America's Hackercamp

Toorcamp is America's Hackercamp, it happens on the stunning Orcas Island an hour or so North West of Seattle. Hacker events always manage to create their own neon lit world, Toorcamp took this to another level and sequestered 500 hackers away in a idillic resort in the Pacific North west and even then it poured on the neon lighting effects to keep us in a dream world.

Doe Bay resort spreads over three regions, a bay area (were I camped with Milliways), an island outcrop and a field at the top of a hill. This division (especially the hill) make it less enticing to move around the site. It also meant that the nosiy area in the bay, by being far away from most of the camping, was able to go all night long without disturbing too many people.

Toorcamp is serviced by a group of telephone enthusiasts called Shady Tel. They operate a highly reptuable phone company in the American fashion, offering service anywhere on the camp site, whether near an exchange or on a boat out in the bay.

I hate talking to people on the phone, but I found this limited network to be a ton of fun. I must have spent hours wardialling around trying to find people to call. Once I discovered the maintainence line that echo'd back your phone number I started going around and collecting interesting phones.

Because we are hackers on top of this phone network highly ammusing things pop up. Milliways ran a pager network and from their payphone I spent many hours paging people to call numbers. Knowing how to find numbers for a phone I started paging people to call me at random places.

The Doe Bay resort that hosted Toorcamp would be a wonderful place to go even without an amazing hacker camp in toe. Rather than attempt to describe the event it is easier to link to the 10 intervies the amp hour podcast did on site.

The final night nature decided to turn on a smoke machine and join the party.