FOSDEM 2017: People, RISC-V and ChaosKey

This year, for the first time, I attended FOSDEM.

There I met...


... including:

  • friends that I don't see very often;
  • old friends that I didn't expect to see there, some of whom decided to travel from far away in the last minute;
  • met people in person for the first time, which previously I had known only though the internet -- one of whom is a protagonist in a previous blog entry, about the Debian port for OpenRISC;

I met new people in:

  • bars/pubs,
  • restaurants,
  • breakfast tables at lodgings,
  • and public transport.

... from the first hour to the last hour of my stay in Brussels.

In summary, lots of people around.

I also hoped to meet or spend some (more) time with a few people, but in the end I didn't catch them, our could not spend as much time with them as I would wish.

For somebody like me who enjoys quiet time by itsef, it was a bit too intensive in terms of interacting with people. But overall it was a nice winter break, definitely worth to attend, and even a much better experience than what I had expected.

Talks / Events

Of course, I also attended a few talks, some of which were very interesting; although the event is so (sometimes uncomfortably) crowded that the rooms were full more often than not, in which case it was not possible to enter (the doors were closed) or there were very long queues for waiting.

And with so many talks crammed into a weekend, I had so many schedule clashes with the talks that I had pre-selected as interesting, that I ended up missing most of them.

In terms of technical stuff, I have specially enjoyed the talk by Arun Thomas RISC-V -- Open Hardware for Your Open Source Software, and some conversations related with toolchain stuff and other upstream stuff, as well as on the Debian port for RISC-V.

The talk Resurrecting dinosaurs, what can possibly go wrong? -- How Containerised Applications could eat our users, by Richard Brown, was also very good.


Apart from that, I have witnessed a shady cash transaction in a bus from the city centre to FOSDEM in exchange for hardware, not very unlike what I had read about only days before.

So I could not help but to get involved in a subsequent transaction myself, to get my hands laid upon a ChaosKey.