Rusty Russell's Coding Blog | Stealing From Smart People

Jan/11

28

The LCA Dinner Rule

Dinner was great as only a room full of well-fed FOSS geeks can be, but I felt that that my time on-stage was too long and too chaotic; I apologise.  The LCA team have done such a thorough job of recovering from events that it’s a surprise when things don’t magically come together.

So I propose an “LCA Dinner Rule” for future conferences: that dinner activities span no more than 1 hour.  Preferably combining wit with its brevity.

(Oh, and I have a strong feeling that next year’s dinner is going to be a superb event…)

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9 Comments for The LCA Dinner Rule

Malcolm Tredinnick | January 28, 2011 at 9:30 am

I’ll admit to being somewhat curmudgeonly about this, but even less than an hour would be appropriate many times. In past years (not there this year, clearly), I’ve felt that a lot of the carrying on at the dinner wasn’t really worth it and interrupted an otherwise good opportunity to meet and chat with interesting people. It’s felt like a chore more than a pleasure at times (this was very apparent last year, for example).

Malcolm Tredinnick | January 28, 2011 at 9:35 am

Err… to remove my foot from my mouth, I should apologise: I didn’t mean your annual performance was boring, Rusty. Many times I’ve had a good laugh at your LCA dinner talk. It’s more things like the never-ending fund raising et al. It’s possible to raise money in less disruptive ways (and not pressure people who’ve otherwise given possibly thousands over the course of the year to worthy causes).

Dave Airlie | January 28, 2011 at 10:00 am

I’m sure we should also propose a limit on glasses of wine for ajax ;-)

Brendan Kelly | January 28, 2011 at 10:57 pm

I agree with the 1 hour rule. I gotta admit, as one of the LCA2011 core team, that this years Flood Appeal fundraiser at the Penguin Dinner was not as well thought out as it could have been, and take my share of the blame. It clearly dragged on far too long.

Mary | January 30, 2011 at 7:53 am

At this year’s dinner, I felt the lack of that old chestnut the dinner speaker, I think. LCA has never really done it and if done badly it would suck, but it’s good to unite an activity like that with one vaguely interesting thing to talk about and laugh at and the auction has always been hit-and-miss depending on factors largely outside of Rusty’s control. (eg, if no one has much money that year, it ends in three minutes with a max bid of $500).

It would be interesting to think up a way to try and see some lighter side of the LCA celebrities that didn’t involve pressure to either modify their bodies or give very large amounts of money and that was fun for them to do as well as fun to watch.

lecta » Blog Archive » linux.conf.au 2011: dinner activities | January 30, 2011 at 8:51 am

[...] far so good for money. And now for entertainment, as Rusty posts. The trouble with lca2011 was that the auction consisted of people walking up to laptops and having [...]

Mary | January 30, 2011 at 9:12 am

Andrew S | January 30, 2011 at 2:27 pm

I would definitely like to see some improvement in the value of attending the dinner. It did not impress me at all.

As a first time attendee to LCA I did the right thing and bought a Professional ticket to LCA. However the extra ‘value’ in doing so was very light. It’s hard to post negative feedback in light of the outstanding work done to overcome the flood problems but my impression of a couple of things were beyond flood related.

The dinner was a very flat event and the PDNS did not add anything that wasn’t already happening during the day at the conference. (The location was worth a visit though, very interesting history there).

I will attend LCA again and am looking forward to Ballarat, but I will probably just get the Hobbyist ticket next time, or even the Student if I am eligible at that time, unless there is clear extra value in going the Professional road again.

Author comment by rusty | January 31, 2011 at 11:14 am

Ah, I think you misunderstand. The professional tickets are full price. The hobbyist tickets are discounted; you can get a hobbyist with a dinner ticket for example.

The difference is not in what you get; it’s a concession for the significant number of people who do not draw revenue from their Linux/FOSS activities. We have relied on the honour system, but there are signs that may have to change :(

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