Amsterdam flash marathonOctober 12, 2009 at 13:12 | Posted in Uncategorized | 34 Comments
Summit is over, a huge thanks to everyone who attended and made the event memorable!
Now that (almost) everyone has gotten home, it’s time to tell you how Soumya, Daniel, Quim, Lasse and me spent our Thursday.
The story begins back home at 4:45 in the morning. I connected to the Nokia intranet over vpn to fetch the nightly images from the repository. Then jumped in a taxi, collected Daniel on the way to the airport where we met Quim and Soumya for the early morning flight to Amsterdam!
So when Peter talked about fresh software the next morning, he really meant it!
During the flight both me and Daniel went through the list of participants name by name to count the geographical distribution. Thanks for including that information in the registration form, and to remove the Nokia employed people from the list. In Amsterdam we compered the results and decided on amounts of devices per region. The Benelux countries took home the prize of most attendees.
8:25 a taxi to WestergasFabriek, where we located the batch of well packaged N900s, all covered in DHL a tape, fresh from the factory. If the software was fresh, so where the devices!
Half an hour later we had gotten the boxes moved to the Community Hall with a fork lifter where we set up a flashing line.
Two tables and benches next to the wall, four laptops connected to flashing stations, enough power cables for everything, and we were ready to rock. Quim did unpacking and fed us devices for flashing and picking up and reboxing the flashed devices. For the sake of speed we had decided to flash the devices so that each one of us took one geographical area. That way Quim had an easier time putting the devices back in boxes and marking the boxes with the regions.
Our ‘official’ way to open a device for flashing is to slide a shop bonus card in through the crack for opening the back cover and then turn the card. This really is the only way to do it to hundreds of devices. Then put the device on the flashing jig and run flasher. Pop the device off after four minutes (we were doing a full reflash, and the internal memory card is big…) and put it back in the box and make everything look untouched
And all this needs to happen with a pair of gloves on. No-one likes greasy finger prints on their brand new device!
The hotel cleaning lady must have looked twice when cleaning Daniels room on Friday morning. He forgot the pair of black gloves and two knives laying on the table…
At the same time as we were flashing devices the crew at WesterGasFabriek were setting the stage for the summit. The crew literally built the Community Hall around us! At some point the noise got so bad that they brought us earplugs.
After a few hours we kept a short coffee break and continued to go through the batch. The break served as lunch too. Only later did we learn that lunch in the Netherlands apparently consists of sandwitches and something small.
Lasse arrived some time around noon, and got straight into the job. Flying in from Oulu takes more time with the necessary transfer at Helsinki.
Quim and I had to leave for some pre-arranged meetings after two. We felt pretty bad leaving the others to finish the job, but it was clear that things could be done in time to hide all evidence of our work before the Summit registration was opened. And sure enough Soumya, Daniel and Lasse cleaned the place in good time and went to the hotel to check-in. The preparations were done and we could relax for the evening and meet everyone at the evening get-together.
Friday morning the feeling of seeing the faces of people when Ari broke the news was in itself worth the early morning wake up on Thursday. The short moment of silent disbelief and the applause. it just feels good to know that we were part of making that happen.
But we weren’t there yet. We had the grateful task of handing the devices out to people. So we slipped out after Ari’s keynote and met at the info desk and started transforming it to the N900 delivery point! Lasse was already setting up the infra and support for the N900 demo area.
After watching Peter give the instructions in the N900 hall over the live tv stream, we braced for the rush. And sure enough, the first people practically came running over! And the big wave of people right after them! The whole info point desk turned into a bar with an N900 happy hour going on. The frenzy of papers, id-cards, summit badges and N900s was wild.
At the end of the day we had given out 280 devices, 20 left to the people who for one reason or another couldn’t make it to the summit on Friday.
The news spread fast through the Internet And as we welcomed the first people at the registration desk on Saturday morning, they knew to ask about the devices as they got their badges.
The Saturday special was flashing the devices live at the desk. The flash jig got the interest it deserved, those little things saved our Thursday (Thanks Lasse, for getting them!).
With the last device out of our hands on Saturday, it was time to get together and congratulate each other for the mission accomplished. The whole operation went smoothly with no surprises.
A huge thanks to Anna-Marja, Henrietta and Satu for manning the info desk and letting us slip off occasionally for short breaks. Not forgetting Olli and Peter and everyone else for the fight to make this happen. It was worth it!
I would really like to thank Soumya, Daniel, Lasse and Quim for an unforgettable Thursday! I’ll do it again any time.