Anelok at CCCamp2015, quick summary

Werner Almesberger werner at
Fri Aug 21 21:55:39 UTC 2015

Rafael Ignacio Zurita wrote:
> no developers, no investors, no press...
> What kind of people were there? gardeners? weightlifters? bus drivers? :)

Naw, it was a very varied mix of people. Many are mainly
interested in politics or the societal impact of technology, so
they may understand what Anelok accomplishes and how it works in
general, but they wouldn't, say, want to write a driver.

Some came just for the blinkenlights and a couple of days out in
the sun.

Of course some are developers, but a) may be interested in other
things, b) may be busy already, or c) simply didn't find out about

Neo900 took center stage at our village. E.g., the big screen that
attracted lots of people always had Neo900 material on it, not
Anelok. Had Anelok featured more prominently, there may have been
more responses.

This is the big screen, in all of its 55 inch glory (it looks
even more imposing in real life than on this picture):

The big screen was planned as a backup in case something went
wrong with our scheduled talks, so we didn't have any plans for
using it as a regular feature of our village. Then we figured
we should do something with it and we put the slides of the
lightning talk on it, on permanent rotation.

Noticing that I could basically do a whole presentation with just
the block diagram, we eventually moved the slides to a PC (the TV
would switch back to TV after a few minutes of showing a static
image) and just had the block diagram. That also worked well for
attracting visitors.

Anelok featuring more prominently would of course have required
more and better preparation. E.g., we had only this little
whiteboard to advertize things to people walking by, and you have
to look twice to even notice Anelok there:

The whiteboard was still incredibly useful. First, we could use it
to indicate our talk schedule, as one can almost see here:

Second, at night, when illuminated by a spotlight, it was insanely
effective as a people magnet. We had about as many spontaneous
visitors between midnight and 2 am as during a whole afternoon.

There had been a plan to print banners, but that didn't
materialize. (And, expecting this to be taken care of, I didn't
think of bringing at least some A4 sheets with the Anelok logo.)

Better presenting Anelok would also have required more people. I
already did as much talking as I could for Neo900. For Neo900, we
had on average three people who could take turns on this, plus
another three village members who could help with the occasional
operations issue.

Press coverage was surprisingly sparse., Germany's main
IT news outlet, covered the first two days of the camp but then
seem to have disappeared. So they missed the little thunderstorm
that caused an emergency evacuation of the camp on the third day,
about 15 minutes after I ended my talk and rudely interrupting
Paul's presentation on Replicant. (Of course, considering what I
know from Argentina, this was a rather insignificant weather
event, not to mention the typhoon I once found waiting for me
outside Openmoko's factory in China a few years ago.)

Given the type of event, it's not really a place where you'd
expect to find the average investor. Of course, there could have
been a chance encounter, but given the generally rather subdued
and conservative investment culture of Germany, that wasn't a very
likely occurrence.

> Btw, could you link some news about neo900 here as well? Or is it a
> mess? (do that)

Hmm, we're still collecting and preparing things. This will take
some time. I made a post about my slides in the megathread, but
there's more to come:

- Werner

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