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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