Linux.Conf.Au 2003: Woot
In January 2001, a group of WA friends travelled to Sydney for the Australian national Linux technical conference, Linux.Conf.Au, then being held at the University of New South Wales, hosted by the Sydney Linux Users Group (SLUG).
Giddy at the joy and enthusiasm in the community, those friends brought the idea of hosting the conference in Perth back with them, where the rest of the Perth Linux User Group (PLUG) urged them to do it. A little under two years of planning, and it happened.
2002 saw the conference in Brisbane at The University of Queensland, hosted by HUMBUG. Moving this confernece even further fromt he centre of mass of people would prove interested, or as some labelled it, a brave experiment. Unperturbed, the Perth organisers pressed on, and the result was asstounding. 35% growth in attendees (largest yet), record sponsorship levels, and great media coverage.
The conference was run by a core team of organisers, and a wider list of helpers. Names like Tony Breeds Taurima, Nick Bannon, Mark Tearle, Bernard Blackham, James Henstridge, Anand Kumria, James Andrewartha, Trent Lloyd, Daved Madely, Mark Gaynor, and more made this event happen.
From the confirmed go-ahead in February 2002, we put organisers into committee positions: Treasurer, Secretaty, and two joint heads. Weekly meetings (and a sum of $250 per person for pizza over the final year) saw that all items were covered and completed.
Highlight of the conference was wandering over to Linus Torvalds at the conference dinner, and asking if he would appear on stage the next day in a penguin suit. No, wait, highlight was when he sai 'yeah, sure'. His three children loved it!
I took some pictures of what happened when we did a trial run of the penguin suite through the campus on Monday 20/Jan/2003.