Pictures of the con are located at Stranger Than, where overcompensation is just the beginning. Hehe, thanks xinc!

DefCon 9 was my second tour of the three-day party in Vegas that we all know and love. I had plans for another glorious showing at the CTF, but in the end, I didn't enter a system. I did get to see Bruce Schneier and Jay Beale, though, so all is well... Oh, and I <heart> Jackalope.

Thursday, July 12 - Day 0

As the clocks switched over to Thursday, I was working on Shiva, trying to prepare it for CTF. I'd somehow managed to fuck up my network settings and was too frazzled to track it down, so at 12:30am I was reinstalling RedHat 6.2. Two hours later, I had a system running qmail, djbdns, apache, ssh 3.0.0 (which had an advisory released a week later), a custom compiled 2.2.19 kernel, and no red hat patches...

I was still downloading patches from the redhat site, so I figured... no problem, I'll get some sleep and in the morning, while I'm packing the car, I'll burn the rpms onto a CD to take with me. I had some stuff to finish at the con anyway, like setting up chrooted shell accounts.

So, I hook up with Toad and xinc, and we head out to Vegas. We get Toad and xinc set up at the Alexis (I was staying at the Tropicana, again), regged for the con, set Shiva up in their suite, and hung out with some drunk people.

I think my friend stderr may have been the first person to damage the hotel, but he was drunk and it wasn't intentional, so we forgive him. Beware, the gn0me gets huggy when drunk. ;)

So, hungry and in need of booze, Toad, xinc and I set out for the Tropicana, where we had some excellent pizza at Calypso's, along with two volcanos between us (Yes, I know that looks like four drinks, but its two volcanos ;).

So, properly drunk, we return to the Alexis, so I can finish setting up Shiva for CTF. Step 1 was to install the patches... Well, I had a little trouble with Step 1.

Shiva can't read the CD... I read through the kernel config and decide that it must need Joliet support compiled in, so I recompile the kernel. That's no go... So we stick the CD in Toad's laptop, and he can't read it either. xinc holds the CD up to the light and discovers that he can see through it! So, the CD isn't reflecting properly and can't be read. Time to whip out some ghetto skillz!

We grab some tape (stencil tape given to me by SpaceKiddie, who didn't make it this year) and cover the CD with it. Toad starts on the CD with a ball point pen, but that's not working, so I go after it with the silver paint pen that Space also gave me.

/* Side Note

Space volunteered to take care of Shiva's appearance this year, after the pitiful artwork from last year's con. He got started a bit late, though, so it ended up being flat black with some unintentional paint cracks on the front of the case instead of the promised Cal Trans Orange.

End Side Note */

Because of the tape, the CD wouldn't spin in Toad's CD-ROM, so he tried pulling the tape off, figuring we'd paint over the original CD backing... But the tape was a bit too good, and it pulled the reflector off. I made a pathetic attempt at painting what I thought was the back of the CD, but the paint was going on unevenly. I just gave up on getting the RPM's installed.

But that wasn't enough to deter me! I was still prepared to enter Shiva. None of the patches should have come into play in CTF unless I was already in serious trouble, so no problem, right?

Well, the thing is that I'd been iffy about the new CTF rules for a while, and this really wasn't helping inspire me to plant shiva on the CTF network... I was sober enough to drive (I thought), so I headed back to the Trop for some sleep.

Friday, July 13 - Day 1