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LCA Conference Dinner and Auction

Tonight was the Linux Conf AU dinner at the Dunedin town hall. At the end there was an auction to raise money to donate to the John Lions chair that is to be established at the University of New South Wales ( which is incidentally where LCA 7 will be held next year).

Rusty Russell was the auctioneer. Now I didn't get to hear Rusty speak at this conference, but I definitely knew who he was. Back in the office in Brisbane we were discussing Australia's disproportionate contribution to open source globally and we were running through the hometown heroes. mkearey, who like a few others at Red Hat used to do networking in university dorms, and is my personal recourse for all things iptables related, gave props to Rusty Russell.

Rusty was amazing, a master of theatre - even managing a Shakespeare quote at one point of the show. The item being auctioned was a copy of John Lions' Guide to version 6 of Unix, with source code, signed by Linus Torvalds, Ken Thompson, Dennis Ritchie, and a number of other open source superstars. The auction went for an hour, and by the end of it a cartel had bid $10,000 for the book, as well as:
  • Jeff Waugh shaving off his hair

  • A mention for whoever they nominate (Miguel de Icaza? <- joke!) in the About dialog of KDE 4

  • Naming rights on the upcoming Planet 1.0 release

  • Dave Miller shaving off his beard and moustache

  • Russell Coker growing a beard for the next LCA

  • Groggy Greg shaving off his beard

  • A mention in the release notes of MySQL 5.1

  • 8 bug fixes of their choice in KDE

Linux Australia is matching the $10,000 from the auction, and Usenix is matching that total - for a grand total of $40,000 raised toward the UNSW John Lions Chair.

Benno got up and explained that the cartel was formed of ex-UNSW students who studied in the culture established by John Lions in his 23 years as a professor there, and that they felt so strongly about it that they wanted to contribute back to that culture.

I left with a lot of the LCA massive just before midnight. The keynote tomorrow morning is Mark Shuttleworth speaking on "How to Improve Collaboration Between Open Source Projects". Mercifully it doesn't start until 10 am. I'm getting pretty worn out. I don't drink alcohol, and I can't understand how other people are managing with the late nights and the intense, action-packed days, and drinking at night. Amazing.

The guys running this event must be rushed off their feet. There is so much on. And it's just not possible to catch all of it. I missed Ajax's talk on X memory management, and Carl Worth's Cairo tutorial.



A nice commentary on the auction, but it raised even more money

Due to the generous hat-passing among the people who could not afford to bid on the book, or those who did bid, and lost AND the sale of a clock made from a CD signed by Linus Torvalds, the actual total came to 48628 AUD.

Other people who should be thanked are of course the USENIX organization for their generous matching program and Greg Rose of Qualcomm who brought the matter of the Lions Chair to the USENIX board's attention. - maddog


Re: A nice commentary on the auction, but it raised even more money

Planet 1.0 release.
Naming rights for that were sold at 2005 LCA as well as 2006.
Let's hope we can make that 3 years in a row.

September 2006

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