Yesterday, the Vienna Fellowship group had its monthly meeting at the Metalab. One of the Agenda points was this week’s 18th Birthday of France’s leading Free Software Association April. Although FSFE as a whole had already congratulated, we wanted to send April our personal congratulations. This is why we created something analogue with a personal touch (and with our own hands :-)).
I really hope we got it right, but the ones of us who once learned French, haven’t spoken it for some time. So in case that it can’t be understood, it is supposed to mean “Happy Birthday from Vienna, dear April!”.
It’s been a week now since I took my plane from Brussels back to Austria, but since I’ve been on holiday for the rest of last week, my short report on FOSDEM 2010 comes later than it should.
It was my first time at Europe’s biggest Free Software event and I really enjoyed it. Not being a developer myself, I spent most of my FOSDEM time at the FSFE booth. We sold lots of T-Shirts (I also bought some of the new ones myself) and other stuff. We also had a great new tool: an analogue printer (i.e. ball pen). We actually had two versions, which are not yet available from FSFE’s online shop, but should be not too far in the future. Although I didn’t listen to any talks, I learned a lot: I have for example never seen such a professional booth and met so many interesting people in one place. We had interesting discussions on various topics and I also received feedback on different matters, for example regarding the Fellowship.
Of course, I also did a little bit of sightseeing in Brussels. I think it’s an interesting city, although at the moment there are quite a few building sites which confused my GPS navigation a bit :-)
I will definitely come back to Brussels for FOSDEM next year, not only because it’s a great event, but even more because I can again stay with my relatives who I consider some of the greatest people in the world. Maybe my stay will even be longer and include a trip to Paris, as train connection seem to be fast and not too expensive if booked some time it advance.
I know I’m really late with my blog this time, but I finally managed to write about this year’s Free Society Conference and Nordic Summit. I went to Göteborg (I needed some training to pronounce it as the locals do) together with my girlfriend to attend the conference and to do some sight-seeing, which I both enjoyed very much. We arrived on Friday and immediately started to visit some really interesting places, like the Natural History Museum and the christmas market at the Liseberg amusement park. In the evening we went to the IT university, where the conference took place.
I immediately felt comfortable there, because everyone there seemed be very pleased to meet us (and everybody else who arrived). It was really nice to finally meet at least some of the people whom I’ve been working with for quite some time now. As there have already been some reports on FSFE’s activities at FSCONS and how many intersting discussions we had there, so I will keep this short. I think this conference was the best-organised conference I have attended so far and everyone was really trying to his best to make it a perfect event – and in my humble opinion the FSCONS organizers and volunteers succeeded in their efforts. FSFE was presented really well and we got a lot of (positive as well as negative) feedback on different topics (like the Fellowship and others), which I think is very important so we can improve our work and continue to spread the work about Free Software and all the other things we are working on.
My main reason to attend the conference was of course my OpenPGP card workshop which I plan to have again in the future. I think it was well visited (I never expected to have ten visitors or even more at 0900 in the morning) and I had some interesting conversations about the workshop and GnuPG and data security in general after it. Of course we also did some key signing there to strengthen the web of trust. Another noteworthy thing is that Adriaan started a very promising artistic career at FSCONS that will hopefully lead to recognition of FSFE and its employees outside of the Free Software world (although in the very first peace of art, Adriaan missed out one person ;-).
All in all I really enjoyed my time in Göteborg and will definitely attend FSCONS again if money and time allow it.
I know I’m a bit late, but I still want to tell you about the Software Freedom party the Vienna Fellowship group organised for this year’s SFD. Although there weren’t to many visitors, the free (as in freedom) popcorn recipe turned out to be real highlight. The recipe and a few pictures from the Metalab, where the party took place can be found on the SFD wiki page.
I know I’m a bit late, since Matthias already wrote about our successful, adventurous weekend, but still I want to to tell you all how much I enjoyed our time together in Vienna. After I almost arrived late a Vienna International Airport’s arriving hall (which was because I was told there were 78 free lots on my floor in the car park, although there were none), everything else (except for the weather on Saturday) went very well.
The meeting of the Vienna Fellowship group was well-attended, although in summer we usually have less participants. I’m quite sure that this was solely because of Matthias’ good Karma. After some hours of interesting discussions, we had late-night dinner (which we have at almost all Vienna Fellowship meetings) and left the Metalab some time after midnight.
Nevertheless, we got up rather early on Saturday to discuss our plans and ideas about the Fellowship and then start our mental preparations for the Temple of Schnitzel. Below you can find a picture of what we found there.
The few heros who had survived Schnitzelwirt then did some sight-seeing in Vienna and bought some traditional Viennese items to pay compensation to Matthias’ “better half”. We also visited Vienna’s most popular Würstelstand and in the evening went to a very nice Karaoke bar. Despite the fact that Peter’s girlfriend Jenny had an indisputable home field advantage there, almost all of us showed more or less singing talent (and skill to make fun of ourselves).
Sunday then was our relaxation day and Matthias left for Berlin again, where I hope to visit him in the near future.
A Schnitzel named Jack
Today is a really great day for me, because not only am I running 64-bit GNU/Linux on my Notebook, which I last had back in 2006 (on one of the first AMD 64 X2 processors), but I was also accepted as a member of the European core team of FSFE.
When Matthias asked me if I wanted to be his deputy, I was really happy about the confidence he put in me. When today he told me that all team comments on his proposal had been positive, it made me even more happy. So from now on, I can call myself Deputy Fellowship Coordinator of FSFE.
This means that I will support Matthias in his activities and I hope that together we will make the Fellowship even better than it is already. We have great ideas for the future and I think that our work help increasing the popularity of this great programme. I’m really thankful for the support the Fellows are giving FSFE and I know we are on the right way to more freedom.
Matthias and I will meet on the next meeting of the Vienna Fellowship Group on July 17 (@metalab), where we will discuss our ideas and plans.