Conference etiquette and wifi

Neil de Carteret n3dst4 at
Sun Dec 10 16:38:48 GMT 2006

If you're typing, you're not listening.  If you're looking at a laptop
screen, you're not looking at the speaker or the slides.

If you've ever done any teaching, training, or lecturing, you'll be
used to talking to  a sea of impassive, doughy faces, but for an event
like LPW we ought to at least give the speaker the impression we're
paying attention  (admittedly, I achieved this by slumping slightly to
one side and shutting my eyes.)

I did have a certain amount of fun watching other people's screens.
Someone was reading the lecture notes from a previous talk at one
point, which seemed a little perverse.  Someone else was playing some
kind of vertically-scrolling shooter.

Mostly iMacs, going by the white chassis. One had Windows XP with the
default BLOO theme, although it may have been one of those XP-alike
windowmanager themes.  Someone (may have been Leon?) appeared to be
running Ubuntu on an iMac - brown titlebars were all I could see.

On 10/12/06, Tim Sweetman <ti at> wrote:
> 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
> think?
> (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.
> ti'

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