The Gates Are Open For Little Blue - Early - Birds

This year's linux.conf.au — which will, despite the name, be held in Wellington, New Zealand — is fast approaching. For those waiting to get in on the action up front, the time to act is now, because the early bird will soon have flown the coop.

The annual linux.conf.au conference is the grandest Linux gathering of the Australasian year, and one of the crown jewels of Linux conventions worldwide. The schedule for this year's event includes a wide representation of the Open Source community, as always, including keynotes by Jonathan Corbet, Andrew Tridgell, Matthew Garrett, and Linux Journal's own Glyn Moody. The miniconf schedule — comprising the conference's first two days — boasts sessions on the business of Open Source, cloud computing, Arduino, system administration, a distro summit, and Wave development, among others.

The only way to get in on the Linuxy goodness, however, is to register, and the time to do it is now. Early Bird registrations opened on October 10, and will continue through November 13, though conference organizers warn that a limited number of EB spots are available. There are three primary levels at which attendees can register: Professional, Hobbyist, and Student. A special Kororā Little Blue Penguin level is available for those wishing to support the conference financially in addition to attending — there are also opportunities for volunteers and media to participate.

Professional registrations, as the name might suggest, are intended for those who will be attending on the company dime. Benefits include a networking session — organizers note that is professional networking, not TCP/IP hacking — special swag, and instant fame by being included as a Professional Delegate on the conference site. The regular rate for Professional registration is $999, though getting in as an Early Bird secures a drop to $799. Also included is a free spot at the infamous Penguin Dinner, which normally runs at $115 ticket. By all accounts, the dinner is always an event to behold, but last year's will be a tough act to follow, after the man himself, Linus Torvalds personally shaved the beard off Bdale Garbee in exchange for over $25,000 — for charity, of course.

Though the Professional level is described as the "standard" rate, we suspect the majority of attendees will fall into the Hobbyist category, which is intended for those paying their own way to the conference. Though they miss out on the networking, the extra swag, a free pass to the Penguin dinner, and website-induced fame, the rate does drop to $499, with an Early Bird opportunity at $399. Students, who must be enrolled in college or university, may attend for the reduced rate of $249, regardless of when they register — proof of enrollment is required. (Attendees should note that the term "college" has widely divergent meanings across the English-speaking world — in New Zealand, according to our understanding, it is roughly equivalent to the US and Australian "high school" or the UK's "secondary school" and "sixth form.")

The Kororā Little Blue Penguin level grants attendees all the privileges of a Professional Delegate, along with a spot on the conference's Sponsors page and the option to set up a table during the well-known Open Day, where anyone may attend and hobnob with a veritable Who's Who of the Open Source world. As one might expect, this sponsorship comes at a price — Kororā Little Blue Penguin registration runs $2250. (There is no Early Bird discount.)

Those wishing to get in while the getting is good have until November 13 to submit their registration, after which the price will jump to the regular admission rates through December 24. As usual, conference organizers have arranged for discount lodging for conference goers which must be booked separately. Those interested in volunteering are encouraged to join the LCA2010-Helpers Mailing List.

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Justin Ryan is a Contributing Editor for Linux Journal.

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