I woke up at 4 o’clock after sleeping for only three hours. Firstly, to be able to take a bath before other contestants wake up . Secondly, because I experienced jet lag, so I just felt like taking a nap. I couldn’t continue my sleep because then I would got dizzy.
Then we had a breakfast! The available dishes were potatoes, eggs, sausages, cereals, and milks. Very different from Indonesian dishes, of course. But we were proud that we were among the first to have the breakfast (woke up too early)! While having breakfast we read the newsletter which was issued everyday.
Finally, we headed to IOI 2010 opening venue by bus.
All participants were gathered in a large room, with a stage and 2 projector screens in the front, plus many banners around. In this room I could witness all teams around the world, with their unique costumes. Indonesian team simply wore Batik shirts and jackets.
The opening was pretty standard, with speeches from the organizers. One of the cool things I remembered was that Troy Vasiga, IOI chair, showed that
IOI 2010 –> IOI ’10 –> 10110 –> 22
and this IOI 2010 was the 22nd IOI! Was this a mere coincidence?
There was also a contestants introduction session. So when Mr Vasiga called the name of a country, all members of the team from the country stood up. Croatian team threw their hats at us to share when they stood up. And unfortunately I didn’t get one.
Besides the speeches, there were many performances of music bands, acrobat, cheerleaders, and watervoices, which were very amazing.
In the afternoon, we went to the contest hall for practice session, where contestants could adapt with the contest environment. The hall was actually an indoor hockey stadium with about 400 PC workstations installed inside.
Unlike other programming competitions, in this IOI the computers were placed in blocks of 4 computers each. In this practice session each country got one block, so it was convenient to practice.
The operating system of all contestants’ computers was Ubuntu Linux, and you won’t find Microsoft Windows.
During this session we experimented with the compiler, IDE setting, server speed, monitor orientation, and other important stuffs. We were allowed to submit dictionaries/keyboards/mascots that will be given during the contest. I just submitted only one Oxford pocket dictionary.
This was also the perfect time to spy other teams’ strategies 😛
I noticed that many contestants used fancy text editors such as vim, emacs, and even CodeBlocks. I simply chose the simple Geany editor. There were also contestants who rotated their monitor by 90 degrees (even I hadn’t known before that such rotatable monitors exist), so they won’t have to scroll down the source code. Cool strategy.
Satisfied with the environment, we fell asleep in front of the PC! We couldn’t withstand the drowsiness because of the jet lag. So we returned to the dormitory quite early. We immediately fell asleep in the dormitory. We couldn’t use the Wi-Fi; we were quarantined because the leaders and General Assembly had a meeting and translated the tasks.
Fortunately, all four of us had competed in many late-night contests, such as COCIs and TopCoder SRMs, so we didn’t afraid we fell asleep during the contest days 😀