[EuroPython] Computers off during sessions.

M.-A. Lemburg mal at egenix.com
Thu Jan 20 13:55:02 CET 2005

Harald Armin Massa wrote:
> Michael Hudson schrieb:
>> "Mikael Jansson (mailing lists)" <lists at mikael.jansson.be> writes:
>>> I just talked to a friend who attended EP '04, and he wanted me to 
>>> tell you guys that there should be a sign or such telling people 
>>> _not_ to use their computers (check e-mail, irc, whatever) during 
>>> sessions, as it's highly annoying, and is very disrespectful.
>  >Well, I have on occasion used my computer to take notes.
> Apart from "taking notes" I also used my computer to immediately google 
> up information concerning the spoken words.It gave me a TOTALLY new 
> learning experience; I was able to connect a lot of new information with 
> information I allready know. So in fact it put my *attentiveness *and my 
> digestion of the new information to a whole new level.
> And especially to be able to download "dateutil.py" WHILE Anna was 
> talking, installing it and firing up PyCrust to IMMEDIATELY redo the 
> examples was a very fascinating learning experience.
> As a speaker myself I am used to people reading newspaper, eating 
> sweats, doing all kind of stuff during my talk. If I do care, I have to 
> improve my presentation to wake them up. A very effective way is making 
> jokes, the second time the crowd is laughing out loud anybody gets 
> interesseted because NOBODY can stand to be left on the outside of 
> laughing.
> I also prefer people to use IRC or ICQ to chat than speaking, because 
> voices distract more than computers, esp. in a geeks event.

You have a wrong view on things here: this is not
about increasing *your personal* experience, but instead that of
*your fellow talk attendees* who get annoyed by the click-addy-clack
of your notebook keyboard (I'm not even talking about the
speakers playing the Windows or KDE anthem).

This may be hard to understand for some people, but in general
I think we strive to make EuroPython a better experience for
*everybody*, not just the geek camp and thus listen to requests
like Mikael's.

The same applies to things like delays due to beamer problems
(setting up VNC sessions to get notebooks display a talk on the
beamer), ad-hoc networks for "quick" demos, etc.: while some
people may find this thrilling, the vast majority (see the
results of the EPC polls) regards this as annoying.

BTW, I've always wondered why people at a conference use
IRC to talk to each other... isn't the whole purpose of
a conference to meet each other face to face ? ;-)

Looking forward to EPC 2005,
Marc-Andre Lemburg

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