22 April 2005

More notes from the OOo MiniConf

I wish I had taken more photos. The scene outside the lecture halls was as I had expected: hundreds of people typing away on laptops, taking advantage of the wireless connection that was provided to attendees (some ethernet connections were also available). Every powerpoint (including those in the lecture halls) had a multi-outlet powerboard attached, often daisy-chained to other powerboards, allowing many people to recharge their laptops. In come contrast was the situation at the hotel where we're staying, Rydges Lakeside. Choices there were modem dial-up, ethernet (at extra cost, $50 for a week, the most economic option when staying more than a day or two) and wireless (neither convenient nor affordable). I chose to pay for ethernet, despite discovering that the one ethernet outlet was next to the television set, on the opposite side of the room from the desk -- too far away for my cable to reach; and when I borrowed a longer cable from the hotel, theirs didn't reach either. Closer inspection revealed that quite a long cable was behind the TV, carefully coiled and tied so it was both out of the way and impossible to stretch across the room to put the connector in a convenient spot. My choices were to cut the cable tie or move the desk (finding a store with a suitable connector wasn't a choice at the time). Note to self: add an ethernet cable connector to the travelling communications kit. (I wrote a detailed complaint about this on the hotel's feedback form.) On Sunday, when searching for some place open for an evening meal, we happened upon the Pancake Parlour on Alinga Street and took advantage of their early-bird two-course special. Very tasty, though not at all good for those of us on low-carb diets! On our way out, we spotted a man typing on a small notebook computer with a wireless card. We struck up a conversation and learned that the Pancake Parlour had free wireless (we learned later that this was very new).