11月 262014
 

Over one week ago, I attended FAD Phnom Penh 2014 in Cambodia. This Fedora Activitiy Day event was for APAC ambassadors to discuss budget planning, event planning, swag production and so on. Below is my full report of the two-day event.

Day 0 (2014-11-14): Arrival Day

I left Beijing in the afternoon and saw the beautiful sunset on the plane. My flight have an intermediate stop at Guangzhou, and we had to get off the plane their, accepted the custom check, and then went back to the same plane. I arrived at Phnom Penh International Airport at midnight. Although we filled the arrival card on the plane, we later found that we need to fill another health form (for Ebola) before getting the visa on arrival. With the help of Somvannda, I saw the Tuk Tuk driver easily when I came out of the airport, who was holding a nice sign with Fedora logo and my name. It took about half an hour from the airport to the Passion Guesthouse. I must say it was really cool to ride on a Tuk Tuk at midnight in Phnom Penh not only because the temperature was not high, but also because it made me exciting to be in a Tuk Tuk on the flyover! With banners in Chinese catching my eyes from time to time, I find Cambodia is somewhat familiar even though this is my first time to be there.

It was quite late when I arrived at the guesthouse, and I was very surprised to see Somvannda, Tuan, Siddhesh, Danishka still awake. It was so sweet of them to wait for me till the late night.

Day 1 (2014-11-15): Events and Budget

On Saturday morning I met Nisa, Izhar, and Sirko (gnokii), and we began our two-day meeting. We used the #fedora-fad IRC channel to involve remote participants. We also set up a pad on PiratePad, where I was responsible for taking important notes.

The meeting started with Sirko’s notes. He is from Germany, and he was there to help the first ambassador FAD in APAC. He pointed out the major problems with APAC communities in his mind, and offered his suggestions. He emphasized the importance of setting deadlines and installing rules. Then each of us introduced the situation in each country respectively. It seems the common problem is to attract new contributors. There are various reasons for that, such as pirating and unawareness of license, competition from other distributions, and shift of interests to cloud and apps. I think to tackle the problem, we need continuous education and promotion, and in particular we need to stress our core values and main characteristics.

Then we spent the remaining day discussing the events and allocating budget in the next fiscal year. As we can see from the wiki page, there are many events planned in the APAC region, and it is nearly impossible to ensure Fedora presence in every event. Therefore, there were a lot of debates about budget allocation when we went through the long list of events. Sometimes the discussion went off topic but we managed to bring the topic back. After we finished the budget planning, we summed them up and found a big total amount. So it is still necessary to assign different priorities for the events in case of budget cut down. It will be one main job after FAD.

According to the current budget allocation, we will promote Fedora in release parties, SFD, DFD, HFD, Linux Day as usual. We also want to have more not-so-big meetups which are for Fedora contributors and users but not tightly related to the release. Besides, we would like make Barcamp Phnom Penh and COSCUP places where ambassadors in the whole APAC region can meet and discuss.

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We were quite tired after the whole day’s meeting, but we got refreshed by the local seafood at Kuch Angkor Restaurant. A friend of Tuan in Cambodia joined the dinner. We talked about a lot of things and enjoyed the Angkor beer very much.

Day 2 (2014-11-16): Other Stuff

The remaining topics were discussed on the second day. We first briefly talked about FAD and FUDCon. One current issue with FUDCon APAC is that the planning phase is too short since decision is made in January and the event happens in May. Sirko suggested that the decision should be made earlier, maybe announced right at the previous FUDCon. This way it is better advertisement and long planning period. We cannot make it work this way for FUDCon APAC 2015 though, which means possible hosts should bid for the next year’s event as soon as possible.

The main topic was swag production actually. We generally agreed that it is better to have central massive production to reduce the cost, and it is good to produce some swags with EMEA. But there are so many counties in APAC and different regulations about shipping. So first we need to collect the cost of production and shipping in each (active) country, and we set the deadline to be January 1st. We also discussed materials (such as banners) tracking and set the same deadline to work out the inventory of materials in APAC.

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With APAC credit card holder Izhar on site, we went on to discuss the payapl transaction fee issue. It is a pain that currently ambassdors have to lost some money when getting reimbursed due to transaction fee charged by paypal. Several workarounds were proposed, and hopefully we can make real progress and no longer have this issue in the near future.

Last but not least, we distributed the ambassador Polo shirts. Thanks to the Cambodian team, we finally have Polo shirts for APAC ambassadors. It is really good for identification in offline events, especially those not limited to Fedora. I took along the Polo shirts for Chinese ambassadors who registered on the wiki page, and will distribute them to each owner soon. Those who have not registered on the wiki page, please request your Polo shirt by creating a ticket on the fedora-apac trac.

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The last night in Phnom Penh was full of memory. We had two (!) dinners, walked along the river, visited the night market, saw famous sight spots when riding on the Tuk Tuk, and discussed even when we got back to the guesthouse. I wish I could stay longer, but to catch my flight, I left in the beautiful morning of Monday.

I have a busy schedule recently, and now over one week has passed since the FAD. I see it was a really great start for APAC ambassadors to get together, meet face to face, and fulfil important tasks. I look forward to more chances to involve more ambassadors in the region to work together. In this way we can make bigger differences as a whole.

9月 262014
 

Last week, I was very honored to get sponsored to participate the Hanoi SFD 2014. I joined the Fedora meetup on Friday and gave a talk on Saturday. Below is the full report.

Day 0 (2014-09-18): Arrival Day

I left Beijing early in the morning and in the afternoon stayed in Hong Kong Airport to transfer. The flight to Hanoi was a bit late, and I arrived at the Hanoi Airport at around 8:00 PM (local time, 9:00 PM in Beijing time). The weather was wet and hot, but the people are nice. It took me some time to find a large shuttle bus, rather than the minibus. On the bus I met a Japanese guy, and it turned out he lived in a hotel not far from mine. So after getting off the bus, we walked to our hotels together most of the way.

It was about 10:00 PM when I arrived at the hotel. I shared a room with Sarup (banas), and he told me they (Thang, Somvannda, Tuan and others) would like to have me together go out for beer. I was a bit tired after the long trip, but after ten minutes’ rest, I joined them. Thang carried me on his motorbike to a street corner nearby, and I met Tuan (for the first time) and Somvannda (for the second time). I was surprised to find many people are there on the street at first. But I soon realized having cool beer outside is the best way to pass the hot night. By cool I mean not only temperature (ice beer), but also the taste (nice beer).

Day 1 (2014-09-19): Fedora Meetup

On Friday morning we went to the VAIP office and had a Fedora APAC ambassador meetup the whole day. The meetup was set up for APAC ambassadors to discuss critical tasks. EMEA has had a lot of similar meetups, but for APAC, it was the first to my knowledge. (It was at least the first in this year.) To include remote participants who cannot make it at Hanoi, we also joined the #fedora-apac IRC channel. There we met gnokii, kushal, FranciscoD, etc. We also set up a pad on PiratePad.

In the morning, we discussed many issues including the budget status, current issues and so on. It seems the major issue is that not many APAC ambassadors are active, and people do not regularly attend meetings. In China, the state is somewhat better: we do have a few active contributors and we managed to have regular IRC meetings and offline activities (release parties every release, yearly FAD, and FUDCon Beijing). In India there is another problem: there might be too many ambassadors and some people tend to use Fedora as a travel agency. We agreed that people need actively participate biweekly meetings and mailing list discussions to get their tickets approved easily, and to be considered as active, one ambassador needs to organize (or help organize) at least one event per year.

We also talked about the FAD Phnom Penh under planning and the ambassador Polo shirts. The FAD planning is generally in good shape. I saw no Taiwan ambassador registered the event but I think they should consider. Regarding the Polo shirts, unfortunately the Fedora logo on the sample shirt is incorrect and needs to be fixed. And the quality of the shirt is not quite high. I am supposed to ask local vendors in China to see if we can get better ones within a reasonable price. We went on to discuss general swag production issues. gnokii suggested that good quality can be produced in Europe for both EMEA and APAC regions. Besides, China can be one good candidate among the locations to store the swag.

I also learned from Tuan about why we APAC folks lose some money when getting reimbursed by paypal while Americans not. The reason is that US paypal accounts have the option to cover the transaction fee by the sender, while other accounts do not. So the fee is charged at the receiver side, causing the loss. To walk around the issue, we might let APAC CC holder izhar set up a US paypal account.

In the afternoon, after a short pizza lunch, we carried on remaining tasks. We spent quite some time in summarizing the budget usage in previous quarters. It was sad to find that none of the planned events in Q2 happened at last. To solve the budget problem, we adjusted the budget allocation for the remaining quarters, and came up with ideas of possible events. After that, we talked about Fedora sessions for the SFD next day. At last, Somvannda asked us to share stories of being an Fedora ambassador. For me, it was the simple idea of organizing regular events to gather existing contributors and attract newcomers, and the idea of starting something by oneself when no one else has started it.

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In the evening, we went to see the water puppet show, which is fun and amazing. At dinner we had delicious dishes and noodles, and Saigon beer! But we did not stay up too late at night, since we felt quite tired after one day’s meeting, and we need to prepare for SFD in the next day.

Day 2 (2014-09-20): Hanoi SFD 2014

Saturday was the Software Freedom Day (SFD), a global event to celebrate Free and Open Source Software (FOSS). I organized SFD in Tsinghua University last year, and it is lucky for me to be part of SFD Hanoi this year. Hanoi SFD is organized by VFOSSA, the FOSS association in Vietnam. Fedora was one main sponsor of the event. It was a whole day event held in a university. So many volunteers are students and employees of the university. It was fun that the event begins with volunteers dancing, both in the morning and in the afternoon, and they are so good at it!

In the morning are welcome and keynote sessions in one large lecture hall. Sarup, Somvannda, and I are honored to be introduced as special international guests to the event (in English). They awarded new members and event sponsors in the welcome session. Later in the keynote session, Tuan delivered a speech on seven ways to contribute to Fedora (without coding). Most of the morning sessions were in Vietnamese, and I could only understand a little bit. I brought some Fedora 20 DVDs, stickers, and flyers from China, and they were distributed very soon at the booth.

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In the afternoon, we had a dedicated room for Fedora related sessions. First, Thang gave a general introduction of the Fedora Project to the audience in Vietnamese. Then I talked about free and open source software defined radio (FOSS SDR). With a lot of examples, I introduced why we should have FOSS SDR, and how FOSS SDR can enable hacking in the radio frequency. I introduced GNU Radio and various SDR hardware such as HackRF and bladeRF to show how FOSS and open hardware play well with each other. Since the talk was in English, and the topic is not so familiar, the main purpose of the talk was to show the power of FOSS and open hardware, and to encourage the audience to try out and contribute to FOSS projects.

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Later on, Sarup delivered a FOSS 101 talk. He talked about why we should choose FOSS, how newcomers join and contribute to Fedora, and main communication tools of FOSS communities. Then he gave an introduction on Git and version control concepts. I helped demonstrate the git operations, and Trang helped translate for easy understanding.

At around 4:00 PM, we gathered to one room again. There was a panel Q&A session followed by the lucky draw. The panel session was quite interactive, and the audience raised many questions. One interesting thing is that the panel speakers voted for the best question and there was an award for that questioner. Then in the lucky draw, it turned out we foreigners were not so lucky. None of us was chosen. But lucky draw is always fun for everyone.

In the evening, we had dinner with the organizers and volunteers of SFD. We drank beer and toast to each other. I even learned how to toast in Vietnamese!

Day 3 (2014-09-21): One Day Tour

On Sunday, Somvannda and Sarup left for the airport early in the morning. My flight was around at 7:00 PM, so I took a one day tour in Hanoi. I visited Quang Truong Ba Dinh (Ba Dinh Square), Ho Chi Minh’s Stilt House, Ho Chi Minh Museum, One Pillar Pagoda, the Flag Tower, Hanoi Cathedral, and so on. The sight spots are relatively near to each other, so I travelled around mostly by walking. I had lunch at Quan An Ngon, a popular restaurant in Hanoi, and bought some candies and gifts to bring back to China. In the afternoon, on the way back to the airport, I also walked by the Ho Hoan Kiem (Hoan Kiem Lake). The sight spots are nice, and the food is delicious. So I enjoyed the trip to Hanoi a lot. Plus the warm support and help from Tuan, Thang, Somvannda, Sarup, and others, the days in Hanoi are quite memorable to me.

8月 232014
 

Note: This is a press style report of FUDCon APAC 2014, which summarizes the event highlights. Don’t miss the links to slides, videos, and photos!

FUDCon APAC 2014 was successfully held at Conference Center at New Main Building of Beihang University, Beijing, China during May 23 to 25, 2014. This year the event was held together with GNOME.Asia Summit, an annual conference for GNOME users and developers in Asia. It turns out to be a rather exciting experience of mutually beneficial cooperation of free and open source communities. In total, GNOME.Asia and FUDCon APAC 2014 attracted more than 500 registrants, and among them over 300 attended the event.

There were 52 speakers in total and among them 22 are for FUDCon. Thanks to the help with the community budget, many non-local speakers joined the event and made FUDCon Beijing a big gather up for the Fedora community. The speakers delivered a wide range of topics about free and open source technologies and communities presented in keynote speeches and five parallel tracks. Richard Stallman gave a keynote speech on Computing, Freedom, and Privacy, which is the favorite speech according to the feedback survey. Talks in FUDCon tracks cover various subprojects of Fedora, as well as new application introduction and community building discussion. The links to all slides are available at the wiki page. As for the videos, they are currently available at the GNOME.Asia channel on Youtube. The Fedora Videos team is working to make them available on Fedora channel.

There were about 50 volunteers at the event. They were recruited from the local universities and companies. They showed great enthusiam and did amazing jobs to make the event well organized. Two of them, Tong Hui from GNOME and Zamir Sun from Fedora, were each awarded the prize of best volunteer, a hand fan full of wishes in various languages written by the attendees.

It is worth pointing out that about ten percent of the attendees are women. Many of them are active volunteers and talented speakers. Still more women contributors are expected in free and open source communities. And there was a dedicated session, Fedora Women initiated by Nitesh, to discuss the issue and possible solutions.

FUDCon is not just about technical sessions. It is also about meeting friends and having fun. FUDPub was organized as a welcome party, and there was a celebration party with delicious buffet on Sunday evening. On Saturday there were sports games including football, baseketball, and ping-pong. These social events helped the attendees enjoy the conference and the community.

Special thanks go to the sponsors. FUDCon was sponsored by 7 companies and 5 local communities. The success would be impossible without their generous support. There were 14 booths for sponsoring companies and local communities at the joint event. Attendees enjoyed hanging around the booths for discussion, and many swags were distributed at the booths.

Photos and Reports from various attendees are aggregated on the wiki page. The FUDCon Beijing Badge has been created and is in the process of collecting FAS usernames at the current writing.

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6月 022014
 

This is my own (unofficial) report of FUDCon APAC 2014 Day 1 (Saturday).

Registration

Tonghui and I went up early, had a simple breakfast at the hotel, and then went to the venue. I took the Live DVDs along, and the box was kind of heavy (about 400 DVDs!). Many volunteers were already there and ready when we arrived. Christopher was there too and needed to find a hotel for the night. Robin Lee offered him help. I took out about 50 DVDs and put them at the Fedora booth, and told the volunteers at registration desks to distribute the remaining ones. I took out some and put them close to the desks while left others in the box. It turned out to be not so good since the ones in the box were left unnoticed by the volunteers and were not distributed. But they can be used in future events anyway. It rained at night, so we expect fewer attendees than usual. Later in the night I got the message there was above 200 registrants on Saturday, which is a pretty good number.

As for the swags (gifts) for attendees, we prepared sufficient conference bags and badges, and each bag had a Fedora flyer, a Fedora DVD, a Deepin DVD, and some flyers from various sponsors. It was good except several issues. The paper of Fedora flyer is soft (157g paper) and the bag is soft (basketball bag or so), which makes the flyer easily rumpled. Another issue is that the Deepin DVD was not together with Deepin brochure.

Although we had enough bags, there were not sufficient T-shirts. We had decided to provide each volunteer two T-shirts, one from GNOME and one from Fedora. Also we need to reserve T-shirts for designers, speakers and donate tickets buyers. Therefore not many T-shirts were left for normal attendees, so they had to be distributed in a first-come, first-served manner.

Main Hall

The sessions at main hall began with loud sound of a Chinese gong. The hosts are Max from GNOME and Gerard (gbraad) from Fedora. Kat and Jaroslav gave the welcome speech from each side respectively. Then Emily represented the local team and introduced the event and also called for voting for the top horizontal scroll for the couplet — Evolution of the Desktop, Innovation for the Community — which is the conference theme. The former of the two parts was proposed by GNOME folks. It took some time for me and other Fedora guys to think of the latter half.

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Then it was the time for keynote speeches. First Tobi gave a nice overview of GNOME 3.12 features. Then Jiri and Jaroslav introduced Fedora.next to the audience, talking about the features and the community. Pity I didn’t finish listening to their talk, since I needed to head to Room 8 to prepare following Fedora sessions. One of the most important thing was to bring a Fedora Friend Finder (power strip) there!

Room 8

When I arrived at Room 8, the volunteers (Shi Jie, Ma jing, Fan Jiayue and others) were already there. Shi Jie was the host of Room 8 on Saturday. His introduction scripts were outdated and could not reflect real schedule that day, but he adjusted quickly with the help of kraks. Ma Jing was the coordinator in that room, and was in charge of distributing gifts (books and cups) to questioners. Fan Jiayue was responsible for posting news on SNS websites (weibo) and preparing the daily news report.

The first speech was “Fedora Videos” by Nitesh Narayan Lal. He talked about one main current work is to organize all the videos. It is worth pointing out Nitesh (together with Ankur) was also responsible for recoding short videos of interview with random attendees.

Then Robert Mayr from Italy gave us the talk “Fedora Websites – present and future”. The talk was quite interesting and the new design for Fedora.next was quite impressive. Currently there are no APAC contributors for Websites subproject. Hopefully we will have interested APAC folks join the team. Robert also showed the easyfix page and Tommy asked about the feasibility of localizing it.

The morning sessions ended after that, and then we went to lunch at Heyi Building in Beihang. I met Nitesh and Aditya there, and helped them to tell the cook they need vegan food. There was a short period when no one was taking care of the booth. Zamir helped and I asked dongfengweixiao to be there quickly.

At 14:00 the afternoon session started. First Aditya Patawari from India talked about “Orchestration with Ansible at Fedora Project.” He is from the infra team, and he talked about why they moved to Ansible, and how to use Ansible to executive ad hoc commands and create playbooks.

Then Zamir Sun brought a brief introduction to FirewallD. He introduced the advantage of FirewallD, the GUI and command line interface of FirewallD, and the rich language to define complex rules. He also called for help on localization of FirewallD wiki pages and software applications.

Then it was a tea break. Unfortunately there was no drinkable tea since (we thought) there was no hot spoiled water at the venue. But the registration desks were moved to the side and the large banner stood out, which became a very good background to take photos. The booth was also quite popular, partially due to the lovely chameleon dolls brought by SUSE. I also met Su Zhe, the author of venerable SCIM, by the introduction of Emily at the booth. Su Zhe shared some information about Google’s input method project, and told that they are planning to release the input method framework open source.

After the break I went to the main hall to listen to Peng Wu’s “Wayland intro with i18n hacks”. I came in a bit late and only caught the part of two patches for wayland and a demo to run wayland for debugging. Su Zhe raised questions difficult to answer about Wayland and Mir.

After that I went back to Room 8 for Ankur Sinha’s hackfest about “ROS on Fedora”. Ankur introduced ROS and Fedora packaging. The talk was finished early but there was not much time for hacking. Ankur planned hacking on the next day. So we had more discussions, including Fedora Join SIG.

Then all the sessions for Room 8 on Saturday ended. We volunteers, speakers, and some attendees took a group photo, and then went back to the main hall.

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Note: Ankur’s report contains more photos!

Main Hall Again

In the main hall we had three lightning talks, and they were Deepin Desktop Environment (DDE) from Xia Bin, Chandao FIXME from Wang chunsheng, and Open Build Service (OBS) from Lance Wang. Then we reached the closing part of first day. A wonderful video of short interviews was created by the volunteers and presented. We also had volunteers take a group photo.

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Evening

I originally intended to join the sports game after the one day’s sessions, but at that time I was with tiansworld, tommy, and Wang Ye. I needed to help tiansworld to check in at the hotel, but we decided to have dinner first. We searched around the street outside East Gate of Beihang, and settled at Hannashan eating Korean toast. The food was good and not so expensive with groupon. But it would be not so good without conversation! We talked a lot, and after the dinner, Wang Ye left but liangsuilong joined the conversation at McDonald’s. We talked about all kinds of stuff, Fedora related or not. The conversation lasted to over 11:00 PM until I got a message from tonghui, asking whether I was back. We agreed it was a bit late, and it was time to say goodbye and go for rest.

When tiansworld and I were back at the hotel, I helped with the check-in at the front desk. Most of the staff there are not proficient with English, and zsun had reminded me that we needed to speak of 亚洲峰会 (Chinese for Asia Summit) to let them know which group we belonged to. After it was done, we went upstairs to each one’s room. Finally I had time to revise my slides for Sunday. Check the git log if you want to know the detailed changes. While I was preparing the slides, tonghui was checking the photos taken in the day. There are many good photos to tell the truth! It was quite late in the night after I finished my slides, so I went sleep quickly.

5月 312014
 

This is my own (unofficial) report of FUDCon APAC 2014 Day 0 (Friday).

Preparation

There were no speech sessions for FUDCon on Friday, so it was all about event preparation in the day. At around 11:00 AM, I called Justin Wong, another guy from TUNA, also a volunteer of host, to help me move event gifts in my lab downstairs, where Emily waited for us with her car. We went to the venue, New Main Building in Beihang University, on the car full with sponsored gifts, including but not limited to cafe cups, hats, DVDs, books. Dongfengweixiao also just arrived when we got there. We had a brief lunch together at PengLaoShi, a Chinese fast food restaurant.

On the way back to the venue after lunch, we ordered the bottled drinking water for the three days. In the afternoon we are busy with setting up everything. Zamir (zsun) arrived to help. First we set up the booth with the desks rent from venue as well as desks from Beihang leagues (credit Wang Yang). The shop owner of bottle water helped with moving the desks from outside to venue. We had a booth for Fedora too, which dongfengweixiao took care of, so we left some Fedora flyers (and later on many stickers, F20 Live DVDs) there. We met one guy in orange T-shirt while setting up the booth. He asked about the place for upcoming GNOME training sessions. The next day I knew it was Tobi, the host in main hall from GNOME side!

Tong Hui (tonghui) arrived later and then event roll-up posters, X posters, and vertical banners arrived. I helped to hang up the two vertical banners in the main hall with tonghui and dongfengweixiao. It took three up-and-downs to finally make them look good (symmetric and smooth). Next I helped to buy some utilities such as power strips, mark pens, glue, and “postit” sticky notes. I also fetched the express of stickers. After I came back, many sponsors were there. There were some disagreements with booth position, but they were solved later. Li Bin (libin) and many other volunteers also arrived, and the registration desks (sign-in office) was set up. They put various small gifts into conference bags. T-shirts arrived and classified. Large banner which sat on the ground arrived a bit late, but was put up quickly. Time went by without being noticed, and it was almost 7 o’clock when we headed for the FUDPub, i.e. the welcome party.

FUDPub (Welcome Party)

The FUDPub was at Sculpture in Time Cafe, a cafe bar on campus and quite near to the venue. It was scheduled to begin from 6:00 PM, and we had volunteers waiting there to help from that time. As mentioned above some volunteers and I arrived a little late, and there were few empty seats then. Some early birds already begin to drink beer when we started to order pizzas and noodles! Around 60 people from the event were there, and the cafe bar seemed to be not able to handle so many people. The service was slow and a bit chaotic, but luckily we had sunny (and later on libin) who took care of the detailed list of ordered and served food. Except the long waiting time for food, it was good. I met and said hello to Ankur, Nitesh and other guys. Max called on emily, libin and me to toast to everyone. Ankur asked to continue discussion at the hotel after the party, but I stayed till 10:00 PM at the cafe bar since tonghui had so many interesting stories to tell! While we went to the hotel, I picked up the Fedora 20 Live DVDs with GNOME Desktop, whose creation was finished late due to some issues with DVD sleeves during production.

Hotel

The conference hotel is Beihang Training Center, which is inside Beihang and near to the conference venue. There was no WiFi at hotel, only one wired interface available. Luckily tonghui set up a WiFi AP using his laptop with GNOME 3.12. He also charged his camera for next days’ activities. I replied some emails, took a shower, and then went to bed. I had planned to revise my slides, but it had to be delayed to Saturday.