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What's it like at the con?

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  • What's it like at the con?

    I come from a small town where no one really has money so going somewhere like the con is a huge deal! I really want to go and have decided to save up for it but my calculated cost is about 2k. Easy. So, I just wanna make sure that it's worth it and I kind of want to know what to expect when I do get to go. Like am I going to have to remove my phone battery and wrap it in tin foil? lol Are the people friendly? Should I wait until I'm 21 to enjoy everything that goes along with my new found freedom? I'm not the smartest geek out there but I do genuinely enjoy working with computers and this seems like a great place to not only be but to learn...

    Still, 2k is quite a lot of money...

  • #2
    I've never been to DC before, so this year will be my first time.....but i'm assuming you've watched the doco? -

    That should give you an idea of what you're in for.

    As for people being friendly. I've been to 2 hacker cons so far....and hackers are by far the friendliest people you'll ever meet, and i'm expecting DC will be just the same.


    • #3
      You're asking kind of a hard question because it depends on a lot of factors. Many of us have DEF CON paid for by our employers so the cost is minimal or negligible to us. As for whether the con will be "worth it" to you is near impossible to answer. For many of us it is a family reunion. Something we look forward to year round and couldn't imagine missing. So ultimately I would suspect you will enjoy it and have a blast, but keep in mind there is SO much going on that you could do DEF CON 5 years in a row and never do it the same way. I for one never go to talks, unless it's to harass friends on stage. I prefer to "hallway-con" and make new friends whom I see year after year. So one person could go to talks and love it, another could do the same and be bored. As for the people themselves, I find we're incredibly friendly and sociable. Every year I walk up to someone and say, "hey, I've seen you around every year, or at X cons and want to say hi". Next thing I know we're hanging out the rest of the con for years to come.

      It sounds like you're under 21, and this I can't really speak to myself. I will warn you that drinking is pretty heavy at DEF CON, and both the private and public parties will offer it up. If you are underage you will be carded and that can put a quick end to your fun. Myself, I've started drinking significantly less than I ever used to. That's a story for another day, but being under 21 could be of some advantage to experience DEF CON without the 18 hour booze-stooper.

      If you have further questions let me know. I'm also happy to chat on IRC, you can find me in #dc-forums on EFNET as mauvehed. I'm always wanting to help out new people enter our community. Give me a chat.
      Last edited by mauvehed; May 25, 2015, 06:56.
      Hacker DJ, AHA Hooligan, DEF CON Security Goon, SXSW Crew Chief, Squirrel Army


      • #4
        This does bring up a question i had, in regards to how much $$$ i'd likely need whil there. Having never been to the US for YEARS, and never to Vegas. How much spends would you need?

        Lets exclude flights, accommodation and the DC ticket or buying things from the vendors etc, i'm talking about the "essentials", 4 days of beers and meals (burger and fries) :)

        Trying to gauge how much i'll need.


        • #5
          I bring $1000 for spending money and blow about 80% of it. Food is not cheap, and since it is a vacation you want to get that extra guacamole for $3.50 and not worry about it. If I was to go with just essentials, I'd say $50 a day to be safe.


          • #6
            Cool. Yeah i'm aiming for that amount, but AUD to USD SUCKS!!!! at the moment


            • #7
              Aussie money looks cool. I bet you can sell some as souvenirs for well over the exchange rate.


              • #8
                LOL. I'll bring plenty of Aussie $5 notes then...can swap for some $5USD ones. :)


                • #9
                  I'll buy one! Bring other denominations too, crisp, you will find buyers!