I had a great team hacking with the JUGICE members in Iceland last night as the first stop on the Nordic NightHacking Tour. They created some pretty cool projects in JavaFX for the Raspberry Pi within only a few hours (many of whom had never tried JavaFX before):
You can see that these guys are real geeks (Pacman), but have the weather on their mind quite a bit (Snowplow), so why are they in Iceland? Here are some of the reasons I came up with for being a hacker in Iceland:
1. Tired of Monitor Glare
In the winter Iceland only has 4-5 hours of sunlight, so forget about fancy anti-glare screens or fighting with the blinds… you won’t need it in Iceland!
2. You Aren’t Good at Sharing Bandwidth
There is nothing I hate more than my neighbors slowing down my Java update by playing games or downloading movies. In the U.S. they typically oversell bandwidth in the hopes that most consumers won’t use it. In contrast, Iceland is one of the top countries in the world for internet access with over 8% of the broadband connections using optical fiber and 626.8 Mbit/s per 10,000 population. My informal test at the JUGICE meeting broke the speed test, hitting their max test threshold of 100 Mbit/s on both download and upload!
3. You Like Your Sushi Properly Aged
Sushi is a great food for hackers, but it can be dangerous if it is not fresh enough. Fortunately, the Icelandic people have perfected the art of fish preservation so you don’t have to worry about your wind-dried fish, shark, or seal’s flippers going bad.
4. Your Home Supercomputer Cluster is Destroying the Planet
You need good tools to do hacking, and that often comes at the price of power conservation. I am pretty sure every time I run a compile on my beefy quad-core system, the temperature of the earth goes up by a fraction of a degree. Fortunately, in Iceland all the power comes from renewable geothermal sources, so you can run your very own supercomputer cluster in your basement!
Note: You don’t really have to move to Iceland to do this, because the folks at Green Cloud have figured out how to package this up as a service so you can remotely take advantage of Iceland’s renewable natural resources.
5. You’ve Always Wanted to Meet Gosling’s Cousins
Iceland has a complete genealogy tree dating back to the Norwegian settlers in the 9th century, and geneologists say that all Icelanders are descendants of bishop Jón Arason. James Gosling is half Icelandic on his mother’s side, so when he went to visit last time he was surprised how many cousins he had! Maybe it is worth a trip just to visit all 320,000 of the relatives of the Father of Java.
I certainly had a great time in Iceland and would recommend at least a visit.
In the meantime, join the rest of the live-streamed trip throughout Northern Europe on the NightHacking Nordic Tour: