LinuxTag 2004 was held in Karlsruhe from June 23rd to June 26th. I left my place in the Netherlands a day earlier to help with setting up the LAMP Area booth. This year Georg Richter did an excellent job to gather AMP-related projects and companies to fill a shared booth including a speaker area. Besides eZ systems four other companies: Zend, 100 days, ThinkPHP and MySQL.
The first day of the conference, Wednesday, was quite uninteresting with only a few people wandering around the fairgrounds. The talk I head on debugging PHP with Xdebug was unfortunately only attended by a few interested people. But there was one highlight of the day, when the Netherlands qualified for the quarter final of the European Soccer Championship and the Germans did not make it. Wearing an orange t-shirt didn't make the Germans happier ;-).
Thursday wasn't much more crowded either, but it was more interesting. At the end of the day, Jan Wildeboer of the FFII led the demonstration against 'No Software Patents' which was a success with about 900 people participating. The march from the fairgrounds to the 'Marktplatz' was witnessed by a couple of policemen and a few dozen interesting Germans. Arriving at the 'Marktplatz' a few speakers, including Florian Müller of MySQL, once more explained the problems of software patents.
Because free beer goes together hand in hand with free speech, the people from the LAMP Area where invited by MySQL to join a "free beer" evening in Vogelbrau in Ettlingen.
Starting on Friday was a bit of a problem after all the beer, but fortunately the day went quickly with much more attendees then the two previous days. The same was true for the first part of Saturday, but around 4 in the afternoon we packed up and went back to the hotel to have dinner. The evening was filled with laughter where Ken, Wez, myself and some other people where telling all sorts of anecdotes.
On Sunday we left the hotel around 9.30 and began our trip back to Skien in Norway. Airport Frankfurt Hahn is about two and a half hours of driving from Karlsruhe, but it is the place from which RyanAir flies to Torp-Sandefjord (or Oslo as they call it). While RyanAir is cheap, it's obviously not a company with a lot of service. Anyway, we made it on the plane on time and managed to save big time on the alcohol from the tax-free shop.