TERENA Networking Conference 2003 in Zagreb (day 3)

Wednesday. The exhibition room.

The large room where the plenary sessions are held.

People are indeed told to keep their equipment quiet, but in some sessions there is a lot of beeps and tones anyhow. On the other hand - it is also nice for all of the 300 people in the room to know that yet another PC has expired due to lack of power, and is annoucing this by two loud beeps.

The morning session starts with an english speaker, present by video, called Stephen Heppell, who should be a great competence in the field of distance education. However, we don't experience much of that since the talk lacks somewhat structure and the slides he is reading from, we never get to see. The only time we really woke up was when his phone rang with at sound so loud over the microphone that I thought it was the fire alarm. Luckily - it was just his daughter(!)

The chair of the sessions is one of the organizers, Miroslav Milinovic from CARNet.

As a contrast to the previous one, Derek Law from Strathclyde Univerity was a really good speaker. He does research in digital libraries. Why bother with digital libraries? Why don't rely on someone else to do the archiving? The last point on the slide is due to the fact that we can certainly not leave it to the publishers, because as soon as something has been published, they sell their archives, just as they have sold their grandmothers long ago.

Yet another thing that only exists in the virtual world, since the corresponding physical museum was closed.

If it says "user friendly" on the shrink wrap, you can be sure that extensive user training is needed!

Digital archiving is important! Otherwise, all of us would not have easy access to this picture, that says more than a 1000 words!

Among the afternoon sessions were a summary of the coming IP-telephony cookbook.

Told by Saverio Niccolini.

The cookbook will be a sure hit, but will only come out in stages, so we still have to wait for some of the goodies.

Next item was presented by Karel Vietsch...

SERENATE (as a very unususal thing, the slide actually explains it all)

SERENATE is one of those acronyms it must have taken several project meetings or a lot of napkins to construct.

A survey made by TERENA on the status of the NRENs, can to a certain extent be like comparing apples with oranges, due to differences in the interpretation of the survey questions in the various countries.

Presented by Bert van Pinxteren.

The project is called The TERENA Compendium 2003

and the theme with apples and oranges was so powerful that at one point in the presentation, it simply took over the actual figures and conclusions.

As you may have seen on the conference homepage all sessions are being streamed over the net. The equipment for that is being operated by the competent staff.

Conference secretariat.

E.T. phone home: public terminals with Croatic keyboards.

Speaker's room.

The last thing on the day's agenda for me was a meeting, called eduPerson BoF. This meeting is chaired by the enthusiastic middleware expert from UNINETT, Ingrid Melve.

Is is all about LDAP schemas - and before you can count to three, another complex figure is on the board.

The discussion at the BoF is vivid.

The gala event of the evening takes place at Gradska Kavana - the city café - which has a very special atmosphere.

The first entertainment are these very futuristic singers, who are singing a number of songs that date from the beginning of the eighties (Soft Cell, Yazoo and that kind) which are just as high-tech...

...as the whole setting.

We want to get started with the buffet...

...but first we need to hear a few words from the TERENA president, David Williams, and from Jean-Marc Uzé from Juniper (the sponsor of the evening), who has brought along their annual report(!)

Another cultural event is a group that uses computer screens as percussion instruments. This time the music is even more retro: "Pop corn" from the beginning of the seventies.

Last interruption of the meal is a lady playing on what may be called an electric cello (?) The photographer of the organization is in the picture, but I must admit that this time she got ahead of me!

Home to the hotel by tram. Thanks to the organization of the conference, it has been yet another nice and eventful day.

Martin Bech