LUG Radio Live 2006 – Part Six

The lightning talks over for the day, it was time for the live recording. Predictably there was a crush in the main auditorium as people piled in to get a good view of the action, particularly as Jono was due to shave his ‘orrible beard off for charity. The upshot of this was that I was stuck at the very back, only able to see one or two presenters round a large pillar. Maybe this impaired my enjoyment somewhat, but I felt the live show was a bit lacking in places. There were some sound issues during the recording, and certainly the live audio wasn’t as high quality as it could have been, sounding very distorted at times. The Open Source Pass the Parcel, piloted on the previous episode, was resurrected with participation from the audience. It was amusing watching a room full of geeks fail to catch a stuffed toy as it was hurled about. To be fair, most of them had a pint in at least one hand. However, expecting every random audience member to have a funny or interesting question ready to ask the presenters might have been a bit ambitious. Most of the people who had the parcel when the music stopped gave their name and sat back down again. The format felt like it needed a little more work, or at least planted questions. 🙂

It was a great idea to do a live interview, but rather than one of the more experienced interviewees, they interviewed Juski from the MythTV stand. I had a bad feeling straight away that he would be taken to task over Jono’s run-in with the MythTV developers. This did happen fairly quickly and seemed to take up the majority of the interview.* It didn’t feel very enlightening as a result. It also felt a little unfair as Juski, the interviewee, isn’t a developer on the project but a user and community member. He was repeatedly put in a very awkward situation between acknowledging the possible faults of the developers and not wanting to bad-mouth them. The interview was the source of much debate in the curry house later that evening, trying to decide if running a stand for a project makes you responsible for the actions of the developers. Some people thought that advocating a project gave the impression that you were at least part of it, even if not a developer, and should therefore be prepared to answer questions about the problems within the project. Others felt that advocating a project didn’t mean you should had to like everything about it, just be a happy user. They also felt that as the stand was under the MythTVtalk.com banner, it was detached enough from the main development community. Either way, the interview wasn’t a comfortable experience to watch, so being involved must have felt worse. Also, being interviewed in front of a couple of hundred people is pretty scary, particularly if you’re not used to doing it.

The rest of the live show consisted of the awards ceremony, with Xalior and Neuro getting the Community Hero of the Year award and runner-up respectively. Phated won the furthest travelled award and Bruno picked up an award for his talk, as did Mirco Muller. The climax of the show was Aq and Jono being de-bearded. The former shaved his own beard off, but the honour of cutting Jono’s beard went to Ted Haegar of Novell. Over £700 was raised for Amnesty International, so well worth it.

A nice chap called HP was staying at the hotel, and seemed at a bit of a lose end. After a wash and brush up, we got a taxi in to town for a meal and the LRL party back at the Union. Without wanting to be patronising, it’s brave to travel somewhere where you don’t know anyone. You risk spending the whole event on your own and feeling left out, but HP was great company and we were happy to have his company for the evening. Hugo got to educate him in the ways of the British curry house too.

By the time we’d got in to town, had a beer, had a curry and headed to the Union, it was getting on for ten o’clock. The party was pretty busy, but more with beer drinking, pool and chat than actual dancing. There was, as I had predicted, the inevitable problem of keeping such a diverse group of people happy. Presumably being berated in turn by dance fans, metal fans, rock fans and cheese fans he seemed uncertain what would make the crowd most happy. So he polled the audience over the PA to find out what type of music people wanted to hear. The dance fans then cheered, so on went a dance record and the people who had been dancing to the cheesy music cleared the floor. This was repeated several times and felt a bit dis-jointed at times. Probably unavoidable though, given the audience. Cheese and rock seemed to be the order of the night. The sight of several pillars of the FLOSS community doing the macarena was something quite special. And no, I wasn’t doing it.

I spent most of the evening chatting to Bruno, and after a while, Jono joined us. The three of us had a great in-depth talk about some aspects of the LUG Radio community. Later on we were joined by Matt, and we had an amusing conversation with him which revealed that, had life been different, Laura and Matt could have ended up working together in the same job. Matt could have been an HantsLUG member: Who knows, we could have had HantsLUG Radio. 😉


Got back to the hotel about 2am, and pretty much straight to bed.

* Update: Apparently this is something of an exaggeration. The part of the interview I’m referring to took up about 20% of the total interview.

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