Contributed by tj on from the made-with-100%-python dept.
OpenBSD hackathons without travel are pretty weird. Taking the train or bus to the hackroom in 30 minutes from home was quite a change from the usual 24+ hour trips around the planet. Instead of travelling I spent some time organising things, but nearly not as much as I expected.
Every OpenBSD hackathon needs a T-shirt, at least one per attendee. T-shirts don't just appear out of thin air. Someone needs to come up with a nice idea that can be made to work on a shirt. Based on a rough idea of mine my friend Neels handled the shirt design with a couple of lines of Python which spat out an SVG file that I could hand off to a local printing service. Awesome!
I picked up the shirts a few weeks ahead of the hackathon and was very happy with the result. To my delight benno@ organised an event dinner during the weekend so I didn't have to spend any time on that. He even got us a birthday cake for OpenBSD's 20 year anniversary! Thanks to IN-Berlin providing us with their club room, setting up the venue consisted of 3 easy steps: 1) Drive to the store with uwe@ and buy a couple of crates of beverages to ensure we won't run out during the week. Make sure to include a crate of Astra beer for henning@ in case he shows up (he didn't, but the crate was emptied anyway). 2) Open the hackroom door. 3) Walk in, and don't forget about the crates in the car. All other necessities (network, power, tables, chairs) were already in place. But we had only a handful of room keys for more than 20 people. Finding a key distribution which ensures 24/7 access for everyone was tricky. Some people show up early, some people leave late, so keys need to be with the right people at the right moment. Whatever distribution strategy you come up with, you won't reckon with the late night hackers getting the blinds in front of the door stuck all the way down after leaving the room one evening. The room was left fully secured, so much in fact that not even rightful key holders could get in. The early bird hackers found themselves locked out, and after an invigorating wake up phone call with Theo at the other end I rushed to the room only to find I couldn't open it either. Chris from IN-Berlin came to our rescue and used the backdoor (which had appeared to be locked) by employing all of his weight. He repaired the front door blinds for us, and, deed of the hero done, promptly left to (presumably) fix someone else's broken BGP router, as he usually does. Among all of that I kept discussing UTF-8 problems with those who attended the hackathon for its theme purpose, rather than for network hacking. There was a lot of momentum and progress, with schwarze@ ending up coordinating UTF-8 related ideas and suggestions from various people (including tedu@, zhuk@, czarkoff@, uebayasi@, and bentley@, and some more I forget). I fixed USB driver and softraid installboot(8) issues I was seeing on the Thinkpad Helix 2, a tablet/laptop that can only be booted with UEFI support which was added by yasuoka@ just shortly before u2k15. To install OpenBSD on this machine, disable secure boot (duh!) and also make sure to disable the Near Field Communication device in the UEFI firmware menu. With this device enabled the kernel will suffer an interrupt storm and the installer won't run. Thanks to kettenis@ and mlarkin@ for deciphering ACPI AML and identifying the source of the interrupt storm for me. The tablet works mostly fine now, except for the touch screen (some wacom tablet that will probably need a custom driver) and an xhci(4) problem which neither mpi@ nor I have managed to track down (USB3 devices won't show up -- this problem is also present on some other laptops). I had a great week and would like to thank everyone who showed up, and especially Chris for keeping things running for us behind the scenes.
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