Spot and I are in Australia all week, and I wanted to give a brief accounting of events thus far.
I left home Friday around lunch time, flew from Washington/Dulles to Los Angeles, and arrived there in the evening. The flight was uneventful and on a comfortable Airbus A320. I met up with Spot at the airport; we had dinner together and discussed Fedora stuff, The flight out of LAX was unfortunately a notoriously uncomfortable Boeing 777, made marginally better by the upgrade I bought to an exit row. (For a 14-hour flight, the price was reasonable.)
We landed at 6:30am in Brisbane, and made it easily to our hotel, thanks to the tips that Nigel Jones had given us regarding the train and the stops we needed. Thankfully the hotel was perfectly amenable to a very early check-in, so Spot and I could both get cleaned up and changed, and thus feel a bit more human. Since we now had a full Sunday in front of us and jet lag to battle, we decided to spend our day outside in the beautiful weather (~70s F and sunny) as much as possible. (Also, Internet at the hotel was exorbitantly priced so that we’ve had to wait for office hours here to get online.)
We ended up at the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary where we took full advantage of the chance to see a huge variety of native wildlife including not only koalas but kangaroos, wallabies, crocs, Tasmanian devils, colorful cockatoos, and so on. Because the sanctuary is set up more like a ranch than a zoo, in a lot of cases — remarkably including the ‘roos and wallabies — you could walk right up to the animals and feed and pet them. (Yes, I have pictures, and yes, I will get them posted, although time is short at the moment!)
We got back to the hotel near late afternoon, and although Spot fell victim to a short 20-30 minute nap, we mainly soldiered right on through dinner by going out for a walk and getting a great sushi dinner near the Queen St. Mall. Back to the hotel once more, and although I gave out a little later than Spot, we were both comatose by about 8:30pm local time.
In the morning it was easy to find the office, only about 2 blocks from our hotel, and a set of meetings began with the groups in Red Hat’s Brisbane office (and from other international locations like Beijing, Tokyo, and Pune) that work on internationalization and localization (i18n and l10n) engineering and processes, and content services like documentation. The meetings have been a great chance for me to meet a number of Red Hat people — many of whom are also Fedora contributors — whose names I can now match to faces, including:
- Caius Chance
- Nigel Jones
- Jens Petersen
- Runa Bhattacharjee
- Ankit Patel
- Noriko Mizumoto
- Asgeir Frimannsson
- Parag An
- Ruediger Landmann
- Jeff Fearn
- Murray McAllister
- Scott Radvan
- Ryan Lerch
- Joshua Wulf
- …and a bunch of others.
If I forgot a name, I sincerely apologize! There have been so many cool people to meet and talk to here, I can’t keep them all straight — a nice problem to have. ? Every once in a while I’ve been able to be on phone calls with people on this side of the planet, but it’s so much more valuable to be able to meet face to face and eliminate all the delay and barriers that email and phone conference calls can induce. The frequency of meetings has been pretty high, but I’m very pleased about that, because it means that the money spent by Red Hat to get me here was well spent. But as a result, it’s Thursday morning here already and I’m just getting this blog post out!
On Monday night Spot and I got to hang out with Nigel Jones, and Spot and Nigel swapped some funny stories about being on the front lines of support for Red Hat. The other nights here we’ve spent with the whole crew (or as many of them as could settle on a single cuisine!) at various wonderful restaurants in the area. I’m thinking there’s a couple hours of extra gym time in my future when I return to the US, but it was worth it, especially the Punjabi Palace last night in the West End.
I’ve tried while here to keep up with some of the FUDCon matters, and I think we’re in good shape for a great event. I’ll probably blog a status report on that separately, and if I’m lucky I can get that out before the end of the day here (or overnight for you folks in the States). Ta from Australia, mates!