Saturday, 29 March 2008

Is BarCamp for me?

A bunch of geeks I like and respect are pushing BarCamp Sydney as the place to be on the 5th and 6th of April this year. It's an unconference, which is a conference that is created and managed by the participants.

Participation seems to be the name of the game at this event - from speaking to picking up rubbish. They also claim to be there for everyone from IT geeks and engineers to photographers.

No spectators, only participants

This one line is making it very hard to me to try it for the first time. If you know me then you know that participating is not a challenge. What is putting me off attending for the first time is that I still have no clear understanding about what I am supposed to contribute and how that benefits me or others. There are a lot of people with a lot of stuff to say that doesn't interest me in the slightest. Damn, there are a lot of people who couldn't care less what I have to say too... or maybe just five.

Why should I go to a general conference with no structure and a definition that changes every time I ask what it's about?

My answer: It sounds like an interesting idea but if I have to get up and defend Microsoft to a bunch of freetards who ask what I do, then I'm leaving pretty fast. I do believe that it is worth trying everything that sounds fun at least once before judging it. I'll be there on the Saturday and will let you know how it goes.

Thursday, 27 March 2008

Girl Geek Dinners Sydney - Dinner #2

GGD Dinner #2 is happening at 6pm on Thursday the 17th of April.

Come check out Google Australia and hear Lindsay Ratcliffe from ThoughtWorks speak about how designers and developers can collaborate to create the optimal user experience; and Google's Stephanie Hannon will discuss the development of Google's Geo products, including Maps, Earth, Google Maps Mobile and Maps API, and insights into trends in information sharing and user generated content that have been stimulated by innovative tools and open standards.

Register now
as numbers are limited.

Friday, 21 March 2008

You've been tagged

I've been tagged by the lovely Bronwen Zande and since this is my first blog meme, I will propagate it. This feels like a chain letter but ignore that and have some fun :o)

So the rules...

  1. Each player starts with eight random facts/habits about themselves.
  2. People who are tagged need to write a post on their own blog (about their eight things) and post these rules.
  3. At the end of your blog, you need to choose eight people to get tagged and list their names.
  4. Don’t forget to leave them a comment telling them they’re tagged, and to read your blog.

Here are the random facts about me...

  1. My name means star in my mother's language Korafe, which is spoken by about 4000 people in Oro Province, PNG;
  2. I was born and lived in PNG until I was 7, grew up and studied in Darwin until 22, drank coffee and turned 30 in Canberra before moving to Sydney just over one year ago;
  3. My first blogpost contained a video I took of two turtles... umm... cuddling;
  4. My first job in IT was working in tech support at Apple Centre Darwin;
  5. The only person I have ever vomited on is Jana Wendt;
  6. I am a cat person but still love dogs;
  7. I drank only powdered milk as a child until I came to Australia because there was no fresh cows milk in Rabaul, PNG (except on Christmas holidays in Sydney each year);
  8. The most pain I've ever felt was when I dislocated my right shoulder at age 16.

I've chosen to tag: David, Adam, Annabel, Suzi, Mei+Rock, Irene, Colin and Pia.

Monday, 17 March 2008

I, Consultant

The Asimov 3 Laws of Consulting decided over dinner with Giles, Jason and myself are:

  1. A consultant must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the Second or Third Law;
  2. A consultant may not injure a client or, through inaction, allow a client to come to harm;
  3. A consultant must write good code.
Order matters.

Thursday, 6 March 2008

programming on reddit makes us vanilla

I love reddit! It makes life easier by telling me what's new out there right here in my feed reader. What is disappointing is that once someone writes something good on a particular topic, every post to follow for the next week or more is on the new topic. Some of it is useful, most of it isn't as good as the first post. I don't know if you are like me but after a dozen or so posts on the current pop-top, it starts to taste like vanilla and I zone out.

Maybe reddit has become a memes engine.

If that is true, could we skew it if we managed to write something really well and convincingly and then click the up button a lot and then follow up with a bunch of posts under other names on the same topic. Yes, that is a lot of effort but if I had a big company that wanted to brainwash people then I'd at least try it :)

PS Testing is vanilla this week

gmail Unread emails feed

gmail lets you subscribe to your unread emails through this feed: http://mail.google.com/mail/feed/atom

Unfortunately, because it is a secure feed that must be authenticated you can not use google reader to view items. Firefox can do it but it's far too painful to read. Netvibes can do it but that's pointless since it already has a widget that does it. Since I work at organisations that don't allow web mail access but usually do allow reader, it would be nice to be able to read new mail even if I can't respond to it.

While google reads this page and it's propriety software analyses and understands me better than I do myself, can you please send a quick email to the reader guys and ask them to implement this already?! Until then, simply advertise netvibes and crackberry as alternatives.

Speaking of the disturbing omniscient behaviour from the almighty big G - who in their right mind would sign up for google health? How much knowledge is too much to share with one enormous big brother like co-orporation. Don't do it! Next they'll want dental records and chips implanted.

Tetris as performance art

Pushing String gave me a major flashback to my Tetris addiction days with this great piece on Tetris as performance art. There are other games if dropping the bricks wasn't your drug of choice.

Lotus Notes killed the radio star

Every time Lotus Notes launches, I think of these little guys lying in a circle with chalk outlines because someone went postal after having to use Notes and took them all out.


Notes is supposed to be secure (right?) but when I launch it on my mac, there is a window of at least 3 minutes where I can receive and respond to email before it asks me to log in. That can't be secure. It's not something I noticed on my winxp version though.

Before you ask, I don't _choose_ to use Notes as my email client.

'spose I never ever met you

A few weeks ago, I met a person who said "you're just like you are in your blog". There are also people I meet who speak to me like we're old friends because they read a post here and there. It's no reason to complain and this isn't a whinge.

What is interesting is that although I can not deny being high-disclosure, I am not convinced that the declarative version of me, that a blog portrays is the only Damana there is. At least that's what I hope :)


Damana's are like onions. They have layers... that'll do Donkey, that'll do.


Most reactions are positive. I've been interviewed twice in two weeks for online publications; people friend me on facebook or message me with private responses to my latest rant; and it's nice to be able to be part of the blogosphere. There are bumps in the road too - I have my very own web stalker who is too chicken to comment on my blog with a real name or contact details but can spot a "cubist, lesbian dike" when he sees one, apparently. Yes darling, you know who you are. {mike} On average it is a blast and I'll keep talking as long as it feels good.

So my thought for the hour is: Can you know someone just from their Interblag presence - blog, facebook status updates, tweets or photos from nights out taken by trigger happy friends? If you have a blog, is that you and all of you? Are the privacy freaks right or were they just born after the 70s?