This is my capture of the 36th Chaos Communication Congress. I will extend this over time, since it’s hard for me to summarise all of the event at once.
Photos and impressions
- Leah Oswald’s photo album on flickr
- ElektrollArt’s photos (day 1, day 2, day 3, day 4)
- 36c3: On Stage and behind the Art - WiP30
- 36C3 on heise.de
- Wie besorgte Hacker das Netz von morgen denken
- 36C3 on Deutschlandfunk
- 36C3 on hackaday
Manu at 36C3
Arriving early and build-up
I went to Leipzig this year on december 23rd. I arrived in the evening, and the Deutsche Bahn made this even 90 minutes later by cancelling my original train connection there. At least I got a large chunk of it refunded afterwards.
Anyways, after checking into my hotel, I still wanted to go to the CCL to check out the current state of things, and to get myself accompanied to the location a bit. Some exhausted build-up helper leaving the building was friendly enough to tell me which entrance to take. I arrived just in time for food in the angel kitchen, for which I sat down and clicked myself two “angel accounting” shifts to count the amount of angels that went to grab food. We (there were two lines, so two accounting angels as well) counted already ~370 angels back then, by which I was really impressed. I still wanted to do more that day, but there were no more available shifts in the engelsystem, and the employment office at pre-heaven has already been shutting down at 22:00. So instead I sat down and talked to some other build-up helpers to make some new connections. Then I called it a day.
The next day, christmas eve for regular people, I wasn’t feeling well. For that reason I asked heaven to cancel the chair placement shift in the halls, which I applied to the night before. Instead I sat down downstairs to hack on a project of my own in the angel kitchen “food cube”, where all the other angels where caught in as well, because every other hall was closing at 13:00, as per decision of the Messe Leipzig.
The NOC opened their home office on the table next to me, and we were joined by an incredibly inspiring artist from the “Chaos Air” assembly. They needed some help with preparations for the assembly, and since I started feeling a bit better, I decided to offer my help. We ended up planing wood for the drone cage for solid 2-3 hours, which then got cut to 3.5m pieces with cross bands. Meanwhile other volunteering helpers prepared the net that was to be wrapped around the cube, so everything we could do before the halls were opened again was done.
On december 25th I slept in as well, and I had the worst of headaches. When I made it to the CCL around late noon, instead of doing any shifts I socialised and helped carrying the drone cage installation we prepared the day before onto the target location. I had a great time hanging out and making new friends. Only in the evening I felt well enough to do some build-up shifts again, and I was hanging around at heaven for some standby angel shifts.
In the last of them, we hat to move the “spooky house” from hall 4 where it was built (all the heavy tools were there) to its target location in hall 3. It was a lot of work, and I ended up doing some overtime lending them a hand. I really loved the installation though, which was made with lots of love by people who put lots of thought into it.
December 26th was the last day of build-up, and the day the last of the assemblies arrived to build up their spaces. Heaven counted ~930 angels marked as “arrived” that day, if I remember correctly. I was feeling super well that day and decided to help with a lot of different shifts. I started with a garbage collection shift in the morning, where there hasn’t been much to do at all. Then I went to do a shift at the build-up bar to hand out cheap Mate for helpers. This shift ended up even longer than planned, since the official bars took longer to open that day, and we can’t have angels without a place to get Mate, can we?
Then I went to help out with the c3stoc, the “Sticker Operation Center”, which had it’s debut this year. We went to check all the boxes assemblies had applied for and organised some empty boxes for assemblies that didn’t bring their own. We went to c3sign to pick up some paper signs, but they already had closed down for that day, so we had to postpone distributing them.
I also still had to do a bar runner shift, providing bars with fresh beverages and filling the closed ones up so the bottles could cool down over night.
To conclude, build-up is a lot of fun. It turned out to be a great alternative for christmas for me, and it’s a great opportunity to make new friends when it’s even more a family-like setup compared to when all 17,000 guests are in the building. It helped me forge meaningful new connections and get immersed in the event even more.
Sticker Operation Center
Marie was asking me and a few other people if we would be interested in running the Sticker Operation Center (c3stoc) for this year’s congress. The goal was to move away from the centralised “one big sticker table” to multiple sticker boxes spread all over the congress area. We got many applications from different assemblies, and Marie and Rafael were choosing them from the assembly map to distribute them somewhat evenly. We ended up with 14 sticker boxes, which all got markers in c3nav.
The clou now was that instead of running your own “crondrops” as a person who brought stickers, you could just drop them at Chaos Post and they would do the drops for you.
In hindsight we were pretty successful. There were no real queues in front of the sticker boxes, and the distribution went really well. I also went on a few Chaos Post deliveries myself in exchange.
There’s definitely room for improvement on our side, but for a first “experiment”, this went really well. I’d expect this OC to conintue its operation :)