Saturday, December 5, 2009

The experience

As some of you know (possibly because I have been raving about it so much) this year's was held at Bangalore from 1st to 5th of December. I attended the conference on 2nd and 3rd of December. My plan was to attend all the 5 days, but some inevitabilities at work made it impossible.

The trip started on a very good note as I boarded the Kingfisher flight from Lohagaon on 2nd of December. For the entire duration of the flight, I was kept entertained by the very nice show on the smallish personal TV : Kingfisher calendar girls. The flight was half an hour late which messed up my already tight schedule. I took a shuttle to Jayanagar from the airport (which takes approximately one and a half hour), went to the hotel room and was out within 90 seconds and reached Nimhans Convention Centre just in time to catch Rahul Sundaram's talk on the Fedora buildsystem. Before lunch, I also managed to catch some bits of the talk by James Morris on seLinux sandboxing. Kedar had a fun time mocking my formal attire. (In my defence, I didn't know people come casually to the conference. I thought everyone will be in tip-top formals)

After a surprisingly great lunch, I went to attend Kedar's talk on Fedora-ARM (the reason I was at the conference). The attendees included many Fedora guys, some interested students and some others that I cannot place. Kedar talked on the status of Fedora-ARM, how to contribute, ARM or secondary arch specific issues and other stuff. Read here for more info. Rahul inaugurated the dist-f13 tag with his gnote build. After that was Rahul's talk on how to create a customized Fedora remix. I was looking forward to this particular talk since the idea of making a remix for sheevaplug has been playing into my mind since a while now. It was insightful. I moved on to attend Holger Frether's "How to make WebKit faster". It wasn't what I was expecting, but Holger gave a nice demonstration of how to use a number of well-known and less-known tools to measure performance. His focus was on beagle-board. The best talk of the day was the Keynote by Harald Welte. He talked about bringing open-source to less explored platforms like GSM, RFID, etc. Very Very inspiring!

As the day wrapped up, we decided to head to the Forum Mall for some sight-seeing (ahem). After some window-shopping, trying out fresh baked cookies (which turned out to be horrible) and exploring the Landmark bookstore, we went to have a brilliant lunch at the Anand Adiyaar Bhavan. Later we stopped by at the Corner House for desserts. I dared to order  "Death by Chocolate" not thinking once why it was named so and ignoring Kedar's warnings. The result was disastrous. I never thought chocolate would ever nauseate me so much! A tip for the readers: if you ever order that at Corner House, share one between 5 people.

Attended Lennart Pottering's "Pulseaudio Internals" on the second day. He focused on the do's and dont's on System programming. Very insightful! He is a very good speaker. I wanted to talk to him (like REALLY wanted to talk to him), but a couple of guys just wouldn't let him go! They crushed my dream :-(.  After another fabulous lunch, attended Rahul's talk on PackageKit and Harald Welte's workout on GSM. Went to the Nokia Maemo's booth and got a peek into how they are using Linux on their ARM core. Maemo is one neat piece of hardware. I would certainly recommend it to anyone looking for an open-source phone.

I really wanted to attend the Keynote by Milosch Mariac, since rumour had it that they are using Fedora-ARM in their product. Kedar later confirmed that the rumour was indeed true. But, sadly I had to fly back to Pune :-(.

Some of the things that really impressed me were:
  • Lots and lots of students attending the conference. They get a nice exposure through all the workouts and talks. 
  • Wireless connectivity on the entire campus. Really made me realise how important my laptop is! I looked up so many terms that I heard/overheard. Very educational.
  • There was nothing formal about it and people were so passionate about technology.
  • Very Very educational.

It was my very first conference, so I wasn't as proactive as I should have been, but I was better at it on the 2nd day than the first. I look forward to 2010 :-).

PS: Kedar called me later just to tell me that he talked to Lennart and Milosch. grrrr. Jealous!

1 comment:

Salil said...

Coool, must have been an awesome experience man..rubbing shoulders with the greats!
As for that dessert thing, lolzzz :-P

Oh and yeah, one more thing,
Go Fedora-ARM!!