Yesterday I gave a talk for the fine folks at Birmingham BCS about VOIP – slides available hereJono did the initial development of the presentation so the good bits are down to him – although we both tend to use the slides for prompts and they are probably not great without us to talk in front of them.

Anyway it was fun and there were plenty of good questions and my demo actually worked – I had trixbox running inVMware workstation connected to a couple of phones and then had my laptop connected to sipgate via GPRS on my N80. Workstation seems to cause some latency on the network, not sure what’s up with that, but it was good enough to demo – people could phone in, get the IVR, get through to one of the phones on the desk, leave voicemail, etc.

I thought it was a great demo of what’s possible when you decouple your phone number and PBX from particular sets of physical wires. To be fair, most to the interest was in real world issues of functionality, stability, support, etc, rather than my hacked up mobile PBX. I’ve said it before but I’ll say it again: asterisk and trixbox – you guys rock.

Giddy up VRM

Dear Doc and VRM crew please could you encourage everyone involved to hurry up! People keep asking me for laptop recommendations, mostly for running Linux on but not always (but I’m always flattered in people’s belief that I have a clue), when all we really want to do is ask the internet;

select * from laptops where graphics_chipset=”Intel” and wireless_chipset not in (select * from bad_wifi) order by weight, price, …..

I don’t know much about VRM, and I’m not sure how I can contribute, but if anyone asked me what it is that would be my answer – so anytime you can make that happen I’ll be one happy fella. In the meantime if anyone cares to make recommendations leave a comment and I’ll pass them on.

Guadec update N

So I’ve been a bit delinquent in providing some updates of the progress of GUADEC. In no particular order;

Thanks to the tireless and persuasive work of Bolsh our line up of keynote speakers is complete.

Ross and the rest of the planning committee have had the tricky job of selecting from the many many high quality entries, and completed the provisional schedule (provisional only in the sense that these things always end up changing for various external reasons).

Thos has been working tirelessly as a salesman / enforcer rounding up virtually every company in the GNOME commercial universe as a sponsor (more or less the only people to escape his iron grip being IBM). He’s also been keeping our budget in check, wrestling with the website in IE and 770/N800 browsers, and has the unenviable task of keeping notes in meetings and generally keeping us on track.

Rob has been chasing down merchandising options, and is building the registration module for Drupal.

Andreas, Claus, Aidan and other dudes from the GNOME marketing team have creating magazine adverts and press releases.

Sara, Christian, Baris, Murray, Quim and probably others whom I’ve forgotten (please remind me in a comment as I don’t want to forget) have all been helping tidy up the site, or keep us on track with feedback on guadec-list, or guadec-planning.

Info about Accommodation has gone up as well as GUADEC 2007 Map with the venue, and a few other POI (and as I get time & inspiration I shall be adding more). Unfortunately there doesn’t seem to be a way to share Google MyMaps (what an awkward name) unlike other Google stuff (docs, spreadsheets, notes, etc). If you can think of anything that should go on there then please drop me a line or leave a comment.

We hope to open registration asap – basically as soon Barclays can be bothered to help us out (Bastien and I have been wrestling with them for over a month now).

Anyone needing visas can now send a request and I’ll try and respond asap (especially for those not related to sponsorship). Anyone needing sponsorship should read the info page and submit a request.

There are plenty of opportunities for other folks to get involved;

We’re trying to keep paper to a minimum and to this end Bastien is rounding up volunteers to build as much of the brochure and other stuff onto a USB key for delegates. There’s loads of potential for doing exiting stuff; the key itself could be bootable distro, and could contain screencasts, demo code, presentations, sponsor {video,audio,document} ads, selected videos from GUADEC 2006/5/4/etc. Let your imagination run wild!

In previous GUADEC’s Andy Wingo has masterminded the filming and streaming of the sessions. Quite understandably he’d like to take a year off and just enjoy the conference, so we’re looking for volunteers to organise and run the filming of the talks. We may not be able (network wise) to stream all three tracks but probably should be able to handle the keynotes. It would be good if we could get the other sessions recorded and transcoded the same day ready to be uploaded off-site. Anyone interested should read Andy’s guide to steaming a conference but should also note this post about the benefits of not streaming, i.e. capturing, then editing/transcoding, then publishing.

That’s about all I can think of for now – other Guadeceros please chime in if I’ve forgotten anything.