Going to Berlin Buzzwords

2010-05-21 08:46
Meet me in two weeks at Berlin Buzzwords. As you may have noticed, together with Simon Willnauer, Jan Lehnardt and newthinking communications I am organising Berlin Buzzwords - a conference on scalable search, data analysis and storage.

I'm going to Berlin Buzzwords - the conference on searching, processing and storing data.

There are a few regular tickets left, so don't wait too long to register. If you want to bring your friends, check out our group tickets with up to 50% discount. If you are a student bring your student ID and register for 100,- Euro.

Solving puzzles

2010-05-20 16:44
Like most software developers I like tasks that involve solving more or less complex problems analytically. Most developers I know love puzzles - either those that involve dis-entangling metal rings, or those involving putting wooden pieces back into order, or even solving Rubik's cube:


Working on the schedule for Berlin Buzzwords, I noticed that coming up with a good schedule actually has a lot more in common with solving puzzles that one is usually aware of: First of all talks on similar or related topics should not take place at the same time. Presentations should be grouped according to common topics so attendees don't have to switch room after each and every talk. In addition some speakers have a tight schedule themselves and can only be at the conference for a day.

It gets even more interesting if after having put up a draft of the initial schedule you start filling the gaps, publishing those talks that were confirmed later than others or could be accepted only after freeing a spot somewhere else.

I spent the past few day re-arranging the Berlin Buzzwords schedule a bit. I added Christophe's talk on Apache Hadoop from an industry perspective. After adding it, I had 45min left in the NoSQL track - on the other hand there was a speaker from the Lucene community that we very much liked to have in. So off I went, sorting and shifting around until finally the Lucene talk ended up in the Lucene track and a Hadoop talk that was formerly there ended up in the Apache Hadoop track, resulting in one NoSQL talk from the Apache Hadoop track moving over to the NoSQL track...

To cut a long story short: The schedule is final now - unless changes need to be made last minute.

Tierpark Berlin

2010-05-19 19:36
I love taking fotos, like being outdoors and like animals. Living in a large city, it is not exactly easy to get in touch with donkeys or sheep. A very simple way to combine all three preferences here is to visit Tierpark Berlin. Being larger than your average zoo, most bawns are rather roomy with lots space outside and inside.

Little more than one year ago I received a great birthday present from Thilo: It is possible to purchase a one year ticket for that park. Since we've been there pretty often. In spring when most animal babies are born, in summer to escape heat in town, in winter when all paths are white of snow.

One attraction we usually do not want to miss are the pelicans (Thanks to p_h_o_t_o_m_i_c who took the picture below):

If you are wondering "What's that thing hanging 'round her neck?" Whenever I have some spare time left, I usually take my camera with me. It's not particularly new, not even a digital one. My parents already used it during vacation before I was born. It's a Praktika Nova 1 - capable of taking breathtakingly beautiful images:

There's just one catch: The camera is not self focussing, nor does it come with an internal exposure meter. Instead the one I have is to be used separately before taking the picture.

However even after reading just a tiny little bit about f-numbers, exposure times initial pictures I took four years ago were astonishingly beautiful. Since I regularly tend to go out just for taking pictures.

Getting a Ubuntu Laptop setup for my Mum

2010-05-17 19:15
With DSL contracts getting ever cheaper in recent years in Germany – even outside larger cities – my mom decided to get a faster internet connection (compared to the former 56k modem) including a telephone landline flatrate.

As sitting in the garden while surfing the internet is way cooler than only having a dedicated computer in an office we decided to get a notebook while at it. As both Thilo and myself are very familiar with Linux, the plan was to get a Linux-compatible netbook, install Ubuntu on it, get wireless up and running, pre-configure the necessary applications and hand it over after a short usage introduction.

Well – first idea: Mom is living close to Chemnitz, so we drove to the Media Markt in Chemnitz Center. They had a nice, not too small and not too large Acer netbook. Only question that was open: Does that thing perform well with Linux? Easily solved: We had a bootable USB stick with the latest Ubuntu version with us. We asked one of the shop assistants for permission to boot Linux from the netbook – telling him that we wanted to buy the notebook, only making sure everything works fine. Answer: “No, sorry, that is not possible. There could be a virus on that stick.” Knowing from my favourite Mac shop in Berlin that there are hardware suppliers that allow testing their products, we went out of Media Markt – disappointed, but with the plan to repeat the experiment at various other suppliers in Berlin.

Monday afternoon the following week Thilo went to a MediMax in Berlin. Experience was way different: The assistant was most helpful, offering various machines to try out – unfortunately none of them had an Intel graphics card – that is, none could be run with a free graphics driver.

End of the same week we went to Media Markt in Steglitz: Asking the assistant there for permission to boot linux from our USB stick actually made him happy. As the machine not only matched our target specifications but was even cheaper than the one in Chemnitz and did work well with Ubuntu we finally bought the notebook (Acer Timeline 3810T). Yeah: Finally not only a working machine (with 8 hours of battery time) but also a shop that cares about its custormers.

For two weeks now mom is now happy user of the Ubuntu netbook edition – step by step learning how to write e-mails, chat and use the internet. As usual first thing we tried out was searching for vacation destinations, but also for at least my name. The latter searches seemed to be most interesting – at least at Google, YouTube, flickr ... ;)

Berlin Buzzwords 2010 - Scalability conference June 7th/ 8th in Berlin

2010-05-14 15:48
The Berlin Buzzwords schedule was published a few days ago. There are tracks specific to the three tags search, store and scale. We have a fantastic mixture of developers and users of open source software projects that make scaling data processing today possible.

There is Steve Loughran, Aaron Kimball and Stefan Groschupf from the Apache Hadoop community. We have Grant Ingersoll, Robert Muir and the "Generics Policeman" Uwe Schindler from the Lucene community.

For those interested in NoSQL databases there is Mathias Stearn from MongoDB, Jan Lehnardt from CouchDB and Eric Evans, the guy who coined the term NoSQL one year ago.

The schedule has been published online. Visit the webpage and register for the conference - looking forward to seeing you in Berlin this summer!

Regular tickets are available online. In addition we offer student tickets: If you have a valid student ID, you are eligible for one of these tickets. Each costs 100,- Euro. We also have a special group ticket available: If you buy four tickets or more you are eligible for a discount of 25%, when purchasing 10 tickets or more the discount is 50%. Learn more at http://berlinbuzzwords.de/content/tickets

One day before the conference we are having a Berlin Buzzwords Barcamp in town. In addition, directly after the conference, Cloudera will be hosting Apache Hadoop trainings - registration is separate from Berlin Buzzwords.

So just in case you need a good excuse for a long term trip to Berlin: You can spend the weekend in town, attend the Barcamp on Sunday evening, visit Berlin Buzzwords on Monday and Tuesday. The rest of the week could be used to take part in Apache Hadoop trainings. Finally you have one weekend left for a city tour.

Thanks to Jan Lehnardt, Simon Willnauer and newthinking communications for co-organising the event.

Apache Dinner - April 2010

2010-04-19 21:43
Today, the April Apache Dinner took place in Berlin. We met at Sadhu - an Indian restaurant in Berlin X-Berg. We were six people: Lars Trieloff from Day Software, Simon Willnauer and Vera from Lucene, Torsten Curdt - currently Freelancer and Daniel Naber from Lucene as well.

With great food, nice discussions and a first glimpse on the submissions for Berlin Buzzwords it quickly got later and later :)

If you are Apache Committer/Member yourself or are simply interested in learning more about this crazy bunch of software developers meeting each month in a different restaurant, please contact Torsten for more information on the meetup - and to be included on the next meetup schedule. As we are by far more than ten people interested in delicious food and meeting other "indians in Berlin", I created a Dinner mailing list - please join, if you plan to take part in the dinner in the near future.

Apache Dinner Berlin - next Monday

2010-04-12 08:00
Next Monday at 7p.m. the April Apache Dinner Berlin is scheduled to take place. Thanks to Torsten Curdt for organising the dinner - as in: Contacting people, finding a suitable data, booking the location etc.

Looking forward to another nice evening at an awesome restaurant with tasty indian food. If you'd like to join us, please contact Torsten to be included in the next announcement mail. The dinner is not restricted to Apache people from Berlin: Anyone who is fine joining a group of geeks and free software hackers for dinner is invited to join us. If you are Apache developer planning to visit Berlin in the coming months, please contact Torsten so we can try to schedule the respective dinner to match your calendar.

Berlin Buzzwords - End of CfP drawing closer

2010-04-11 14:55
One week to go for submitting a talk on your favourite NoSQL topic, your favourite search application or your most interesting data analysis task: The call for presentations for Berlin Buzzwords ends on April 17th, that is Sunday next week.

Shortly after the last talk was submitted we will start announcing speakers - final list of speakers is to be expected by the start of May, final schedule will be published shortly after that.

Berlin Buzzwords - Early bird registration

2010-04-10 15:02
I would like to invite everyone interested in data storage, analysis and search to join us for two days on June 7/8th in Berlin for Berlin Buzzwords - an in-depth, technical, developer-focused conference located in the heart of Europe. Presentations will range from beginner friendly introductions on the hot data analysis topics up to in-depth technical presentations of scalable architectures.

Our intention is to bring together users and developers of data storage, analysis and search projects. Meet members of the development team working on projects you use. Get in touch with other developers you may know only from mailing list discussions. Exchange ideas with those using your software and get their feedback while having a drink in one of Berlin's many bars.

Early bird registration has been extended until April 17th - so don't wait too long.

If you would like to submit a talk yourself: Conference submission is open for little more than one week. More details are available online in the call for presentations:

Looking forward to meeting you in the beautiful, vibrant city of Berlin this summer for a conference packed with high profile speakers, awesome talks and lots of interesting discussions.

Working on Mahout as part of your studies at TU Berlin

2010-04-09 14:37
Did you ever wonder, who those weird people working on free software projects are? Did you ever ask yourself how these developers organise their work, how they collaborate, which values are important to them? Did you ever think about participating in a free software project yourself but never really had time to do so because your studies were just too time-consuming?

Well, if you are a student of one of the Berlin universities, there is a project at the research group DIMA at TU Berlin that might be of interest to you: With Hot Topics in Information Management the second edition of last year's course focussed on building systems with Apache Mahout.

This term the course will concentrate on extending Mahout. During the first week, students are given a set of possible project ideas to choose from. Of course you are invited to add your own ideas as well. You will need to come up with a rough plan of material to read, modules to implement and a timeframe for each module.

You are asked to not only implement your choosen extension but to thouroughly (unit-/integration-) test it, to document it, to provide examples of its usage and finally to work together with the community on contributing your implementation back to the project.

During the course you are free to re-use resources built up for last year's course - both hardware as well as installed software and available data.

The course starts next week on Tuesday - registration closes in a few days, so make sure you signed up if you are interested in working on Mahout during your regular project time and get credits for that.