Big turn-out last night! We had a little bit of a hardware swap session, geeked out about everything from Esperanto to the TrueCrypt debacle, then played with ham radio stuff in the parking lot afterward.
Here, Frogman is trying out a trackball on an android tablet while browsing 2600.com, and it works great.
Frogman brought a $1 thrift store USB diskette drive for me, since my old one got "permanently borrowed" and I've been itching to pore through some old stuff.
We also had another old-timer show up after close to 15 years away.
All in all, a great night.
We're not really sure what's going on next month, as 2600 night falls on Independence Day. I wouldn't count on a productive meeting, but if you show up, maybe some others will be there. If I have nothing else going on, I might show.
Join us on Friday, December 6. Bring your projects and questions. As always, there's a standing key-signing arrangement for those who wish to exchange and sign crypto keys. So far, it doesn't look like we're going to have a dedicated topic, but there's always guaranteed to be something interesting discussed.
Way back in 1998, some of us were gathered around the payphones at Oak Park Mall back when the KC2600 meetings were in the food court and payphones were a thing you could find at a mall. One of us had an acoustic coupler hooked up and had dialed in to a UNIX server at a nearby college to turn in some homework for a summer class. Some lady freaked out at this scene and made quite the ruckus. Security escorted all of us out of the building. There were a few other times before that where mall security hassled us in some way or another, but it's been a good solid 15 years. I guess we weren't trying hard enough.
Last night, 8 folks met on the top floor of the east parking garage to look at the surrounding terrain in hopes of testing out a wireless mesh setup that we've been tinkering with the past few months. Our hope was to find a spot far away with line-of-sight for some high-gain directional antennae (operating under FCC Part 97 rules), with some folks on the parking garage, and some others out in the distance. Maybe it was the laptops on the roofs of cars. Maybe it was the camera with a 2-foot-long telephoto lens being used as a telescope. The interdicting mall guard seemed nice and interested in the experiment once we explained it to him, but apparently the property management powers that be weren't happy with a bunch of 25-60 year-olds hanging out in an unused, far-off part of their precious parking structure.
We headed indoors to the 2600 meeting for a while, then took the wireless mesh equipment to a nearby park before sundown.
For what it's worth, there are no hard feelings. What we were doing looked a lot like loitering, even though we were mall patrons, looking to experiment with technology we plan on putting into place for public service.