Well, last weekend FOSDEM 2007 took place at the ULB in Brussels (Belgium) and I was able to attend. FOSDEM is a two-day event, if you don’t count the time it takes to prepare and break-down such and event. Luckily Dennis was able and willing to pick me up on Friday and together we drove to Brussels. It all started by helping out a bit with the preparations on Friday and bringing our stuff (cables, switches etc.) into the building. We also met some of the people who organized FOSDEM this year and they were very open minded. Afterwards Mark, Dennis and I went to a bar called “Roi d’Espagne” where we had a few drinks.
Day 1. We got up at about 7.30 and the day started calmly. When we arrived at ULB we got our stuff and started to set up the Ubuntu booth, which was done quite quickly (probably because almost nobody was there yet). At the Debian booth we got a glimpse of Paul Slater who was also there very early. At the right side of our booth we had KDE and Google and at left side we had OpenGroupware, GnuStep and PostgreSQL. Since the connection to the LAN (and the internet) was next to the Google booth, we set up our switches and power cables and we were ready to go (and therefore also providing networking and power to KDE and Google).
The people at FOSDEM (visitors, speakers or the people at a booth) were in one word great. I have probably never seen so many open minded people at the same place at once. During the Saturday we had a lot to do, because it was very crowded. There also was a door which would not close on its own and most of the time we had cold wind passing by our booth (yes, something that simple can be very annoying). As the hours went by, I got a chance to get away from the booth to go hunting. I found some schwag from Google (a jojo and a small blinking logo), Mozilla (a Firefox t-shirt, some buttons and stickers) and from Gnome (I bought a t-shirt). On my short journey I also saw a nice e-paper handheld device, which was monochrome but almost looked like normal paper (I definitely want one of those). While I was around I checked out the bar which had a great tuna sandwich for just 2 euro’s, which is really cheap.
At the end of the day we put our stuff for booth away and went to the center of Brussels. When we finally found a cash machine which worked, our eyes caught a glimpse of a Pizza hut. How fortunate we now had money to buy food, which was quite tasteful. Afterwards we went to sleep, since it was a very long day.
Day 2. We got up at about 6.30, because FOSDEM was starting an hour earlier today. I came across a developer who had a Nokia N800 which is a real nifty device (just check it out, but beware it’s not cheap). During the day it was not crowded at all, which we took advantage of (read: we relaxed a bit). A lot of people got the “WOW” effect when they saw Beryl in action and were wondering if it was live or if it was a movie. Somewhere at about 12.00 and 13.00 I went to the CACert signing party and GPG signing party, which was actually pretty overdue for me. Then I returned to the booth to show off some Beryl and Frozen-bubble. At the end of the day we cleaned up our booth and returned home. Thanks to Lucy, the name I gave to the female voice of the TomTom (because I forgot the actual name), we were once more guided quickly and safely through Brussels and back home. What a great weekend!