I've decided to retire this blog — I don't really see myself updating it any time soon, and haven't for over two years anyway. I intend to leave the content on-line for the forseeable future, but have converted it to a static site. As a result, dynamic things like search and comments aren't really going to work.

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Archive for the 'Pycon AU 2010' Category

Bizarre life triangle

Saturday, June 26th, 2010

(This post was written on Thursday afternoon while flying over some barren-looking bit of far western New South Wales. Evidently recycled air stimulates my blogging neurons.)

Once again, it’s conference time. This time, I find myself winging my way to Sydney for a rare winter conference — specifically, the first edition of Pycon AU. As usual, I’m not presenting, but merely attending, although I hope (with the co-operation of the papers committee) to finally fix that at next year’s LCA. (Of course, if Silvia talks about HTML5 video, I’ll probably get knocked back!)

It’s been a busy month. Few months, really. I don’t tend to talk about my actual day jobs much on my blog, but I might as well mention a project I worked on earlier in the year — a prototype system for visualising the family trees of wheat strains, which is quite nifty if you like HTML5 canvas based goodies, although it’s far from a complete system. (If you work in agricultural or biological research, have a bit of spare budget lying around, and would like to see it become a complete pedigree traversal and analysis system, get in touch. We’d love to hear from you! Yes, this will be open source; in fact, it would be already if I’d had some spare time at work to sort that out.) Massive props to Nicolas Garcia Belmonte and his Javascript InfoVis Toolkit, which made the tree handling easy. It’s fair to say that the initial code that I wrote before deciding to use JIT was… ugly.

The project I wrapped up a couple of weeks ago was also rather interesting, and will be open source as well, but sadly I can’t yet talk about it. I’ll try to remember to blog about it when I can.

On a personal level, things have also been a little hectic. As per previous years, a group of my friends and I traipsed down to Albany for the Foundation Day long weekend, which was typically filled with wine and laughter, and I spent last Saturday taking part in the 15/15 Film Festival, which gives its participants an object and a quote (this year, a newspaper and "there is beauty in randomness", respectively) to put in a film and asks them to make a <15 minute film in 15 hours. We had an interesting time on that one, partly thanks to the loss of half of our raw footage due to technical issues (OK, NTFS not handling a dirty shutdown very gracefully, if we’re going to point fingers, and I am), which resulted in a very quick redefinition of the film in the editing process. I’ve yet to see the final cut (we were so pressed for time that we had to submit it without actually viewing it start to finish), and I don’t think the competition rules will allow us to put it on Youtube until the judging is complete, but it was a great experience and it doesn’t sound like the end product was that bad.

Admittedly, it didn’t sound that great, either.

All in all, I’m looking forward to a couple of days off. The conference proper is on Saturday and Sunday, so I’ve got tomorrow completely off, along with today and Monday as travel days. At this stage, the plan is pretty much sleep, broken up with the odd social engagement: with any luck, I’ll be having dinner with Noogz tonight, which is always fun, and will be off to the SLUG meeting tomorrow night — having never attended a proper LUG meeting, I’m looking forward to it! (Yes, this means I’ve lived in the city of PLUG for over fifteen years without ever actually going to a meeting.)