HOPE Number Nine.

Jul 20 2012

UPDATE: 20191230 - Uploaded much better video footage to my Peertube account, linked appropriately.

My preparations leading up to HOPE 9 were something of a last minute scramble; at HacDC the night before we left for New York my trusty cellphone of four years decided to give up the ghost. This meant that I had to get to a Sprint store early on Thursday morning, pick out a new phone (a Samsung Galaxy S-2, which appears to be a later model of Lyssa's phone) and set about migrating all of my data in the little time there was before I had to hit the bricks. This meant that I fiddled with my new phone with one hand while eating lunch with the other and spending scant time with Lyssa before trying to head out the door. I then thought better of a two mile walk in ninety degree weather to the Metro station with a suitcase full of equipment dragging behind me. Sometimes, common sense is the better part of valor and so I hailed a cab to the Metro station. From there it was a short ride to Union Station downtown, where I killed a couple of hours looking for Sitwon and Haxwithaxe, drinking coffee, and hunting for functional power outlets. They are surprisingly scarce in Union Station and once we found one it was a stroke of luck that I happened to have a power strip in my luggage so we could top up our devices.

Unusually, we didn't take an Amtrak train to New York City, opting instead for a Boltbus, which many of us have heard about in the DC metroplex. This was actually not a particularly good choice of transportation I'm sorry to report. First off, the Boltbuses are double-decker vehicles, and while it's swell to sit up top and all the way in the back the swelling goes down rapidly. Most of the Boltbus seats on the upper level are cramped and make for an uncomfortable trip. Also, the power was dodgy the whole time and we couldn't be sure that anything we had on us could be recharged. The wireless on the bus was similarly lousy if not practically worthless (the local router/default gateway kept cutting in and out so no packets were going anywhere). I cursed the lack of time to root my phone to enable tethering strongly... but at least cellular service was working becausee we were getting Twitter updates from colleagues who'd gone on ahead and warned us about getting stuck in traffic the likes of which I'd not seen since the double-wide semi overturned on the Beltway a few years ago.