29 Jun 2005 mbanck   » (Journeyer)

LinuxTag 2005

So, I think I figured out how to best do it this year, I can't believe it could be possibly better next year. As I had to give math tutorials on Friday morning, I only arrived at Karlsruhe after much hectic at late afternoon (yay for traffic jams), about five minutes early for my talk on the Ubuntu development and community model (slides are here). Considering that I did pretty much all of the slides in the car from Munich to Karlsruhe and my batteries went flat one hour early, that one went pretty well, though only around twenty people attended and I got some strange feedback. I talked for about half an hour and then we had long Q&A and discussion session afterwards. I met Oleksandr Shneyder (the guy who ported KDE to the Hurd) right after the talk and we chatted for a while about the Hurd and things in general, briefly meeting Wolfgang Jährling who was on the way out and later Marcus Brinkmann. Oleks had to leave some time later so I continued discussing with Marcus until he had to leave for his train as well, at which point I went for social event as well. The first person I met was Dogi, who I was delighted to see again (we didn't manage to meet up in Munich for months). The event was right next to LinuxTag this year and except for the fact that getting a beer was non-trivial due to technical problems and thus large queues, it was very nice and I met a lot of people I haven't seen in a while (Alfie, Martin Michlmayr and Mako Hill) or at all (Agnieszka Czajkowska, who designed the cover for the Sarge LinuxTag DVD, Yuwei Lin, a sociologist from Amsterdam, and Daniel Stone, who I only briefly talked to, unfortunately). After quite a lot of beers (couldn't recall how many) I finally left the party at around 2:30 AM and joined Mako in his hotel room which he had kindly offered to shar with me. He was still working on his talk for the next day so I read a chapter of 'After the quake' by Haruki Murakami, which he recommended to me and which I since have read almost in its entirety.

The next day, we went to LinuxTag at about 11 AM (I couldn't sleep anymore from 9 AM on though, so I only had a couple of hours of sleep) and I took a walk around looking at the booths. The Ubuntu booth as part of the GNOME booth wasn't immediately obvious, but there were some Ubuntu CDs and Michael Kofler's Ubuntu book on display. The Debian booth was looking pretty professional as always, thanks to the great work of Jörg Jaspert, Alexander Schmehl and all the others. HP's booth was by far the biggest, and I was a bit disappointed that IBM's booth didn't look much bigger than Microsoft's, but it was of course bigger than SuSE's (which wasn't really present at all). I briefly visited an introductory talk to Fedora (as part of FUDCON) and was thrilled to learn they still rather recommend a re-installation for major upgrades. I then had booth duty between 1 and 3 PM, but as the release was just out of the door, the questions weren't that predictable and mostly related so some hardware configuration making trouble or some specific software problems. The keysigning party took longer than expected, so the people who were supposed to be our relief showed up late and I was in turn late for the 'Debian Internals' talk and only saw the second part of Joey's turn, as well as Frank Lichtenheld talking about the website and Jörg Jaspert briefly mentioning how to get involved. Next was Mako's big talk about forking Free Software projects and the Debian/Ubuntu relationship. The room was packed and (Mako asked about this at the beginning), the majority of the people were Debian users and quite a few developers were present as well. His talk was really great (as I expected, having read a draft paper beforehand), he had to rush things a bit towards the end, though. After that, I wandered around a bit more and talked to a couple of people until LinuxTag ended.

After dismantling the booth, the Debian crew went to a pizzeria and then mostly split up, with Mako, Dogi, Alfie, Weasel, Flo, Andreas Barth and a couple of others going back to the AKK gym (where everbody had been sleeping) and the rest leaving Karlsruhe. I was initially pondering between several options such as going back to Munich (Martin was being driven there so there would have been a ride), going to Frankfurt to visit my parents or staying in Karlsruhe. I was really glad I did the last, as there was the big university summer party just around the AKK again that year (that party happened last year as well, but I went to Frankfurt in the late afternoon then). As the weather was still extremely good, a huge lot of people were at that party, which itself was huge, with two concert stages outside and three floors inside. Right at the beginning, the 'Martinazzi incident' happened. Two punk girls stepped up to Dogi, snatched the bottle of Martinazzi (a cheap form of Martini) from his loose grab and ran away. After a couple of seconds of surprise, Mako and Dogi pursued them, Dogi grabbed one of them by her skirt and then a small quarrel for the bottle evolved, which the guys finally won, whereas the girls begged a bit without success and then walked away. After a couple of meters, one of them suddenly turned around, walked straight up to Dogi and kissed him on the mouth. At this point, it was clear this party would rock. Unfortunately, the outdoor concert ended at around 11 PM, so we only banged to a couple of songs by some pretty good rock band and then Dogi, Mako, Alfie and me went inside where a cool hip hop band was just about to finish their set. We then danced on the other two floors until we were totally exhausted due to the sweaty temperatures present inside. At around 3 AM we finally called it quits and had a Falafel to cool down. We decided to sleep outside of the AKK gym and suddenly the punk girl showed up again. At that point I was too sleepy to notice, but Mako later said her boyfriend had shown up eventually as well. Sleep was not easy as some people had decided to play football with an empty plastic bottle on the concrete all night long, but I managed for a couple of hours eventually.

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