Monthly Archives: July 2008

Harbucks Revisited

On September 4, 2006, I wrote the following:

Today, Hobart’s first Starbuck’s Coffee store opened. I’m going to celebrate by not going!

It seems that I’ve almost succeeded in my quest to never visit Starbucks here… In the SMH today, it was announced that the Hobart Starbucks will be closing in the near future. I can’t say that I’m unhappy.

(If any mainlanders are perturbed by the lack of a Starbucks when they visit Hobart for LCA, may I recommend Oomph Coffee on Liverpool Street as a far better replacement.)

Neugebauer Chocolate

I was in the TUU Shop today, and did a double-take as I saw my surname staring back at me (it’s in the top left corner of the wrapper).

Why a Brazilian chocolate company would call themselves “Neugebauer” is beyond me — but I shalln’t complain. The occasional ego trip can be healthy.

(Oh, and the chocolate itself wasn’t particularly nice. Oh well :()

Self-absorption in brief

My 20th Birthday was yesterday, so I’m making amends for not posting about it yesterday by making a note of it today. Notably, I don’t really feel any older than any time before, other than a strange feeling of foreboding that accompanies age in general. Or that may just be my stomach. No idea, though I’m sure I’ll find out in the ensuing years.

And a brief wrap-up of other me-related news:

  • Had a nice, short trip to Sydney in early July — I will make it a point of not entering New South Wales when State of Origin is on in the future. Went to the Apple Store on George Street far too many times — free internet is quite enticing when you’re waiting for people.
  • Whilst in Sydney, I attempted to catch up with SydneyPython in order to spruik my proposal for a Python Miniconf at LCA2009. Unfortunately, the meeting was cancelled, and so instead the SyPy people went to Beer2.0, where we met a bunch of interesting Web2.0 people.
  • Uni exams finished in mid-June, with results being released last week. In short, I had my best semester yet at Uni (straight HDs/nothing below 82), and so I’m certainly not regretting the increased workload as far as maths is concerned.
  • Semester 2 of Uni is now underway, I’ve had lectures in all three of my coursework-delivered units (Real and Complex Analysis, Computer Graphics and Animation, Topics in Advanced Mathematics), with only my research project unit to be dealt with. It’s looking like it’ll be a very interesting semester, with some thoroughly difficult units to be dealt with, so I’m happy about that.

That’s all for now. More as it comes.

LCA2009: Python Miniconf Proposal

I just posted the following announcement of my proposal for a Python Miniconf to be held at 2009 to Australian Python mailing lists. I’m posting it here in case anyone has missed it: 2009 is to be held at the University of Tasmania's Sandy Bay campus in Hobart, Tasmania over the week of January 19-24; and the call for presentations [1] and mini-confs [2] is now open. I am currently in the process of producing a proposal for a Python Miniconf to be held at LCA, so I thought I should detail my plans to a greater audience for the purpose of feedback/suggestions. The miniconf would be a single-day conference on the broad topic of Python programming.  Broadly speaking, the topics I would like to see presented would range through: - Recent developments on Python core (presented to a more Python-oriented audience than may happen at LCA proper) - Frameworks and libraries (e.g. Django, which I believe is hitting 1.0 this year) - Techniques of Python programming (e.g. using advanced/new/etc features of Python effectively) - Discussions of Python use in the "real world" (e.g. Industry use, education, etc, etc, etc). - Anything else Python-related: please make suggestions! [3] The intention is that there would be 5 "organised" talks of ~45 minutes length (although if there is sufficient interest/free space, I could split blocks into 2x25 minute talks), with a 50-minute block of lightning talks to conclude the event, with the possibilty of some loosely-organised get-together of pythoners after the day's proceedings have finished. If you are interested in participating in the Python miniconf (which requires you to also be interested in attending, please e-mail me [3].  I would particularly like topics of talks that people would be able to give (vague/general is fine at this early stage in preparation), so that I can include them in the miniconf proposal (so the earlier I receive them the better!). Thanks in advance for any help that you may be able to offer me. -- Christopher Neugebauer P.S. if I have missed any user groups/potentially interested parties, could you please forward this message on -- I've already dealt with most relevant mailing lists in Australia, but international lists may also be interested, due to the nature of LCA as an international conference. [1] [2] [3] for the benefit of google groups users: chrisjrn [ a t ] 

The Gruen Transfer (and car parks etc)

Last Friday, whilst in Sydney on a short trip, I had the fortune of being asked to go ice skating with a bunch of people from USyd. This required me to visit a large suburban shopping mall.

Whilst the ice skating was fun and thoroughly enjoyable, the visiting of the shopping centre and surrounding parking facilities was one of the most traumatic events of my recent life. In my travels, which has resulted in visiting shopping malls in many different cities, never have I been so thoroughly disoriented in my life. As well as the completely haphazard layout of the centre, which resulted in me not being able to figure any direction, there were (at least) two disjoint car parks, each consisting of 6 levels of confused layout, with only minimal indication to newcomers as to how to identify the location of the car park.

Perhaps it’s just that my brain is wired for a small city, but I’ve never encountered such a deliberately confusing building. Ever.


A band that I’ve been quite impressed by of late is The Grammar Club, a four-piece rock/hip-hop group from the USA who produce their music collaboratively over the Internet. They relaunched their website recently, and whilst it is a really unfortunate all-flash job, they did provide a nice freebie to celebrate: a cover of Jonathan Coulton’s Code Monkey.

If you approve of it, you can download their debut album, Bremelanotide from their website — it’s good!