Conference etiquette and wifi

Tim Sweetman ti at
Sun Dec 10 15:29:07 GMT 2006

Dear Miss Manners,

An acquaintance, with the somewhat unpronouncable name of, tells me that it's "rude to type 
during talks". Now, I realise that using a laptop during talks without 
its sound muted would be rude and disruptive. Also, as a rule, use of 
laptops in meetings isn't acceptable, even to take minutes, but I think 
Mr is being unreasonable. What do you 

(On a related note, I recently had the pleasure of being on one of 
MySQL's courses. The last time I was on one of the Shrub of Ineffable 
Wisdom[1]'s courses, they had one PC between two, and no Internet 
connectivity. MySQL's course had one PC per student, and internet 
connectivity (well, almost). Being able to look things up on wikipedia & 
google was very, very useful. It also gave me something relevant & 
productive to do while the instructor was diving into detail either of 
something I already knew, or pursing someone else's digression, both of 
which are reasonable for him, but not great for me, though there is 
obviously the risk of being distracted at some crucial point).

"Sorry, Elliot, I tuned out there for a moment" -- James Bond, /Tomorrow 
Never Dies/

[1] more properly referred to as Learning Tree.


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