Goodbye FOSDEM 2012
On the way to FOSDEM.
Cold morning, need to de-ice the car… At long last got as near as possible to Reading station. What a mess! Allegedly, it will be brilliant in a few years time. Now to platform 5 for the train to London. Oops! Sorry no platform 5. It does not exist anymore – it is now called platform 8. I wish I was in King’s Cross and took the train on platform 9 & 3/4 And hopped through the wall but no, I am on the now platform 8 of Reading station waiting for the 7.57 train to Paddington. Technical problems in Maidenhead, the fast train is now taking 50 mn instead of 25 – I have got time, no problem, just a pity I could not find a seat. At long last got to the Eurostar station, breakfast at the Pain Quotidien with my colleague, Clair – nice. Now in the train, can see a few techies around so we will not be alone at the Universite Libre. I must be terrible company … Clair is fast asleep.
Made it to Brussels – Clair is awake. Now hotel and lunch. Eating mussels and chips as one must in Brussels, we soon realised that it was snowing. Fosdem under the snow – that’s a first. Part of me love it, my other side worries that nobody will come to Fosdem. La Grand Place under snow is wonderful – yet another Christmas card. First fall – could it be the last? Dinner with some friends and a quick visit to the Delirium – just a quick visit, without beer, to show Clair what it is about. As I am sure you know, the Delirium is the drinking place where lots and I mean lots of Techies meet on Friday night. A great place to network, meet your friends and of course drink the best beer in the world – so they tell me but not the place to go to if you need to work early the next day.
Saturday morning – bleak. It is cold. Taxi to the university with some friends. Sylvia and Bogomil offered
their help with setting up the book tables… only 50 large boxes of books. Will we be ready on time? Of course, I should have more faith. Everything was ready on time – now we just wait for the customers. Fosdem has changed a lot this year, a new building has been added – building K. All the stands have been moved to building K except for the information/registration booth and the O’Reilly stand. I have got twice as much space as previous years (will soon need a bike to get from one side of the stand to the other). It is cold, it is freezing … Keep moving even if you look silly. We have all heard of the Fosdem dance (if not I am sure you can find it online) but have you heard of the frozen dance on the O’Reilly stand? Please shut the door! The day went well, sold a reasonable quantity of books, met lots of friends from France, Italy, Spain, Greece etc. The bad weather does not seem to have stop people to come.
The K building, unfortunately I did not have a chance to see it but apparently it is new, heated, large (plenty of space for all the stands) etc. Next
year we might all move there… but will you find us? Fosdem without you is not Fosdem! Will let you know what’s happening in a future post.
Sunday, still bleak, still icy but a different kind of a Sunday at Fosdem. Usually Sunday is the day of rest, even for us. We have time to sit down and have a little chat but not this Sunday. I don’t think we sat once during the 2 days. I did however got the most beautiful back massage – thank you friend, please come back next year :)
As I am sure you are aware I like Fosdem a lot. It is where you meet all your old friends. Not only do you hear about the latest developments, you hear the latest news, the most important news. What is more important than to hear about the birth of Viktor or Alexandra. We won’t publish a book about these events but I still believe that they are the most important events of our world and they are the key to our future.
To the organizers I shall just say a big thank you for organizing this mammoth task called FOSDEM. How do you coordinate 429 speakers and so many tracks etc? Chapeau!