BachoTeX 2017

A week of typesetting, typography, bookbinding, bibliophily, not to forget long chats with good friends and loads of beer. That is BachoTeX, the best series of conferences I have ever been. This year BachoTeX was held for the 25th time, and was merged with the TUG Meeting for a firework of excellent presentations and long hours of brain storming, hacking, music making, dancing, and simply enjoying life!

Symphony of Green

And while it was a bit less relaxing for me than in the last years, mostly due to the presence of my little daughter who requested presence quite often, it is still the place to be during the Golden Week!

Of course I also gave a talk at BachoTeX about our latest changes in the upcoming TeX Live 2017 release: fmtutil and updmap – past & future changes (or: cleaning up the mess). Big thanks to my company Accelia Inc. for allowing me to attend the conference.

We arrived after a long trip, first via train and plane to Vienna, then two days break (including research with a colleague), followed by a night train ride to Warsaw and another train ride to Torun and a taxi ride to Bachotek. All in all far too long to be done with a 14 month old girl. Finally arrived we went directly to our hut and found it freezing. Fortunately we could organize a heater so that the rest of the week we didn’t have to live in 5-10 degrees 😉

Our log house in Bachotek

The second day brought already the traditional bonfire. After a small (for Polish standard) dinner we ignored the rain and met at the fireplace for BBQ, beer, and lots of live music.

Bonfire on the second evening

The rain stopped during the bonfire, probably due to my horrible singing, and the following days we were blessed with sunshine and warmer temperatures. The forest sparked in all kinds of greens.

Sunny days in Bachotek

For our daughter the trip was a great experience – lots of wild play grounds, many other kids, and a lake she really wanted to go swimming in. Normally I go swimming there, but this year I had a bad cold so I refrained from it, and with me also our daughter, to her great disappointment.

Ready to go swimming

Another day has passed, and the sunset lights up the beautiful lake Bachotek. I cannot imagine a better place for concentrated work paired with great relaxation!

Sunset along the lake

During the days the temperatures were really nice, but the mornings were cold, and our morning walk to the breakfast place was quite chilly.

Enjoying a fresh morning on the lake

Ample coffee breaks and lunch breaks left us enough time to discuss new developments. But the single most important thing that brought people to talk a lot was the horrible internet connection, a big plus in BachoTeX (but as far as rumors go it might have been the last time with that advantage!).

Beautiful and peaceful lake Bachotek

The last evening we had a banquet honoring 25 years of BachoTeX, one of the oldest TeX conference. Live music and dancing, lots of good food and drinks, and outside the perfect evening atmosphere.

Sunset around the lake

Too fast the time has passed and we had to return to Vienna, retracing the long trip. How far it may be, taking the burden to come from Japan is worth every drop of sweat, the time at BachoTeX is probably one of the most productive, and at the same time most relaxing for me.

Big thanks to all our Polish friends for organizing the event.

BachoTeX conference photo

(photo by Frans Goddijn)


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