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.