This was my first Rubi-con I've been to, and I'm glad to say I did have fun.
I had planned to go up to Purdue University that Saturday to participate in the Linux User Group's bi-annual installfest, but I called up dbaseiv (Blake), and he told me that he and enigma (Garrett) were going up to detroit for the Rubi-Con 5.
I had already cleared my schedule, and I was looking for some fun, so I decided to come, though a little late. I loaded up the car with gas, a digital camera, and a change of clothes and made my way up I-69 at 6am Saturday Morning.
Following my mapquest directions, I passed a number of sights in Indiana, namely the GMC Truck Assembly plant, a Corvette Museum, and the Deusenberg museum. I was starting to notice a trend. As soon as I crossed the border into Michigan, the roads turned from neatly paved surfaces to crunchy, pothole-riddled paths, but at least the speed limit was upped to 75mph, so those bits of debris would pop into the air and hit my car much faster. On entering the city limits of Detroit, things got even worse. There was trash and broken car parts all over the shoulders, and lining the lane divider.
I had made it to the Hotel, which was less than a mile from from the Ford Headquarters building, around 10:30, and called up Blake from the parking lot.
It was still a little early, considering many of the attendees had stayed up excessively late on Friday, but there was clearly something in the air. The almost tangible smell or 6th sense you are in a room full of kindred spirits. I had arrived to Geek Mecca, or at least a derivative of. Hacker conventions are certainly like no other.
I met both Blake and Garrett in the lobby, and picked up my convention pass from a short man in a Hawiian shirt and a woman in a Russian Officer's Uniform. Garrett had stripped his head down to a mohawk again. They were both slated to give presentations. Blake was to speak on a system for working with diverse data types, and Garrett was supposed to give an interactive concert with netpeep, a linux network event-monitoring sofware, that makes music based on your network activity. I dropped my coat off in their hotel room, where I found armoth (Lonny), and two friends of his.
First stop, we went to shardy's (Seth Hardy's) talk on the randomness and testing of certain types of crypto. It was pretty neat, if a little over my head in spots. Some of the people in the front row were a bit trashed already, and were making Seth drink tequila about every slide of his presentation. Near the end of his presentation, there was a slide with the face of Chewbacca, which totally threw Seth off, even though he had prepared it himself. After the talk we sat down with Seth for a little bit, then went to set up for Blake's talk.
When we got to room B, Cybertr0n, was still giving his talk on getting jailed for cloning phones. His language was pretty foul, tossing out s-bombs and f-bombs between his sentences, I know I had gotten there pretty late, but there seemed to be no real value to his talk, I sounded like exactly what it was, and ex-felon speaking in vulgar terms about getting busted and making fun of his incarcerators for not having a broad knowlege of technology. The room was standing room only, and ran about 15 minutes into Blake's talk.
Setting up for his presentation, Lonny was having problems getting video-out to the projector from his laptop, but got it going after rebooting with the cable attached. Blake took to rambling on about his projects at CERIAS and about an interepreter for different data and log types for efficeint network analysis and event logging. Even I was surprised at his speaking abilities, but I suppose its easy when you are talking out of your ass...(just kidding Blake!).
After his speech, we went back to the lobby and talked with phar about secure instant messaging for corporations, and got some bref-fest (breakfast). The place was really bopping by now, and we went around checking things out and talking to people, Lonny mostly stayed in the network room with his buddies, probably fixing peoples messed up linux installs and surfing the web. There was a DJtable set up in there, and intermittenly he would spin up some techno-industrial stuff.
I don't remember a hell of a whole lot after that, but I know we went to the Liquor store a block away and picked up some necessities; Jack Daniels, Dr. Pepper, and some Mentos (the freshmaker). We went back to the hotel room and mixed up our first drinks, and I gave Blake an 8oz flask, a gift for being one of my best men at my wedding a month before. Garrett already got his, and I had another one for myself. We mingled and drank, and soon we were out of liquor, so I got Lonny to drive me back to the liquor store for seconds. There was talk of going to see Gobbles give his talk on the Honeynet project, but he was a no-show, and Garrett never did get NetPeep working, so his talk went undone as well. I talked at length in the network room to stderr, but I have no idea what about.
Blake got tired early, and headed to bed, but I was still wide awake, and eager to experience the con some more since I got a late start. Garrett and I went downstairs to room (128?), where the NYC 2600 dudes and a lot of others were drinking and mingling. Garrett talked at length to the French guy in the blue fleece, and I kept drinking the JD from my flask, too bad we had run out of soda earlier.
Shortly after I tired of the party, I went to the Hotel Room, to find Lonny and his two friends asleep on the floor, and Blake on one of the Beds. This was funny to me because, there were two beds in the room, and each was able to comfortably hold 2 people, so everone on the floor COULD have slept on the beds. But I was'nt complaining, and I took the empty bed and knocked out.
People were milling around afterwards, but not much was going on, the NYC dudes were selling books, old hardware and stickers, so I bought a few, and Blake woke up and us and Garrett went to the Chili's out front for lunch.
We went back, and Blake and Garrett left, I stayed behind a little bit and hung out with lonny and his friend, and eventually left. I didn't stick around for the closup party and giveaway. I had fun, and it was well worth the trip and the admission.
I'll be looking forward to RC6.