Tips, Hints, Suggestions:
What to Expect: Rubicon is three full days, non-stop. At any hour of the day there is live DJ's in the network room and tons of people playing around on a free-for-all network. Durning the "waking" hours there are speeches covering a wide range of technical and sometimes not-so-technical topics. Don't plan on sleeping much, no one does.
Try to remember that just about everyone there is an anti-social computer geek, so don't feel intimidated going up to someone and asking them questions or just starting a friendly converstaion, you are in a group of people who are like you.
At night things get a bit on the crazy side. A good number of people stay up drinking and having a great time, if you don't drink that isn't a problem at all, just expect to deal with drunk people.
The network is NOT SAFE. Don't plan on checking your email or logging on to AIM from the network, your password will be deftly snarfed, and whatever you do don't buy anything online! This isn't to say once you plug your computer in to the network it is going to be hacked, but you should have a good idea of what your are running and try to shut down services (ie, don't share your C: read write).
What to bring: Here is a small list of stuff to bring.A computer, notebooks work good because you don't have to worry about leaving them in the network room unattended and they're easier to bring.
Your server's SSH keys on said computer
Power strips and patch cable. Don't count on there being enough to go around so bring your own.
If you can spare it, a cheap hub or switch.
Three days worth of clothing, so you don't stink.
If you smoke, lots of smokes.
Sandwiches, pop, snacks. Its a good idea, and will save you the price of eating out the whole time.
PDA for exchaning contact info.
Talkabout to talk to other people with Talkabouts.
Real radio gear, for messing with the Talkabout people and hotel staff. (grin)
Note paper for taking notes during the speeches.
Gear you want to sell.
Extra cash incase someone brings some gear you want.
A camera, to blackmail people later with.
Stuff you want to promote, just keep in mind we might show up and promote ourselves.
How to Handle the Hotel: Typically the hotel will let you have up to 5 people in a room, if you are on a budget this is a good idea. Try to get as many people as you know to go with you, or you can check on the mailing list and webboard for room sharing arrangements.
The hotel has a vested interest in keeping the hotel in nice condition. Try to remember than when you're running around, and be mindful of the fact that whatever damage is done to the hotel comes back upon the organizers. That said, have fun anyway, just keep it in mind.
Hotel: If you want to save $30/night, register with the hotel early. They need registration in by Feburary 28th, or you'll end up paying $30 more a night. Call them up 313-336-3340 and say you are with the "RC5 Conference" (idiot hotel people couldn't get our name straight, just go along with it). You'll save yourself a bundle, otherwise it is $109 / night.
Rubicon: Save yourself $10 by registering early for Rubicon, once again before Feburary 28th. Just mail in either $40 for student or $100 for everyone else to:
P.O. Box 6002
Plymouth, MI 48170-0002
If you get moving on it, you're saving $80, which is a good chunk of change.
Liquor Laws: Michigan prohibits the sale of liquor from 2am to 7am. Also, it is illegal for a minor to transport liquor. The legal intoxication limit is 0.10%, and Michigan is a "zero tolerance" state.
Police: Dearborn's finests even have their own webpage. They're at 16099 Michigan Ave and have a whole bunch of fun numbers to call like (313) 943-2078 for their "Underwater Recovery Team".
Lawyers: For generic criminal defense, there is none better than Jon Posner. He can be reached at:
Mogill, Posner & Cohen
3060 Penobscot Building
Detroit, Michigan 48226-1279
Phone: (313) 962-7210
Fax: (313) 961-7799
For computer crimes, there aren't any lawyers I know that are really special in the Detroit area.
If you are caught doing somthing outside of the Con, please don't mention Rubicon.
Scanning: Cityfreq has some good info on Dearborn for frequencies to scan. I hope you life Ford.
The Sun: Since it is unlikely you'll be on a normal schedual, its a good idea to know when that sun thing is going to do its thing.
Net Connection: There is an ISDN line already run there. We plan on doing something a bit speedier, but it is something we have to fall back upon. Whatever it is, it'll be up more than last year.
Historic: For all who are confused, yes, Rubicon 1999 was at the same hotel. Believe it or not we convinced them one way or the other to let us back. This is also the hotel that MacHack has their conferences at, going on 20 years or something close to that.