The last waltz

The DUDES conference ended a week ago, and I still have no time to write about this until now. It was an exhausting experience (but we have a lot of fun).

The differences with the Guademy were clear: the DUDES would be a brainstorming about the Debian project, in general, and the Spanish section in particular.

Requirements to one of the gratest geeks gathering I ever saw were clear: good Internet connection, a working room, a rest room, and feed to charge batteries (people’s batteries). We had everything during the Guademy, but we must do some adjustments.

The first problem we had was the net. The f*ck*ng net service of the UDC needs more than 10 days to activate the net sockets (yes, you read ok, 10 days, 240 hours). On Thursday, while we were trying to make easier the arrival for Ana (Guerrero), Quique, Clint and René (Celso came by car from Pamplona =-)) I was desesperated because they only promised they would try to activate the connections on Friday. President Emilio was not worried: In the worst situation, we have very long wires.

The situation began worst when the acreditation cards that Pich made were missed in any dark point of the UDC net. So, Ana (Saiz) drawed a new model of cards and posters, then she and David would print and cut the Friday in the morning. It was very late when I decided to stand in Coruña to have dinner with the first guests in arrive. Ana and David carried Clint (who arrived to the train station after a fast tour in Santiago) and me to the hotel where everybody would sleep that night (with the exception of Ana Guerrero, that would sleep at the White House, Emilio’s house ;-) ). When Ana and Quique arrived in Jacobo’s Mini we all went to have dinner to the old Coruña to have some tapas. I was trying to enjoy, but I couldn’t think nothing about the next day.

Ana and David become once again in cab drivers, so they bring me home that night. I was asleep 4 hours later, and I arrived to the Faculty at 8:15. I took a ribbon roll to close the hackmeeting zone. The first volunteers doesn’t arrived late, the Guademy boys: Juanjo, Millan, Codesido, Castro, De la Vega, Henrique, Enrique… and a new gpul assistant, Eduardo. Mele, a great expert in parties came to help us while his work allowed him, as Riptide do too. Mauro came after dinner to be the reporter as Castro.

We were punctually active, and the Internet connection… one hour before to the beginning. We had a nice visit in that hours, Simón and Ricardo who brought a very interesting Cisco wireless router that joined to the Linksys ones.

We could have lunch with not too much worries. The gests were arriving slowly, and the free-style speech by Jacobo doesn’t have a big audience (but we laugh a lot: What does Ubuntu means? Ubuntu is an African word that means ‘I don’t know how install Debian’ :-D )

The problems with airlines damaged us that evening: Patty and Steve Langasek lost their flight form Barcelona, Holger‘s flight was delayed and Luk‘s flight was cancelled. Finally they all could arrive at night (with the important exception of Luk :-/).

Besides those inconveniences, the afternoon was right. David (Fernández) configured the Cisco router before to follow Ana’s (Guerrero) workshop about Debian packaging on… Necromantux. The day before David and Carlos talked about ncx to prepare David’s speech. The release, here she cames !

We went to have dinner to the Estrella Galicia’s pub. Emilio and me arrived later because we became the guardians of equipments until the Faculty was closed, and the Langasek arrived to the rest room in the Stadium (where I maintained under surveillance bags and laptops that dudes left there). Ricardo was the taxi driver at that moment.

The dinner was very fun. I was near Ana, H (René Merou), Ender (David Martínez Moreno), Xerakko (Miguel Gea), and Ghe Rivero. All along the DUDES I was meeting with many people I only knew by the irc channel. I remember we talked about X, Nvidia, drivers, and reverse engineering ;-) But the laughing moment of the night was when the waiter tried to get Ender’s plate and he stopped him seizing his arm with killer eyes :-D

I thought after dinner would be a wild binge. But, in fact, most people return to the rest room. I remember an interesting speech with Ender about his past in RedIris (the Spanish scientific network) and his actual work in (the most important online newspaper in Spain, they use exhaustively free software :-) ).

Three o’clock. Rest room, lights off. The silence? not, of course. Three freaks are asleep in their sleepbags, but the others are all awake, keying and laughing. Nobody talks, they only write messages in the same irc channel :-D

When my laptop was off battery, I slept.

Nine o’clock. I discovered Millan finally had came to sleep to the rest room. So he became the guardian when I left to arrange to the Saturday sessions. When I arrived to the Faculty, Ricardo was there too, and fastly the President arrived too. That morning I had the video camera in one hand, and the laptop in the other. We had some problems because the dudesconf, the wireless net that used the University wireless infraestructure, as dudesconf2, our routers, passed across the udc proxy and were filtered. So finally we must use the ‘B’ plan in order to allow to work the people in the GPG workshop, and Vorlon to had kerberos traffic: we spread a long wire from a ‘random office’ to the hackmeeting zone. The net boys actived dudesconf3 with a Linksys as main and the Cisco as repeater. But it seemed the Cisco only broadcasted with hidden essid, so it was a problem to Vorlon’s wireless device driver. One hour later, Ricardo founded the solution. Finally, we had a fourth wireless network, dudesconf69 :-D

After these problems, everything went right, I think. The lunch was served by the ‘GPUL catering’, Emilio and Chema asked dude after dude about what he wanted to eat, then they went to a restaurant called ‘Entrepan’. They came with lots of bowls with rice, lasagne, spagetti… some Spanish omelettes and beer & wine :-)

The evening began the hard work for the Debian people. Vorlon explained his thoughts about the Etch releasing. As he was release manager during the Sarge and Etch process, he had lots of questions. I won’t repeat my question, because it was about a hevy controversial, and I threw a knife to him without want it.

Two BOFs happened after the (for me) most interesting speech of the conference. I was more relaxed then I asked for help to prepare my GPG stuff to exchange fingerprints. The night was falling. Jordi (from Girona Univ.), Ricardo and me talked about politics, Calvaris joined us later and it was very fun (anarchist vs nationalist). Meanwhile, Emilio and Chema went again for the dinner (pizza and Galician empanada). Near midnight, everybody was expectant for the queimada. I tried to be a good host, and I talked with many people. So I met Midget and Silvia, who passed us nice photos for the gallery, and two young boys, one he studied in a Professional Institute and another in FIC.

The queimada was delayed a bit because Pich and Codesido tried to make fun with voice electronic effects, but finally Pich readed the invocation with his own voice. Etch purification ritual :-)

We drunk all the queimada, and we had some Santiago cake with it. More laughs, people had lively speeches. One person plugged a computer with the Frets on Fire to the projector, and some dudes were playing late. People was tired, so they were going to the rest room. I was one of the latest with Ender, we were saying goodbye to Ana and David that would travel on Sunday to Madrid. That night there were only three or four lightening laptops.

Sunday in the morning. The same ritual than the Saturday in the morning, but sower. We had breakfast, then we began to put everything in its place. We are so tired, but that’s the last effort. Nice speech by Agi (Alberto González Iniesta, an old GPUL friend :-) ) (but I missed the beginning because I tried to go to misa in Elviña’s church). After this, ‘paralell sessions’: a BOF and… F1 streaming :-D

The lunch seemed a lot the Guademy’s one: roasted ham, empanada. Cheese and quince jelly. This was an idea by Patty Langasek, that asked for cheese and chocolat in the registry :-) (the chocolat was always on the buffet board where people eat appetizers, coffe and cakes every time. Dudes began to return home, but some of them could enjoy the sunny day and make some group photos to improve the morning ones (Mauro had a little technical problem with the camera in the morning). Meanwhile, volunteers began to tidy up the hack zone… until the next conf/party :-)
dudesconf photo group
I did an exhausthive gratitude at gpul’s blog to the volunteers and every people that helped us, we have wonderful people and we can organize an (international) Debconf if we can with them :-) Of course, we must thank to Agi, Ana and every dude who came for trust in our efforts, especially the Langasek, Clint and Holger that did a very long travel to our little, lost city (and Luk, who tried to came too). It was a great luxury to receive everybody.

This was for me the last waltz. I mean, this was the last GPUL activity I’ll be involved hardly in too much time. I must end my University studies. I need it. So now I’m retired (like Jordan, I hope ;-) )

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