Snow Sprint Report (part 1)

It has been a looong week at the Snow-Sprint. I’m particularly
impressed by how much was got done, taking in account the several
leisure-time-activities we had, including me getting almost lost in
the middle of the snow. :)

The organization was amazing. Everything was perfect, and
well-planned. We had a board just on the entrance with information in
general, like where would be the dinner, what time breakfast would be
served, what we would have for dinner, what activities were planned
for the day, and so on.

Around 50 people were present at the sprint location. Not everyone
arrived at the same time. I was the first person to get there it
seems, as I arrived on the Friday 6th at 6:40am. The first thing I did
was to get my luggage in a locker and go get some food. The bus would
only arrive at 12:30, so that would mean almost 6h waiting. Got some
food, bought a magazine, called Jodok to figure out who else would
arrive and what time and flight they would be on. Turns out that four
people were arriving on that morning: me, Sasha Vinscic, Leonard
Norgaard
and Matt Hammilton. I had Sasha’s mobile number, so sent him
a SMS with instructions of where to find me. Then I’ve got a seat at
the airport shopping and waited for him, reading a magazine. Around
10:30, he found me, and we chatted a little bit, then called Leonard,
which had already arrived. By that point it was just about time for
catching the bus, so we headed to the bus stop. Only one problem, we
couldn’t find Matt, and no-one had idea of how he looked like. So we
just waited until he showed up.

The bus left Zurich, heading to the sprint location. The thing that
surprised me most was the clouds, which were completely disturbed
by the flow of airplanes. It wasn’t as cold as I would expect there,
but still cold.

So, after around 1h from leaving the airport, we crossed the border
between Switzerland and Austria, heading to Bludenz. I was amazed to
see the snow, which had completely covered the mountains. More amazing
than that was the fact that the weather was completely clear, with
some occasional clouds here and there.

Another hour, and we’ve got to Bludenz, where we then took a taxi to
Schruns-Tschagguns. Another 20 minute ride, and I was at the
‘Gasteshaus Davenna’, which would be my temporary home for the
week. The house was very comfortable and warm. Perfect time for a
shower. :) The only problem I’ve found was that the house maid didn’t
knew a word in english, so I didn’t understood a single thing that she
said. On the next day I discovered that she wanted to tell me that I
was in the wrong room, and had to change. Duh.

I called Jodok again to ask him for directions to the ‘Haus des
Gastes’, which would be the sprint location. He promptly said that
would pick me up at the door, and 5 minutes later he was there. The
Haus des Gastes is very close to the place I was, just a quick walk
away.

Getting there, we tried to setup networking, and surprisingly, the
other guys didn’t have any problem setting up their wireless
networking, except for me and Leonard. For some reason, the networking
wouldn’t work on Linux
, but if I rebooted in MacOS X, it would work
flawlessly. Weird. A trip to the #debian channel revealed that the
problem was the ECN (explicit congestion notification) feature of the
kernel, and disabling it made the network start working
again. Unfortunately, Leonard didn’t had the same luck, and for some
reason this didn’t work for him.

Next morning the folks started arriving, slowly, and we started
working out issues. I was working on Archetypes, applying patches and
fixing bugs, to make a 1.2.4 release.

On the third day most people had arrived, and on the monday, we got to
the top of the mountain for dinner and then for some snow
sports. Pretty much everyone went for the tobogan, and some people
went for the snowcycle, which seemed pretty cool. I’ve gone twice for
the tobogan, and the second time was obviously better, as I discovered
some tricks to make it go faster.

The next day, Godefroid Chappelle invited me to be his partner on some
ski classes. I woke up pretty late, so didn’t had much time to
think. I accepted the proposal, which was made even better by the fact
that he offered to pay part of my class as a wedding gift. There we
go, up the mountain again. We got the ski gear, which seemed very
uncomfortable to me, specially the boots. The fact that they force you
to keep your knees half bent was a pain for me. In fact, I would
consider skiing my second preferred sport if wasn’t for that.

We were not so bad into learning, and, in fact, we could do the basic
exercises without much trouble. (And hit the ground only a couple
times
).

If that wasn’t enough, we decided to go down the mountain again, this
time on the snowcycle. (to be continued…)

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