UKUUG LISA’06 Conference

I wish I could say this conference was perfect. It’s nearly perfect: good talks, good food, good accomodation, very nice surroundings (stay tuned to see the pictures ;-) ), but the worst IP access I’ve ever seen on a Unix conference. :-(

Having said that and having hooked up to a working uplink port this time, I found a very small amount of time to update you on our stay here in Durham.

But let’s start with day 0. Which started way too early and with a swollen throat… :-(
Kris and I took off at Brussels Airport at around 9:30 am on Tuesday to land 90 minutes later at Newcastle International Airport. We spent some time cruising through Newcastle. Which is a nice city, provided you like shopping. I honestly think this city counts more cash registers than inhabitants and more malls than bus stops.

Next, we took the train for a 10 minutes ride to Durham. Durham is a very nice medieval town in northern England. As for now, you’ll have to take my word for that, at least until I’ve found the time to upload some pictures. Chances are that won’t be the case until I’m back in Belgium, though.

For the conference itself then. As Kris and I only arrived in Durham late tuesday afternoon, we didn’t enroll for the samba tutorial. Given the fact that the audience is very diverse, most of what is mentioned would probably have been repetition for us anyway.

The first day of the conference itself then. We started off with an LDAP workshop given by Andrew Findlay. It was obvious this wasn’t his first talk about the subject. Even though most of the technical stuff he touched wasn’t new for me, it was nice to get some insight on historical reasons for LDAP features and decisions.

After the lunch I had to give my talk, which was a first for me: never before had I presented a paper at an international conference… ;-)

I wish I could say it didn’t show, and as the speaker I can of course claim I’m not in the right position to judge. I was however ready with my talk way before time. Which was actually a good thing, because with my sore throat, I’m not sure how much longer my voice would have lasted. Luckily there were quite a few questions regarding my paper and most of them were out of interest and not just because I’d not been clear enough on things.

In the evening, there was the Google sponsored conference dinner. Based on the reputation of the English ‘cuisine’ in the civilised world – I’m pretty sure I will end up being lynched for statements like this one – I didn’t expect much. But I was pleasantly surprised. First we had some nice quiche, followed by roast pork, steamed vegetables and Yorkshire pudding to be finished off by dessert which was fruit rolled in some kind of pancake with a custard sauce.
I really did enjoy it :)

Day two of the conference was the most interesting one, to me personally. Talks I remember are the talk on device mapper multipathing by Alasdair Kergon, the talk on Kerberos by Simon Wilkinson and the talk on Apache, mod_include and mod_rewrite by Aaron Crane from The Register. Kris’ talk, I’d seen one or two times before so there wasn’t really anything that surprised me there, except for Kris being a bit more nervous than I’d known him before. No thanks to Ray Miller who added some more to the pressure … :-)

Overall, I liked the conference and liked the people who attended it. Met some interesting fellow Unix administrators.
It’s certainly worth a repeat… :)

Next up, Kris and I will try and find something to eat, which won’t be too difficult with Durham being a university city.

Tomorrow, we’ll have to catch a taxi rather early because we have to get to Newcastle’s airport by twenty to ten (AM) to check in for our flight back to Belgium.

I’m looking forward to it. I’m not quickly homesick, but whenever the return date of a trip nears, I’m glad to return home. I’m starting the to miss Belgium… ;-)

One Response to “UKUUG LISA’06 Conference”

  1. Tominator says:

    All you need to do now is to publish the paper (I’ve only read the draft), make a website with downloads, invite me for dinner and watch Monty Python because it’s absurd.
    Did you bring souvenirs?

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