The CeBIT show was in the Dar­ling Har­bour Con­ven­tion Cen­tre this week. Com­put­er Pow­er were good enough to give us a leave of absence to attend. It only made sense: attend­ing an IT show gives us a feel of the IT indus­try as a whole. The exhibitors cov­ered just about every­thing under the sun (at least under the IT sun, which might more accu­rate­ly be described as a dwarf star).

It was­n’t a par­tic­u­lar­ly spec­tac­u­lar show. I still have fond mem­o­ries of the excess­es of the dot-com days: loads of giv­aways, free capuc­ci­nos, etc.. This time the give­aways were most­ly restrict­ed to pens. There was cof­fee, but to be eli­gi­ble you had to be ‘cus­tomer’ of the group run­ning the booth. The Syd­ney Morn­ing Her­ald and The Aus­tralian each had booths, and you could pick up free copies of their respec­tive papers. Besides that, there were the oblig­a­tory ‘booth babes’ and plen­ty of staff who could­n’t speak Eng­lish. w00t.

At the end I decid­ed to return to a booth I had spied ear­li­er: Open Source Vic­to­ria. There, I got to talk­ing to a nice girl there. It turned out that she was Pia Waugh, wife of well-known GNOME hack­er Jeff Waugh. Not that she should be known just for that, though. She is doing some tru­ly inter­est­ing work in try­ing to fur­ther the use of open source soft­ware in gov­ern­ment and edu­ca­tion. We spoke for about half an hour, dur­ing which time she invit­ed me to go to the month­ly Syd­ney Lin­ux Users’ Group (SLUG) meet­ing, which con­ve­nient­ly was on that Fri­day (i.e. yes­ter­day). I had been mean­ing to go to one for years, and this was the kick up the back­side that I need­ed.

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