Post FOSDEM 2007 thoughts (do I know you ?)

Some of us attended this years FOSDEM in Brussels (thanks to Dimitry it was *really*, *really* great).

We (at least the ones attending) got to know each other a bit better (I even got to know some pre Gentoo devs .. yeah, you), and some time after FOSDEM (I think it was ~3 days afterwards), Petteri (betelgeuse) asked me why people all of the sudden start to call him with his first name on IRC.

I think the cause for that is just seeing each other for some time (like 2 days in a row), talking to the other(s) in person makes you feel closer to him/her (you hopefully know what I mean 😯 ). Or maybe that’s just me.

After FOSDEM the virtual bonds changed, I started to call quite some people by their first name as did others.

FOSDEM 2007 #4 (abstract)

The last three days have been quite amazing, I’m still stunned by all these impressions (basically meeting all those people you usually know though IRC), how nice people can be if they want (yeah dad, I’m talking about you :P)

Although I was pretty sad about leaving so early (I think, if I’m going to attend next year, I’m going by train and starting on Monday morning so I got one night more in Brussels), I’m also quite happy to be home again, as I was pretty phreaked (haha, self-pun intended) by all those people.

The Booth was fine from my POV, but it looks like users already requested some stuff already on the forums, which we hopefully will have next year/the next event (Christel or even Chris – get the event kits sorted out and prepared – pretty please with sugar on top 😛 ).

The talks in the DevRoom where great (at least the ones I attended) – most of them were well prepared (hi Christel 😛 ) and the company I had for these three days (all the senior devs around – especially vapier, wolf31o2, kingtaco, pylon and some of the former ones – hey Mr. “I want SeJo’s HumpGang on the picture” 😀 ) and of course our youngins (that’s Peter, Alexander and Robert).

FOSDEM 2007 #3 (WHUT)

Today, I got up again at 0630 *ugh* went to bath, woke up Torsten, afterwards the mystery guy and went downstairs to get some breakfast. I ate some cornflakes and some bread along with a glass of chilled orange juice, then went back up to get all our stuff and prepare the room the way we found it.

After we finished that, we went downstairs and met Alex along the way went to the cars and Torsten led us to the university. I went to the booth and noticed that Torsten and me where the only ones that early at the booth. So we sat down for a moment, cleaned up the booth space a bit and finally sat again preparing the notebooks.

Suddenly some of the Debian guys came along and asked for a Gentoo Linux Install-CD and is was like “WHUT”. Apparently they only needed it to fix a borked lilo.

I went over to the DevRoom to see if anyone else was there already, but there was “only” Petteri doing his presentation about Gentoo/JAVA stuff with Rob’s help (he lend Petteri his somewhat broken notebook because Petteri’s hard disk broke on the day before).

So I watched a bit and went then back to the booth. After hacking for half an hour on my broken system (haha, I tried updating glibc via binary packages yesterday again, I know I do suck 😎 ) slowly the other devs showed up one after another. So we manned the booth yet another day. The booth wasn’t that much visited as yesterday (which I kinda was pretty lucky about since yesterday was kinda rough) and I sort of vanished 1100’ish to get to Mike and Chris’s presentation.

I even managed to catch Danny talking about paludis and enjoyed it. Afterwards was Dad’s talk which was really interesting as well as Chris’s talk, though I mostly knew about that, as I’m currently building the hardened 2007.0 stages (which by the way still suck horribly, somehow the gcc ebuild still creates lib32 and lib64 directories on a x86 stage-build and puts the into the lib32 directory, I’ll probably have to poke Chris or Andrew again when I’m back home or try to build a 2006.1 stage with grp’s I may get from the old livecd/dvd).

Afterwards we had sort-of a lunch break (hah, no food again for me) and heard Christel talking about “What makes Gentoo a community based distribution?”. Her talk was interesting (admitted she was a bit unprepared, she admitted it herself, don’t sue me :P), though she prepared the slides like during Mike’s and Chris’s talk. 😮 The presentation was still pretty much interesting (hah, Al-Quaida and P0RN were mentioned on the community’s thoughts *ugh* – I doubt it though) from a users POV.

Afterwards I said goodbye to an pretty “good, old” friend (my handsome Rob that is) and a newly won friend (djay-il from userrep working for as they wanted to get to the airport in time, Rob for his flight to Geneva and Alexandre for his flight back to Israel (I don’t know where exactly). Ah, btw (and on behalf of djay-il) – the recent dbus update broke the complete GNOME, hah 😛

In addition to the previous presentation, Marius talked about portage foo, which I have to admit, only listened to with half an ear, as I was bashing Alex and Peter in #gentoo-dev at that time.

Nearly after Marius’s speech we left for the car to get home, since Markus needed to get to work on the next day. But before we could get outside of the door, Christel snapped us and we all did a sorta-like group photo (even SpanKY is on it, after some persuasion – including Surprise Buttsecks). Afterwards we headed for the car, and started our run for home.

It took us about 8 hours straight to get back to Hamburg (and Marius to Bremen), Markus probably needed half an hour more since he gave me a ride to the central station where I sat in McDonald’s for about 3 hours, eating McChicken, Chicken McNuggets, a McFlurry, drank a Coke, an orange juice (they do offer Hohes C now at McDonald’s) and about 5 or so cups of tea 😎 (I know, I’m crazy .. I usually drink about the same amount for breakfast when I’m supposed to get to work).

I’m sitting now in the train back home (first class of course), writing this blog-o-report for all those people, crazy enough to actually read this “report” about my experiences at this years FOSDEM.

FOSDEM 2007 #2 (more friends, Bryan and superman)

So, as I earlier mentioned, we finally found the U.L.B. and also found the booth and staffed it for nearly the whole day (I haven’t managed to view any of the speeches, neither one of the Gentoo ones nor any of the others), I talked to some interested people asking about Gentoo itself, but also asking about the EFIKA’s (the Genesi PPC’s), one by Camille and Julien providing video forwarding (from one EFIKA to another via cross-over cable), and the other one by Chris playing Descent 2 and Quake 2 at the end. Peter (I think the PR guy from Genesi Europe, will have to ask Chris / Mike again).

Ah, and I nearly forgot about the best part. I finally met my “new” dad ;-P though he’s a pole humper, he’s really great and I adore him for being himself (hey SpanKY), along with Chris (wolf31o2) who’s really adorable for being himself, and for being all knowledgeable. Though I also finally met SeJo (who’s really charming but also a bitch :-P) and KingTaco (who constantly tried to hump my dad), met most of our youngins, Alex and the amazing Peter (welp) and of course my all-time-favorite handsome Rob.

I talked pretty long’ish to Chris and to SpanKY (who was always trying to make fun out of me, and succeeded) and gained a lot of insight as well as got to know them. I also managed to get in touch with the rest of the developer attending FOSDEM (that’s genone, jokey, kugelfang, spb, dertobi123, wschlich, grobian, genstef, nattfodd, tove, pylon and all the other …).

Later, in the evening we went to some restaurant (by bus and by foot), which was funny though since we left around 1900 when everyone else was leaving too and about 200 other people were trying to get somewhere else of Brussels. It was really nice, christel shouting all over the street, telling some of us to get on the next bus, half a minute later to stop and get back here to the tram. After Petteri looked at the tram schedule, we agreed to go get the bus, because the tram was already late (we were too).

We drove till Brussels Center (the bus-driver was driving like mad, he took every hole in the street he could find and was waaay to fast), I managed to talk a bit with Rob about his work in Gentoo and real-life issues affecting the development and finally walked the remaining way to the Restaurant (we somehow got lost – again) but found our way to the “Rome”, which was really a nice also as the food (we had a three-course meal with either Tortellini or Carpaccio, and again beef and lamb as main course and weird bakery stuff with butterscotch).

Between the courses I talked some more to Bryan, Alexandre and Christel; all of them we’re quite charming all evening and suddenly Dimitry comes at us and is like, “Hey I need all your money” (OK, *now* I’m lying, that was Christel who came up with this sentence instead of Dimitry telling that he needed the money for the dinner collected :S). So Dimitry and Christel went ahead and collected the money from the people staying at the hostel (so Dimitry would be able to pay the manager). That went pretty good and was without trouble (at least the two didn’t say something about having trouble). So we sat again, and talked some more, some more horseporn came up.

And Dimitry came along yet again, asking poor Christel to collect the money for the dinner and that’s what they did. They went along the table and as they were at the end, where SpanKY and the rich dutch translators sit at, as she didn’t knew their names (the ones from the dutch people), she decided to accidentally piss them off (she labeled them “young one 1” and “young one 2”), which they found out later by looking at the sheet.

Soon they finished and Dimitry was able to pay the dinner. So he talked a bit with the restaurant people and soon found out, that the drinks (even the non-alcohol ones) weren’t free. So he raised some more money from everyone. As they finished, we sat again and talked some more (gay horseporn came up again) along with the “The Internet is for …” song (nooo, I’m not gonna say it!!), but instead Christel tried to convince everyone to sing it loudly, which of course everyone refused to do).

Sometime soon they threw us out, because we were way to much people (~50 or so, because some just came along) and we were quite loud too 😛

So we decided to get some beer (I really *so* wanted to get drunk this evening and probably Christel wanted to see me get drunk), so we went looking for another pub where all 50 of us could stay. We walked and walked and walked and walked and lost some people, as they apparently decided to go into the other direction and then sort of vanished (*pooof*). As we were back at the center of the city, someone decided to get into the street where it was smelling like pot. There was also a pub that was quite nice (according to Alexandre), but quite filled. So some of us decided to go back out, but the rest apparently decided to stay, as they were quite comfortable with it (Peter even asked me later what all that pulling was about).

So we went someplace else (at the Grand Place again), and we sat outside. The rest bought beers and handsome Rob insisted on still owing me a beer for something (I’ve no clue what for he would owe me a beer) so he bought me one ! yay ! Hail Rob !!!!1one

We spend some time sitting there and making fun out of jokey (apparently he was on the menu at this bar, pub, whatever) and had some more fun listening to the “The Internet is for …” song again and some of us ordered another beer. Rob went of to make some photo’s of the city hall for his fiance(?).

He came back a few minutes afterwards telling us (what we already knew) that it is pretty cold (he was all tucked into his jacket, which he bought on advice of his fiance – he should tell that story himself). So we walked back to the hostel (it was quite a bit of a walk, but it was nice), Christel was completely out of breath and we met some of the userrep people back in front on the youth hostel and we had some more talking (again). Somehow, one of them came up with the idea that we should buy some latex or spandex superman-like capes for the next Gentoo Event for all developer attending with like pink or purple color and the Gentoo logo on the chest and Bryan was like “I would definitely wear that” and “that would probably scare off all potential users” and he was really encouraged about it.

We did some more talking and I got a bit insight into the userrep stuff (thanks to Christel and Bryan explaining) and finally went to bed around 0200 after trying to bribe the manager to give some more beer. My other room mates (that’s Marius, Markus, Robert, Torsten and some mystery guy) we’re apparently loooong sleeping.

FOSDEM 2007 #1 (long time friends and gay horseporn)

We arrived in Brussels on Friday around 2230, since we kept searching the centre of Brussels, we really tried hard since we didn’t have a map, we tried navigating by bus cards (which was quite fun). So after we finally found the city centre (which is quite bad signposted), we went to the pub supposedly having the free beer, but they told us the FOSDEM area was closed due to christel drinking all beer (just kidding), but we did find Pylon and kugelfang I think.

So we sat for some time, till we decided to go and search the youth hostel. That’s what we did, and it took us another half hour to find it. When we arrived there, we talked to the manager and he told us that Dimitry is having all the keys, so we should go see him for the keys. So I phoned christel, for what about to do with the keys, and she told me to get our asses over there.

That’s what we did, we took Lars (that’s pylon) and went back into the city (and tried to get pretty close to the Place Grande – or Grote Markt) and tried to fetch our keycards, so we went to the pub Dimitry, christel and the danish conspirary were staying (that’s ‘lil Alex, Bryan and their accompaniment). So we talked a bit with them and apparently Bryan and the irssi guy one of the freenode staffers, Richard, were talking about gay horseporn. Christel later said something, that they were talking about it the whole evening … and I was like WTF 😮

We fetched our keys, talked some more and christel somehow came with the “Internet is about …” song somehow, I think due to Bryan and Richard and we finally went back to the youth hostel and went to bed around 0200 in the morning. I woke up by the cellphone (again), went to the bath and went downstairs for breakfast (together with Torsten – that’s tove).

Afterwards, we went along and *tried* to find the University where FOSDEM 2007 is at, which took us quite some time. I think we needed about 1 and 1/2 hour, but the point is we finally got there :-S

LinuxTag – part 3

I’m now at Frankfurt Airport and I nearly got on the earlier train to Stuttgart which I wasn’t able to catch, according to the service guy. I was facing the same problem than the morning before. The damn doors closed right in front of my face. Meh, Friday seems to be my bad luck day.

I’m still waiting for the ICE supposed to leave at 20:54 but it’s currently having eighteen minutes delay. My cousin messaged me earlier that she’ll collect me at Stuttgart Central Station. The day is nearly finished now and I’m awake since yesterday morning 07:40 minus that three hour break. I’m still pretty excited that I really got to Wiesbaden and I really enjoyed that little trip (even if it was a bit expensive).

LinuxTag – part 2

I’m sitting in the S8 to Frankfurt Airport where I’ll switch to the ICE to Stuttgart to visit my cousins and my aunt. Linux Tag was quite amazing, I finally met some of the people behind OpenVZ (Kir and Kirill), saw a bit of Andrew Morton’s Kernel FAQ (Kir told us that) and met some people including Bertl, doener, derjohn, zeng, foo, … of the linux-vserver community. Both workshops were quite interesting and I learned a lot of things about openvz and it’s userland tools and linux-vserver (finally I understood the CPU Tokenbucket system).

Even if I didn’t arrive in time to watch Kir and Kirill’s presentation of openvz and its features completely, I managed to watch Kir demonstrating the live migration between two different nodes. Even if Kirill needed to reboot his system due to a readonly filesystem (it was / that was the whole bugger) I have to admit it really impressed me (since that’s a feature we had to pay 3000€ for VMware ESX and no I don’t want do hear a single word about it). Sadly the OpenVZ stuff isn’t ported yet to SPARC so I’ll keep vServer running on the U1 (Ultra1). I also met Hollow in person, which really was the highlight of all days. He was my mentor when I joined Gentoo and is the person that I’m doing most of my work on Gentoo / Linux vServer / OpenVZ related things. Bertl’s talk nearly took four hours but those four hours were quite informative and interesting. He held a general introduction into virtualization theory (which took him two hours). After a small fifth teen minute break he demonstrated most of the things possible with linux-vserver (including resource limits to kill kill certain memory/cpu hogs).

Demonstration ended at 18:10 and we got back up to the Linux vServer booth were I finally managed to ask Bertl about his patch name versioning scheme. And I finally understood it!

We also stopped by at the SWsoft booth to say goodbye to Kir and Kirill and to talk about the SRPMS but they already had left. We did some group photos of all present at the Linux vServer booth. Afterwards Hollow and I grabbed our backpacks and took of to the station. On the way we had a little discussion about problems and stuff that we recently noticed. First was the /dev/console virtualization effort, since we switched from init-style Gentoo (which we removed from the utils) to plain. The virtualization would show some effect if you’re wanna be able to see what’s happening on the startup phase of a vServer. Second thing was the reintroduction of the fastboot bug (that’s what I call it). The util-vserver package leaves a plain and empty file in the guests root filesystem, which really annoys me. The third thing is the `vserver-init.$( mktemp )´ file that is placed in /tmp but isn’t deleted after startup is complete. Another thing we talked about was the `vserver stop´ which only waits for the vkill timeout to kick in but isn’t going to stop the vServer by itself.

LinuxTag – part 1

Boy, that day started great (irony). I was supposed to get my lazy ass up at 04:20 am to be at the station at 05:27 am, taking the train to Wiesbaden (together with Hollow).

But someone in this odd world doesn’t like me. I somehow managed to turn off the damn cell (that was supposed to wake me up) and slept till 05:10 am, till Paula came in and woke me up. She told me she was awake since half an hour and she waited on me to step into her bedroom.

She also told me that we have to go now otherwise I’m not going to catch that train (for which I had a reservation!). We got into the cat and drove over to the station (damn, you can’t imagine how I hate red traffic lights!). She parked in the non-parking area and we ran through half the station, till we noticed the train is supposed to be on platform 15. We were already at platform 22!! So we got back running through the station with my heavy backpack (carrying my notebook and some stuff I had to put into it earlier in my morning rush) and my heavy trolli.

As we arrived at platform 15, the ICE was already beeping, indicating the doors are getting closed / locked. I asked the conductor if there was a way left to get on that damn train. She told me, there is one only way three wagons ahead, and it was the only possible way to get on that train (each wagon is approx. 30m long), so I started shouting at the conductor standing in the door to let me in. But it seems he hasn’t heard me. Damn you, fscking conductor.

I was standing in front of that damn train and saw it leaving the station. You probably can’t imagine how I felt in that moment. I was pretty much wasted, completely out of breath, standing there.

After the train left the station Paula asked me, why I stopped running, there were only three or four wagons left. I told there, that I’m completely wasted and that damn conductor I shouted at, hasn’t heard me.

Standing there on the empty platform, I was completely clueless. She told me I should look for the next available train that would take me to Wiesbaden. I thought for a second, to skip the trip but decided to search for an alternative. I looked around and saw an ICE Sprinter (which needs an extra reservation) to Frankfurt a. Main. So I called the information (was Paula’s idea) and asked for the number of DB-Ticket Service. The lady messaged me, since she couldn’t put me through, the number and I took another call to a service hotline. It was a 0900 number (at 1,49€ per minute).

Another lady answered my call and I asked her for a reservation for the ICE Sprinter (leaving at 06:25). That damn reservation cost another 10,00€. I booked that, as I really intended to show up in Wiesbaden. He service-lady asked me a couple of questions (personal, for their system to get the 10€) and it was finished. I only had to catch my reservation at the next service terminal.

After searching such a terminal for a minute or so, I collected my reservation and felt much better. Now I’m sitting in the train (Hollow tried to call me a couple of times) being around Mannheim and writing my blog post on paper (still need to hammer it into the keyboard).

My mood lifted pretty much and I’m looking forward to meet Hollow, kir, team leader of the openvz team, Bertl, the guy behind the linux-vserver kernel.

I’m still tired, tried already to sleep but the moving train makes that nearly impossible. My stomach is hurting, my head is a bit dizzy but it should be ok later (I hope so). The damn pressure on the ears drives me nearly mad (I’m not used to switch heights in that speed, Northern Germany is nearly flat and there isn’t that altitude difference that I’m experiencing right now).

I’m still impressed of Munich (who knows, maybe I’m getting a job there in the near future), my head is full of information of those various locations I visited in the past 1½ days. Also full of great memories that I’ll not forget so fast (I’m hoping at least).

I’m already thinking about my summer holidays. Maybe I’ll spend them also in Munich and not in Stuttgart where all my relatives are. But those holidays should be a bit longer than two days, it really hurts to leave again so fast.

So far from my little adventure, more as it happens.