My Trip to Sweden and AmiGBG
Outward JourneyIt was a very early start; I had to be at my local train station for 7am, where I would catch my first of 3 trains down to Stansted Airport. I got up at 5:30am.
This is my first trip outside of the UK on my own and only the 2nd time I've flown anywhere, to say I was a little nervous would be an understatement. As I write this I am sitting on the train from Doncaster to Peterborough, where I need to change again to get to Stansted. It's just got 8am and my body's telling me I should be in bed.
Once I get to Stansted I only have a 40 minute window to get to check in, collect my tickets and board the plane, so its going to be a close call, I hope I make it because if I don't I'm pretty much stuffed.
Once I land in Sweden I'm meant to meet up with Shoe and go to his farm, where I will be staying for the duration of my trip. I already know that when I get there I will have my work cut out for me. I have to install 2 classic Amiga's with OS4 ready to show at AmiGBG, an A1200 and an A4000.
Well I'm now in Sweden, have been for a good few hours. My travels went well and its now just gone 11pm Swedish time. Tomorrows plan is get the classics setup then we're off to the venue to have a look round and have a final brain storm between all the organisers and exhibitors present ready for the big day on Saturday, which promises to be fantastic.
FridayIt's been a very busy day today. Spent pretty much all of the daytime trying to setup the A1200 and A4000 to run OS4, however thanks to the ageing hardware neither of them are currently working. The A1200 setup was working correctly until we moved it to a desktop case, now it isn't. We plan to try and get it going once we arrive at the venue in the morning.
This evening we went to the venue to do some setting up, which all went very well. I met up with the Friedens along with a load of other people, whose names I've already forgotten. Everything seems pretty much set and I'm looking forward to tomorrow and the show.
After we had setup and the owner (I assume) asked us to leave we all went off for a meal at an Italian restaurant, which was very nice and the prices was quite reasonable. It was nice to speak with Hans-Joerg and everyone. We left when the owners tried to make us sing on the kareoke machine!
It is now after midnight and I will be going to bed shortly since its yet another early start in the morning. I hope to write about the show on Sunday morning.
The Show day!Well its now Monday evening, I haven't had a chance to write anything since the show, I haven't really had a chance to breath let alone do anything else.
The show was a blast! We got up at around 5am UK time, which is 6am Swedish time and I spent yet another hour or so fighting with the A1200 and eventually abandoned it in the hope that I could get it going at the show.
We arrived at the show at 8am when it opened to allow all the exhibitors and organisers to setup ready for the 11am official opening time. I had my stand setup within an hour, with my case badges, Total Amiga and some of last years AmiGBG DVD's for sale then I set about lending a hand to anyone else who was struggling to setup.
It was then that I spent yet more time getting the A4000 back running OS3.9 so it could be used in the presentation hall to run Silkcut, which is an awesome TBL demo. I had also planned to get the A1200 going but thankfully Olegil got it going before I had a chance, so big thanks to him. I understand OS4 on the classic went across rather well, everyone seemed to be impressed by it, which is good.
The show itself opened at 11 and a steady stream of visitors streamed in until some time around 1pm, when I guess was the fullest the show got. My estimate is we had somewhere in the region of 200 paying visitors and some 60 or so exhibitors, organisers' etc.
The introduction was held at around 12pm quickly followed by the Frieden brothers speech, which was really interesting, we got to see 2 new games ported to OS4, a Quake 2 mod who's name currently escapes me and Freespace 2, which looked totally awesome. I really look forward to the release of that one.
I managed to sit through most of the speeches, the speech by the TBL coder was really quite interesting and I got to see Silkcut for the first time, which was brill. I always know when a demo is good because the hairs on my arms stick up, and they sure did during silkcut.
I also got to listen to the IBM speech, which was also interesting, though not as interesting to me personally as the OS4 related talks. However it was nice to have a representative of such a large company attending an Amiga event, he even cracked a few funny one liners to keep everyone's attention, and he gave away a free USB mug warmer amongst other things!
I apologise if I'm not going into enough details but through tiredness and also because I didn't get much of a chance to have a real look around I can't really go into detail of what was actually on show. Also I'm sure other more complete reviews will be available by the time you read this anyway. This is more of my trip as a whole rather than strictly a show report.
The last "speech" I managed to listen into was the quiz part, which was quite cool, although I'm extremely jealous someone managed to walk away with a free A1, and I STILL don't have one of my own! The blue Vs the red thing was really quite a risky thing to do with the way things are but I think they managed to pull it off quite well.
The Friedens won the support award, and Steffan won the Swedish support award, which I think he did deserve since he did put in a lot of effort to host AmiGBG, but then a lot of people did so I wouldn't want their effort to be forgotten either. I'm sure there were other awards given out too, but I can't remember them exactly so I won't comment on them.
During the show I managed to sell a stack of case badges, many more than I had anticipated which allowed me to buy many many beers at the after party :-D. I also managed to sell 5 AmiGBG DVD's and a total of 9 Total Amiga subscriptions, so I hope I have done the TA team proud. I also managed to sell a few back issues of TA, though I had hoped to sell more so I wouldn't have so much weight to lug back with me. :-P
After the ShowAfter frantically packing away at 5pm we went down to the restaurant on the ground floor, where we had a Mexican buffet and the drink started to flow.
By this point I had been up for very many hours, hadn't eaten since breakfast and was very tired, but very ready to party! The food was reasonable, and the drink was expensive but the company was excellent, and so was the cake. We spent a good few hours eating, drinking and talking up until around midnight when Steffan aka Shoe asked us all to go outside where he let off one hell of a firework, what a perfect end to a perfect celebration of 20 years of Amiga.
After the restaurant closed many of us went into Gothenberg in search of another watering hole and it wasn't long before we found a bar that was open until very very late, so we went in there, drank more and got even more drunk, it was all great fun. I lost count of how many bottles of Guinness I drank, all I know is I spent something in the order of 1000 SEK, which must be something like £80. Now because Steffan didn't go to into town I didn't have anywhere to sleep for the night but as luck had it Andreas aka Reflect said I could sleep at his, something I am very grateful of.
I think we left somewhere around 4am and went back to reflects for some much-needed sleep.
SundayI woke after a drunken sleep around 11am, quickly dressed and had some breakfast, we (me and reflect) then headed back into Gothenberg to meet up with the others for another action packed day. After some waiting around and a lot of discussion we decided to go to the fair and have a go on some of the roller coasters, among which is Europe's biggest wooden roller coaster.
We were there pretty much all day until the evening, then we headed off to a cyber-cafe / pool hall that served food. Eventually we managed to get back to Steffans sometime around midnight again, and I have never felt so tired and dirty. I was very happy to get some sleep I can tell you.
Monday and going HomeAt long last I was able to have a bit of a lay in although it didn't really help how tired I felt. I got up around 11am and spent a few hours at Steffans before setting off back home. My flight was at 3:20pm and it is currently 9:30pm and I am on the train on my way home. I expect to get home around 11:30 tonight where I will get something to eat and head off to bed. I don't intend to do anything tomorrow, just spend the day recovering, but it has all been worth it.
In ClosingI would like to thank Steffan and Andreas for giving me a place to stay and for making me feel very welcome. I'd also like to thank all the people who worked feverishly to put on AmiGBG. Lastly I'd like to thank all those who bought a case badge, and in most cases more than one case badge (pun intended), thanks to you I was able to spend so much money on beer.
Lastly I'd like to thank all the pretty ladies in Sweden for giving me plenty to look at :-D
I look forward to, and hope to attend AmiGBG again in 2006.