(Stuff from Saturday, before the actual conference starts. Sorry for any typos, I wrote it late last night after half a bottle of wine, and didn't have time to proofread it this morning. And am now in the middle of a tutorial. I'll fix it up later.).
Woke up at 0500. Almost missed the plane lifting off at 0745 despite that, since Taxis were nowhere to be found. Met Martti, fellow Helsinki Lisper, at Heathrow, and was entertained by his tales of British engineering for most of the trip from Heathrow to King's Cross.
The conference accommodation is nice, especially for the price. Except for the British plumbing, but complaining about that is about as original as complaining about left side traffic. I got a room in the top floor, which seems to be an attic that was later converted to dorms. It looks pretty dramatic, in a good way (with the room being horseshoe-shaped and varying in height between 4.5 meters to 0.5 meters). Unfortunately I don't have a camera.
Cambridge looks really pretty. I haven't yet random walked around the city properly, and probably won't have time to do so on this trip. I did go to the conference tour, though. Thanks to Martin Simmons for doing the hard work of punting on the punt that I was on. I didn't get horribly much out of the guided walking tour part, but at least it meant visiting various places that I would never have gone to on my own.
The sexp-formatted conference badges that Christophe designed look sweet, though they're not a big surprise since I'd seen them in the earlier stages.
We had a very nice dinner at a Turkish place that Christophe recommended, and which surprisingly enough was able to give a table for 12 with no warning at 1930 on a Saturday. IIRC the name of the restaurant was Anatolia, and based on some after-the-fact backtracking the location is off the conference-provided map, but probably on the Bridge Street that Sidney Street transforms into in the intersection to St. Johns Street. I really liked the food. Didn't mind the wine either, though I won't pretend that I can make any kind of judgment on its quality.
All of tomorrow's 4 tutorials look interesting, but since they're in parallel I can only do two. The MPS tutorial is a must-see for me. Choosing between industrial espionage (performance tuning in Allegro) and cool Lisp hacks (ContextL) will be tough.
It's now 00:30 (2:30 Finnish time, so I've been up for 19+ hours). Time to get some sleep, and hope that I can get this entry posted tomorrow. No wireless reception in the room, and I couldn't get a wireless connection up in the Library Common Room. Some people reportedly had more luck with it.