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BIM (Berkeley In Munich) Stammtisch


PREVIOUS LOCATIONS (useful to refer to as we often go again)


  • Location

    is nominated, voted & announced via the mail list.
  • Date

    3rd Wednesday in each month (with possible exception of December) , Default time 19:30 (varies from 19:00 to 20:00).
  • Calendar ( - Unix format of course!)

    Entry to copy to your ~/.calendar (if you don't understand the syntax, use man calendar command on any Unix, especially a BSD Unix.
    • * Wed+1 BIM members nominate & vote on Stammtisch location for 1 week.
    • * Wed+2 BIM Stammtisch votes invalid after 24:00. Nominator of winning location posts "I will book N seats" & ensures web venue page is updated.
    • * Wed+3 BIM Stammtisch at winning location. Default 19:30 if not stated. If no nominations received, same venue as last month, if sufficient people say they want a Stammtisch.
  • Nominating Locations - Eligibility

    Nominations Are Much Encouraged From Eligible Voters Prepared To:
    • Remember to post quickly after beginning of the calendar defined nomination & voting period.
    • Monitor the mail list to see if your location wins.
    • Post to mail list if if your location wins, asking for a head count for the wining venue.
    • Phone restaurant to make initial booking (checking restaurant not closed or booked out with others that night).
    • Ask someone (try Julian first) with a login on the BIM hosts to update the Next Venue page with data you supply, ideally in diff -c format
    • Count heads over coming days, & make a 2nd confirmation phone call a bit before event, to confirm booking & adjust seat numbers reserved.
    • Turn up on time to hold the table & welcome newcomers etc.
    The Effort Involved
    • A bit of effort, but appreciated, & & the price to pay for getting everyone to meet at the place you nominate this month.
    • We aim to avoid relying on any one person or group to spend time arranging things regularly, - better to let a variety of members take turns organising us, & enjoying a variety of venues & food.

    Nominating Locations - Restrictions

    • A nomination is only valid if you have attended at least one previous BIM Stammtisch. The Stammtisch is group of humans who take some effort to meet where they choose, more effort than others expended by merely joining a mail list via a robot. If you have never yet made the effort to meet the Stammtisch, please wait until you have made that effort, before asking all the Stammtisch to meet where it would suit you.
    • Just one nomination per person per month ! You can retract & change nomination if you must. but please consider the consequences: if others may have also voted for the venue by the time they see your retraction, who will take on duties of venue nominator ie head count booking etc ?
    • Please Try to avoid nominating this month if we already have many nominations & few votes: it confuses the issue, makes it harder for us to numerically settle on any one venue. We want to reduce chance of delayed venue decision from draws & tie splitter deadline extensions. Wait till next month, then nominate early.

    Good Places To Nominate

    • We like locations where largish sub groups can successfully listen to the quiet spoken techie 2/3 seats away, with a bit of an accent, + maybe speaking or listening in a different language, discussing a complex technical BSD issue, where we do Not want to miss words drowned in noise from half drunken social revellers at adjacent tables. Places where we can safely have a few laptops open, & space to move about/ nearer BSD discussions that most motivates us.
    • At a non technical stammtisch (unlike ours) it is often mono-lingual, one understands the accents better, chats to the nearest neighbours, or shouts down the table occasionally. Locations good enough for a Friday/ party/ serious drinking type venue can be really bad for us !
    • When choosing a location to nominate, please try to minimise these:
      • Noisey Active Bars: (`On The Cruise & On The Booze' club style places): Too noisey [smokey] & crowded & alcohol affected later. No good for listening, concentration on tech. or laptop physical safety.
      • Too Dark: Candles on table imply lights may go down later. Don't burn the laptop screen ! Wax in the keyboard ? Give us a break ! We're technologists maybe trying to read a sketch on back of an envelopes. or an instruction leaflet. We're not Romancers out on a date !
      • Noisy Background Music/ Radio: We don't want to be entertained or distracted, we're not half bored, looking for extra input, we're trying to ignore that Damn music as best we can !
      • Too Crowded: Where do we open a few laptops ? How do we change seats to get near that screen or tech conversation 3 seats down, we're straining to see or hear ?< You want beer in your neighbour's laptop ?
      • Too expensive: Some may not want to eat much, some may be students & people between jobs.
      • Too Smokey: The author is tobacco allergic, & many other BIM members also really dislike smoke. If you fancy doing them & your own health a favour, you could nominate a Restaurant with a No Smoking area
    • Power: A few of us often seem to have a laptop with a bad or empty battery, Did you see a power socket where you want to reserve our table ?
    • If you like noisy active bars, by all means go to them any or every other night, just please don't burden BIM with them, we want to hear & see each other's BSD comment & screens, we're not coming out `On The Booze' (= Saufen- Orientiert)
  • Voting - Eligibility & Weighting Mechanism

    • All members of BIM mail list who hope (> 50% probability) to attend next Stammtisch should please vote.
    • If you don't know locations, or care where, it's still good to post eg "Me too, Wherever":
      • Your friends & associates are more likely to come too, when they see you'r coming, so they can discuss topics of your mutual interest.
      • Other attenders like to know roughly who / how many are coming, & what size table we expect to need to reserve.
    • Choosing where we go is supposed to be transparent, so it's much better to copy your vote to the BIM mail list, not just privately mail to Julian or some other location nominator.
    • The mail mechanism accepts postings only from listed members).
    • BSD people who are listed members of BIM get one full vote each if 100% certain of attending.
    • Venue votes of people declaring themselves committed to attend, outweigh preferences of those who merely might come. Declare your percentage likelihood of attendance please.
    • BIM members 70% sure of coming, & thus booking 70% probability of needing 1 seat, get 70% of one vote.
    • "I don't know if I can make it": Assumption 50% or less, unless more is said.
    • Votes of those who only have a 50% expectation of attending, will not be counted unless it helps us avoid a tie breaker deadline extension
    • If you are less than 50% sure of coming do not vote for a venue please. Just reserve your EG 30% of a seat wherever those who probably are coming choose to go.
    • Post your vote to mail list please. Not just private mail/phone to Julian:
      • Others want to know who & how many are coming, & appreciate seeing votes for locations.
      • Julian does not want to be relied on or need to be taken on trust to post a summary of location votes from private mail.
      • Julian might be away, busy, or he or his email might be ill or flooded etc.
    • BSD people not listed on BIM@ do not get a vote No proxy votes. Join BIM if you want to vote. Join or Leave Mail List or Other Lists
    • Friends referred to in seat reservations are assumed non BIM/BSD & non voters, unless individually named & declared as BIM voting members.
    • No votes or proxy voting for other BIM members. IE "My friend/ girl/boy friend/ husband/ wife/ spouse/ partner/ boss/ assistant/ associate/ colleague" etc want to go to XYZ venue. Hard luck, they get no say & no vote! Only BIM@ people get a vote.
    • Non Unix people don't get a seat if they're not at least `other halves' of BSD out of towners @ stammtisch. (Degrades technical conversation if social/ domestic/ business partners are brought along, if they can't talk BSD or at least Unix sensibly. (exception made for other halves of out-of-town BSD people visiting Munich/Muenchen. If they're normal domestic partners, leave them at home, or take them to a social club when they can relate. There's plenty here: Other Lists We are not a social club, we are a Technical group.
  • Ties / Run-Off Votes

    If multiple locations get equal numbers of winning votes, if time permits (*), a short extension of voting deadline will be announced. All locations not already tied winners, are not eligible for more votes (to focus voters & encourage more to vote earlier next month - more votes on time reduce the chance of future ties). If it's still a tie after the extended tie breaking deadline, the first location nominated to mail list after opening nominations (ref. calendar) ) is used. (*) Sufficient time needs to remain to put location on web site, & announce location to mail list, & allow time for readers travelling away from their offices, to get somewhere to check their mail.
  • Book Your Seat

    • Please do book if you can, it helps us reserve correct number of seats.
    • State how many seats you want (1/2 + Names), & what percentage probability you'll come.
    • After close of voting, if you only then sign on, make your own decision whether you post to mail list or privately contact the nominator of this month's winning location.
    • If you voted a location you are assumed to be coming regardless whether your location or another won. If you can't make it, tell the nominator of the winning venue. If you Are the nominator bribe a friend (promises of free beer at a later date ?) to do the nominator's work.
    • State if you'll be late. "Late" is not defined by you, nor by us, but is defined by what waiters in restaurants consider as "Late" before they start giving the organiser trouble &/or giving surplus booked seats away.
    • Give detail EG: "John Smith + friend, 2 seats, 80%, We'll be very late ( ~22:30 ? )"
    • Those who go, feel no need to commit to to not changing location without notice, if/ when no one [else] bothers to say they'll join us. Once we cancelled, for lack of response, then there were complaints - too late - from those who would have joined us. Please mail at least a quick "I'll come" to the mail list.


  • BSD people & those BSD interested are welcome.
  • Microsoft etc proponents are Not welcome.
  • Microsoft users looking to be rescued from MS by BSD are welcome.
  • Linux people also have their own Munich Linux User Group Stammtisches the same day. BSD & Linux have a lot in common though (EG FSF, X11, KDE, & thousands of other optional common packages, plus antipathy to Microsoft & software patents etc. We are not unfriendly to Linux or Linux users, but naturally we prefer a BSD base to all the applications we share in common with Linux.
  • Husband/ Wives/ Friends/ Colleagues etc should not attend the BIM Stammtisch unless they personally (not just through their partner) have an interest in BSD, BIM Stammtisch is not a social evening for locally resident non BSD partners of BSD people. Any non BSD interested person brought by someone to the Stammtisch is a BSD conversational block to whoever they end up sat next to. Everyone else has come because they want to find BSD topics in common to discuss. If you bring a non BSD spouse/friend, you obstruct everyone else's purpose.
  • Exception is made for out of towners passing through, where one at least of the couple is a BSD person, &/or for where we extend an open door to conference folk, EG previous GUUG & Perl conferences etc.
  • BIM is not English oriented nor German oriented but BSD oriented !
    • We use both the languages of the international technology & the local majority.
    • The founders happened to be English oriented speakers, & these BIM web pages are in English (with long standing invitation for a translator), but most members are German.
    • Do not make the mistake of one Englishman who came to our Indian at Blutenbergerstr, heavily bored us with nothing but Microsoft, & insisted on what he thought was his right to poison this author with his smoke, & seemed to think part of BIM's function was to be some convenient English speaking retreat he could gate crash: It's Not, it's for BSD, in German or English equally, but MS promotion is Very UnWelcome. If you're just looking for some English speaking social groups go here instead.
    • Some few local BSD people are not members of the BIM mail list. They are welcome at the Stammtisch, but must realise they have chosen to make themselves unreachable for any last minute emergency change of venue announcement, which has happened even after we've announced the venue on our web site. Unless they have a BIM friends who books their seat, it also makes estimating seat reservation numbers difficult. We'd prefer they joined our mail list, got the announcements, & announced when they'd be coming (to help encourage others), & also took a part in deciding where we'll meet the month they intend to come.


Introductions (If you'r new, & don't know BIM people yet)

  • You'll maybe find it useful first visit, to ask whoever you'r sat next to, questions such as: Who booked the venue this month ? (You could wander over & say thanks, that person might happily enough see him/herself as host for the evening, & introduce you to a few others), Who are the core regulars ? Who are the BIM Organisers ? What events have they organised before ? What have they got planned next ? By the time various people have chipped in comments on all of that, & the conversation has drifted off to other things a few times, hopefully you'll have had a pleasant evening, & made some useful contacts, perhaps even be wondering how you might later help on BIM activities too.
  • When BIM was starting, the author used to keep an eye out for new people, to try to ensure someone welcomed them & perhaps introduced them to people of similar BSD interests, that still happens sometimes, but rather erratically, it doesn't seem so necessary now that more people know each other, & newcomers tend to get drawn into conversation easier.)

Smoking Restraint

  • None smoke at the Stammtisch any more. Not that some aren't smokers, but many/ most aren't & those that are refrain (Thanks!), perhaps going outside briefly. Even some smokers got offended when after they'd deliberately refrained, some late comer arrived & lit up & chain smoked, wasting the self sacrificed restraint of other would-be smokers. The author is a non-smoker who gets allergic headaches from smoke, but there are many other BIM stammtisch attenders who also don't want to inhale smoke. Please do Not assume you'r welcome to pollute poisonous carcinogenic smoke.

Smoking (If you go Outside & Down wind if we're outside), If Synchronised, Can Benefit The Stammtisch !

  • Stammtisch goers know a common phenomena: It's nice to chat to someone for a while, then it'd be nice if people could change neighbours & topics, especially in noisy venues where you can only easily hear adjacent people. - But arranging several people to get up simultaneously & reshuffle seats doesn't happen. - Now imagine a minority of people with a nicotine based wish to keep one eye on their watches, who get up periodically on some synchronised half hour intervals, for a quick smoke outside, before returning to a possibly different chair: - Smokers get a chance of a new BSD person & topic to start talking to outside; Non smokers inside can move around on free chairs ; Smokers on return can also choose new free chairs & neighbours, possibly those they are still talking to from outside.. We all benefit from periodic variety of BSD neighbours & topics ! Please synchronise your watch before coming if you are a smoker. Try EG
    /usr/sbin/ntpdate; date
    • If you are a smoker, please do not pollute Stammtisch air with smoke, instead invite your fellow smokers to use the habit, aligned to the half hour for our mutual advantage ?
    • If you are a non smoker, please explain to smokers how they can be of positive benefit to the Stammtisch, instead of polluting us. Thanks !

Business Cards

  • BIM is for both personal & business BSD, with no bias to either, (just as it's for all BSD, (Free, Net & Open & Darwin etc), so it's OK to do all of {offer, accept and decline} business cards with other BIM members. (Business is not intrinsically evil or unclean. When you buy a beer at the Stammtisch that's a business transaction. The beer mat promotes perhaps another brand of beer. The glass may promote another. The menu is an Offer Of Sale.) Most people who go are more interested to discuss BSD technology than BSD business though.

Laptops etc

  • Sometimes several bring laptops, PDAs etc, sometimes they WLAN connect. We try to choose quiet not too crowded venues, where we can hear conversations a couple of seats away, not the sort of noisy crowded bar where you'd particularly scared of a beer in the keyboard or a broken screen.

Languages: Both German & English, But Not Microsoft-Speak !

  • Most attenders are German language natives, some are fluent in English, some not quite so.
  • More German gets spoken than English, generally, but it varies who/ were you sit.
  • The author of this paragraph is English, but quite happily listens in German, (but sometimes rather mangles German grammar when speaking, - comes partly from reading BSD manuals & mail lists in English, ).
  • We're a BSD Stammtisch here to speak BSD, not a bunch of professional linguists demonstrating our linguistic ability :-) We're here to discuss BSD. Please don't let limited language ability in either language deter you from discussing interesting BSD topics.
  • Sometimes we get people who don't consider either German or English their first language.
  • Sometimes we get a USA visitor who can't speak much or any German stuck in the middle of a German conversational group.
  • Occasionally we also get Germans who aren't too relaxed in English, surprised, stuck in the middle of an English speaking group.
  • In both cases it helps to move around periodically, to realise your neighbour may be struggling, and swap languages; it also helps to realise that you neighbour may have chosen the language he/she is using, not because that's his/her current preference, but because someone nearby would be lost if the language switched.
  • German & English are both acceptable languages for the BIM Stammtisch, but Microsoft-speak is not welcome ! More than a couple of minutes bores severely, & is generally unwelcome (unless the poor devils are trying to escape MS, & just need to mention MS while they're figuring how to escape, in which case more tolerance & help is shown. BTW Linux folk have their own Munich Linux User Group Stammtisch but some people who also use Linux visit us too, though naturally we expect to mostly discuss BSD with them, at a BSD Stammtisch, but they're welcome.


Occasionally the Stammtisch is found to be a convenient place to meet & swap or give away equipment, that has been previously mentioned on the mail list


Other Stammtisches & recurring dates known to this author are here. (Noted here as it was a tussle to find a free date when this Stammtisch was founded, & if we ever have to find another date, either for BIM or something related, at least it's now documented to save repeating the learning process.


Sage & Faraday etc do talks/Vortraege sometimes. BIM have done a few, & will do some more occasionaly.
  • Astrid 2006.11 offered to do a presentation of Open Impress Pro
  • VOIP : Asterisk : Emil 2006.11 Offered to do a presentation for BIM = Berkeley In Munich
  • KDE tools & Tex tools.
  • Julian could do a demo of his Wysiwyg toolkit (would appeal more to Unix people liking light weight familiar tools, than nnewbies wanting mosnter click & fumble MS equivalents) OpenOffice is enormous, but KDE Office is doubtless very big too.
  • Julian did a previous ad hoc mimi demo of magicpoint to Sage-Muc
  • Other offers for Munich area ? Let me know.
  • Tech Talks In Munich
Sometime MECC (contractors stammtisch) attends talks by others, here's a pointer to the list of places to check.

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