Saturday, March 19, 2011

Impressive sci meeting

As you can see from the above picture, it's travelling time again for me. The weather is great, the snow as well, there are a lot more photos to prove it... :) However, not all is skiing and vacation. The real reason for the stay here in La Thuile at the top end of the Aosta Valley is a scientific conference, "Rencontres de Moriond 2011: Quantum Mesoscopic Physics". This is indeed one of the scientifically best meetings of this field, with worldwide attendance. (The excellent skiing opportunities and the great Italian food may of course help attracting people.) Talks go from 9:00 to 12:30 and from 17:00 to 20:00. (I'm writing this at ~22:00 of the last evening and don't count the coffee cups anymore.)

I met here a friend again, one of the powerusers who initially introduced me to Gentoo. As we're at a conference we got talking about doing presentations with Linux, and he showed me a really neat Python program for that. (Normally I don't touch anything Python except with a very long stick, as it would interfere with my daily prayer to Larry Wall. Just kidding, well about the prayer at least...) I found out that a previous version of it had already been available in Gentoo before as "keyjnote". Keyjnote development is not continuing, but a new project named Impressive picked it up. With its new upstream name the program also got a new ebuild name: app-office/impressive. Apart from being a pretty stylish pdf viewer, and integrating/cooperating nicely with dev-tex/latex-beamer and (open|libre)office impress, one of the great advantages of Impressive is that arbitrary python hooks can be added to each slide. Want to play a sound, a video, ...? Want to have a robot voice read out your presentation? Sure, can do! Give it a try!