Gentoo @ Open Day has been great so far. The Gentoo Mini-conf went almost flawlessly 😉 – but more about that will be written in the GMN.

The next event the Gentoo Australia (and a few internationals) contigency will be taking part in is Open Day.

* When: 12pm – 4pm, Saturday 2nd February (this Saturday)
* Where: Union House, Melbourne University (Building 130)
* What: Cool Open Source stuff!

Bring along your friends, family, colleagues to find out about this great thing called Open Source Software. Play Frets on Fire (a game like Guitar Hero), Stepmania (similar to Dance Dance Revolution) and other open source games. Discover Inkscape and other Open Source design tools. Learn about Wikipedia, Project Gutenberg, Software Freedom Day. See MythTV in action, showing how you can build a cheap but extremely powerful personal video recorder (better than TiVo). Experience linking real world tools with online games like Second Life. And much more!

All users are welcome to drop by to ask questions and discuss ideas about Gentoo. There will also be a bunch of Gentoo stickers being given out.

I hope to see you there.

Gentoo Polos

If you are one of the lucky 600 or so people on their way to, are coming to the Gentoo Mini-conf and want a really cool polo shirt to go with it, please leave your name on the Gentoo Australia wiki or contact me directly.

The polos will be 100% cotton, black in colour with the Gentoo ‘G’ Logo on them with the words “gentoo \n miniconf ’08” below it embroidered on the pocket. The current design (which may change slightly) can be found at Prices are ~$20-25 and your request will need to be put in by noon this Friday (Jan 18) to guarantee that it is ordered.

Gentoo Down Under: Call for Presentations – Portage and Pkgcore

I am currently in the process of organising the half-day Gentoo mini-conf at the next, Australia’s annual technical conference about Free Software. Fun, informal and seriously technical, draws together Free and Open Source Software developers from across the world. The upcoming conference will be held from January 28th to February 2nd, 2008 at The University of Melbourne.

One of the sessions being planned will be a series of three tutorials, each devoted to one of Gentoo’s package managers. We already have a speaker for Paludis, but still need presenters for Portage and Pkgcore. Each tutorial only needs to last 10-20 minutes, and can target new or experienced users.

Any interested speakers should contact me on mark_alec|AT| as soon as possible.

Exams, Conferences, War, Peace and other events

My secondary school education has finished. At 11:45, Monday November 26th, I finished my last exam. I won’t be getting my results until mid-December, but I am happy with my performance over the past few weeks. The conclusion of the exam has meant that I can now devote more time to organising the Gentoo Mini-conf.

Plans for it are going well. Interesting talks have been lined up, just in the stages of adding them to the schedule at the moment. It is likely that there will be a 25 or 50 minute slot still available due to changes in the timetable, but another Call for Presentations will be put out if that is the case. Besides talks, I need to find some local producers of shirts, stickers and other cool merchandise 😀

The extra free time has enabled me to start reading for pleasure again. I decided that if I am reading it may as well be something of epic proportions, so I chose Tolstoy’s War and Peace. Only through one part of the first volume, but I am liking it already.

Also decided to try out KDE4 from the overlay yesterday. First impressions are not very good, since Plasma in RC1 is very much unusable. The applications however seemed stable, and at least as usable as their KDE3 counterparts, if not more so. I will test it out some more this weekend and write a more thorough review.

Gentoo Down Under Mini-conf – Call for Papers

I am pleased to announce that the proposal for a Gentoo mini-conf has been accepted by the 2008 team! This will be the first ever Gentoo mini-conf, with the aim of bringing together and educating Gentoo users or people interested in the Gentoo metadistribution. Gentoo Down Under is slated to run for half a day on Tuesday 29th January 2008, with a finishing time of around mid-afternoon. The mini-conf will take place at the University of Melbourne (together with the rest of

Call For Papers

There are speaking slots for:

  • three 50 minute talks, or
  • six 25 minute talks, or
  • many 10 minute talks

How these slots will be allocated will depend on the proposals submitted.

Presentations should be related to Gentoo use, and can be targeted at either current users or new users. Proposal submissions should include: the author’s name, contact details, topic title, expected running time, experience and any other relevant details.

Anyone interested in giving a talk should email their submission to mark_alec|AT|

More Information?

If you would like more information about what is being planned for GDU, or have any suggestions about what you would like to see, contact mark_alec via email or in #gentoo-au.

Channel Pimping

For those that don’t know, for 19 weeks we have had an IRC channel for Australian Gentoo users. Logically, the channel is named #gentoo-au and is now on the Gentoo IRC channels list, thanks to astinus. You can find statistics to the channel here. So, for those hundreds of aussies that IRC, pop in and say “g’day”, we won’t bite 😉

LCA is fast approaching with less than a month to go. Will be fun to put faces to all the people I only know via IRC.

Website Complete

Gentoo Australia logo

I would like to announce that is now up, and functioning as intended. Currently the pages are a little scarce on text, but that should change as time goes by and events are organised.

We decided in the end to go for a MediaWiki based site, but switched the default skin for a slightly modified version that the Beagle Project kindly provided the tarball for.

Any Australians reading this, if you could register on the wiki and add yourself to the locations page so that we can get estimates of numbers.

There is a special person I would like to thank for hosting the site, and doing various tidbits with it to get it working – David Shakaryan (aka omp.) Thanks also goes to Redhatter, who helped modify various parts of the website.

In other news, I managed to ‘find’ a new computer: 2.66GHz Celeron (P4 Generation), 13GB hard-disk, inbuilt ethernet, video and sound. I will blog about it more later…

Website Progress

The website has finally seen some progress. Currently it is just index page with no content, but over the next few days I plan to: setup a wiki back-end, design a theme for it, add some template pages and fill in the basic content.

Last time I blogged about the site, I was almost certain about using Drupal. I have since decided that a CMS is more complex than the needs of the site. The pages will mostly be static, and discussions will happen mainly in #gentoo-au or possibly on a mailing list. Thus, a wiki seemed like the logical conclusion, as it allows easy on-the-go editing.

The image that I have as the logo is just something I hacked up in Inkscape quickly. As you can probably notice it is just a default Gentoo ‘G’ with an Orange/Burnt colour scheme. Other ideas are welcome, and if anybody wants to make a logo, send it through and I will see if I can work with it.

I have also registered for 2007 in Sydney. The programme looks really interesting, and I hope that I can find a way to squeeze into as many talks and tutorials in the four days I plan on being there. It will be the first computer related conference I attend, and I hope to meet up with some people I currently only know from the Internet. A page to organise an informal meet-up of Gentoo users there will soon be made on the new site.

Gentoo Australia

While reading Australian Personal Computer magazine I came across an interview with one of the members of the Ubuntu Australian Team.

This together with events such as the Gentoo UK 2006 Conference have pursuaded me that I would like to create a similar community in Australia.

So, 4 weeks 5 days (16h 56m 15s) ago I decided to revive the #gentoo-au channel on Freenode. Currently there are a few less than a dozen different people in it, but the community seems to slowly be growing thanks to word of mouth, and the forum thread I made some ago.

Plans still need to be written up for a website, that will contain all the information necessary to organise conferences down under. My goal is to aim for a mini-conf at 2008. Hopefully before then we can even organise a meetup of some kind to try to spread the word about Gentoo on a grass-roots level.

Any readers of this from Australia, please join #gentoo-au, and we will see what community we can build.

#gentoo-au’s Expansion

Seems that a little bit of advertising goes a long way online. We have expanded from a channel of less than dozen to a channel of less than thirty, almost overnight.

This couldn’t have happened without the help of people getting the word out on IRC and on their blogs. So I would like to thank them for helping to start establish our community down-under.

I have also been interviewed for Open Source On The Air and mention a few things about Gentoo in general, and Gentoo-Au. I will blog about this more later, after the interview is broadcast (at 9:30pm AEST for those who are interested.)