Open Mind 2007

Wow what a week it was. I attended the Open Mind conference and it took me a couple of days to recover even so I could just blog about it! There is no way to blog about everything that happened, so I guess this will be more like a long list of namedropping :-)

(But, unlike me, Zak Greant seems to possess a brain that can produce typing and listening at the same time so go to his blog for more detailed commentary on the conference. My collague and friend Paul Sladen also wrote on LWN about the summer of coders.)

The conference started rather funnily: I arrived in Tampere on Monday morning, checked in at the hotel, went downstairs only to find out that there were no people there. After an hour or so of total confusion, I realised the conference started on Tuesday, and was wondering why on earth I was there already on Monday. I soon realised it was because of the FOSS researchers event Mikko Puhakka and were organising at the university. Scandic Hotel Rosendahl provides free bikes for their guests, so getting to the university was a breeze.

Later that night Mikko arranged for me to join the gettogether hosted by Novell. I somehow managed to get seated next to the evenings host, Novell's Kim Aaltonen, which meant the waiters treated me as the honorary guest, including serving each course first to me :-) At the dinner table I would also talk a lot with other guests like Amy, who works for Canonical in China; Zak, long time MySQL employee and now works as a consultant for Mozilla and other Free Software companies/projects and also Novell's keynote speaker Carlos Montero-Luque who came to Novell with Ximian. In the cab to the event I also had the pleasent opportunity to talk with Monty Widenius about how MySQL started, how they evolved the business models and licensing and later during the conference about the new engine he is working on now. I'm a Helsinki University of Technology Physics Department Alumni with Monty, David and Allan who founded MySQL.

During the days I would also spend time with Ignacio, Mikko and Stephen and briefly also met Timo Teimonen. This is the board of recent startup eBox, which is a browser based configuration interface for Linux servers and routers. It seems Mikko and Stephen are always up for one more bear before going back to the hotel. I quickly learned this and started going to sleep on my own, Ignacio on the other hand didn't. In addition to the eBox crew we also met some Finnish Open Source companies, just too many to mention but it was really nice to meet so many new and old friends.

I personally attended the Mobile Linux track on Tuesday. I should just note the extremely friendly community atmosphere there, where Nokia's Ari Jaaksi would introduce OpenMoko as being currently the absolutely most significant mobile Linux project in the world, and OpenMoko's Michael Shiloh returning with complimenting Nokia on all the great work on maemo.

The last talk I attended was by Red Hat's Xander Harkness about the OLPC laptop. I got to touch it :-)

You can see some of the faces from the conference in the gallery.

Xander Harkness and the OLPC

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