Peter Sefton

Today I gave my presentation at Open Publish 2004 in Sydney. The abstract promised that I would talk about some of the challenges and issues in education publishing, for online learning, and how the current Learning Management Systems in our corner of the market handle content. So I did.

I decided that I would put a bit of effort into the presentation as narrative this time, and wrapped up the talk in the XML as ‘hill’ metaphor, the one that likens structure in an XML file to potential energy, giving you a downhill run when rendering. First I checked with Ian Sefton, my dad, the retired physics lecturer. He said “that’s a good metaphor” but were well into the fourth bottle at the time.

I had a Power-Point presentation (see it here in PDF courtesy of OpenOffice.org) if you want to. I think a used PowerPoint presentation is a bit like a used condom, but because of the broken 13 month old IBM T40, which let me down, this one has not been used. I was tweaking this right up to the point, ten minutes before my session, where the computer refused to start up. No lights, no noise, not with either of the batteries or the power supply. So I had a choice of retrieving the day-old backup I emailed to myself, and borrowing a machine, or giving an actual talk, without PowerPoint.

I did it without PowerPoint, and you know what? It wasn’t too bad.

In summary this is what I talked about:

After the session, I got the computer out and fiddled with it for twenty minutes, swapped the batteries (again) and it came good, but I had already survived without it.