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Belgium + FOSDEM

Filed under: General — Thomas @ 2:18 pm

2005-3-11
2:18 pm

Haven’t made time yet to mention my short stay in Belgium, so here goes in a nutshell…

in your shape I shade my life
then I know it’s alright

Landed on Wednesday, got picked up by my girl to go to Leuven and had dinner with friends. Then drove back to the hometown Gent, with Peter, and went out to one of the hip bars where we know the bartender. He showed us the new part of the bar he was going to open in two weeks. Good to know we’re still part of the in-crowd :)

On Thursday, Peter and I had a men’s day out. We went to my old job to attend to Kristien’s goodbye party. Here are some pictures from the studio and everything. Probably the last time I’ll see the place since they’re moving now that the new owners are in charge. After that, went to see our Proud Pregnant Friend Willeke. She was looking really good with the big belly, simply radiating. In the evening I had dinner with my best friend Jeremy and his lovely wife, and I helped out a little moving them into their new house. Then I went back into the city and had a drink with the Apestaart crew.

I spent Friday working on my Flumotion presentation for FOSDEM (which I now finally put online in OOImpress or HTML). Friday night we went to “Bij den Boer” which Julien still remembered from last year to eat a great tomate crevette and mussels and fries. After that, the usual – Roi D’Espagne.

Saturday I spent some time catching up with people at FOSDEM. Handed out some of our cool Fluendo T-shirts. Discussed with some of the Red Hat people like Paul and Florian about Fedora and build systems. Wim did his GStreamer presentation and I did the Flumotion talk. I had expected to only have about 20 people in the room since we were in the GNOME developer room, but there was a pretty big turnout and people asked some good questions. Overall the talk went well – I even used a webcam from the crowd to demo the server because my webcam had gone out of focus and I don’t really know how to fix it on that stupid model :)

Saturday night we went to a great brasserie for the best cote a l’os in town recommended by my mother. This was also when I started realizing I was turning pretty ill.

Sunday I went to Jeff Johnson‘s talk on rpm and met up with him later on. Always good to put a face on the name. His talk was very interesting, and he’s completely the opposite in real life of his online persona – he was verbose and very clear in explaining things.

Peter Vanderbeken from Mozilla talked to me because he used to work with Krewcial, a hip-hopper from Gent who had a radio show at our university radio station. I never knew back then he was working on open source, he even worked for Netscape for a while in Paris. We talked about some things we had in common, like how it feels to live in a country with a different language and how it is to make new friends.

A guy called Ruben talked to me about my Flumotion talk. He’s just started at university and all the other kids don’t seem to get open source. It’s good to know there are always new people rising up and getting started – I wish I had started with open source earlier on in my university.

Caught up with Tom Tromey and Thomas Fitzsimmons from Red Hat to discuss Cortado, our media player applet in Java. Both great guys, and they really are excited about Wim’s work, which is great. We’re going to try and make sure Cortado works well with a libgcj back-end together.

In the evening I went to Limburg to have dinner with Kristien’s family. Finally took my temperature – 38.3 degrees, ouch. Drove back home to Gent, got to bed. Next day was spent upgrading the home server because the software RAID had broken down on both hard drives. I had noticed this on Friday, but I didn’t have time then to fix it, and by Sunday my father had rebooted the machine, causing it not to boot up anymore, making my mother really angry because she was planning to work from home and reply to all her e-mails. She tried to get me to leave FOSDEM and come home to fix it. Well, I know very few businesses who have four-hour-support for problems like this… Anyway, I fixed it on Monday.

My dad drew some blood from me – I am still as squeamish as I was when I was four years old and my dad and the housekeeper had to chase me all over the house until they trapped me from both sides of a round table I had gotten behind, after which they dragged me to his practice to sting me with the needle – and gave me a physical to see if anything specific’s wrong with me. After that I did some more things, and got into bed. Was really glad to go home on Tuesday and just crawl into bed, and stay there for the rest of the week…

So all in all, great trip back, FOSDEM was interesting to me because I got to meet a bunch of people, and too bad I got the worst flu I’ve had for the last few years.

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