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Another year, another Debconf and now it is passed. Pictures are processes and all are now uploaded. We are still missing 25 names in the Debconf 11 group photo. With 265 people and 86 Mpix it is the highest resolution image we have had so far (Spain image had a bit more pixels, but a lot of them were outside the actual photo) and the largest number of people (Edinburgh photo had 248 people). The video team produced hundreds of gigabytes of footage, we had very interesting talks and debates and sometimes the AdHoc meeting room on the side was overcrowded with people in BoFs that were not on the initial schedule. It has been a very special kind of conference. As it always is. :)
As always, there were also some problems. I did not read the debconf-team mailing list, but I hear there was plenty of 'fun' discussions to be had in the run-up to the event, some information on getting to the venue was not quite clear (that was quickly fixed as first people arriving to Debcamp were documenting their experience), the organizational dance with the food tickets was more ... elaborate than usually, both the day trip and the formal dinner were ... more self-driven than expected, vegetarian complaint level was about the same as usual (which is considered high by some) and the wireless in the hotel was very weak, also Saturday weddings are quite loud and run very late apparently.
To compensate for that we had: very sunny Debcamp, cheap beer (!!!), great quality accommodations, very good looking venue, good network at the venue (after initial scalability issues with the wireless), good food (that did sometimes run out, though), short distances to all locations, oh and did I mention cheep beer?
Before arriving to DebConf11, I arranged my flights so that I had a day and a night in Paris as I have not been there before. So after checking out of my work apartment in Tampere, going to work there with all the things from that apartment, then flying back to Riga, going to a midnight screening of the last Potter movie and finally getting back home around 2am, I quickly checked that I have everything needed for the conference and went off to sleep only to wake up at 8am again, pack everything (into a single carry-on bag, after a year of experience travelling by air weekly and watching 'Up in the Air' twice) and be off to the plain to Paris.
This year Debconf is a bit off the beaten track, so there is a bit of anxiety in the participants - flights to Banja Luka are quite expensive (I'd guess we have packed the relevant dates pretty full already) and other options are going via Zagreb or Ljubljana, but there people do not yet have all the info on how they will be able to get from, for example, Zagreb airport to the Debconf venue in Banja Luka, if their plane lands at 22:30 and get back if the departure time is 06:30. There is hope that the organising team will provide the info on how to use the local buses and arrange a Debconf bus for people arriving late and departing early, but that has not been 100% confirmed yet.
It looks like I am going to Debconf11! Vacation time is booked, registration is in, only some final approvals inside Accenture are pending to pay my flights. I must say after working in Finland for the whole winter, I need to get out and get to friendly (and relatively chatty) Debian people more than ever.
I had planned long for this Debconf and with the experience from the previous times I did all I could to reach one goal - minimise stress. I think I got it right this time.
After a few months, today I finally got the approval and
First I will point to resources that will receive more updates than this blog:
As soon as my laptop came back from repairs, I started to feel better - being back with 1920x1200 resolution is great! NVidia is much more stable than ATi and Intel wireless is just great!
With the cost of plane tickets approaching 2000 USD it is rather hard to sell me going to the Debconf 8 as that can be approximated as 3-4 months of my income. I did apply for travel sponsorship, but due to some kind of brainfart I misread "Amount I am unable to fund myself" as "Amount I am able to fund myself" and thus asked for far less money than I actually need. Therefore, after the Debconf team strictly stated that the requested amount can not be changed at this point, it has become clear that I cann't come to Debconf 8.
I have decided to do something special for my 25th birthday this year so I have made plans to visit Frankfurt from 23rd to 25th of March with my girlfriend. Her birthday is just a day before mine.