Contributed by Bob Beck on from the hacks from the wild dept.
Bob Beck (beck@) writes:
So, I am sitting in my kitchen with a car packed full of food, packing up my last things and getting ready to drive south for a Hackathon. This one is a little different, since it is in a wilderness hut I have to hike/ski into.. If the hike doesn't kill me, living for 5 days inside a structure heated by wood where Germans are present to stoke the fire might. So here's a bit of a ramble about hackathons.
It's also a love letter to our intrepid ports people, and install script/sysmerge people. You know who you are.
In the bad old days of helping Theo pull one of these off I would fret over dragging a ton of gear down to work on (a truck full of servers), and even then fretting over net access, how to build and check out - and how much infrastructure would be required to make a useful place where people can hack. I would go down a day before and spend a day setting up servers and copies of repositories and all manner of craziness. The fact that we can now do this with minimal gear and a satellite net connection is pretty cool.
Notwithstanding that, it still amazes me in the last few years how stressless my laptop before a hackathon has been.. In the bad old days there was much pre-building and gnashing of teeth and ensuring everything was right so I wouldn't end up with a screwed up system at a hackathon and wasting tons of time on it. I'd spend tons of last minute fretting time worrying about the state of my machines before I left the house.
Nowadays it's pretty easy.. I make sure I have the latest snap and run an upgrade. sysmerge takes care of the rest.. I reboot, make sure I have a locally synced cvsrepo, and run pkg_add -ui. I know I'll be able to run builds and more than likely nothing will be screwed up. I can take one laptop and not worry about things - I'll be running current and it'll just work, and I'll be able to work and I don't worry about having a laptop that's so boned I can't work.
Considering I am running the latest development head of an operating system - I think that's pretty damn cool.