Web conferences coming up

It’s very cool to see the first Australian PHP Developer conference coming up in March this year. I came across it by accident, but after reading through the lineup and talks – I have booked three tickets for myself and two of my team (both backend developers).

I wrote about going to more than just WordCamps and I still feel the same. Last year I and some of my team went to a bunch of WordCamps. Five actually. I personally went to Auckland, Sydney, Tampa and San Fransisco. I fell into the trap of going to WordCamps because they’re the “WordPress conference” – but upon reflection (also factoring in the costs) – the amount of things learnt or gained is slim to nill.  … 

The New Inchcolm Hotel & Suites Brisbane

I recently stayed at The New Inchcolm Hotel & Suites in Brisbane. It recently re-opened in November 2014 and still had that new hotel smell.

I loved everything about this hotel, and to the point that I’ll be hoping to stay here for all future trips to Brisbane. Unlike the Hilton or Sofitel in Brisbane, this is a very nice and modern hotel, yet the way they have renovated it, gives it a classic / New York loft style.

Check in was a breeze. As Accor gold I got upgraded to a deluxe room and one drink (odd, I normally get two but apparently M only do one – no big deal).

Really appreciated the extra touch of having the front desk escort me to my room and show me the essentials.

Our room was super hot – but it was also a horribly hot weekend in Brisbane (sitting around 40c) – and because I checked in at 9.30am – they moved me to a new room, so I can’t expect the AC to be on.

The room was sensational – lovely big open room. Heaps of light. Power points next to both sides of the bed. USB points. All things I love. Remote-controlled curtains and shade also a big plus.

Things I liked:

Wifi was only $10/24hrs which is great value – compared to Hilton or Sofitel – around $30-$50.

Vallet (though I didn’t use it) was only $40 – again, Hilton or Sofitel are $50-$55 per night.

Can’t wait to come back.


Nice room keys.

Nice room keys.

Bedside table - everything a business traveller loves. iPad, Power points, USB power and remote for the curtains.

Bedside table – everything a business traveller loves. iPad, Power points, USB power and remote for the curtains.

Complimentary G&T with Accor Gold status.

Complimentary G&T with Accor Gold status.

Outside The New Inchcolm Hotel & Suites Brisbane at night.

Outside The New Inchcolm Hotel & Suites Brisbane at night.

What’s in my bag

I saw a post on Matt Mullenweg’s blog outlining what he has in his backpack, and found it somewhat interesting since I travel a bit and always keen to see what other travellers do to make life easier.

I clearly don’t travel with as many gadgets or things as Matt does, but I thought I’d share a few of the items I do carry.

I’m a pretty simple traveller, I have my key items that I always like to take with me and have slowly perfected that should and shouldn’t go.

Firstly, things not pictured that I always take include a charger (sometimes I put this in my wheely carry-on bag), a full-sized USB mouse (there are no batteries to go flat and I can use it all day without getting sore fingers). I also have a pretty decent collection of drugs for various situations, should I need them. Hayfever to cold, headache to heart attack, I think I have a decent collection.

Now, things pictured:

  1. iPhone 6 (64GB) – My favourite iPhone…. since the last one.
  2. Bright orange, heavy duty cable – VERY easy to lose / not notice white leads, orange has been great at not being left behind.
  3. Thunderbolt to VGA – projectors, most LCD/LED/Plasma TVs have a VGA input, and a lot of hotels also have VGA inputs.
  4. Generic iPhone headphones – handy for making calls on with the mic & adjusters.
  5. Mediocre in-ear headphones. I go through these often, either lose, break or forget to bring them. Around $100~ buys a decent pair of headphones that I can use on a plane for sleeping. Most airlines give out respectable noise cancelling headphones in business class anyway.
  6. Notebook  – always take this or an A4 notebook with me. Big fan of scribbling notes / thoughts down. Also better than using conferences notebooks as you then have 5 different sources of notes for a trip.
  7. Montblanc Meisterstück 1 Pen Pouch – Where my StarWalker Platinum Resin Pen lives.
  8. Montblanc Wallet
  9. Montblanc Passport Pouch
  10. 15″ Retina Macbook Pro

What can or can’t you live without when you travel?

2015: New

I’m not really someone who follows trends when it comes to what to post on this blog. For example, you won’t find a “2014 – year in review” or “New Year’s resolutions” style post here.

However, as I was skimming through Twitter today and catching up on some blogs, I read on Jennifer Frahm’s site about setting a word or theme for the year ahead.

Getting clarity on what it is you want focus on for the year is enormously helpful in helping you make decisions, filter opportunities, discard unnecessary distractions.

To be honest, I don’t mind this concept. I’m not sure if it’ll stick – but here goes anyway.