- Jul 17th, '01
DEFCON 9 - Part I
For those of you that don't know, DEFCON is an annual "hacker's" convention. It's gotten more mainstream over the years, but originally it was a gathering of some really nasty types, and the folks trying to stop them. These days it's more of a casual thing. Fewer underground, black hat hackers and more "grey hat" hackers and sys admins. Basically it's a edgy security conference.
Federal agents always show up. But it's pretty friendly mix.
It's three days, but I only got one and a half this year. To much stuff to cram into one month.
But I'm getting a head of myself. The trip actually started back in San Diego.
So DEFCON is Friday, Saturday, Sunday, but the Xfest concert was Friday night and I didn't want to take an extra day off anyway. So I figured I'd go to the concert and then hit the 15 about 10:00, getting to Vegas about the time I usually get out of bed. Along the way somewhere I decided I was really tired of not buying the Sony notebook I'd had my eye on for months, so I just went and bought one.
This thing is tiny. It will almost fit in my front pants pocket.
The main point is to be able to update the site from anywhere. Which will require a wireless modem. Which is pricey. Anyone have any tips about that? I don't really want to pay $60 a month. And I'll probably only be using it on weekends. Let me know.
The X-Fest concert was pretty good. A mini riot started during the Social Distortion set. At least 150 people jumped the barriers and overran security. Then everyone stated tearing up the chairs and tossing them in a pile at the back of the pit. It got pretty wild. Not really violent, but certainly a problem waiting to happen.
I decided to bail before the Offspring set. With a six hour drive ahead of me, I didn't want to spend an extra 45 minutes sitting in the traffic jam trying to get out of the arena. And it seemed like a safe bet a few hundred more people would charge the stage once they started. Not that I mind some good-natured shoving, but with a small, walled in pit, and piles of chairs all over the place, I really didn't want to be around when people got seriously hurt.
It was the first time I had seen Social D live. They kicked ass. I'd go to another one of their shows in a heartbeat.
Lit was great also. Lifehouse was just okay.
So I headed off into the night. Leaving the paradise of SoCal for the desertified, filthy, crowded streets of the Las Vegas wasteland. The drive up was not unpleasant. I guess the way to avoid the traffic is just to leave San Diego at 10 pm. Almost no traffic. Something tells me I wouldn't be so lucky driving back at 5:00 on Sunday. The traffic between Vegas and LA / San Diego is absolutely the worst. 320 miles of really impatient people who seem to have absolutely no regard for safety or courtesy. Every trip I see at least a half dozen wrecks. No kidding.
I ended up getting to my hotel about 2 am. Not bad at all. But I usually go to bed at 8 pm, and the only way I was able to stay awake was by taking large amounts of diet pills. But that's just life.
I wanted to stay up all night and play with my new computer, but I crashed instead. I was expecting a long line at registration for the conference, and driving back on Sunday in a sleep deprived state didn't seem wise.
Tomorrow - Hackers!