Elizabeth, who has had a computer since she turned two, has been running Debian since the time she was nine. According to her bio on the conference speaker’s list, her installation of Debian GNU/Linux on a server before she had reached 10 years of age "proves that installing Debian really isn't very hard", although it should be noted that "Dad is around to answer questions" if trouble hits.
Elizabeth will be speaking on "Extending Tuxracer – Learning by Playing", a seminar which Chair of the 2005 organising committee Steven Handley has said will revolve around making modifications to Tuxracer (a popular open source game involving Linux’s cuddly mascot) with the aim of making the game more fun. Ex-Debian Project Leader and dad Bdale will also present at the conference.
Whether Elizabeth is representative of a new generation of youthful Linux gurus is hard to determine, but her seminar at this year’s linux.conf.au conference, to be held at the Australian National University from 18–23 April, is certainly one example of what Hanley has said is an attempt to make the conference more "interesting, fun and unusual".
Other speakers at the event will include presentations from Eben Moglen (General Counsel for the Free Software Foundation), Rasmus Lerdorf (author of PHP), Robert Love (Linux kernel developer), Andrew Morton (Linux 2.6 kernel maintainer) and Andrew Tridgell (primary author of Samba).
As usual, a host of mini-conferences will be held around the main conference, with some of the more notable ones dealing with open source in education and government, the free office suite OpenOffice.org and the recently hot area of embedded applications.
The conference announced today that early-bird (discounted) registrations for the week of open source festivities had closed, with those wanting to register for the approximately 260 tickets left being forced to pay full price. Information was also released to the effect that IBM will take the primary sponsor role for the week. The full programme for the conference will be announced on 18 February. Renai Lemay reported from Sydney for ZDNet Australia. For more ZDNet Australia stories, click here.