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The 4th edition of ESWC (European Shareware Conference)has just finished. It was the third edition I attended, having missed only the very first one.

After 3 years in Cologne, the location has changed this year. The new location, Strasbourg, was an excellent choice. For me it is also still within the distange range that I can drive to, which allows me to take lots of stuff and presents for friends. This is a tradition I started already last year, and I hope that by next year some others will follow my example. This could give a whole new dimension to the conference.

On friday evening there were already lots of people present for the welcome reception. As always, there were many familiar faces.

Saturday morning I had to get up very early to get to the conference before the registrations started. I didn't succeed in that, and the result was that the earliest registrants didn't get the Alpha ZIP notepad and pen. Too bad and completely my fault.

The sessions started off, and almost everyone seemed to attend them. This is a good sign.

There was a buffet for lunch, and after that there were more sessions. I was in a panel about application development myself, and surprised myself by having more interesting things to say than I thought. Maybe I should write some articles about the topics that came up, or have a full session on those topics next year.

In the evening was the Digital River event "four corners of the world", with food and games from four parts of the world. There was a great atmosphere. Everyone seemed happy, no struggles at all, nobody got really drunk, probably one of the best parties I ever attended at such conferences.

I held a private competition with Sandra from Lobstersoft, who is an advanced Chinese eater. She invited me in a chopstick game, and after first telling me how to hold the sticks and then beating me mercilessly, she said she was amazed that I was so good. Being a good sport, she gave me a second chance and waited for me to finish before finishing herself.

But I could soon take revenge in a game with Russian puppets, where I beat her even more mercilessly.

After that I joined Mike Dulin in giving advise for making cooking software a success. I had the feeling we were really helping.

I finally followed the shareit girls to a place that was not so fantastic after all, left early and took a few hours of sleep.

Sunday morning was another early day. Everyone looked particularly sleepy now. But we had to go on of course. The earliest session didn't get the audience it deserved because many were still sleeping. But the people didn't stay away for long, and soon everything went great again.

After lunch you would expect everyone to start thinking about leaving, but I was surprised to see that the very last sessions still had a big audience that was very attentive.

After the wrap up we went for a drink and for dinner, and then some of us found a pub where we had so much fun. There were some new faces with us, but by this time they already felt like experienced conference-goers to me.

The reason for not being very inspired right now is just that I stayed there too long and didn't get enough sleep for all these days in a row.

Today I did some sightseeing in Strasbourg, and saw the clock inside the cathedral, but didn't succeed in entering the European Parliament. I think I will make it an early night and drive back home in the morning.

To all who were here this year: Hope to see you again next year. It was great to see you all.

To all who were not here: You missed something, and hopefully you will do better next year.

Posted on Monday, November 8, 2004 7:09 PM Shareware | Back to top


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