This year for the first time I've been to the Big Brother Awards at the Flex here in Vienna. It has been celebrated for the sixth time this year, but like said I visited the first time so I can't compare with the previous years, but: it was great!! The party afterwards especially, with meeting all the people again. *gg* Anyway, I guess I'll drop by next year again just to see who is the winner.
A friend of me introduced the Free Alternatives list to me today. This is a great project in which people can search for Free alternatives to proprietary products. You can easily add new (prorietary, free) entries (which have to be approved because some people missubmitted quite some stuff because they were free as in beer, not as in speech), link some and enhance the list through it. I plan to enhance the page itself with better translation handling (Accept-Language + gettext support).... See you there!
The OS04 started quite early: with the ringing of my alarm clock at 4 in the morning. Granted, I could have gone there later, but then I'd have missed the keynote from Jon "Maddog" Hall. And that would have been a really bad idea. Jon came just in time to start his talk on time at 9:30. It was a presentation on a comparison of Free Software hackers with amateur artists. The lines he draw and the anecdotes on his first meeting with Linus Torvalds kept the audience more than just only interested.
Noone dared to interrupt him, not even while he used three times as long as he was planed to speak. And I guess noone really cared anyway... The rest of the day the tracks (three side by side) were all delayed by an hour through that.
I put up my stuff on some table, Michael Prokop told me that I can run a booth, but I didn't know that I'd be the only one. So I just put up the LinuxTag DVDs I was sent with the stickers and the flyers there and a little tray for the people to put donations in and told them to pick what they like and dip what they want. It worked quite well, and there were quite few who really asked some stuff. I also had some of the Ayo73 posters left which the people were quite interested in, of course.
There were a lot of interesting talks, and for the first time I found the guts to not care for the booth all the time (I from time to time checked for the donations to not have too much lying there) but also visit some of the very interesting talks. First has been a talk on The Gimp. I play a bit around with The Gimp myself, but the practical presentation with nice examples showed some of the more intersting features.
Dr. Klaus Schmaranz also had a really interesting talk: "Quality Criteria in Software Projects". He explained it with practical references to some projects he was involved with. The room was breaking full, and I really can just recommend to anyone with the chance to visit one of his talks. I'm really looking forward to his documents, although they'll lose without his talk next to it but still contain the interesting facts and ideas.
Later then it was time for my own talk. It was about the Debian Project and how it works, and I guess the people were interested. One person was especially interested in the Custom Debian Distributions (CDD) because he played with the thought of starting with Debian Enterprise but didn't know that it already existed. He also asked about if there are some Debian Developers which are well known (within the Debian world) like Maddog is in the general Linux community. Named a few, won't name them here or some might kick me for naming them but not the others....
I'm a bit sad that I couldn't visit the talk at the same time which covered "Extreme Programming". What one is hearing about it is that its approach is really helpful.
After this Michael Prokop had his talk about grml — Knoppix for System Administrators. We (yes, I'm part of the grml team) released version 0.1 on the event and from the feedback we got so far the interest for such a version is quite interesting. It got KDE and OpenOffice removed but added LaTeX, zsh as default shell and quite some system administrator stuff and geek tools. Quite some text based tools and lightweight window managers. grml longs especially for accessibility support because our dear Mario Lang from the Debian Accessibility CDD was fed up by the not real existent support for blind users in Knoppix. The current support in grml isn't much better because this is the first release, but we plan to enhance it quite much.
The day ended with the talk about "A.N.D.I.", a quite interesting project for architects, to cooperate and collaboration of not only architects but also with different other professions. Unfortunately due to the one hour delay it was quite late already and the audience wasn't really there anymore, we were three people watching a quick explenation of the project. And I must say: it was a really pity for those not having watched it because it was terrific what they produced already, and the potential that might be hidden in this project. Unfortunately it is written in java, but well, nothing is perfect... Maybe it works with kaffe.
A long day it was, and a really interesting one. Am looking forward for the OS05 next year, really. But the most funny thing that happened was while I am in the train writing this report on my way home: Another traveller with which I shared the train compartment said to me while I already started writing this and before he left the train: "Know what? You remind me of Schiele, because you're an artist and also tall and slim..." And I guess Maddog is after all right: Hacking is comparable to art. (I guess he was rather refering to the poster roll I was taking with me instead of my hacking, but you know: there are no coincidences.)
Sven Guckes has again been to Vienna, and we visited the Netznetz.net. It was quite interesting to experience what sort of art in the internet and around the internet in Austria happens. There were of course some known faces, which you meet at various happenings, but it featured also quite some projects which were more than just interesting. Especially one project of a fellow got me, who produced goggles with LEDs which he triggered from the computer, which he let blink for each eye with different frequency to produce some sort of trance feeling, because the speed of the brain halves start to synchronize. Quite impressive...
I did recently a new Vim syntax file for tpp (Upstream). I knew at that time already, that Patricia Jung wrote one, but she has choosen a non-free license for it which I personally don't see as a benefit for the community.... Well, now there are two, a free one and a non-free.
On the upcoming friday the OS04 will be happening in Graz. I'm looking forward to it, because I haven't been to Graz for a while. Especially I am looking forward to meet Jon "Maddog" Hall again. He will give the keynode and I hope to have the chance to discuss all the world and his wive. But I guess I'll rather be all the time at the Debian booth I offered and explain to the people that sarge is ready when it's ready....
At this posibility I am also really looking forward to the release of grml — the live CD for Geeks. Really, if Michael Prokop wouldn't have started it sooner or later I had to do it myself. Propably even with the same name, because I have since 1998 an email address which is named grummel. :-)
I've been asked today if we aren't going to cinema anymore... Sure, we still do. And I'm sorry, that I haven't written anything on it for a longer period of time. This is part of the things that I meant in my recent blogentries. There are 9 film quick cutups missing, and with tonight it will be two more.... *sigh*
Yes, I'll now write more often again. Unfortunately the cardbus of my notebook is dying and thus it is a little bit complicated for me currently to do some things, and I have to change how I do some of the things. There is still a list of things that happened in the last time that I want to write about in my blog. So don't give up hope and have patience on me....