What is Hacking In Progress?

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Posted by Maurice Wessling on March 20, 1997 at 16:06:48:

What is Hacking In Progress?

Hacking In Progress is an open-air hacker convention on a
campsite near Almere in the Netherlands. Visitors will bring
their own computer equipment and tents to build the largest
non-military open-air Ethernet ever. People from all over
the Netherlands and other countries will come together to
learn and discuss the benefits and the risks of new
technologies. They'll listen to lectures, participate in
workshops, enjoy special presentations and - last but not
least - party. All of this in the friendly open-air
environment of a very wired campsite far away from the
civilized world.

HIP will be a place for hackers, artists, activists and
many, many others to network themselves, both in the social
and electronic sense of the word. HIP will deal with the
social and political aspects of information technology,
security, Internet, access to technology, cryptography, and
concerns about spamming and other 'hacker-related' topics.

Who is organizing HIP?

Once there was a little magazine in The Netherlands called
`Hack-Tic', and it published wild ways to play tricks on the
information infrastructure of the world. The magazine
doesn't exist anymore, but most of the people that wrote
articles for the magazine or helped organize Hacking at the
End of the Universe (1993) and even some of the people that
helped put up the Galactic Hacker Party (1989) are still in
touch with each other. The every-four-year-itch has gotten
to us again...


There'll be no hotel rooms or anything like that so you'll
want to bring at least a tent and a sleeping bag to HIP,
even if this means you can't bring the paper-tape unit that
came with your VAX 11/780. We'll supply a campground,
toilets, showers, good food and electrical power (as close
to 220V/50Hz as possible) and we'll do our best to supply
everyone who wants it with an Ethernet connection. You will
probably be able to trade wiring, extra outlets, Ethernet
cards, and the use of modular crimping tools for almost

What will be the issues at HIP?

A lot can and will happen in the coming months, and we'll
keep adding new topics even during the event itself. But
we're definitely going to discuss the legal situation
regarding encryption, as well as the latest technical
developments in this field. The current decay of the Usenet,
copyright issues, censorship as well as many other
legislative, social political and technical issues
surrounding Internet will be discussed. Computer security,
or the lack thereof will also be a hot topic. We'll have
research workshops (i.e. GSM and chipcard security) and you
can also join many `how-to' workshops and lectures where you
can pick up on Linux (Unix you can run at home, not built by
Microsoft), perl (a very powerful computer language) and
many, many other topics.

At this moment we are working on discussions and workshops
about smartcard security, Tempest attacks, the SPAM threat,
virtual communities, cryptography and the law (Trusted Third
Parties and Key Recovery), a tele-presence experiment,
activism on the Net, and much more.

How can I help?

We need lots of people that have ideas for organizing their
own small part of HIP and the organizational talent to do
this without too much help from us.

One of the proven recipes for fun:

* GET a group of friends together in an early stage; arrange
how you're going to get there if you're far away.

* THINK: Is there something you and your friends would like
to show others, discuss or do there?

* If so: TELL us about it, so we can coordinate, help or
announce things.

* BRING lots of computers and other electronics, maybe your
own army surplus tent.

* HOOK it all up once you get there.

*Check out what others have been doing and MEET nice people,
hang out, have fun!

HIPcamp will open on August 5th, three days before HIP
starts. If you decide to join in that early expect pretty
primitive circumstances. If you don't care about that, or
think that's the best part, you can help build HIPnet and
all other facilities.

What will be the entrance fee for HIP?

We don't know yet. There will be two different tickets, for
only one day and an all-in ticket. The all-in ticket will be
somewhere between 100 and 150 guilders ($50 / $75). For
snacks and meals you'll have to pay separate. Information
about the price and how to send your reservation will be on
the website as soon as we have figured out the details.

How do I get to the campsite?

If you come to HIP from abroad, whether it is by plane,
train or car, you'll start off in Amsterdam. Campsite
Kotterbos near Almere is about a 30-minute drive from
Amsterdam. We'll put a detailed description of the route on
the website later.

Are there any hotels or restaurants nearby?

Bring your own tent to HIP, that is the whole point of this
festival. We will provide snacks, meals and drinks at a
reasonable price. There is nothing besides trees and empty
fields around HIP. The city of Almere is about five
kilometers away, but it has few facilities, it is a commuter
town. If you really want to sleep in a hotel (and have only
half the fun) you'll be better off in Amsterdam. But you'll
have quite some trouble getting from Amsterdam to HIP every
day if you have no car. We'll provide a small bus to ride
between HIP and Almere train station (more details as the
festival draws closer) but there will not be a continuous

What if it rains?

The weather in the Netherlands is not very good but August
is the hottest month of the year. And your hardware will not
be standing outside. There will be a few very big tents,
with wooden floors, tables and chairs where you can set up
your computer. You won't be sitting in the grass all the
time (unless you want to).

Isn't there another hacker convention in the same month?

HIP will happen on the same days as Beyond Hope, a hacker
convention in New York, organized by the people of 2600
Magazine. There will be audio and video links between both
events, and we're working on cool gadgets to further enhance
your sense of `grassroots telepresence'. This will be a
twin-event in the true sense of the word.

More info on Beyond Hope can be found at:


Is it worth coming to HIP when I don't know anything about

HIP will be about information technology and the Internet,
both in technical as in social and political sense.

HIP is not the event to buy a computer or get advice on
buying one, and there're not going to be any beginner
courses on using the Internet. If you're not into networking
of some sort, you'll think it's boring.

But if you're very technically inclined, part of some remote
community on the edge of the net, or if the politics
surrounding information technology are just your thing, HIP
is definitely made for you (and by you, we hope).

What about some music and bands?

We'll throw a party on the last evening of HIP, but HIP
won't be a music festival or a rave.

How can I get the latest news on HIP?

Just visit our web site at http://www.hip97.nl/ and use the
form to subscribe to the announcement mailing list. It's
spam-free and will only carry HIP announcements written by
us. You can also participate in the ongoing, yet slightly
messy debate in the newsgroup alt.hacking.in.progress

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