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There once was a miniDebConf in Uruguay...

Meeting Debian people for having a good time together, for some good hacking, for learning, for teaching… Is always fun and welcome. It brings energy, life and joy. And this year, due to the six-months-long relocation my family and me decided to have to Argentina, I was unable to attend the real deal, DebConf23 at India.

And while I know DebConf is an experience like no other, this year I took part in two miniDebConfs. One I have already shared in this same blog: I was in MiniDebConf Tamil Nadu in India, followed by some days of pre-DebConf preparation and scouting in Kochi proper, where I got to interact with the absolutely great and loving team that prepared DebConf.

The other one is still ongoing (but close to finishing). Some months ago, I talked with Santiago Ruano, joking as we were Spanish-speaking DDs announcing to the debian-private mailing list we’d be relocating to around Río de la Plata. And things… worked out normally: He has been for several months in Uruguay already, so he decided to rent a house for some days, and invite Debian people to do what we do best.

I left Paraná Tuesday night (and missed my online class at UNAM! Well, you cannot have everything, right?). I arrived early on Wednesday, and around noon came to the house of the keysigning (well, the place is properly called “Casa Key”, it’s a publicity agency that is also rented as a guesthouse in a very nice area of Montevideo, close to Nuevo Pocitos beach).

In case you don’t know it, Montevideo is on the Northern (or Eastern) shore of Río de la Plata, the widest river in the world (up to 300Km wide, with current and non-salty water). But most important for some Debian contributors: You can even come here by boat!

That first evening, we received Ilu, who was in Uruguay by chance for other issues (and we were very happy about it!) and a young and enthusiastic Uruguayan, Felipe, interested in getting involved in Debian. We spent the evening talking about life, the universe and everything… Which was a bit tiring, as I had to interface between Spanish and English, talking with two friends that didn’t share a common language 😉

On Thursday morning, I went out for an early walk at the beach. And lets say, if only just for the narrative, that I found a lost penguin emerging from Río de la Plata!

For those that don’t know (who’d be most of you, as he has not been seen at Debian events for 15 years), that’s Lisandro Damián Nicanor Pérez Meyer (or just lisandro), long-time maintainer of the Qt ecosystem, and one of our embedded world extraordinaires. So, after we got him dry and fed him fresh river fishes, he gave us a great impromptu talk about understanding and finding our way around the Device Tree Source files for development boards and similar machines, mostly in the ARM world.

From Argentina, we also had Emanuel (eamanu) crossing all the way from La Rioja.

I spent most of our first workday getting ① my laptop in shape to be useful as the driver for my online class on Thursday (which is no small feat — people that know the particularities of my much loved ARM-based laptop will understand), and ② running a set of tests again on my Raspberry Pi labortory, which I had not updated in several months.

I am happy to say we are also finally also building Raspberry images for Trixie (Debian 13, Testing)! Sadly, I managed to burn my USB-to-serial-console (UART) adaptor, and could neither test those, nor the oldstable ones we are still building (and will probably soon be dropped, if not for anything else, to save disk space).

We enjoyed a lot of socialization time. An important highlight of the conference for me was that we reconnected with a long-lost DD, Eduardo Trápani, and got him interested in getting involved in the project again! This second day, another local Uruguayan, Mauricio, joined us together with his girlfriend, Alicia, and Felipe came again to hang out with us. Sadly, we didn’t get photographic evidence of them (nor the permission to post it).

The nice house Santiago got for us was very well equipped for a miniDebConf. There were a couple of rounds of pool played by those that enjoyed it (I was very happy just to stand around, take some photos and enjoy the atmosphere and the conversation).

Today (Saturday) is the last full-house day of miniDebConf; tomorrow we will be leaving the house by noon. It was also a very productive day! We had a long, important conversation about an important discussion that we are about to present on

It has been a great couple of days! Sadly, it’s coming to an end… But this at least gives me the opportunity (and moral obligation!) to write a long blog post. And to thank Santiago for organizing this, and Debian, for sponsoring our trip, stay, foods and healthy enjoyment!