SO DID YOU get any hacking done this summer? I certainly did! I spent a hole week of my summer vacation attending the geek camp TheCamp (Danish). Along with roughly twenty of the forty participants, this was the first time of TheCamp’s six years of existence that I attended. The purpose of the TheCamp is to provide an opportunity for (whitehat) hackers to unite and do what they like the most: spend time at the computer. For people not to fuse entirely with their computers, the TheCamp had scheduled three daily informative speeches or educational lectures from various guest speakers and TheCamp attendees. Topics included beginner Linux training, advanced Vim usage, computer security, audio on Linux, network understanding and much more. Most sessions were informal (kind of BoF-session manor), allowing for everybody to fill in with additional information or personal views and experiences. This often led to very exiting discussions.

It was indeed a mixed group of people at the TheCamp. Ages ranged from a thirteen year old, accompanying his father, incrementing to a couple of people, of undisclosed age, who have had enjoyed their retirement for some years. The knowledgebase was very versatile too. Some were experts in Linux, others in networking, MAC OS X, Vim, security, audio, programming or even 3D graphics design (no Windows people it seemed). Others were at TheCamp to learn and benefit from the vast collective knowledgebase.

I started the week playing a bit with Elsa and Antlr, to investigate the possibilities of incorporating some C++ awareness to the old IDE we use at work. In both parsers I hit major problems when trying to parse STL code, so I ended up abandoned the idea (for now).

I then installed a InspIRCd IRC server on my headless Linux box. This was actually surprisingly easy to install and configure (although more tweaking can be done I’m sure), so with that success story I ventured on to learn some new programming skills.

At work I mainly program in C++ but I have decided to learn C# on the Mono framework. Additionally I want to learn some Lua for scripting and possibly some QT 4. I’ve bought a C# book (Professional C#) and a couple of Lua books (Beginning Lua Programming, Programming in Lua) to aid the learning process. I was somewhat disappointed by MonoDevelop. Apart from the instability problems, it was just to heavy an IDE for my laptop and the GUI is utter useless in a 1024×768 pixels resolution, so I settled on my usual editor of choice: Scribes. In a days work I managed to create a little C# program that had a QT 4 frontend (via Qyoto) and a small Lua script engine (via Tao.Lua) – it were lots of fun and a really exiting process, so definitely not my last programming with that constellation.

On the last day at TheCamp I was fortunate to be offered a used MacBook. My trusty old Asus A1000 laptop (600 MHz Celeron, 320 MB RAM) really really qualified for retirement and coincidentally I had long thought about acquiring a MAC. It didn’t require much consideration and now I am the happy owner of a cool black MacBook.

In conclusion the week at TheCamp was awesome, and I’ll definitely be ready next year when the ticket sale open.