FOSSASIA 2010 ~ Day -1 & 0

After the longest air trip of my life I managed to land to Ho Chi Minh city *not tired* (yeaah!) I literally followed all the ideas ad tips about long travels by air (dehydration, sleep, etc) and they did work out!

On the airport, after 1 hour waiting to get my visa, I got welcomed by a very friendly volunteer of FOSSASIA who gave me the “welcome envelope” with anything I needed to get started for the conference. Hotel directions, city map, SIM card for communicating with the organizing team (awesome!) and some suggestions on food and drinks.

Then the funny part started. I got in the taxi and the volunteer told him where I should go. Being on the roads of Vietnam with a car is like being a colorful flower on a bee-field… *Millions* of scooters and motorcycles around you in a crazy dance trying to get to their destination without hitting each other or you (and they dont always succeed on that) The experience was mind blowing! You cannot walk across the street without literally push some motorbikes! I thought I was used to heavy traffic environments in Athens but this was out of my league…

The hotel is a nice down-town cheap and clean hotel and I was the first one to arrive from “the computers” (thats how the receptionists call us :P) After a quick rest I took a walk down-town trying to explore alleys and markets. “Everything smells in Asia” and this is something that you can definitely experience in HCMC. I had also a quick visit in a super market , as I really like to see the differentiation between countries.

At night I was joined by Dave Crossland (who will serve as my patient roommate) and Jonas Smedegaard (a crazy-debian-danish guy). We had some really nice time debating about fedora/debian and ending up debating about financial systems 😛 (being interrupted by blackouts, heavy rain and some nice local soups :) )

Today we woke up really late, trying to adjust ourselves with the jet lag (5 hours for me) and we headed for the venue with Mario and Hong Phuc. We got into a taxi for 6 persons and firstly went to pickup our Fedora shirts! They are lovable especially when you consider the actual price for them (3 USD or something) !! Also we picked up the stickers and posters for the event. We did some preliminary set up at the Raffles College (thats the venue) and meet more volunteers :)

(that’s a bag full of fedora t-shirts and a bunch of stickers on top of them!)

Mario proudly presents one of our new t-shirts :)

Then quickly we headed back down-town for the speakers community meetup (=introductions + debates + flame wars + beers + food). There i met in person the fellow Mozillian Dietrich Ayala (our Firefox hacker/expert) that will help me tomorrow on Firefox and Jetpack. (as a matter of fact I could not have hosted a Jet pack session by myself :) ) I really had great time socializing with people, explaining the ideals behind open communities (in which everyone can participate in any form) and spreading the word of Mozilla and Fedora.

tomorrow is going to be an exciting day… i got a feeling…

ps. don’t forget to take a look on the photo-album !

POSSE South Africa – Day -2

Oh… the duration of the flight is *really* big for me to sleep throughout of it. So I made a selection of nice pdf readings to freshen up some ideas and learn more :)

  • Free Culture by Lawrence Lessig, an excellent book on the mechanisms and ethics of locking down knowledge and controlling creativity (know your enemy 😛 )
  • Free for All by Peter Wayner, a nice chronicle of the free software movement, with many dramatic elements :)
  • D.I.Y Satellite by Song Hojun. I am a big fan of space :) But what happens with the privatization of it? This zine explores the possibilities of DIY Satellite with an artistic view, combined with foss community elements :) Sweet!

Most of the things are packed and ready! (where are the cool swags?…oh.. right here :) ) Printed directions, maps, and clear head to enjoy, teach and learn on the upcoming weeks POSSE SouthAfrica.

Afore we go… to the airport!