and clunkier and heavier.  They were really well made.

Craig: Yeah, well this is a ThinkPad Edge which is designed as a competitor for the MacBooks it’s a little bit sleeker than the traditional very heavy chassis based...

Steve: Does it have a DVD drive?

Craig: Yeah. It’s got DVD in it...it’s got a decent processor and lots of RAM...

Steve: Because some of them they’re getting rid of DVD drives now.  Really trying to slim down.  What about Wifi?  Does it have like a 3G modems or anything like that?

Craig: No 3G modem.  But I kind of don’t want to go down that route anyway with a built in one.  I’m going to down with the MiFi route.  I don’t know what it is in Australia, in the US it’s called a MiFi.

Steve: WiMax?

Craig: No, it’s a small device that you put your SIM into and it acts as a Wifi access point.

Steve: It’s like your phone on Wifi access point mode.

Craig: Exactly.  I can share it between...I can have one set of data that I can share between my laptop, my phone and any other devices that I happen to have around.  I can just take that with me and it doesn’t matter.  I can do it that way.  So I’m going to do that.  When my phone contract runs out, because I can’t have an iPhone, I’ll be getting Android.

Steve: I had a play with the Nexus S last week at Linux conf - it was shiny.  It’s a bit like the Samsung Galaxy.  But it’s got a lot more grunt to it.  So they’ve got the 3D maps now in the mapping app which was cool.

Craig: It’s got the RFID stuff in there...

Steve: The prox - what’s the prox thing is called - oh that is RFID...I can’t remember the name of it is...where you can pay for things with your phone.

Craig: The things RFID based.  I think it’s also got the near field communication radio stuff in it.

Steve: Yeah, yeah.

Craig:  So you can talk to other devices with it - it’s different to bluetooth and Wifi.

Steve: Cool, I might been thinking about a new laptop too.  So I will be watching...having a little look at yours...having a nose.

Craig: It should be here next week.

Steve: I’ve got this old Dell Inspiron which is alright - it’s getting long in the tooth now.  I always get the cheapest laptop I can buy and run them into the ground.  Sort of thinking I might be changing that.  Change that pattern, we’ll see.

Craig: It’s a long time to replace a laptop.  As you will attest to the state of my laptop.  With the cracked case and bits of tape holding it together.  So that’s going to be retired to the media machine for now.

Steve: I’m finding now that I’ve got quite a bit of kit.  It used to always be PCs that got knocking about.  I’ve got all of these old laptops.  I’ve got an IBM.  I’ve got a MacBook sitting there.  I’ve my EEE PC I use for conferences - which is really good.  I’ve got this big one.  So when I get a new replacement for this one I’m going to now have three laptops just sitting there.  I’m finding it a bit hard to get rid of actually.  Because they do come in useful for some times.  I’ll lend them to people like that.  I don’t really want to sell them because I wouldn’t get much for them anyway.

Craig: Like somebody said to me, “Oh you can probably sell your MacBook”.  No I’ll keep it and use it.  My Macbook already has Linux and Window 7 installed on it as a tri-boot machine.  For any iPhone development that I end up doing I’m going keep it just so that I’ve got a Mac to do that on.  Should the need arise.  Hopefully I’ll be coding Android stuff instead.  The new one will be a Windows and Linux machine.  I haven’t decided which one will be the host.  I’ll probably put Linux as the host and Windows as the guest in a VM.  It’s got enough grunt and enough memory to run that way.  That means both my work machine...I use Linux on my desktop all the time...which is one of the reasons I went to Linux conf this year.  My work desktop is a Linux machine.  My laptop will be a Linux machine and then I’ll be all open source at least on the OS side of things.

Steve: I’m going to do a give away.

Craig: A give away?

Steve: I’m going to give away a copy of JS Mag.  If anyone hasn’t seen that.  It’s the sister publication to Groovy Mag.  I’m going to give you a years subscription to it - not just one.  I’m going to ask a question. Have you got a question? I’ve got one in mind, but you might have one better than me.

Craig: No, I completely forget to think about question during the show.

Steve: I was going to ask: What did Mark Pesce originally event?

Craig: Ahh.

Steve: You can probably find this out but you could probably rewind through the podcast as well.

Craig: First answer to podcast@codingbynumbers.com.  Will win one years subscription to JS Mag.  

Steve: Cool.

Craig: Particularly if you’re interested in Javascript, get rewinding quick.

Steve: If you like Javascript have a look through the Linux conf talks, there’s some good talks on Node.js, HTML 5, all sorts of stuff like that.  There was a lot of that this time around.

Craig: Javascript and C were the two most popular languages.

Steve: Geoff Waugh had a good talk on Node.js - which I introduced.  Which was pretty good.  Where he got everyone in the audience to hammer his Node.js server.  I won’t prattle on about that.  Until next time, thank you.

Craig: Check out the links in the show notes for the meetups and conferences and send your competition entries in to podcast@codingbynumbers.com.

Steve: Thanks.

Craig: And we’ll speak to you soon.

Craig: You’ve been listening to the “Coding by Numbers” podcast.  Brought to you under the Creative Commons attribution licence.  Transcripts are provided by Andrew Newman.  Please see the show notes to download them.  You can send any feedback or comments to podcast@codingbynumbers.com.  Please subscribe to the blog or follow us on Twitter to keep up with the latest news about the show.  Our intro and exit music was “Chopping Block” by Mike Beale.  Thank you for listening.