OK, I made it to FOSDEM 🙂
Friday morning at Plymouth station, they confirmed there was no disruption due to the weather. That proved to be half-true: the train was delayed at Exeter waiting for a driver who was stuck on the roads. But nothing too serious, and I was in London in good time to get on the Eurostar at 14:34, which is exactly what I’d planned. That too went smoothly subject to some niggles (my seat was double-booked, and more seriously there was some shit with a “personal” stereo audible throughout the carriage – why can’t Eurostar introduce quiet carriages)? The food was, alas, basically just an airline meal: I guess free booze makes it a supposedly-premium service, but it was too early in the day to enjoy it.
In Brussels, the weather was fine, and after orienting myself (easier said than done) I was able to walk to the hotel. It turns out to be pretty decent: no complaints there, though alas the sport centre/swimming pool have limited opening hours at the weekend, so I may miss that.
The beer event was seriously overcrowded: little chance even to stand still in one place, let alone enjoy a beer and seek out familiar faces. I battled with it for a couple of hours, and when I left I’d lost my Brussels map. Aaargh! Eventually found my way back to the hotel, where I realised I stank of smoke from the beer event. Ugh.
FOSDEM itself is huge: much bigger than any other conference I’ve been to in recent years. There are a few familiar faces, and more half-known people who I’ve no-doubt encountered online. I’ve met a few new folks and had some useful chats, and seen some good talks. But that’ll have to keep for another blog entry, if I get around to it.
 I thought I was going to benefit from the GPS on my new phone. But turns out I need a ‘net connection to download the Brussels map data from Nokia, and I need to figure that out before that feature works for me.