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Mentioned the opening sessions of eReseachAustralasia in my last post - the following three days of conference went very well. I spent a good portion ofthe first day in the advanced computing sessions, which had some excellent content, and a dabbling in several streams after that. My own paper was well received with a number of people engaging me in animated discussion about how to get more researchers into the HPC space through various educational strategies. Of all the content however, the one the really caught my attention was Daniel Katz's efforts to get open-source software as academically citable material, something which I will be seeing if any co-workers will be interested in participating in through the Journal of Open Source Software.

The evening consisted mainly with good sysadmin and vendor networking events, to which the generosity of Mellanox, AARnet, and SanDisk should be noted. We were all rather impressed by the food at Mr Paganini. An amusing treat of the conference was a play, "Purely Academic", written by conference organiser David Abramson, which including some truly cringeworthy events which most of us who have experience in that field have seen more than a couple of times. I can't say I expected to see a naked man crossing Victoria Bridge after one evening though. Perhaps Brisbane is more broad-minded than I thought. After the conference caught up with [livejournal.com profile] greenglowgrrl, Peter, and Sam S., for dinner and had a great conversational evening. The following day had a little bit of time to kill so took a long trip on the ferry, which is good value and relaxing way of seeing several spots along the city. A very late (and rather cramped) journey home followed.

Today started with a trip to Melbourne's Cat Cafe with [livejournal.com profile] caseopaya, [livejournal.com profile] hathhalla, and [livejournal.com profile] ser_pounce. Following that was the second session of the new RuneQuest Questworld game. This evening finished my review of Peter Hook and The Light is now on Rocknerd. Next one after that will the Juggalos and the DSA, and also cooking in a little review of the favourite albums among academics. I'm sure [personal profile] reddragdiva will be pleased and I'll get an article form him on Bitcoin and other collectable hashes for the Isocracy Network soon. At five am tomorrow I leave the city again to go to New Zealand for the IEEE eScience conference.

Viva BrisVegas, Games and Music

Oct. 18th, 2017 03:17 pm
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Have arrived in BrisVegas (as it is known by many) for eResearchAustralasia, and am staying at the pretty acceptable Spring Hill Mews. The first day's arrival was spoilt by illness, I suspect because some fucker sneezed on me on the plane on the way over. Still, by the end of the second day I was feeling better and arrived for the conference welcome reception and then joined a group for dinner at Mucho Mexicano. Whilst it is early days yet the conference itself has been so-so from the first few speakers. Leeanne Enoch gave a good introduction to the conference, especially for a politician, and David De Roure's presentation on Ada Lovelace and computer-generated music was quite enjoyable. I suspect for the rest of this afternoon I'll be staying in the Advancecd Computing stream.

Before leaving Melbourne, I did have the opportunity to run a session of Eclipse Phase finishing the Chain Reaction scenario, which will then be followed up with the subsequent related scenarios. In addition, Karl B., has assisted with the final editing of Papers & Paychecks although, alas, I still haven't managed to track down Tim Kask to do the foreword. On my return to Melbourne it looks like I'll finally get around to seeing Blade Runner 2049, given that I am "a bit" of a fan of the original.

Prior to departure I also managed to see Peter Hook and the Light, at their final Melbourne concert, performing Joy Division's Unknown Pleasures and Closer (after selling my previous tickets to [livejournal.com profile] fustian_. It was a great concert and in next couple of days I hope to have a review written for [personal profile] reddragdiva for Rocknerd, which I'm sure he's looking forward to. Should also mention that I'm half-way through writing an article about that strange alliance that's grown between the Democratic Socialists of America and the Juggalos.

Gaming Updates and HPC Conferences

Oct. 13th, 2017 10:49 pm
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Much of this week has been spent finishing the last several thousand words to Papers & Paychecks with a plan to send to printers next week, although I can't seem to contact Tim Kask, whom I would like to write the foreword (which I discovered many months ago, he wanted to do). It has also been a week of multiple gaming sessions with a new RuneQuest game with new GM on Sunday set in Questworld and incorporating the somewhat maligned Eldarad supplement, and then a committee meeting for the RPG Cooperative (we'll be off to see Blade Runner 2049 soon. It was followed up with an session of Elric! on Wednesday night, where we've started using and rebuilding The Tower of Yrkath Florn. Tonight was a session of Eclipse Phase which was based at an academic psychology conference.

This has rather curious parallels of course, as on Monday I attended the Victorian Directors of IT conference. Much of it was rather vague and high level, but there were a few good sessions, and the education-based keynote by Professor Liz Johnson was excellent. Liz has been kind enough to review the co-authored presentation I am giving at eResearchAustralasia in Brisbane next week. After that I'll be back home for a few days before going to the IEEE eScience conference in Auckland. I would actually like to spend several days at home in succession, and it all hasn't been helped by the fact that I have worked a little on the late side a few days at work, part of which included completing the PRACE HPC course.

There is a curious paradox at play; most occupational health research suggests that people (and especially men) should ease themselves into retirement - drop down to four days at 40, three days at 50, two at 60, and then one, then zero. However as you get older you also become more skilled especially in particular niche - and if you have any work ethic whatsoever, there is a motivation to work longer hours despite the negatie socio-economic effects this has, not to mention the toll on personal health. Indeed, it requires a significant degree of personal willpower these days to drag oneself away at the nominal close of business. I have significant doubts that this is part of my disposition.

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