mike chambers | about

onAIR Tour : Week Three Of On Air Tour In Europe Review

Originally posted on onair.adobe.com blog.

We have just wrapped up week three of the on AIR Tour in Europe, and are currently resting / recuperating in Prague. The week was a huge success and we had great turnouts at all of the events (Stockholm, Berlin, Warsaw). As usual, the highlight was meeting all of the developers in each city.

Here is a quick overview of the week.


We started the second leg of the tour in Stockholm, with most of us arriving on Saturday. We had amazing weather, and got a chance to see the city on Sunday.

The event was held in an old building right by the water (of course, I think nearly everything in Stockholm is by the water). We had a great turnout, and had the usual lineup of sessions. Ethan Malasky, one of the main engineers on the AIR team joined the tour in Stockholm, and gave a really interesting talk on the HTML security model in Adobe AIR.

There was a lot of enthusiasm and questions from developers.

One thing that really threw us off in Stockholm was the fact that the sun goes down around 11 PM and comes up around 3 AM. This made it pretty difficult to sleep and get over the jet lag, but we all seemed to get through it ok.

Aside from the event itself, the highlights of Stockholm included beer at AKKurat, fried herring near Slussen, and a trip the the Vasa museum.


We got up bright and early on Tuesday morning for our train trip to Berlin. Unfortunately, what was originally supposed to be a 12 hour train ride, turned into a 17 hour journey, as our first train into Copenhagen was late, which threw off our schedule. We also got a surprise when the train pulled onto a boat to ferry across the Baltic. We got into Berlin around midnight, and quickly went to bed, as we had to get up early for the Berlin event.

On the Ferry between Copenhagen and Denmark

The Berlin event was held in an old bar / pub, and was split between the upstairs and downstairs. It was a cool venue, but it had no air conditioning, and the weather was very HOT! Despite the heat, we had a packed house again, and everyone hung out through the entire day.

Makeshift air conditioner in Berlin

Marco Kaiser joined us in Berlin and gave an overview of Twhirl and a sneak peak of some new features he was working on. Bejamin Dobler also joined and showed off some of the work he has been doing on the parleys.com AIR application.

To thank everyone for bearing with us through the heat, we opened up the bar and had an extended “networking” (i.e. beer) break, which really lifted spirits.

We had been told to expect the audience in Berlin to be very reserved, but it turned out everyone was really into the event, and seemed to have a lot of fun. We had tons of question through out the day, and in particular, everyone enjoyed Lee Brimelow’s session.

Lee and I got a chance to head over to the eBoy studio, and meet Kai, Steffen and Sven, who together make up eBoy.

eBoy does some of the coolest stuff around right now, and created the Adobe AIR launch t-shirt and poster. We got a chance to chat with them, and shot a video interview with them, talking about their creative process, and how they actually create their pixel art. Lee has a write up of the visit on his blog.


We had a late train to Warsaw from Berlin, so some of the speakers got a chance to see some of Berlin, visiting the wall, and the Checkpoint Charlie museum.

We caught the train to Warsaw in the afternoon, and had an uneventful 6 hour ride to Berlin. At this point, everyone was pretty tired from the first part of the week, so everyone got to bed pretty early when we got into Warsaw.

The Warsaw event was at the Olympic Center in Warsaw, and despite the fact that it was a little difficult to get to, we once again had a packed event.

Just as in Berlin, we had been told to expect for the crowd to be very reserved, but it turned out that Warsaw may have been the most enthusiastic audience of the entire tour. We got a ton of questions through out the event, and everyone really seemed to enjoy the sessions. Ethan Malasky once again gave a great presentation on security (we video taped the session), and everyone seemed to particularly enjoy Lee Brimelow’s session.

Warsaw has a great Flex developer community, and is definitely a place where we will be visiting again.

After the event, we got a chance to go into the old town, and get some dinner.

One thing we learned in Warsaw (as well as Prague) is that you shouldn’t always trust that the cab driver is charging the correct fare. We discovered this when we got back to the hotel, and were all charged widely different fares.

We ended the week with a 9 hour train ride from Warsaw to Prague. The train was pretty empty and everyone had all of their batteries charged, so it was a pretty nice train ride. The country side was beautiful, and we got a lot of video b-roll, as well as coding done.

When we arrived in Prague, we went to grab a cab (for a 5 minute fare) and were shown a “fare card” with a cost of $100. After some haggling, as well as hearing the quote of the tour from the taxi driver (”George Bush’s dollars aren’t as worth as much as they used to be.”), we ended up getting a better fare (still too high), and headed to the hotel.

Using our handy travel guide, we ended up going to U Fleku, which is the oldest brewpub in the world (1499). We had some great beer, good food, and an all around great time trying to sing Czech beer drinking songs.

Today we are resting up, and seeing some of Prague. We are looking forward to the event tomorrow, which is being held in an active brewery (which we get to tour today).

Serge Jesper’s has also written up a review of week three (over 2000 km on train thus far) over on his blog.

twitter github flickr behance