Options for getting to CodeCampOz 2010

Thursday, 19 August 2010

I'm impressed that Mitch got virtually all of the sessions and speakers organised for CodeCampOz 2010 by July and this year the event isn't until November (20-21st)!

There's some good topics being covered on the agenda, but how would I go about getting there now that the "FLC pool" car we had access to at the Uni (back in the old days!) is no longer an option and what would it cost?

Car hire

Getting to Wagga Wagga from Adelaide is a good day's drive, and something I'd really only undertake if there were others to share the trip/driving with. But assuming that was sorted, and you were hiring from the Friday to the Monday (eg. driving there on the Friday, driving back home on the Monday), Hertz list options including a Toyota Corolla Hatch for $158 or a Toyota Camry for $207. Don't forget to allow for petrol, and of course the cost of 2 days that you won't be working.

Flying

Wagga has a regional airport, but it is only serviced by flights from Sydney and Melbourne. Ideally you'd fly in on the Friday afternoon, and head home on the Sunday night.

WebJet lists a few options. I've listed the cheapest I could find here:

Date

Flight

Time

Route

Cost

Total Cost

19/11

QF736

12:15pm-4:40pm

(ADL-SYD-WGA)

$286

$286
 

JQ775

3:20pm-5:05pm

(ADL-MEL)

$99

 
 

ZL3286

6:35pm-7:40pm

(MEL-WGA)

$139

$238

21/11

QF223

5:00pm-10:20pm

(WGA-SYD-ADL)

$286

$286
 

ZL3281

4:50pm-6:00pm

(WGA-MEL)

$139

 
 

TT8039

9:00pm-9:50pm

(MEL-ADL)

$74

$213

So choosing the Melbourne options would cost $451, via Sydney is $572. But you'd still need transport once you got to Wagga – so either hire a car once you get there, or get a taxi from the airport and hope someone can give you a lift out to the campus.

Accommodation

Don't forget you have to stay somewhere. Last time I stayed at the Central Point Motel – nothing fancy but it did the job. Wotif lists them at $98/night.

Lunch is normally provided (in the form of Pizza), but allow for breakfast and dinner expenses.

Non-financial costs

And all this assumes that my family is willing to let me take off for another weekend not that long after spending a week away at TechEd on the Gold Coast!

Even attending Adelaide's own CodeCampSA had a similar expense as far as my family is concerned. That ended up being a two full days that I'm not around to share the load, do family stuff and spend time with my wife and kids. While I love to learn new things and pursue professional development opportunities, when it comes to the crunch family should be the more important of the two – so anything that takes away from time with the family had better be worth it.

Another famous person.. Ian Reid

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

I was doing some housecleaning in Google Reader and noticed an old RSS feed for Ian Reid (my old boss at UniSA). In checking to see if Ian had an updated blog, I discovered that:

  1. No obvious new blog
  2. but Ian has a new homepage
  3. and Ian is on Wikipedia (cool!)
  4. and he's been on Wikipedia since 2005
  5. which strangely I don't think I knew

Google App account migration

Sunday, 15 August 2010

I received an email from Google a few weeks ago informing me that soon the @gardiner.net.au accounts hosted in Google Apps will be able to access virtually all of the suite of regular Google Applications (eg. Blogger, Reader etc). About time!

"Google Apps" is the name of Google's hosted app service for a specific domain – not to be confused with Google Applications which you can access with just a regular Google account.

Up until now, Google Apps users were limited to a small subset (Mail, Calendar, Docs, Chat and Sites). This also meant if you wanted to access non-App applictions, you had to have a separate Google account, though it could have the same name as your Google app account.

This change is a good thing in that now the one account will be used to log in to both the App services as well as the other applications.

If you have a Google account with the same name as your Google Apps account, the non-Apps account will be renamed so that it is now unique. Any services/applications that were attached to the non-App account will remain with with that account.

So while all the services that I used to access with my old Google account are still there, they are now attached to the renamed account instead.

One thing that is helpful in the interim is Google have recently added the ability to switch between multiple accounts (Windows Live IDs have had this for some time), however I'd prefer to have all my services under the same account. Unfortunately there is no automated migration path to transition application settings between accounts.

The only solution is to manually move settings over. eg. For Reader, export my feeds to an OPML file then import them (which is fine for feeds but doesn't migrate your "shared items" nor the "people you follow"). For other services like Blogger, Google Groups and Google Code, you need to re-register with the new account.

All this is a pain for me, but the other tricky part is that I'm not the only person using my domain. Google does tell me that there are other family members who are in a similar situation but for privacy reasons they won't tell me exactly who or what those users are. I'll have to wait for them to contact me so I can help them out. At least my domain just has a few users – this is going to be a much larger job for enterprise customers!

CodeCampSA 2010 Day 2

Sunday, 25 July 2010

So did Sunday live up to Saturday's standard? I think it did pretty well.

Today's highlight was probably Lama's talk on the .NET Micro Framework. If I were developing embedded systems then this does sound a very attractive option (especially compared to the tools and languages that I understand a lot of embedded development takes place in).

An excellent weekend. It would be great to get more people to attend as I think they've missed out on a great professional development opportunity.

Your next opportunity to quench your CodeCamp thirst will be on November 21-22nd at (the slightly delayed) CodeCampOz in Wagga Wagga.

CodeCampSA 2010 Day 1

Saturday, 24 July 2010

Today was day one of CodeCampSA 2010. It's been really enjoyable and I think the talks I saw today are probably some of the best I've seen in Adelaide.

It's been quite a community atmosphere, with some good discussion and interaction between speakers and audience. What has pleased me the most is the technical depth that the talks have taken. This is a 'developer' conference after all, so it is great to have some meaty presentations that give you something to chew on Smile

My personal highlights are probably the talks by James Chapman-Smith (Lambdas, Monads, LINQ & the Reactive Extensions) and Omar Besiso (Entity Framework 4.0: A Guide on using POCO Self Tracking Entities). James in particular has inspired me to take a closer look at Func<>, Action<> and how LINQ can be used in more places than you would think.

Even my own talk seemed to go well, which is pleasing (having to restart my SQL instance not withstanding!)

My only quibbles lie not with the event, but the facilities. I can't believe in the year 2010 that UniSA can't get an electrician in to fit more power outlets in their lecture theatres - 4 outlets for the entire theatre is ridiculous. The data projector in our room was also pretty disappointing – very washed out and hard to read (even from the front row, and yes we did try to adjust it without success). I feel sorry for the students who have to put up with this all the time.

But I'm not going to let that diminish my enthusiasm. Now I just have to wait to see what the speakers on Sunday's agenda can produce!