And now, for Debconf 6... Please say hello to Oaxtepec!
This Saturday I went with my father to Centro Vacacional Oaxtepec, the place I propose that will host us for Debconf6. I took photos of the areas we will work in - And here goes my report. Before anything else: Please be gentle to my server ;-) I have only a 128k upload rate, so if too many people request the high-res pictures, we will all lose (specifically, I will lose my patience and move the blog offline for a while ;-) ). I suggest you first look at the photo index page, it should be enough to give you a general idea. First of all, Oaxtepec is a beautiful balnearium located about 90 minutes away from the Mexico City airport. It was first inhabited over 550 years ago, when emperor Moctezuma created the first botanical garden in the Aztec empire, which also served as a medicinal garden. In the region, we have many interesting archeological sites, both prehispanic and colonial. It is located at 1,360 meters above the sea level, which gives it a very benign, warm climate - although we should be prepare for some quite strong rains, as we will be there in the beginning of the rainy season, and Morelos State’s rains are internationally famous ;-) The modern Oaxtepec was built 40 years ago in the president Adolfo López Mateos’ period, and given to the Mexican Institute for Social Security, which still runs it. Now, I expected it to be not in perfect shape, as government-run buildings in my country usually are, but what I found amazed me: There is an ongoing restauration, and it is in general in perfect shape. Oaxtepec is huge. Together with its neighbouring (and once part of the same complex Parque Acuático Oaxtepec, it covers over one square kilometer. I found a model and a map of the whole complex, as well as an explained map of the Centro Vacacional Oaxtepec. The first thing I want to show you all is a cure for the sad european climate: Some shots showing the general environment and facilities. As you will probably agree, a beautiful, beautiful place. I suppose we will be lodging at the familiar hotels (numbers 20, 21 and 24 on the <a href=”http://gwolf.org/index.php?gadget=phoo&action=view_image&id=537&albumid=13”“>map</a>) - There are three such hotels, each with 38 rooms, 20 for four and 18 for six people (that means, each hotel can host 188 people). The rooms are <a href=http://gwolf.org/index.php?gadget=phoo&action=view_image&id=497&albumid=13”>quite</a> comfortable, according to what we have seen at previous Debconfs. Every room has a private bathroom and a little fridge/minibar. Each hotel has a common kitchen for all of its rooms. The front of the hotel faces the olympical swimming pool. Just behind the hotels we have some sports facilities - a voleyball/basketball court. As for other lodging options, there are two executive hotels (at the moment being restored, but scheduled to re-open soon - Numbers 17, 18 and 22 in the map). The rooms are not much larger, but they are more beautiful and will probably be more comfortable. There are also over 100 bungalows (number 7 and 11 in the map), quite pretty and comfortable - and what’s more important, giving more isolation (so that people can sing until the early morning and the impact factor on the fellow DDs will be diminished ;-) ). They have similar furniture than the familiar hotel, but they have a small living room and a small pool each. They are, however, much farther to the work areas. Right now we are on vacation, so there were no available bungalows for them to show me, but I have some pictures of their pictures ;-) I peeked around a bit, and they do seem similar to what I found. We have two small buildings we can use as work halls (i.e., for the hacklab) marked with number 16 on the map. Each of those buildings has two work rooms, a large one (for ~80 people) and a small one (for ~30 people) (a bit crammed, yes). The work halls have a small common space, where we can have a coffee service. Besides, behind them we have two smaller rooms which we could use - although they are IMHO a bit too dark and humid. There is a restaurant large enough to host us all, even twice or three times, in the main compound. Above it, the guest club provides more services - a gym, ping-pong tables, a sauna (I suppose it means a steam bath), some Internet access. (Of course, we will have Internet access all over - I just mention this for completeness). On the other side of the swimming pool, we have the main auditorium (number 29 in the map - detail). It is very large, it can host 600 people. The auditorium, though, does look a bit old and rusty and has not-so-good illumination - But, in any case, we can use it for Debian Day. Oh! And the auditorium has scheduled movie sessions, IIRC, once a week. Then, we have the magnificent parlamientary tower (we have it in detail as well) (23 in the map - it is not shown there, but there actually is a path from Hotel Tepozteco, number 22, to it. It is about as far from the hotels as Smokki was from the dorms at Debconf5), complete with cable-car and everything. It is a beautiful building, with a breath-taking view of most of Morelos state. Its disposition is in five sections, which can be together for a plenary session (up to 150 people sitting) or divided in sections of 30 people each. There is also a 12-people meeting hall in the entrance, great for Cabal meetings^W^W^W^W which we will find a use for ;-). They have also a space for simultaneous translation - I think we can use that as our server room. About network connectivity: The person who kindly walked me all over the place says they are currently working on it. We will most probably have everything ready in the work halls and the parliamentary tower. We will almost surely have to do the cabling ourselves inside the hotels - I suppose that a couple of nice APs will make our lifes better. Yes, we will not be forced to use xsupplicant ;-) Ok, what problems have I found? Mainly one: The central area (this is, hotels and work halls) are taken care of for handicapped people. The main auditorium and the parliamentary tower are not, and they don’t plan on fixing that. For both, the entrance for the sessions is one story high. In any event, we can surely find people willing to help carry whoever needs this help - although they might be uncomfortable requesting this. Probably what we can do is to split the tower in 2/5 and 3/5, have part of it work as Hacklab I and part of it as a conference place, and have the conferences which are more interesting to the disabled people in one of the work halls instead. Any ideas in this regard are welcome. Anyway… This is it for my report today ;-) I thought on posting this to the Debconf6 organizers only, but in the end, all of the Debian-interested people should have their say on this - even more now that we officially have a second Mexican DD, who wanted to do things a bit differently ;-) (congratulations, man!).