August Penguin 2004

The story starts with a Thursday evening orgy of Sushi and CashFlow(R). While I figured out several weeks ago that CashFlow(R) is not the ultimate tutor for success in managing monetary affairs, it nevertheless is a fun game. Especially when my playmates have their real-life experience to draw on. It was especially fun to encourage each other to make silly mistakes and bad business decisions, “Fear Factor” style.

Thus it came to pass that today in the morning, I had to undergo multi-stage bootstrapping process to bootstrap myself out of bed and into car.

I was late, so I arrived at August Penguin 2004 in middle of the CoLinux lecture. It took me some time to search for the event – a poster stating the relevant hall number/s at the main entrance would have shortened my search to order of O(1).

The nice lady, who sat next to me, estimated that the actual schedule slipped by half an hour. Later Joel Isacsson gave his lecture about the top ten mistakes of embedded Linux users. The transparencies were well-written and witty. I assume that also the audio part of the lecture had similar high quality.

After the lecture ended, there was a break and I went out to the books booth, hoping that the books, which several weeks ago I asked ladypine to arrange for are there. When coming there, I realized my mistake of not first patronizing the books booth. The only book remaining from my original list was “In search of stupidity” by Merrill R. Chapman. After another round of looking over the books, I bought also “Essential PHP Tools” by David Sklar. In my defense, I must say that the people, who sold the books, did not look polished (as in polished operating procedures) in particular and they filled the desks also with some Harry Potter book (keep away, all Harry Potter fans! I did see and did enjoy the first Harry Potter movie! I swear in the precious mini-Kazit CD-ROM which I received in the August Penguin!). They had also piles of “for dummies” books.

After the long line for ice cream (in exchange for coupon which is worth two balls), I returned to the hall and saw the last part of the trivia contest. I also saw Joel Isacsson is talking with someone who has a Nokia 9210i. Joel asked me about a deaf mutual acquaintance who is now in USA, but at the time lived in Israel, and (twenty years ago!) borrowed from him a modem in order to be able to communicate with me via phone – those were the days when we started the Israeli TDD project.

The guy with 9210i had some gripes and wishes about the software.

Someone then made a speech (according to the event schedule, it was to be a speech by a leader of Hamakor), and prizes were handed out to the five nominated contributors to the Free Software scene in Israel. Afterwards, I went back home. If I won anything in the lottery, I assume that this made the one after me a very happy person.

I made a mental note to arrange for accessibility next August Penguin. Look for additional hearing-impaired Hamakor members and together arrange for the various accessibility provisions we’ll need.

Author: Omer Zak

I am deaf since birth. I played with big computers which eat punched cards and spew out printouts since age 12. Ever since they became available, I work and play with desktop size computers which eat keyboard keypresses and spew out display pixels. Among other things, I developed software which helped the deaf in Israel use the telephone network, by means of home computers equipped with modems. Several years later, I developed Hebrew localizations for some cellular phones, which helped the deaf in Israel utilize the cellular phone networks. I am interested in entrepreneurship, Science Fiction and making the world more accessible to people with disabilities.

2 thoughts on “August Penguin 2004”

  1. Hi Omer,
    First, thanks for calling me “a nice lady” – I was the one sitting next to you 🙂
    Second – exactly because we are not sure that those who ordered the books for AP got to buy them, I am now composing a list for discount books for the next quarter of a year. Please send me a list of the books you currently want to see on that list.

    About the Harry Potter – I asked them to bring any SF-F books they accidentally had in stock.

    About the lottery – we should have thought of this ourselves, and written the winning number on the laptop, so that everyone can see. We will try aiming for hearing impaired more next time, and the sign at the entrance would have been usefull for all – I myself did not know where to go.

    Please make a list (and send me) of reasonable things we can do for the hearing impaired for next AP, and I will add it to the feedback summary. (I do not suppose we can have somebody shorthand type everything for one person, but I bet there are other things that were a problem)



    1. Hello niceladypine,
      I would like to have us aim at making the next August Penguin (and other Hamakor-organized events) accessible to everyone – people bound to wheelchairs, blind, hard-of-hearing and deaf, etc.

      To be done:
      1. To the advance registration forms, add a clause asking the registrant whether he needs any special accommodation due to a disability.
      2. When deciding upon location for an event, ensure that it is accessible to wheelchaired people.
      3. If there are enough hard-of-hearing registrants, tell me to obtain from Bekol FM equipment (microphone and earpieces) and bring it to the event.
      4. If there are enough deaf registrants, a notetaker will be needed as well as some screen real estate for notetaker's window (I have a laptop which I bought for notetaking). If the main laptop does not run X-Window or cannot due to some reason be configured to allow a remote user to open a window on it, the notetaker will need her own projector.
      5. In the meantime, it would be nice idea (I'll look into this) to organize a lecture or series of lectures about accessibility provisions in Linux.


Comments are closed.