33C3: Day Zero

By The Literate Programmer, Tue 27 December 2016, modified Tue 27 December 2016, in category Nerdery

33C3, CCC, Hacking, Society, Tech, Volunteering

Works for me

As every year, the Chaos Computer Club organises the Chaos Communication Congress in Hamburg. The introduction on their event blog summarises the event better than I could so I leave it to them.

I do love going there, however, both because of the fascinating talks and because I get to hang out with a lot of really cool people. Some of them are my nerdy friends from Switzerland, who I usually don't see, so that is always awesome and then there's all the cool and interesting people I get to meet at the CCC.

Last year, we stayed in a little hostel, which turned out to be a bad idea, as I got bitten by bed bugs. Those bastards have a crazy powerful bite and even now their remains are visible on my legs. Thankfully, this time we're staying in a really nice AirBnB apartment so I'm not worried about a repeat of that.

I also thought that I could perhaps run a pen and paper one-shot, since some of my friends had expressed interest and apparently never gotten to try playing one. I was thinking about Cryptomancer, but it's too complicated for a short timeframe and coming up with a good mission/patron/reason to be doing things is really hard... I should perhaps write a review eventually. I also thought about running GURPS Ultra-Lite, but I didn't have pregens, and character creation would take time, unless we all agreed on a setting with very clear character roles. So instead, I proposed that we play Lasers & Feelings, a one-page RPG inspired by Star Trek and similarly brightly colored sci-fi. They agreed and I had something more to look forward to.

Part of the fun of the Congress is of course that the 33C3 is powered entirely by volunteers. I already volunteered last year, and this year I want to do even more and help out in the translation team, live translating talks.

This way I will both get to see a lot of talks and contribute a bit to the success of the Congress. Well, that was my thought, anyway.

Works for everyone

The translation team wants to have one newbie translator trying their hand at translating the opening ceremony. No one volunteered, so now I will be giving it a shot1. I'll also be helping to translate other talks, but well, the opening ceremony seems like a bit of big deal to me. Thankfully, it's shorter than most talks.

Other stuff that worked out well for everyone are Wi-Fi and DECT phones at the Congress, which had been set up and worked nicely already. A friend of mine was nice enough to wait in line to register all our phones, and get us all the numbers.

After all the set-up and checking-in was done, we did gather round a table and sat down to play Lasers & Feelings. It didn't turn out the way I intended to, as my group went considerably crazier2 than I think could honestly have been anticipated, but I think I did a good job in ensuring everyone had fun and something to do. Probably the best I could do with a party that included Zap Brannigan, incompetent3 soldier extraordinaire, a sexy scientist and The Only Francis, Hot-Shot Explorer!
Perhaps on Friday we will do another round.

At our flat, we also luckily have access to the Wi-Fi now, after I suggested that we try accessing the router, through which we previously only had cable-based access. The default password was still set4 but all we needed to know was the name of the Wi-Fi, as it, too, used the password on the back of the router. Why we weren't told this information previously is unclear to me but hey, Wi-Fi access.

At any rate, I think we're well prepared to deal with day one now and have a great time at the 33C3.


All talks are available, in multiple languages at the CCC media site. If you want to look up what talks there will be, the schedule can be found on the Fahrplan.

I do suggest that you grab the PDFs if you can, since the site will likely go down a lot over the next days. Overwhelming volume :)


  2. For science. 

  3. But sooo good looking. 

  4. Shame!