31c3* for Luddites, Part 1

by tiresomemoi

Last weekend I tagged along to my first CCC Congress. I spent the first two days in a swarm of acronyms (PGP, OTR, SSH, TLS, VPN, NSA), Chinese remainder theorems, and curves. On the third day I moved on to lock picking and from there on to explosive food stuffs. The next few posts will be dedicated to my CCC adventures. In fact, yesterday’s post (Sweet and crunchy) resulted from a chance encounter at the food hacking base. But I get ahead of myself.


First off, for those of you considering a visit to The CCC Congress I highly recommend it. It’s refreshing to be surrounded by busloads of very smart idealistic people. This is not a hippie love-in rather as a friend put it, People who want to change the world with ideas or software. Imagine a convention center full of scientists and engineers and arts from the four corners of the world** with big ideas and a sense of altruism. There are also nifty workshops and lots of parties.


As for wheelchair access, The Congress is mostly accessible. It’s held in a giant convention center, the Congress Center Hamburg, which is vast and confusing but mostly ramped and elevatored. The bathroom situation is less than ideal with accessible toilets often hidden in obscure areas far from the clearly indicated non-accessible restrooms. But once you’ve located the accessible restrooms they are certainly worth a gander as some have magic doors and trapezes.


Second floor bathroom (CCH)Second floor bathroom (CCH)




Again, these posts are for plus-ones rather than diehard CCCers.


Non-software/hardware/digital/mathematical activity number 1


My first lockMy first lock


Lock Picking

The lock picking workshop*** is put on by various German chapters of lock-picking.org. I was impressed with the level of instruction. Within ten minutes of arriving I had picked my first lock and after a few hours of strangely relaxing and entirely engrossing experimentation I had picked a range of key locks and one number-code lock.


Tomorrow: Food Hacking (Kimchi)


*The 31st Chaos Communication Congress 

**There are indeed people from all over the world but this is a very white, very male environment. If you are a woman you will have no problem finding free restroom.

*** Instruction was in English and German.