Sikosis's BeOS/Haiku Developer Blog

LCA2011 - Day 5

28th January, 2011 08:00 PM by Sikosis
Today is the last day of LCA 2011. Whilst not the official last day, as there is an Open Day on tomorrow with stalls and such, in reality though - today is the last day.

Day 5

It also happens to be the day I deliver my talk on Haiku. Mark Pesce was the keynote speaker and he certainly caused controversy with his talk. Both confronting in his stance against Facebook and how we need a public Internet system, but also his use of explicit material, which violated the sexual harassment policy of the conference.

Mark Pesce - Keynote - Smoke Signals

I thought the images were over the top and bad taste, especially since we were told as speakers not to do anything that wasn't G-rated. But that's as far as I thought about it.

We broke for Morning Tea and then I decided to head down to N block to see Paul Harvey's talk on Foswiki -- mainly, cos we chatted a fair bit at the Speakers Dinner and Foswiki looks interesting.

Paul Harvey - Foswiki

Once, he'd finished, I then needed to rush off to the room I was presenting in, which thankfully was only down the corridor. Due to the main keynote going over time, all the other talks got pushed forward, so I waited another 5 minutes or so, before presenting in front of about 50-60 people plus whoever was on the live stream.

5 Minutes Prior to my Haiku Talk

Now let's get one thing straight. I was presenting at a Linux Conference with a MacBook Pro, a) because I was using Keynote, which is a superior presentation software and is only available on a Mac and b) I was running VMware Fusion virtual machine image of Haiku for maximum capability with the room's projector and access to the Internet via the MBP's wifi.

Lego Decal for MacBook Pro - to appease the crowd

So, I thought I would do the right thing and cover up the shiny white glowing Mac logo with a decal. I also happen to be a lego fan and as it shows evolution, something that Haiku certainly has definitely gone through; it all just fits. But that wasn't enough for some people:-

"I'm a little disappointed that the talk on the Haiku OS isn't being given on a system
running Haiku. #lca2011" - ctudball


"Haiku presentation done on a Mac at #lca2011. I was under the impression I was attending
a #Linux conference. Clearly, I have been mislead." - slanteig

Still, there were a few nice tweets by Mike Sampson (@mfsampson):-

"Building Haiku on Linux looks fairly simple." and "Haiku uses vector icons!"

As for the talk, things were going well until I got up to the demo, when I tried to copy two files from the same Virtual CD at the same time and one of the windows locked up and went white. I tried to kill it (twice) to no avail. I ended up just rebooting the VM and whilst it was doing that I explained what I was going to show and by that time it had rebooted.


As my friend Jimmy Ti says, that just goes to show how resilient Haiku is -- and I guess he's right, but I just can't believe why these things work the night before when you're on your couch at home, but on the day in front of people it goes wrong. :(

I was just getting to the Paladin coding section of my talk when the helpful volunteer staff member held up the "5 Mins" left sign -- I thought err, this demo is going to take at least 5 minutes, so I scrapped that and went straight to the hey scripting demo and only picked two of the several examples I had. The rest will go on my scripting page.


At that point, the volunteer was holding up the "CUT" sign, so I quickly jumped to the conclusion slide and then powered through all of them until I finished. Then came question time, where the first question was about flash and then it was a bit of a blur for me, I was in a daze because I had all this material prepared thinking it wasn't going to be enough and it ended up being way too much.

A bunch of people also came up to me at the end to say they would try it out or they were old BeOS fans and were sad the day it died; two of them said they then switched to Linux when BeOS went under. There were a couple of comments on that the UI looks a little dated as well.

Haiku by Phil Greenway

It was then time for lunch, so Paul Harvey (Foswiki guy) and I went down to Nandos and then we parted ways, as I went to see Sarah Sharp's "Growing food with Open Source" -- a talk I've been waiting to see all week and I wasn't alone in that.

Sarah Sharp - Growing Food with Open Source

She talked about her experience leading up to the conference and then showed how she made an Arduino detect if a plant needed water via her home made water indicators and if it did need watering would turn on a water pump she had got out of a battery powered desktop fountain. Very cool and inspiring stuff.

Sarah Sharp - In demand

Marc Merlin did a talk on Misterhouse and X10, ZWave and a bunch of other home automated solutions, something I've been wanting to do for awhile and the prices aren't too bad at the moment. We broke for afternoon tea and when we came back it was Andrew Tridgell of Samba fame to show his Automated Coffee Roasting Machine.

Andrew Tridgell + Automated Coffee Roaster

Amazing stuff as he showed us how he worked out how to write a linux driver for the USB multimeter, which was reading the temperature of the inside of the bread maker, which was full of coffee beans and had a heat gun pointing at it.

It was then time for the lightning talks, where the most interesting one to me, was the mention of the first ever PHP Conference in Australia. They've just got a website -, a twitter account and the mention of an October in Sydney conference date.

PHP Conference in Australia!

Once those talks were over, a slide was then put up about how much money had been raised for the QLD Floods Appeal - $28, 239. Awesome job.

Money Raised for QLD Floods

The closing theme was where to next -- of course, setting up the announcement of next year's conference in Ballarat, Victoria.

LCA2012 @ Ballarat

To me, it was a decent conference. Not being a hardcore Linux guy, there wasn't everything there for me, but there were certainly parts of it that I really enjoyed and have been inspired by. The goal of my talk was if I got at least one person to look at Haiku then I've done my job ... and I think I did that.

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LCA2011 - Day 4

27th January, 2011 07:40 PM by Sikosis
Day 4 was another hot one in Brisbane, but was kicked off with a great keynote from the creator of sendmail, Eric Allman. Very nice talk on why he did why he did and what he would have done. Very humbling.

Eric Allman

After Morning Tea, I was very much looking forward to Rusty Russell's Advanced Coding C for Fun! talk ... even though at the Speaker's Dinner when he asked what I was talking about, I said "the Haiku Operating System" and he said "Oh you're that nutbag." (laugh) -- and boy, he's out there.

Rusty Russell

That being said this was the first time I'd actually gotten to see some code and code demos, which was great and he went through building up from a couple of hundred to a think nearly a thousand lines of code by adding other libraries to tackle what he was doing, where he enabled code to be upgraded whilst still running and did some hairbrained "impossible" solution with even more lines of code to do it as well.

I then walked from L to N block to see the man with the 3 coloured dyed hair, Stewart Smith, give his no holds barred talk on RDBMS, Apple for it's fsync, NoSQL, MongoDB and more.

Dropping ACID

Earlier in the week I saw someone's tweet that there was a sushi place around Kelvin Grove campus. So, for lunch I went for a walk and happily found it, with it's nice portions of salmon nigiri *drools*.


It was quite hot and I wasn't feeling the best, so I decided to head home and hop on the video streams from the conference, as I'd had no luck with them earlier in the week, I was pleasantly surprised when it did work. It was quite cool, as I was able to jump from room to room, without having to do all that walking :)

I checked out a session on Perl Programming Best Practices, Jon Oxer's awesome Kinect project, where he's using his hands to control a Parrot (helicopter drone) and other things he's wired up around the house thanks to Arduinos; plus a little bit of Google's Go, which to me it's like solving a problem I don't have, but as my friend Jimmy Ti points out they made it for themselves and then released it to the world.

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