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Posted 7 Nov 2011 04:34:56 UTC

We hope you haven't made plans for this weekend. Two rather important events will be taking place, both HOPE-related.

First, we've been working our asses off tracking down, archiving, and restoring video from our very first Hackers On Planet Earth conference - all the way back in 1994. Only a few tapes were made in the years following and we honestly don't know anyone who still has them. So imagine our joy when we tracked down the masters and began the daunting task of digitizing the whole thing, including parts that were never released. We've finally finished the project and will be releasing 18 videos online starting Saturday at noon Eastern Time. The talks will be released in the exact order and at the exact times they were originally given on the weekend of August 13 and 14, 1994, from noon to midnight.

But that's not all. The first batch of tickets to HOPE Number Nine are also going to be made available at the exact moment that our first HOPE conference starts to go online. Here's the thing: we have no website, we have no list of speakers, we have no details at all, other than the fact that it will be taking place July 13, 14, and 15, 2012 at the Hotel Pennsylvania in New York City. If that, plus our track record of having put together eight amazing conferences, is enough for you, then you'll have an opportunity to get tickets on Saturday for $60 each - that's half the door price. But we're only offering 100 tickets at this level. We'll have a direct link on the main 2600 page in the coming days to help you become one of the lucky ones. And a lot more details plus a website will be up in the coming weeks.

Now, back to 1994. We think you'll find this video collection to be a most remarkable time capsule that recalls the very first large hacker conference that took place in the United States, modeled after previous gatherings that occurred in the Netherlands. A good number of Europeans made the trip over to launch this historic event. We only had one track of talks and didn't start until noon on each of the two days, ending at around midnight. But in that time, we covered an awful lot of ground, including analysis by some experts of a new operating system known as Linux, the latest from a legal team on the threat posed by the Clinton administration's proposed Clipper chip, an authors' panel which included the writer and director of an upcoming movie called "Hackers" which would begin filming shortly after the conference ended, what cellular phone technology had to offer in the mid-nineties, some fun with social engineering, a live phone call from a famous hacker in prison, plus so much more. Behind the scenes, we had a single 28.8 bps connection to the Internet for all 1000+ attendees, a registration system that turned into the honor system due to our being completely overwhelmed by the turnout, and more media coverage than any of us had ever seen. There are plenty of crowd shots in these videos as well, so you may see a much younger version of yourself or a friend if you look.

So we hope you set aside this weekend for a trip down Memory Lane and re-experience the first Hackers On Planet Earth conference in the way it unfolded 17 years ago. And to help make sure you show up on time, our HOPE Number Nine ticket offer will begin right when the HOPE conference from 1994 starts to go online. There's a sort of symmetry there somewhere.

The videos will be available at blip.tv/2600magazine. You can check out the schedule of talks (or order the DVD versions that have the highest video quality) at our online store.

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