This article is part of The 100 Days Offensive. Go to Day 63 or Day 65.
Today I celebrated my birthday. Due to the circumstances, a normal party was out of the question for me. So I organized an online event.
As already discussed, I setup a Jitsi-Server (I will discuss the installation in more details in a separate blog post) and sent out invitations to my friends (rather late, those went on Thursday).
I used a hosted system on Amazon AWS. To be on the safe side I used an EC2 instance of the c5n.4xlarge type (16 cores, 42 GB RAM). With about 0,80$ per hour, this will be the cheapest party I have thrown for decades. I will have to pay extra for the traffic and I am really interested to learn the exact amount. But I doubt it will be a significant sum.
From the ~30 people invited, 20 attended. This would have been an excellent ratio with the best planned party, considering the two days lead time it was just spectacular and I am really grateful for my friends. Not all attended at the same time (the maximum number of participants at any moment was 12). The attendance was boosted by the fact, that nobody had to travel. We had participants from five cities and two countries.
There were some technical problems, but all those were solved within a few minutes (usually by reconnecting or putting the mobile phone into the fridge). 8 weeks of home office have dealt a lot of lessons already. The technology of Jitsi is sufficiently mature and stable. I am really impressed by that open source solution.
In total it was a nice party and I had good and long talks to people close and dear to me. So I consider it a complete success.