Eth-0 and hacking out in the woods.

Perhaps I should have marketed this a bit better, but now I am at the Eth-0 lanparty in the Wieringermeer in North Holland. Eth-0 really focuses on being a small close-knit gathering of some of the most random and eclectic tech oriented people in Holland. So far the biggest showing I've seen is from the Media crowd and the Sysadmin crowd. Even so, the Media tent is by far the coolest, and not just because we have a Wii.

To get here, I took the most Dutch route possible: by bike. Honestly, how often do you get the chance to go for a random bike ride in the middle of nowhere, where you're 10 feet under sea level? All I can say is the extra costs of taking a bike on the train were well worth the price. Even if I did get lost twice and go 5km out of the way. (Getting directions is easier here than in Gelderland, their Dutch is easier to understand for some reason.)

I think it's really important for people to understand a little bit about how open source in Europe works compared to the US. For many people here it isn't just a development model or a way of guaranteeing some level of code security, but just a matter of life and reality. Many people here, at this event, are pretty involved not only in messing around with fun electronic toys, but also administrating some very complex networks and systems deployments. Being able to apply a certain level of code freedom to playing with complex servers scales equally as well to being able to create new tools for Audio and Video production. In other words, all the cool parties use open source here.

When working with Free Media geeks, having libraries of open media for use in productions is equally as important. It's very common to want to use movies out of pop culture or out of alternative culture (cue obvious cut to a scene from Yellow Submarine for 750 milliseconds.) The sooner most common media, even off-Hollywood films are under licenses like the Creative Commons, the closer artists are able to legally and freely use this media for their performances as well. Open Source and Open Media aren't just philosophical discussions but really affect the things that people her do.

If you want to see pictures, you can check out mine on Facebook here:
http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=26155&l=b0eff&id=510343307

Or on Flickr:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/tags/eth0/