It is April 12, 2012, the first day of Notacon. You are in the hallway outside the main presenation room. Through the open door east, you can see an enthusiastic presenter gesturing at her slides, and about two dozen people sitting in chairs. On the hallway wall is a printed schedule. West is another presentation room. South is the lockpicking area. The hallway continues north.
> LOOK AT SCHEDULE
The schedule reads "NOTACON 9 ROOM 1 FRIDAY 3pm Milkymist: video synthesizers at the cutting edge of open source hardware 4pm Reverse-engineering for fun and profit 5pm Game Maker: Crash course in video game programming 6pm Creating parsers using standard UNIX tools ..."
> GO NORTH You are in the hallway outside the hardware hacking area. To the east, attendees and off-duty conference staff are crouched over soldering irons, modifying the circuitry on their conference badges. One appears to have been converted into a small vehicle, scooting around the table. Someone hollers "It works! It's transmitting my callsign!" To the west is the pool. To the north, a "PIXELJAM" sign adorns a closed door with music thumping behind it. The hallway continues south.
Between your pockets and your backpack, you have: A Notacon 9 conference badge circuit board with nothing soldered to it. Your cellphone. (2003 called, they want their Nokia back.) A half-empty bottle of Bawls energy drink. A printed conference program, folded open to the puzzles section. A cheap set of lockpicks. A menu from the sushi joint across the street. Two 4GB USB flash drives. A towel with "Hilton" embroidered in the corner.
Man, what a weird dream! Good thing it isn’t actually April yet, because the discounted pre-registration happens much earlier. Notacon, the longest-running (and coolest) tech/art/hack conference in the midwest, has just extended that discounted reg period, and for anyone whose ambition extends to submitting a presentation, good news! The Call for Proposals closes on February 10, there’s still time to sneak one in…