Koha round up from Linux Conf Australia 2010

I had a great week last week at LCA2010, apparently there were about 650 attendees … which makes it one of the larger conferences I have attended.

Some of the presentation highlights for me

  • Jeremy Allison’s talk about ‘The Elephant in the room, Free Software and Microsoft’
  • Andrew Tridgell – Patent Defence for Free Software
  • Patrick Brennan – The Bravest man in NZ
  • Mark Osborne – For his presentation in the education mini-conf and the lightning talk as part of the keynotes

And equally as good were all the social (organised and unorganised) parts around the edges. I got to catch up with some friends, and make quite a few new ones.

Ok, bringing it back to Koha, I mentioned Mark Osborne before, he is the deputy principal at Albany Senior High School, and one of the best advocates for Free Software and Koha you are likely to meet. His school is Free and Open Source Software end to end, linux on the servers, linux on the desktops, Koha, Moodle, Mahara, Inkscape .. the list goes on an on. One of the more memorable quotes of the conference and one that resonates hugely with me was in his lightning talk. In New Zealand Microsoft and the Ministry of Education have a deal locked up that provides Microsoft software free of cost to schools (not free of cost to taxpayers of course), so Albany could have done the easy thing and just taken this, but instead they chose to empower their students.

Although there was Gratis we chose Libre

Mark actually spoke before me on Tuesday at the education Mini-conf, he did such a good job I was actually rewriting my talk as he spoke to take out all the points he covered.

I also bumped into the fantastic people from Technology Wise in Tauranga. They have installed Koha in a couple of schools and working on getting it into more in the Bay of Plenty area. Smart people, passionate about what they do. I am sure we will be talking much more in the future.

As Jo mentioned in her great blog post, I also got to spend some time with Bob Birchall of Calyx. We had some good talks and formulated some good ideas for the future.

There was also quite a bit of interest in Koha from attendees, and I learnt quite a few little tips that can be useful for us. I really do think 2010 is going to be the best Koha year yet.