I realize how spoiled I am in Austin with all the wireless available in just about every part of town in such different varieties of venues (coffee shops, libraries, movie theaters, outdoor parks, etc).
Both in San Francisco and here, not only was it hard to find WiFi, but it was even harder to find WiFi that was open and didn’t cost 4.95 a minute to use.
After trying a coffee bar with no seats and even McDonald’s (pay service and no electrical outlets… turns out they don’t actually want you camping out in there), I finally discovered the library.
I had to sign up for a library card in Sebastopol to access the web (and I’m convinced they’re blocking everything but port 80), but now, at least, I can do a few last-minute tasks.
Oh, yes, I’m in Sebastopol, a few hours away from Foo Camp 2006.
I’m definitely humbled by being asked to come, as I expect to have my mind blown by a collection of incredibly smart people – some are rock stars that everyone in my industry knows, some are rock stars to me – robot builders and hackers I’ve followed for a while. Still others are brand new names working on art+tech+community future media projects. All are potentially lucrative, interesting, and like-minded future collaborators.
The format of the event is the Unconference. Among other things, this implies that there is no set agenda or schedule before the event participants show up. In fact it IS the participants that determine what happens at the event and propose sessions and workshops. Based on pre-chatter, it seems that there will be a mix of web 2.0-ish talk, hardware hacking, and general goofiness.
I must admit that I’m a little nervous about that angle. I’m the kind of guy that likes to spen some time researching and planning out my general “conference strategy” of must-see talks and stuff I can do without. Wandering and engaging for the sake of wandering will be a useful exercise.
This gathering, because of its realitively small size, but more so because of its format and tone, heavily emphasizes the person-to-person connectivity I talked about in my sxsw guides. So my relentless friendliness strikes again.
After I finish a few things here, I’ll be taking in some of Patrick Amiot’s urban folk art on the way in to the O’Reilly campus. I’ll try to blog as much as I can as frequently as possible, but I can’t promise a full-on live-blogging effort (I’m there to participate and experience, not document).
Technorati Tags: sebastopol, foocamp, travel, wifi
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