Fast Packets

hike, hoist a stein, hack some code

In what some may see as the ultimate combination of work and fun, users of the Linux operating system are being offered a chance to learn more about it next August while hiking the Bavarian Alps.

Interested attendees are being told to bring along a laptop computer and a pair of comfortable hiking boots to the week-long gig, which will likely take place from Aug. 9 to 15, 1999, according to Electric Lichen LLC, the U.S. Internet consulting firm which is sponsoring the trip.

Participants will take part in outdoor Linux lectures by day and make frequent nighttime visits to “Bavarian brew pubs,” according to information posted on a special Web page ( set up for the occasion. The tour organizers are still working on logistics, such as setting up campground networks so all users have Internet access. Although users will have to pay transportation costs to and from the Alps, Electric Lichen is in search of corporate sponsors to help defray the costs.

The interest from users has already been great, according to Electric Lichen. But not all Linux users are enthused about combining beer and business. One user, responding to a Web site which posted news of the tour, sent the following reminder: “Friends don’t let friends hack drunk.”