Wow, where to
start. Well, this page is going to be full of tons of images, so
I apologize for the load time. I guess I'll start with the night
before. Things were going smoothly. I borrowed this large,
white crate from work to pack my computer in so it wouldn't get
destroyed when I checked it on the plane (hopefully). I was only
able to use the thick foam padding on 3 sides of the case, but I
managed to find enough other stuff to pad it well on the rest. I
was also able to fit my LCD monitor in there. I have
pictures of it getting packed for the trip back at the end.
I had it all packed up perfectly when somebody said, "I hope you took
the heatsink out." I hadn't. I was afraid I might do more
damage trying to take the thing out than the airline would do, or at
least that my damage would be guaranteed. I decided to search the
forums a bit, and after reading some horror stories about how a
heatsink had fallen off and destroyed every component but the hard
drives, I decided to unpack everything and risk destruction at my own
I very nearly did what I feared. After some bit of struggling, I
finally got the heatsink off. Or so I thought. I got the
heatsink out of the case, but the CPU was still attached. It was
attached very well, in fact, and I had severely bent all of the pins on
one corner. Apparently the arctic silver I used had settled some
and was much more dense than it should have been. It was a
tedious process to get everything straightened out. Bending pins
back on a CPU is not for the feint of heart.
Come 5am, I finally had everything packed up (and backed up). I opted
to take the video card out and bring it carry-on. If the rest of
my machine was lost or destroyed, at least I'd have the most expensive
component. So much for getting a decent night's sleep.
Naturally, I forgot to print out my flight information, waiver form,
etc. while I was at work since my home printer no longer functions, so
I had to swing by there. After that, everything was smooth.
I was smart and put together a list of everything I needed to brin...
oh, crap, forgot the Digital Paint shirts. Oh well, nobody signed
up for DPCon, anyway.
I timed my departure well, and aside from some minor gate changes, the
flight went smooth. My flight came in at around 8:00.
Unfortunately, Jehar, my last-minute roommate wouldn't arrive until
11:30. I called him when I arrived, and he happened to be between
flights. I told him I'd just wait at the hotel. The Best
Western? I was thinking it was the Quality Inn, but OK. I
start lugging my ~100lbs of luggage off toward the shuttle area.
After about 30 feet, I decide to make what turned out to be the best $3
investment ever: one of those wheeled carts. After getting to the
shuttle area, I find out there is no shuttle to the Best Western.
Somebody just happened to be arriving in a taxi there, so I just
flagged him down. He didn't speak English very well, and after a
few minutes of miscommunication between him, me, and the guy managing
the shuttles, I found out I could not take a taxi from there. I
had to go up to the next level. $3 well spent.
I get to the hotel and drag my stuff into the lobby. I tell the
guy there that I'm just waiting for my roommate. "What's his
name?" Name? That probably would have been a good bit of
information to get. Unfortunately, it was a bit of information I
didn't have. "You know, I don't actually know." The desk
clerk had a bit of an astonished look on his face. "So you're
rooming with a stranger?" "Pretty much, yeah."
I waited in the lobby. It wasn't a total waste of time.
Lots of QuakeConners came and went. I even got to chat with some
of the people from Team Reaction. Finally Jehar's plane
arrives. He tells me he's headed to the Quality Inn ... is
that a problem? Well, fortunately this area was basically hotel
central and the Quality Inn was just one hotel over. Dallas is
weird like that. Hotel, hotel, hotel, hotel, Denny's, hotel,
We finally meet up, and exchanged REAL names. I had talked to
several people who had gone and registered early, so after dropping our
stuff off into the hotel room, we decide to wander down to the Hilton
Anotel and see if it was still possible to get in. The place was
huge. It took quite a bit of wandering to even figure out where
QuakeCon was. Here's a series of pictures that show the trip from
the front door to where QuakeCon was held (taken later, when it was
When we finally found it, we found out taht the early registration
11:00. We opted to wait in line overnight.
many computers can you hook up to daisy-chained
power strips before you blow the circuit?
Answer: About how
many you see here plus two.
After about 5am,
we were glad we decided to stay all night. More
and more people joined the lines.
This one guy had
a crazy case mod. It was a remote controlled
tank type thing built with Battlebot parts. It even had a
retractable handle and luggage wheels so you could roll it around when
you weren't driving it around. Apparently he won the case mod
contest last year with an R2D2 design.
As the registration time neared, they had entertainment. With our
spot in line, we basically had front row seats for the "bubble
guy." Sadly we were an easily entertained crowd. After a
few moments, the whole reality of the situation sat in. Here we
were at QuakeCon, one of the largest and probably most well-known LAN
parties in the world, and we were video taping bubbles.
The bubble guy was a character, though, so I'll share a couple videos:
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