Resistance is futile

This afternoon over lunch, my company at the table was discussing blogging and thus I was remined of my lack thereof. Of course, it is the most prevalent cliche excuse abound, but yes: I’ve been busy. Let me quickly fill you in on the past months and then go into my current most addictive passion: OHM2013 (the sequel to HAR2009). Just to be sure, as this is my personal blog the below is all my own opinion & observations and doesn’t reflect the opinion of my cats, the companies I work for, the board of Stichting IFCAT Foundation or any deity whatsoever.

What have I been doing?

Last month I started a new job. No more freelancing for me, I was totally fed up with the acquisition part of it and needed some stability income-wise. I’m now developer crypto & high security with Fox-IT, a move I had not anticipated a few months ago. Although I should have seen it coming, since about half of my friends and acquaintances seem to have been recruited by them in recent months. Anyway, that meant I had to finish up some important work at the Digital Methods Initiative, where I was part-time employed before. In between, the usual stream of requests from journalists and documentary makers, being an extra in the upcoming Blender open movie (codenamed Mango) and more distractions.

So that had me tied up for a while, and at the same time things were gearing up for OHM2013. At first we kinda took it slow, but now we’re switching to full pre-event modus. And that means that apart from the $dayjob, any spare hour I can find is spent preparing for this next edition of the 4-yearly Dutch hackercamps. Meanwhile, I had some other projects that demanded plenty of time. There was Limesco. The radioshow. Electronics- and software-projects I was working on. But time has come: I’m suspending all activity on other projects to focus fully on OHM2013 now.


Rumour has it that various interested parties are observing a lack of info coming forth the current OHM2013 core group, and I must agree. That has been intentional though: there are a few brilliant camps coming up these months (of which I’ll visit haxogreen, eth0:2012 summer and EMFcamp, and so should you!) and I think they deserve the full beam of the spotlight. However, I can also understand that people are eager to know more about what’s going on. I will try to keep up with some informal blogs from time to time on what I am doing with regards to OHM2013, to hopefully fill that gap.

The first part of such an event is as always: location, location, location. Together with a great bunch of volunteers, we have been looking over many potential event locations. It’s been difficult, surprisingly, to find the perfect location but I believe we have settled on one that comes close. It is a bit too early to tell you all where it will be, what with the negotiations still going on at this point. However, keep an eye on the OHM2013 site, it is quite realistic that the official announcement will be on there within weeks.

Also not official, but pretty much decided is the date. If all goes well, we should end up with july 31st until August 4th 2013. Statistical data seems to suggest these days give the best probabilities for nice weather, so what could possibly go wrong? This also doesn’t overlap with too much other relevant events.

So currently, I am mostly busy finalizing the formal details regarding the terrain: a contract, permit and what have you. Meanwhile, the proto-NOC is already putting focus on finding out options for the uplink. Preparations for the program committee (nay, content committee) are also well under way and various people are joining the effort to bring a diverse and inspiring line-up of lectures and workshops. One thing I wanted to try this time, and has been met with approving nods so far, is an ‘off the record’ track. Lectures to be scheduled in a tent where there is no recording equipment, no P/A and a strong request to not record or report on the content of the lectures. This will hopefully accommodate those lectures that bring some interesting and hard-core content, but are reluctant to jump on the fully open and public space that these events have become over the decades. Curious to see how that is going to work out, and if there is even a demand for such a stage among potential speakers.


I have said it before, but I will repeat it once more: it is great to see all the enthusiasm among the community about OHM2013. Even better is that when thinking about the essential teams that it is not difficult to find the people with experience to head those teams. Slowly, the team-leads are reporting for duty. If all is well, Eelco (who is in charge of leading the teamleads :) will soon put more info on that on the wiki.

After HAR2009 we have witnessed a huge growth in hackerspaces being founded in The Netherlands and Belgium specifically. I have no doubt this can be led back to the great fun those founders had at HAR2009. This network of ‘hacker branch offices’ provides an awesome backbone to our community. And I have made it my personal mission to have OHM meetings in each and every Dutch hackerspace in the next months. So far we have had board meetings at Sk1llz, RandomData, Bitlair and  RevSpace. At TechInc we have had a location team meetup, and of course there was the kick-off party at Hack42.

Apart from all the volunteers in those teams, these events never happen without the sponsorship of a number of friends. Now that we have more concrete plans regarding the location, date and (as a corollary) the budget, efforts to secure enough support to make ends meet and keep ticket prices well-affordable are about to start up.

And now..

..i’m going back to work! Plenty of things to organize. Hope you enjoyed this blog post and that it squelched some of that thirst for information!

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