Change of Plans

TL;DR; foss-north IoT and Security Day has been cancelled, or at least indefinitely postponed, due to health reasons.

For the past three weeks (from August 11, to be exact) I have had a fever that I couldn’t really shake. At the same time my wife had pneumonia for which she was successfully treated. Antibiotics is treated with care in Sweden, so I basically waited for my CRP tests to return a high enough value for my doctor to be convinced that I had an infection.

On Friday 24th I got my first round of antibiotics. They did not help, so on the morning of the 27th I returned and got another, stronger, antibiotics. I was also told to go directly to ER if I got any worse. I did. On Thursday morning I landed in ER.

It turns out it was not pneumonia at all, but blood clots throughout my lungs – way too close to a proper game over for comfort. It took me four days to stop degrading, and six days before I could leave the hospital. Right now I’m on ordered rest for at least two weeks. Something I apparently need, as I’m super tired as soon as I do the smallest thing. Right now my exercise consists of walking around the block, ~400m, twice a day.

Hence, there is no way I can arrange the foss-north event planned in the end of October. I’d like to thank all the sponsors who signed up, and those which whom I postponed the meetings. I would also like to thank everyone who submitted talks – the line-up would have been amazing. Finally, I’d like to thank the friendly people who helped cancel everything – it really took a heavy load of my chest.

This is a hugely frustrating situation to me as an individual – I want to work and I want to run, but I guess it is time to slow down for a while and then come back stronger. There will be another foss-north, and I will run 10km trail under the hour. Just not this year.

Posted in foss-gbg, foss-north, Miscellaneous, Personal | 1 Response

One week to go!

There is one week left of the call for papers for the foss-north IoT and Security Day. The conference takes place on October 21 at WTC in Stockholm.

We’ve already confirmed three awesome speakers and will fill the day with more contents in the weeks following the closing of the CfP, so make sure to get your submission in.

Patricia Aas

The first confirmed speaker is Patricia Aas who will speak about election security – how to ensure transparency and reliability into the election system so that it can be trusted by all – including a less technologically versed public.

Also, this is the first stage in our test of the new foss-north conference administration infrastructure, and it seems to have worked this far :-). Big thanks goes to Magnus for helping out.

Posted in foss-gbg, foss-north | Comments closed

foss-north call for papers

The summer is flying by and it is already August. The call for papers for foss-north IoT and Security Day is still open for a few more days, so make sure to get your talk in. We are looking for talks touching on connected embedded devices and how to do them securely.

The foss-north IoT and Security Day will be a one day event, October 21st, in central Stockholm. The venue, WTC, is located right by the central train station, so it is very easy to get there. Tickets will be made available soon. Make sure to save the date!

Posted in Embedded, foss-gbg, foss-north | Comments closed

More foss in the north

Today is midsummer eve. In Sweden, this is probably slightly larger than Christmas. Everyone goes someplace to meet someone and enjoy a day of food, dance and entertainment. And you’re supposed to have flowers on your head as shown below!

The blog post author in full midsummer outfit

This year, midsummer is on June 21, which marks four months from the first foss-north event outside of Gothenburg. That’s right – foss-north is going to Stockholm on October 21 and the theme will be IoT and Security. Make sure to save the date!

We have a venue and three great speakers lined up. There will be a CFP during July and the final speakers will be announced towards September. We’re also looking for sponsors (hint hint nudge nudge).

Now I’m off to enjoy the last hour of midsummer and enjoy the shortest night of the year. Take care and I’ll see you in Stockholm this autumn!

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Federated conference videos

So, foss-north 2019 happened. 260 visitors. 33 speakers. Four days of madness.

During my opening of the second day I mentioned some social media statistics. Only 7 of our speakers had mastodon accounts, but 30 had twitter accounts.

Given the current situation with an ongoing centralization of services to a few large provides, I feel that the Internet is moving in the wrong direction. The issue is that without these central repository-like services, it is hard to find contents. For instance, twitter would be boring if you had noone one to tweet to.

That is where federated services enter the picture. Here you get the best of two worlds. For instance mastodon. This is a federated micro blogging network. This means that everyone can host their own instance (or simply join one), and all instances together create the larger mastodon society. It even has the benefit of creating something of a micro-community at each server instance – so you can interact with the larger world (all federated mastodon servers), and your local community (the users of your instance).

There are multiple federated solutions out there. Everything from nextcloud, WordPress, pixelfed, matrix, to peertube. The last one, peertube, is a federated alternative to YouTube. It has similar benefits to mastodon, so you have the larger federated space, but also your local community. Discussing the foss-north videos with Reg over Mastodon, we realized that there is a gap for a peertube instance for conference videos.

Sorry for the Swedish. We basically agree that a peertube instance for conference videos is a great idea.

I really hate to say that something should happen, and not having the time to do something about it. There are so many things that really should happen. Luckily, Reg reached out to me and said – what about me setting it up.

Said and done, he went to spacebear and created an instance of peertube. Got the domain conf.tube. I started migrating videos and tested it out. You can try it yourself. For instance, here is an embedded video from the lightning talks:

If you help organizing a conference and want to use federated video hosting, contact Reg to get an account at conf.tube. If you’re interested in free and open source, drop in at conf.tube and check out the videos.

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foss-north 2019 – it is happening

Pinching my arm, to ensure that this is real. It feels surreal that we’ve gone from seven speakers to an amazing 33 in four years.

This years experiments are the training day, and community day. Looking at the various RSVPs for the community day, it looks like we’ll be 130+ attendees. For the conference days we have only ten tickets left out of 240, beating last years record attendance with 90 people.

The only question left is – what did I forget :-)

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foss-north 2019: Community Day


I don’t dare to count the days until foss-north 2019, but it is very soon. One of the changes to this year is that we expand the conference with an additional community day.

The idea with the community day here is that we arrange for conference rooms all across town and invite open source projects to use them for workshops, install fests, hackathons, dev sprints or whatever else they see fit. It is basically a day of mini-conferences spread out across town.

The community day is on April 7, the day before the conference days, and is free of charge.

This part of the arrangements has actually been one of the most interesting ones, as it involves a lot of coordination. I’d like to start by thanking all our room hosts. Without them, the day would not be possible!

The other half of the puzzle is our projects. I am very happy to see such a large group of projects willing to try this out for the first time, and I hope for lots and lots of visitors so that they will want to come back in the future as well.

The location of each project, as well as the contents of each room can be found on the community day page. Even though the day is free of charge, some of the rooms want you to pre-register as the seats might be limited, or they want to know if they expect five or fifty visitors. I would also love for you to register at our community day meetup, just to give me an indication of the number of participants.

Also – don’t forget to get your tickets for the conference days – and combine this with a training. We’re already past the visitor count of the 2018 event, so we will most likely be sold out this year!

Posted in Embedded, foss-gbg, foss-north, gbgcpp, KDE, KDE 4, Linux, Qt | Comments closed

foss-north 2019: Training Day

The 2019 incarnation of foss-north is less than a month away. This year we’re extending the conference in two directions: a training day and a community day. This time, I wanted to write about the training day.

The training day, April 10, is an additional day for those who want to extend
the conference with a day of dedicated training. I’m very happy to have two experienced and well known trainers on side: Michael Kerrisk and Chris Simmonds. Both has years of training experience.

Michael will teach about the details in dynamic linking. The topic may seem trivial, but when you start scratching the surface, there are a lot of details to discover such as how to handle version compatibility, how symbol resolution really works, and so on. You can read more about the Building and Using Shared Libraries on Linux training here.

Chris will run a getting started with embedded Linux training. Using BeagleBone Black devices the participants will learn how to build linux for the target, how to get devices such as GPIO and i2c working and more. You can read more about the Fast Track to Embedded Linux training here.

The best part of enrolling for training at foss-north is that you also get full access to the two conference days, and that you help fund the conference itself. If you are interested, check out the tickets page.

Posted in Embedded, foss-gbg, foss-north | Comments closed

Last week of early birds!

This is the last week of early bird tickets for foss-north 2019. The program has not yet been set, so getting one of these tickets, you trust us to deliver a great conference – something that we’re very thankful for.

We do have some parts of the schedule fixed: the trainings and some initial speakers.

The trainings are open enrollment courses at a bargain price, where parts of the dividends goes to financing the conference. This year we have two great trainers: Michael Kerrisk of manpage and The Linux Programming Interface fame, and Chris Simmonds, the man behind the Mastering Embedded Linux Programming book and a trainer since more than 15 years. The trainings held are: Building and Using Shared Libraries on Linux and Fast Track to Embedded Linux. These are both one day courses held in a workshop format.

Browsing through the replies to the call for papers, I am convinced that the 2019 foss-north will be the best one this far – and the past three years have been great.

So, get your tickets while they are hot! ;-)

PS. If you want to help out – give me a ping at e8johan – gmail – com. We need a couple of helping hands during the event days to help make sure everything runs smoothly.


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fosdem 2019

The first weekend of February means Belgium, Brussels and fosdem. To those of you who has not been there yet, it is a huge, chaotic, crowded, but also wonderful event.

But first I was met by a huge snow storm and the following chaos. :-)

I’ve been to fosdem a number of years now, and I was brave enough to take to the stage last year. In the early days, I spent most time in various dev rooms, either hacking myself or listening to talks. For me, fosdem has changed from this to more of a social event. I’ve spent hours talking the the K-building, made sure to meet people I’ve interacted with online for the first time, and generally hang out and enjoy the company of a lot of smart people.

Another side mission of mine this year was to do some foss-north promotion. As you might know, I’m organizing the foss-north event, and I had the opportunity to meet with both speakers and sponsors during fosdem (call for papers close in ~1.5weeks, just sayin’). I also took the opportunity to hang some flyers at the venue, so hopefully some people discovered the event that way.

As I pointed out earlier, the weather was not that great, but for a few moments on Sunday morning the sun peeked out between the clouds and you could almost feel a sense of spring in the air.

I did not attend that many talks this year, but I did really appreciate Jon maddog Hall‘s talk Fifty years of Unix and Linux advances.

After the event I took the opportunity to visit Brussels with some friends. I finally got around to visit Atomium. Such an amazing place! I love the mix of the 50’s architecture and the contemporary exhibitions in some of the spheres. This place was way better than I expected it to be.

So fosdem delivered again. Chaos, so many meetings with new people as well as old friends and acquaintances, great contents, and a generally great experience in Brussels. I’m already looking forward to next year’s event!

Posted in foss-gbg, foss-north, Miscellaneous | Comments closed
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