Hi all. This is a report on the August Penguin 2010 conference, which I've attended and enjoyed. I decided to write it in English due to the proliferation of Hebrew reports, out of convenience, and in order to publicise the Israeli open source activity abroad. So here goes nothing.
First of all, an apology: I wanted to publicise the conference more intensively, but I got distracted by the fact that the opening paragraph in the site was supposed to be fixed (and I did not know how to fix it because I'm not a Drupal expert and there was no edit button there), and that I started working intensively on a for-pay project (and a Perl and Catalyst one at that) shortly before the conference, which turned out to be time-consuming and also distracted me. So I apologise if it resulted in fewer people attending the conference, and I'll try to keep it in mind for next year.
In any case, I posted an E-mail to the mailing list asking for a ride, and Omer Zak (a.k.a "TDDPirate") volunteered to give me a ride. After negotiating an hour, I realised I needed to wake up at 06:00 AM, in order to catch the ride. The alarm woke up me up and I had relatively little trouble to get up. I made some preparations, ate something, and started playing a deal of Freecell in PySolFC (which later on during the day motivated me to find a performant scan for Freecell Solver to solve it), and didn't finish in time. Then I went to meet Omer.
He picked me up on Keren Kayemet Boulevard a long stretch before the designated meeting place. Apparently he was early (or I was a bit late), and had to diverge from the main road. So we drove all the way to Weizmann Institute where the August Penguin conference took place. The ride was relatively uneventful, there were no substantial traffic jams, but we saw another car with some FOSS-related stickers on the way (probably going to the conference as well). We arrived early before the doors of the hall were open, but other people got there too and I've talked with them a little and also posed for a photograph with my name.
After they opened the doors, I helped carry some food and stuff from the cars, and then ate some of the pastries that were brought and drank some assorted juices - all of which were good. (I think I had eaten too much during the conference, because later on, I didn't have too much appetite for the midday meal).
In any case, I met a few old and new people during the conference. One of them told me he met me on Freenode's #perl, where I guided him a bit and that he was on Freenode often. He brought an Archlinux-based laptop, and also said he's been writing some Perl scripts for various tasks. I've also met Dor for the first time as he was volunteering in the Ubuntu-Israel stand.
I should note that I had volunteered to guide a blind attendee and she eventually arrived and I showed her where everything was in the hall. During one of the breaks, I also showed her where Ori was. She asked me to escort her to the bus station in order, but eventually someone else volunteered to escort her a short time before I went out of the hall to do so.
I enjoyed several of the presentations there especially the ones about the 0AD game (which looked great based on the screenshots and screencasts), and the Open Knesset (= the Israeli parliament) project. I stayed up to the giving of the Hamakor prize, where I was invited to the stage to receive the third place for the communal prize for the Israeli Perl Mongers.
Omer eventually gave me a ride back home after wrapping up the transcripting business there.
So the conference was very nice and I enjoyed it a lot. Here's to next year's conference, and hope to see you in the upcoming Tel Aviv Open Source Club meeting this Thursday.