Did I ever mention that having reliable and fast Internet access is the single most important factor for me (and other busy developers, especially those who are self-employed or run their own company) when visiting a conference or other event?
When visiting a conference, I basically have to leave all my work behind for a number of days. I can only do that if I at least respond once per day to customer emails, and deal with the most important things that pile up in the incoming queue of business-related email and faxes.
So at LSM the first issue with the network was authentication. You were required to enter your login name and password that you used to register for the conference [several months ago]. For those people who don't reuse the same password for multiple sites again and again, and who don't have monster brains, this means that the password is not something they will remember off their head. In my case that password is securely stored in an encrypted keyring on my nfs serve at home.
Obviously it wouldn't be a problem to bring that password to the event, if somebody actually had cared to spread the information that it would be required at the event.
After some discussion with multiple people, a new account was created for me. It was supposed to work within 15 minutes, but it didn't.
Even better, the wireless network was shut off at 6pm. Jeez. They don't get it. When at a conference, I need to use the nights in order to cover up for the lost working time during the day. If there is no Internet access in the evening or during the day, I'm unable to do so.
On Thursday it was even better: The wireless network was shut off at 12 noon. Somebody told me that this was to motivate the incentive for people to go to a speech by the mayor of Dijon. This speech would no doubt be very interesting - if only I understood a single word of French. So the best thing the foreign visitors (among them a number of speakers) could have done during that time was to catch up with their email and work - if only there was network access.
So as a matter of fact, I've now spent the longest period offline (four working days) for years. I can only imagine how upset some of my customers will be. Thanks, LSM.
This will be my last post about this horrible event. I only wish I had taken the first train back after running into the problems finding an accommodation on Tuesday.