[Ambassadors] Review about the FSCONS 2011 in Gothenburg, Sweden

Robert Scheck robert at fedoraproject.org
Sun Dec 4 21:12:34 UTC 2011

Hello all,

as more or less promised in my last e-mail about FUDCon Pune 2011 in India,
here is now my review and some thoughts about FSCONS in Gothenburg, Sweden.
The event took place from 2011-11-11 to 2011-11-13 at the IT university in
Gothenburg and in case you had the chance to follow my somehow-micro-blog
in German at www.linuxnetz.de, you will read here less new, but in English
language ;-)

The 11th November started again early, thus at 6:00 am at the airport in
Stuttgart and took me via Munich to Gothenburg. On the flight, they served
Muesli (with yoghurt), I never got that as a snack before in an airplane.
After check-in at the hotel, I had to notice that the wireless network in
the hotel operated by "The Cloud" doesn't assign me any IP address. However
the technical support hotline was not helpful. Instead of focussing to the
real problem, they kept me at 1st level support and only verified my proxy
settings in the Internet Explorer. If somebody of them ever reads this: If
your customer is a network engineer, believe him and verify please if your
DHCP server is really working, if he doesn't get any IP address; especially
if he's telling you that the problem is even operating system independent.

In the end, I went to a local shopping centre and bought a pre-paid 3G SIM
card which didn't work the fscking GNOME 3 Network Manager stuff, however
it did with the good old wvdial. In the evening, the opening social event
of FSCONS took place, where I met two Swedish Fedora Ambassadors, Henrik
Nordström (again) and Roger Sinel for the first time ever. We chatted about
various topics and I think, I should get to nothern Sweden in summer some
time in the future. We also talked about technical topics, Fedora stuff and
how to contribute and how to get involved into Open Source projects at all;
mostly with other FSCONS people.

The first "real" conference day of FSCONS 2011 started with building up the
Fedora booth, different stickers, pins and installation and live media with
Fedora 15 (because Fedora 16 was released at the beginning of the week) as
well as USB flash drives with Fedora 16 for attendees. The LED beamer from
the Fedora EMEA event box was used for the first time, too. We run e.g. the
promotion video of Fedora 16 and some different FUDCon clips.

During afternoon, the keynote took place as a moderated dialog with Richard
Stallman (founder of the GNU project) including a gnu soft toy auction for
the benefit of the Free Software Foundation. Erik Josefsson showed up later
at the Fedora Project booth and invited a Fedora ambassador for an evening
at the European Parliament Free Software User Group (EPFSUG). As this event
will take place in Brussels/Belgium, I of course redirected his invitation
to our ambassadors mailing list. About 1.5 hours later he was honored with
the Nordic Free Software Award for his work - also outside of Scandinavia.
I also requested some nice Fedora animations/clips for running during whole
event days on beamers or big flatscreens at the design team, because (even
the currently existing video clips are nice) we don't have good material to
run on a beamer all the time. Links to previously mentioned happenings:

 - http://lists.fedoraproject.org/pipermail/ambassadors/2011-November/018441.html
 - https://fedorahosted.org/design-team/ticket/207

The second day of FSCONS started with my talk "Community-based Development
at Fedora" as part of the track "Development in Free Software Communities".
It went well, was recorded (and will sometime be online available) and had
around 30 attendees which asked different "normal" questions at the end. I
started a bit late, because I was asked to wait because the organisation
team of FSCONS was waiting for a bus with attendees, but the beamer didn't
want to work with me in the beginning, too. A "usual" presentation for me
in the meantime ;-)

By a Fedora interested FSCONS volunteer, we got told that public libraries
in Sweden are tended to keep Linux media and borrow or give them away. Now
Henrik Nordström and the FSCONS volunteer will try that for the Fedora 16
release cycle. Maybe we got a new Fedora contributor or ambassador?

Our Swedish Fedora Ambassadors Henrik Nordström, Lars Delhage, Roger Sinel
and I answered different questions around Fedora and handed over media and
swag during the rest of the day. Some of the FSCONS attendees treated me as
Swede because - as they told me - my somehow Swedish accent when speaking
English. Nevertheless, I don't speak any Swedish, but German and Swedish
languages are not that far from each other, because both are derived from
the Indo-European languages.

During the closing social event the FSCONS Tithe Award was handed over to
the GNU project and Dan Engström read and performed (in English) together
with "Boatsman & the Breakers" from his Creative Commons licensed book for
children, "Båtsman Brännings Piratpensionat". Some of the points where you
really recognize, that FSCONS is also focussed to free society, not only to
free software :)

While having beers, Henrik Nordström spent a lot of time to get a Fedora 16
and Ubuntu dual boot with GRUB 2 set up and running - of course not on his
own laptop, but at a FSCONS attendee. Unfortunately, he got interrupted by
the fire alarm which also ended the FSCONS event premature and abrupt. When
we stood in front of the building and waiting for the security people, the
real social event without computers started...well, but only nearly without
computers. Finally, we were not allowed to enter the building again, even
there was no fire but the fire alarm control station just stated a general
fire alarm. Not the nicest end of FSCONS, but happens :-S

On the day after FSCONS, I walked through the city of Gothenburg, did some
sightseeing - until I received an SMS in the afternoon, that my flight from
Gothenburg to Munich has been canceled. In the phone call with the hotline
I got informed that the airport in Munich has (once more) heavy fog. So can
you remember to my event review about FUDCon Pune? ;-)

Finally, they switched my flight bookings via Copenhagen (Denmark) using
SAS flights. And in difference to Swiss Airlines, the Scandinavian Airlines
(SAS) seems to know what short change times at the aiport mean - without
stressing the passengers to run accross the whole airport. Caused through
the rebooking, I was forced to carry a bunch of paper stuff with me, but
fortunately every service personnel was looking for a specific sheet, thus
I arrived in Stuttgart without any paperwork.

Comparing this FSCONS with the previous one from the Fedora perspective, I
would say we improved our presence and we had more communication with the
people there, which is of course good. You can get some impressions, if you
have a look to the pictures at my gallery:


Finally, thanks to Henrik Nordström, Lars Delhage and Roger Sinel. It was
a great event and it was really good to have you there. Hope to see you on
another event in the future!

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