The sys admin's daily grind: Getting wet at LUG Camp

Wet Zone

© Stefan Hermans, Fotolia

© Stefan Hermans, Fotolia

Article from Issue 93/2008

Charly reports from LUG Camp in Flensburg, Germany. The fact that Charly got wet has nothing to do with absent mindedness, but much to do with the sheer wetness of the event.

Each of the eight previous LUG Camps [1] has been characterized by something special, including indoor camping in an old factory building at the Wuppertal Camp in 2005, or unusual locations, such as the Brienz shipping company's dry dock, where the Swiss branch hosted an amazing event in Interlaken.

What Flensburg had to offer in 2008 was commitment. LUG obviously only recruits members who have (too) much time and energy – excellent prerequisites for hosting this year's LUG Camp, which has alternated between Germany, Austria, and Switzerland for nine years.

Floating Penguins

Naturally the fringe program would have something to do with water because, after all, Flensburg does host the Rum Regatta [2], and it was safe to assume there would be more than just a visit to the beach. In the Rum Regatta, the goal is to come in second; the first-placed team leaves empty handed.

Figure 1: Floating penguins in the athlete's foot training camp.

Despite this, some 70 Linux geeks were still fairly surprised to be invited to join in with swimming tests. The organizers in Flensburg had rented the local baths for the afternoon and welcomed us with a synchronized swimming display that they had been practicing for almost a year. They really exhausted themselves, and weren't afraid to make fools of themselves to cheer up the audience with dry swimming displays [3].

We were touched, and jumped in at the deep end to take the swimming challenge from "Penguin" level – which is about what any normal seven-year old might be expected to achieve – to "Dead Tux" level – the name speaks for itself.

Blind Presentation

They also had a morning program, which the organizers took far too seriously. One of the mainstays at LUG camps is to drag somebody onto the stage and let them talk about a subject they haven't a clue of that is based on an OpenOffice presentation written by somebody else. Strangely, I seem to suffer from jet lag when I get back from some German venues, and Flensburg was one of them. If you are interested in experiencing the same kind of time warp, why not visit LUG Camp next year.

Check online for an event near you [4] [5]. Look forward to seeing you.

The Author

Charly Kühnast is a Unix operating system administrator at the Data Center in Moers, Germany. His tasks include firewall and DMZ security and availability. He divides his leisure time into hot, wet, and eastern sectors, where he enjoys cooking, fresh water aquariums, and learning Japanese, respectively.

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