Back from my first congress (actually last night already) - it was a blast.

The opening event was ok, but uneventful - I really loved the music.

Talks I watched: "Bug class genocide", Keynote, "No neutral Ground in a Burning World", "Hacker Jeopardy", "My journey into FM-RDS", "The Year in Crypto", "The Exploration and Exploitation of an SD Memory Card", "Fnord News Show" and "Even More Tamagotchis Were Harmed in the Making of this Presentation" and I liked them all (I think I only rated 4 or 5 stars out of 5) - and right now I'm catching up the ones I missed :)

Somehow the hardware ones impressed me most but I attribute that to my lack of knowledge compared to the software stuff.

Actually it was a lot like I had imagined, only a few things struck me as odd:

  • the wifi was horrible. I've been to quite a few conferences, but losing signal every 10mins except in certain spots is not normal. I'm not blaming the network people, really, the area is massive and it was worst in Hall 1 with 500? people in it.
  • I would've expected a lot more BoF meetings like on FOSDEM - there were some assemblies from bigger projects (most were from hackerspaces) - but I had imagined more spontaneous meetings of groups
  • I don't care at all about the "bigness" of the event that some lament (I know, I'm unworthy as I've never been to one) - but at times it was very hard to find people again or at all. Missed one guy completely because of this.
  • I'm usually the first to be excited about stuff but I just couldn't be bothered by the Seidenstrasse, I was annoyed at the permanent vacuum cleaner noise
  • Of course this is awesome, but apart from one run-in with one person I didn't see anyone arguing, shouting, being aggressive or annoying. Wow.

All in all I think I liked Easterhegg 2012 in Basel a little better, maybe because it was my first bigger CCC-related event, maybe because I prefer to get to know people and maybe run into them again the next day - at congress that only happens if you both generally stay at one place (assembly, infodesk, heaven) or already know each other. That aside I was sitting at MuCCC assembly and answered a lot of questions about the flipdots.

I managed to meet a few people I had interacted with online already, I managed to have some good conversations with former strangers. I probably creeped someone out by telling I might remember his nick from LAN parties 15 years ago, but what can I do if I did remember it? :/

Some of the spontaneous sessions revolved around podcasts (and I promised to listen in to two new podcasts I only learnt about at 30c3) and bunnie and xobs showing their novena laptops was very cool. Had to snicker a little when I finished reading Little Brother today and it has an Epilog by bunnie. Such coincidence. Much laughter. Wow.

Wish/todo list for 31c3:

  • Get there a day sooner
  • Get a better hotel closer to the venue (but it wasn't bad, just not perfect)
  • Know my way around already (will hopefully work out)
  • Make plans to meet people earlier
  • Be better prepared for people asking questions - it's not like a conference booth but always telling them to wait for others is a bit annoying
  • Make a bigger assembly
  • Think up a plan to get the assemblies to get better signs, I was so lost without the awesome overlay plan someone did on evening of day 1

Thanks to all the organizers, angels and visitors.

10/10 - would go again