Recently some of my work on prenotes came up, and reminded me that I’ve wanted to post favorite moments here for some time. For those who don’t know, a prenote is a session before the keynote of a conference or event. During that session, notables from across the community put on a humorous show of parody lyrics karaoke, terribly scripted dialogue, and general silliness. It’s a great way to kick off an event, and really sets the tone if you’re into flat-hierarchy and openness for newbies.
Without further ado, here is the first of my favorite prenote moments, performed for Drupalcon Amsterdam in 2019.
The four Drupalists
(the four of us pass a joint around)
Rob: Ahh.. Very passable, this, very passable.
Cam: Nothing like a good hit of Lemon Kush Blue Drop Haze, ay Adam?
Jam: Who’d a thought ten years ago we’d all be sittin’ here smoking a bong on the prenote stage?
Rob: Yep. In those days, we’d a’ been glad to even give a session.
Cam: A session OFF the mainstage.
Jam: Without mics or speaker notes.
Adam: OR a session.
Rob: In a filthy broom closet.
Jam: I never used to have a broom closet. I used to have to present in the alley behind the convention center.
Cam: The best WE could manage was talking to strangers at a bus stop.
Adam: But you know, we were happy in those days, though we weren’t Drupal Famous.
Rob: Aye. BECAUSE we weren’t Drupal Famous. Dries used to say to me: Rob, Twitter followers don’t buy you happiness.'
Jam: He was right. I was happier then and I had NO followers. We used to have this tiiiny old PHPBB bulletin board, with enormous fatal errors in the forums.
Cam: Bulletin board! You were lucky to have a bulletin board! We used to share one ICQ account, all twenty-six of us, no wifi. Half the router was dead; we were all plugged into the other half for fear of PACKET LOSS!
Adam: You were lucky to have a ROUTER! We used to have to use a token ring network!
Rob: Ohhh we used to DREAM of a token ring network! Woulda’ been luxury to us. We used to share a dial-up connection on a copper phone line. We got woken up every morning by the sound of SCREEEEE-WOOOEOOOOOEOOO-BIBOMMMM-BIBOMM-BIBOMM. Internet connection! Hmpfh.
Jam: Well when I say “Internet connection”, it was just a 14.4 baud modem connected to a tin can and some string, but it was an Internet connection to US.
Cam: Our tin can and string were cut; we had to send packets by smoke signal!
Adam: You were lucky to have smoke signals! There were a hundred and fifty of us sending our TCP packets on USB sticks by carrier pigeon.
Rob: 1 Gigabyte sticks?
Rob: You were lucky. For us, once a week old Geppeto would come to town pushing a hand cart with UDP packets. SYN and ACK, hmpf! We used to join stand-up at 6 in the morning, clean the backlog, drink a cup of cold coffee, go down to code in the basement for fourteen hours a day week-in-week-out. When we finished a project, the PM would schedule a 2 week retrospective.
Cam: Luxury. We used to join standup at 3 o’clock in the morning, rewrite the whole ticketing system from scratch, eat a handful of coffee grinds, write our modules without an IDE for 2 cents a month, clock out, and the PM would beat us over the head with a laptop, if we were LUCKY!
Adam: Well we had it tough. We used to have to wake up the carrier pigeons at twelve o’clock at night, and format the USB sticks by hand. We drank a cup of sulfuric acid, worked twenty-four hours a day writing modules on a punch card machine for for four cents every six years, and when we got home, our PM would strangle us with a mouse cable.
Jam: Right. I had to join morning standup at ten o’clock at night, half an hour before I went to bed, drink a cup of molten lava, work twenty-nine hours a day making punch cards with my teeth, paying the CEO for permission to come to work, and when we got home, our PM would kill us and dance about on our graves singing the Drupal song.
Rob: But you try and tell the young Drupalists today that… and they won’t believe ya'.
ALL: Nope, nope…