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EasterHack2004Log by ST

Kathe and me arrived around 1030 in Munic. 1stein and Sphaera came here yesterday already and were still in bed. First we checked in at the entrance and everything went off without a hitch. We transfered the money in advance and now our Badges were already printed and laminated. We got some space right next to the Phone Operation Center [POC] on the first floor. So we lugged up our projects and computers and went to the opening event at 1200 in the assembly hall. The contract with the "One World House" contains a funny rule, that says, if someone is seen with one way crockery or cutlery, the event will be closed immediatly. Well, but we are never using it. The entire building is non-smoking-area, what I actually really enjoy, even I'm a smoker by myself. Another rule is, that the building has to be cleared at 0100 and it is not allowed to spend the night there. Not really typical for the CCC, to knock off at 1am, but therefor much more people are seen at 1000 in the morning. The schedule was really chaotic and changed very often because of this and that. After talking organizational things over, we started to set up the BlinkenArea.

The network with 3Mbit flash to the internet was working right off. WLan is available everywhere and even network via ethernet with DHCP went well. Furthermore it is possible to get IPs at clothespins. The POC did a great job again. They were providing us with ISDN for the BlinkenArea and DECT with a capacity for 5500 phones. The 68 registered phones were also reachable from outside. 2 lines were opened and the external number was +49 (0)89 59 98 91 96 67 - XXX.

BlinkenArea dial trough:

  • 301 1stein
  • 303 Sphaera
  • 313 Kathe
  • 333 ST

Only the Organization-Team was able to make normal phone calls outside the local DECT net. Up to 72 DECT and nearly infinite phone calls can be made internally.

Around 1400 actually everything was already blinking. We were looking around and talked to a lot of people we haven't seen since the last Congress. The radio operators put up huge antennas at the terrace and are quite emitting their environment ;-). The area is full of warning signs, which advice people with pacemakers to not come closer or stay around here, because you need to deal with "increased electromagnetic radiation". Even though the wether is alright, nobody likes to sit outside at the terrace... strange. At nearly 1800 the coffea and breakfast flatrate in the adjoining cafeteria was switched off, even they promised that it will be available the whole time. Maybe the restaurant did not made enough profit. The next days the food and cofea supply will maybe move to foyer.

From 1900 1stein and me started "working" in the BlinkenArea. There is a new blib, a new version of blccc and further little blink-tools with new versions, which need to be tested. In blinkensim we found a small problem and were hacking a patch to send it in immediatly. Sven was glad about it and said, that he will publish a new version soon. Then we came to the actual eh2004 task, which we set ourself: upgrade Littleligts to greyscale. Therefor we need to adjust hard- and software. First of all the house temporary got a CD-ROM and a new 1GB! hard disk, on which we installed Debian. Then we needed to solder a circuit to generate a 2kHz impulse. We put the impulse on the ACK Pin of the parallel port to produce an interrupt, that we need for the greyscale. While I was soldering the circuit, 1stein was hacking Kernelmodul/drivers. We did this actually without any success until 0100 and then the first easterhack day was already over.


At 1000 in the morning 1stein and me left for getting some components for the 2kHz circuitry in an electronics store. We rejected the idea from yesterday, because it doesn't work. We also took additional ICs, capacitors, potentiometers and resistors on spec, which was no bad idea as we saw later. Then we fixed some small mistakes in our lecture slides for the evening and went with a group of 15 people to the Cray-Cyber Museum. There they have the huge and old computers and did open especially for Easterhackers. In the [Cray-Cyber.org] computer cellar are several Crays, some Control Data Mainframes, a NEC SX-4, also several PDP-11 and a lot of working peripheral equipment. 500 MB hard disks, as big as washing machines, CPUs like wardrobes, a Tape Library in action, which permanently changes tapes to and fro, a chain printer and a lot more. And as I said, most of them are running and functioning. We got a great guided tour. The working maschines consumed around 150 ampere over 3 phases from munics power supply network. That are roughly 35kW. To get the produced heat out of the small rooms, they have installed an 40kW air conditioning. It was overwhelming to have the possibility to see these maschines running and to even touch them. At 1730 we were back in the house and had to rush a bit carrying projects downstairs to the workshop room K1. 1815 our lecture started and we talked and discussed almost 2 hours about blinking and related topics. AudioVideo was also recorded by the Documentation Angels. If we are getting hold of it, we will upload it for sure and point a link on it. After the lecture we were still working on Littlelights greyscale, but nothing worked out really well. The second version of circuitry was thrown into the trash and we had another go.


We went on working this morning, where we stopped last night. The 2kHz at the parallel port were running meanwhile, but the software had still some little bugs, but 1stein fixed them quite fast. Since 1330 the operation greyscale for LittleLights is completed successful. The current blccc 1.999 with blinkISDN is also working without problems and is now possible to play via phone.

  • 370 Pong
  • 371 Snake
  • 372 Retris
  • 373 XXO
  • 376 Uhr
  • 377 Matrix (Screensaver)
  • 378 Quix (Screensaver)
  • 369 LoveLetters

After we reached our target, we went to get some food and now we will relax, play and watch greyscale movies ;-).

Some stupid and mentally handicapped people seemed to be bored and sniffed the net and were happy, when a ssh1 or even a plain password were coming along. I was just changing something in the Wiki and did not keep an eye on the https connection and that was it. Fortunately someone told us, so we could stop the server and change the password, link to https at the start page, removed the "I was here" sign and start again. Crass Hack!


On the last day we were sleeping an hour longer and relaxed a bit. We made a data adjustment, downloaded some video recordings of the lectures, listened to the closing event and put down POC and BlinkenArea together. At Pizza Hut the Easterhegg came to an end and around 1800 we drove back home.