Paul off tomorrow so down to town for a tour with Tim and some souvenirs. As ever, beggar comes up laden with washing basket in one hand, small child in the other and slightly older child clinging to her leg. With no money forthcoming, she proffers the washing basket, takes the lid off and watches (while laughing?) as the three of us jumps five miles sideways as a large golden snake appears from said basket. Shudder. Back to office in afternoon, but no-one wants to work or even download mail. Paul treats us to TGI Fridays before he learns there is a 63% tax markup on imported alcohol. We do sub him a bit.
Shit - should have read email. Turns out missing speaker yesterday emailed me to say he was stuck in Mumbai. Also turns out Linux group and two of the other speakers could have covered it, but who knew? As sod’s law dictates, the one person whose sole purpose in life was to attend that lecture has found me and complains vociferously for half an hour.
Big audience around for futures day. Damien Conway on Perl 6, Michael Meeks on Ximian Gnome 2, Zope stuff, dope stuff and all the funky levels in between. I get a standing ovation for rebooting a Windows computer back into Linux on the main stage and the sessions end with a demo from the Indian Ministry of Defence of OpenGL running full blown aircraft flight simulators. Demo involves five people, ten extra boxes and a full replica joystick from a Lightning fighter jet. Lots of wows from the audience up until the point where the power cuts out for five minutes.
Farewell photos and standup routines for helpers, staff (us) and speakers follow. Those speakers not already gone fly off after last meal at the Gateway hotel, one of those colonial places kept open for formal occasions and a good beer or two. And so it's all done.
More photos from Day 3 on Flickr
Know every patch of ground between halls 1 and 2 as my sprinting continues between the two making sure lectures start on time. Shoulders are finally healing after six days of muted agony. The Simputer is officially launched at one of the sessions. One guy simply doesn’t turn up for his talk. Grumblings aimed at me but no-one knows where he is, not even his mates. Reschedule but end up running my own Q&A session at the end of the day as a result. Tame cabby turns up again. Not needed tonight but spends fifteen minutes arguing that he should be paid for the fuel he spent getting here anyway. Politely, he gets told exactly where he can put his fuel. Won’t be expecting him to reappear tomorrow.
Everyone jetting off after sessions tomorrow so tonight is the posh thank you meal. After some effort, hotel arranges six Ambassadors (the cars, not the diplomats) to take twenty of us out of town to an open air restaurant called Gulkarnas. In fact, the place is booked out just for us. Kingfisher flows and the food is served on banana leaves while conversation flows between last year’s BangLinux, open source as a business, and whether or not the whole Skynet scenario in The Terminator could actually happen.
More photos from Day 2 on Flickr
6am start to go grab speaker shirts at hotel which of course don’t show until 7.30. But everyone is where they should be which is a minor miracle. Scratch that. Neither Red Hat nor Compaq have actually built their stands yet. Neither have the power nor equipment to do it. As they are the platinum sponsors, you wonder how everyone else has managed it very well, thank you.
Indian IT minister comes to light ceremonial lamps with John and a full hall and several TV stations cover proceedings. Suddenly regret organiser shirt as its easier for the press to spot, wanting to be introduced to important (sic) people. Get grabbed by CNN for fifteen minutes while I should be chasing speakers to start their sessions, missing two who come and go without me ever seeing them. One of the guys from CDC Linux has stepped into the US void for a device drivers talk. Of course, he doesn’t really know how to judge how he’s doing so he’s only half way through by the time it should be finishing. Of course, it’s a full house, so what do you do?
Sun continues to shine and no one loses their head. A few egos from the local Linux group are bruised but no permanent casualties. Yesterday’s tame cabby shows up looking for a fare which he gets en route to first speaker meal at Tycoons. Grace casually informs me outside that Rekha has a big crush on me. And I’m expected to do what exactly? Best course of action - absolutely nothing.
More photos from Day 1 on Flickr
One day to go and main duty is now to welcome those speakers flying into town and get them into their hotel with a minimum of fuss before we say hello properly this evening. And so, starting at 6am, I have six round trips to make. Almost have heart attack when one speaker decides to get a later flight and doesn’t tell me. Smile as frightened Europeans leave airport to be mobbed by the swathe of cabbies hawking their overpriced services. That was me five months ago. Only two panics of the day occur when it becomes apparent the KDE and Gnome guys are occupying the same flight—possible carnage there—and that one of the ferryings is being made in the slowest motor vehicle known to humanity. Not a real problem, but I could walk faster. Have one cabby on commission by end of day.