Campus Party, 6000 geeks cannot be wrong
This year’s summer adventure for me was going to Campus Party in Valencia, Spain. Over 6000 technology interested users and developers meet up inside a huge tent where an 8.5 Gb connection makes sure everybody gets at least 11Mb of wired network towards the others and towards the world. Sponsored by Telefonica, the Region of Valencia (Generalitat), Nokia, Microsoft, Intel, etc. is the biggest computer-related event in Spain (and probably Europe).
Participants bring their computers from home, sleeping bags, arm-chairs, a couple of clean t-shirts, food and play, work, meet, eat, sleep in front of their terminals. There are contests in cracking the security in a server, modding your computer, making the best techy-monologue, or building the fastes line-following robot.
I ran a hack-the-TV workshop with Arduino where we started with the classic Arduino PONG for PAL TVs example from the forum, added some sound, increased the resolution, included our own typeface, and read data from an SD card. I designed a special shield just for the event and we had fun during two days with it. When I get the time in the following weeks I will clean up the code and give the credit to those that deserve it the most (specially Alastair Parker for his PONG code).
I got to see a lot of robots built with Arduino as intelligence and got happy to see Juguetronica (owned by Robotronica, one of our distributors) mixing up Arduino boards with some robotic toys for running their own workshops. I expect seeing much more from those people in the future, their work looks promising. You can see my collection of flickr pictures here (the guys sleeping by their PCs are priceless), but the official one may give you a much better idea what Campus Party is all about.