“Stuffed to its brim with herring…”

Back in 2005, my husband Neill, uber-geek that he is, volunteered to help organise Canberra’s hosting of linux.conf.au 2005, Australia’s national conference for open source software – back before open source was quite as trendy as it is now!

I got roped in to help out with some of the artwork, mainly coming up with weird variations on Tux, the linux penguin mascot, to use as banners on the website. They’re all a bit cringe-worthy when I look at them now – design technology, my abilities and my own eggspectations of quality have certainly changed!

Still, I’m quite fond of this little penguin egg.


The toothy grin was because of some strange story that was going around at the time, about Tux being the love-child of Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy – hah, geeks!


The story behind the penguin itself is a little vaguer. The eggsplanation I’ve always been told is that Linus Torvalds, the founder of the Linux operating system, was bitten by a fairy penguin while visiting Canberra’s National Zoo and Aquarium. The reason he’s so chubby and contented looking is because Torvalds wanted him to look like he’s “stuffed to its brim with herrings, or… “(if you’ve seen MamaMia the Musical you’ll understand what … means). While there are a lot of geeky online arguments about the true origins, I’m standing by this one – I’ve seen the plaque that was at the zoo (though, sadly, I think it’s no longer there).

We hosted the conference again in 2013 – there’s another egg for that, of course!

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