Campus Party: My first 7-days LAN party experience! XD

Hello everybody! Here I am, transmitting from Campus Party! For seven days I’ll be living the most extreme Internet experience of my life. Gaming, software development, blogging, robotics, social networking, you name it! Mom didn’t want me to come, but finally, she let me.
I’m so excited about it. Imagine this: more than three thousand geeks in the same place for seven days with an incredible broadband (6 GB), food and camping! I would love to tell you about every detail in here, but there are too much things to say and I don’t know where to begin :S

The better way I found to write this post is a bit different than my previous. This time, I will do a summary for every day talking about the funny and incredible things I see in this geekland, so this post will be updated every morning for the next six days and it’ll be done by Sunday.

So, here we go!

Day # 1: After a while and a long line outside the Campus but making new friends, I did the registration stuff and then I ran to the LAN zone to choose my place pretty close to the Free Software community. In a few minutes, I set up all my gadgets (Laptop, external HD, camera, game console, etc) and then I went to the camping area to pick up my tent. In less than half an hour I was ready to enjoy the whole week!
The first night there was special. Walking around the walkways I met two special guests: Jon “Maddog” Hal, one of the most popular icons from the Free Software culture and ten minutes later, Kevin Mitnick, one of the most famous hackers around the world. Maybe I was lucky that day, because when I met them, we were alone and we could have a casual/cool conversation for five minutes! Can you believe it? I was shocked! The only way I use to see people like that is in Wikipedia pictures, but this time, I was talking to them! Let me say: it was A-W-E-S-O-M-E! :O

Day # 2: Since morning, I was visiting the gaming zone, a war zone to be honest. There were hundreds of combats and many swat teams fighting to capture the enemy flag from games like Urban Terror, Open Arena, Call of Duty, Halo, you name it. I must say that gamers clan were playing the whole week and I think most of them just slept a couple hours per day, I mean, these guys are really passionate about games.
Of course, I saw another sort of games like WarCraft, even more, I saw people playing Tetris for hours! Definitely, the gaming arena was a perfect place to know all the gamer species, from newbies to professionals. I enjoy playing, I confess, but believe me, these kids take things to another level 😛
Not so far from the gamers zone, I found the case modding area. Do you know what “case modding” is? Well, in my words: it’s the art of changing the case of your computer transforming it into something else. Have you ever seen those computers with special shapes or colors? I mean, looking like aquariums, animals or a microwave oven? Ok, that’s case modding and at Campus there was a lot of people working on it.
I saw many pieces of work there: a motorcycle, a rodent called “Cuy” and an incredible big tower with several computers inside. I never have tried before, but I think the next year I’ll give my first steps into this interesting area.
As part of the activities in the modding arena, I saw a very crazy experiment, something I never heard before: overclocking. Maybe you already know about it, but you must admit it; that’s weird! Ok, if you don’t know what’s overclocking, let me give you a simple idea: some guys try to change the performance of a processor to make it faster using special techniques and materials like Liquid Nitrogen (I told you: it’s weird, but very fun).

Day # 3: I spent the whole day upgrading my package repositories, downloading and testing many kinds of software, including the latest BSD and Linux distros and at the end of the afternoon, some games. It was a day to test the bandwidth and it was very fast or at least, I could download everything I wanted and for every click I just had to wait some minutes, pretty enough for me. Some of my friends were expecting a faster-incredible-hyper connection, but counting on more than 3000 users at the same time, I wouldn’t expect a new guiness record about bandwidth speed ¿Would you?
After 12 hours working on my box, I decided to do something else, so I went to the main stage to enjoy an incredible concert. The band is called “Super Litio” and it’s great! so I was screaming and jumping around the rest of the night until I got really tired. I must confess that night I slept like a baby.

Day # 4: I was attracted by the Blog arena since the first moment. There were many workshops about how to enhance your blog and conferences about multimedia, copyright laws, graphics and 3D movies production. I learned nice tips and met a lot of talented people. On the other hand, I was working on this post, I mean, how to stand at the Blog arena without blogging?
The rest of the day I was talking with my friends, meeting new people all the time. That’s something I like of Campus, you find and meet guys with skills in _every_ computer field: web programmers, game programmers, software designers, graphical designers, 3D modelers, sysadmins, you name it. So, Campus is a perfect place to look for knowledge coming from cool people with experience in the real world, isn’t great?

Day # 5: The journey started with a nice workshop using Virtualbox. I must confess that at the 5th day you start feeling very tired because the few hours you have slept along the week, but on the other hand, the variety of activities, workshops, contests and conferences pull you to keep awake and happy (well, the truth is Red Bull helps a lot). After some hours playing on my computer, I was following the Maddog’s challenge: a contest about making a 3 minutes video using only free software.
Unfortunately, I didn’t participate because I was aware too late but after watching the competitor’s works I decided to get ready for the next year, so I spent the rest of the day learning to use a video editing software called “Kdenlive” (free software, of course), then a funny thing happened: a friend gave me two little pieces of video to play with, so I just put them together and guess what? that video won another contest at Campus: “the most watched video“. Can you believe that? Ha! Life’s full of surprises all the time 😛

Day # 6: Since morning and along the whole day, a lot of prizes were given to the contests winners and then, the feeling that a party was coming started to flow on the air.
In the afternoon, I was sneaking around the Astronomy arena, scanning the sky using telescopes, trying to find new planets (just joking) and listening two interesting talks about alien life on Earth and other cool topics as space traveling. I love to think there’s life on another planets; as Mulder said once: “I want to believe”. By the way, have you ever seen little green men? I would like to know about it; space/alien stories rulez! 🙂
Besides it was a strange day for me, I mean, I was happy until the last moment but to know that in less than 24 hours Campus would end for this year made me feel a little nostalgic/sad. And more when I went to eat something at night and the dining room was so lonely. The rest of the night people was dancing until the dawn.

Day # 7: It was a half day really. At noon, the Internet access was broken down and officially the Campus was over. Those last hours people were packing and leaving the place making a pretty sad scene. It was the moment to take some pictures, say goodbye to my new friends and then, start my trip back home.

Campus Party has changed my life, no doubt about it. After this great week I won’t be the same. If some day you can go… I hope to find you there; maybe next year! who knows? 😀

Good enough for now. Gaming time! [Urban Terror] 🙂


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