Last week I represented the Wellingtonista at the New Zealand Open Source Awards. The Masked Barfly had been whispering in my ear stories of organisational failure in an attempt to make me worried that I wouldn’t get anything to eat, but apart from a press release announcing “Annie McCarron” as the winner of the People’s Choice award (not our beloved Amie then?), it was a lovely night.

The evening began with “cocktails” and canapes in the foyer outside the ballroom at the Intercontinental. The food was lovely – the duck crepes especially, but people really need to stop writing “cocktails” when they mean “wine and beer” – we talked about this already, remember? And the foyer layout was a little badly planned, with the jazz trio blocking half the path between the badge table and the booze. This was not a UX convention, apparently. Anyway, it’s always interesting to see large groups of internet types assembled in one place, and see the curious overlap between day jobs and passion. That’s like, passion for open source, not the other kind.

You can of course read about all the winners elsewhere, so I’m going to talk about superficial things from the night instead. Mark Cubey was the MC, and did a fine job, especially since he quoted my tweet about the night being a sausage fest in his opening speech (I found my girls after tweeting that). The ballroom was decked out pretty enough, with glowing lights on every table, and screens scrolling through the sponsors’ names. The wines were a Trinity Hill Syrah, and some Malborough Sav I forget the name of, though waiters brought people Peroni and other beers if they asked for them. The biggest surprise on the night though, was the “alternative drop”. Each table had a menu on it that listed a chicken option and a beef option (those with dietary restrictions needed to sing out on RSVP), and I figured at some stage we’d be asked what we wanted. Instead, waiters plonked down plates in front of us, alternating chicken and beef, and it was the same with dessert, alternating chocolate mousse and lemon tart. Everyone at Table GNU seemed happy enough with what they got at random, but I still thought it was a strange way to do things. Have you ever experienced that before? Can someone in the hospitality industry clue us in to the rationale behind it?

Anyway, the food of course wasn’t the focus – the good work that’s been done in Open Source was, and it was a lovely thing to see people getting their well-deserved recognition. Thanks for having us, NZOSA!