#107: H0H0 ’94

[F.U.C.K. is an e-zine that I started on January 24, 1993 and ended on January 24, 2000. One concept is that articles should be timeless if possible, so they were not released with dates. As such, the date on this blog is not exact but I will try to use a date as close as possible.]


What was left of the almost non-existent x-mas spirit was totally washed away as I packed for the five day trip ahead. One day in the van each way, three days of relaxing, learning, and partying. The destination was h0h0con in Austin, Texas, put on by Drunkfux. For those out there that haven’t heard of h0h0con, let me tell you a little about it. It is probably the most popular hack/phreak convention held each year. That about sums it up. If you haven’t heard of ‘hack/phreak’ then just kinda read along and learn about some of the sub-culture that exists out there.

The reason for this file: To let people who missed h0h0con, know how the con went, and to entertain people with our trip’s story. Many humorous events occurred, I managed to take a ton of quotes(mostly out of context of course), which will be included in here. Material from this article very well could be used for blackmail against any of my friends… since I will cover my own tracks no doubt. Whee.

The people: Myself, which some of you may have become familiar with through these files. Deadkat, sysadmin of corrupt.sekurity.com, primary editor of CoTNO zine. ThePublic, long time member of the computer underground. Cavalier, founding member of TNo, once again in the scene. Voyager, absent minded #hack_faq editor. Rage, upcoming silent type experiencing his first computer con. Blair, or Ms Public as she was often called.

Thursday night rolled around, and we slowly met at Deadkat’s place. Some checked mail on the board, two finished packing, and others just messed around wasting time waiting for Voyager to arrive with the van that would lead us to the promised land. Thirty minutes of arranging the van was well worth the time and comfort level that was provided for the twenty hour drive.

After a quick stop at the local Safeway and liquor store nearby, we set off on the highway driving through our favorite stomping ground DTC. Ten o’clock hit when we were finally settled in and technology overflowing. In the front were the radar detector, CD Player, and cooler. Two or three backlit screens from various laptops lit the van and gave it an almost radiant glow. With a NIN CD playing, Deadkat and myself proceeded to back up each other’s hard drive, and copy files so we both had good copies of our file libraries. ThePublic sat in front of us messing with his newest Motorola flip phone, no doubt thinking of some new mod to add to it. Blair had commandeered Cavalier’s notebook so that she could play Space Quest 1(0 day!!) during the first leg of the trip.

We had estimated 9 hours or so to make the first major stopping point Lubbock, TX. It was there that we would fuel and grab some dinner before continuing on toward Austin. During the first leg of our trip we had a great talk about the underground scene in the past, present, and what the future held. Very interesting to look back at who was who, and where they were today. Sometime while playing My Life With the Thrill Kill Cult, we all thought about how these were the best of times, and the freedom we held. It isn’t often that can just strike off in your own direction, and have total control of what you do, and where you go. Being with great friends and having a good reason to get together, brought it all to a climatic vacation that we all desperately needed. I don’t know about you, but daily routines and work drag me down in a fierce way. As a side note, the whole drive could only be done by 3 of the 7 people. Myself, Cavalier, and Blair were the only eligible drivers. ThePublic had been ‘discouraged’ from driving to to an incident at the last SummerCon where he kinda rolled a car, and almost killed him and Voyager. Voyager, who has been in two wrecks in the past month alone was also discouraged from any night driving, and would only be allowed to drive if someone was watching him the whole time. Deadkat, although being the second oldest among us, has no license, and thus no driving ability for this trip. Rage had procrastinated a bit too long in getting his permit/license. Lamers 🙂

Other conversations of interest were about the recent internet hacks by the ILF, and speculation of who the group consisted of. (BTW: the list posted on alt.2600 is not at all correct). While I was sleeping, the others had a weird conversation(i assume) where the topic was ‘Flaming Sperm’, and I don’t know if I want to get filled in on that one. Almost every other topic imaginable was brought up and discussed since we had plenty of time to kill.

Friday

Throughout the night, most of us crashed, since we knew we wouldn’t get much sleep at all. Three days of partying and learning new stuff was well worth some missed sleep. As the sun came up and the drive continued to be dull(we were driving through Texas after all), TP got one of his Motorola flip phones with his special mod. He had routed a wire from the phone’s speaker so that it could interface with a tape adaptor designed for portable CD players. Translated, whatever was broadcasted over the phone, could be played through the van’s speakers. Hypothetically, if he entered the right numbers in test mode on the phone, he could have scanned in on other conversations, and allowed everyone to hear it. So I was driving thinking about what he could do, while DK was thinking about scanning other channels to help find neat conversations, and we enjoyed that leg of the trip. But we didn’t really do anything illegal of course.

During the drive through Texas, a few hours out of Lubbock, I met a nice man named Mr. Edwards. He was a member of some club that had neat badges and carried guns. I had the pleasure of being pulled around to the back corner of our van, and asked several questions about where we were going, and what I was doing driving so fast. I had come over a hill doing about 65 MPH or so, and he gunned me doing 71 somehow. When I asked him to see the radar, he told me that I could look at it, but it didn’t have my speed on it, since he was gunning other people passing along. Hmm. Sounds a little funny to me. I think he was really jealous that he wasn’t in the back of the van, moshing with the rest of the crew. I do believe the van was bouncing a little more than most vehicles on the road at the time. It
may just be me, but I think they pick on out of state drivers like that knowing full well I won’t take the time to drive back down to dispute it. Of course, since I live in another state, I don’t exactly have to drop the check in the mail. Decisions…

Just outside of Austin we made another stop for cokes, bathroom, and to pick up shoe polish. We couldn’t just drive into h0h0 without elite messages all over our windows! The side windows receive our ‘TNO’ logo, “K0de patrol – 31337”, “303 krew – no phear”, and “h0h0 94”. The elite windows and the USWest flashing light on top of the van alerted all to who we were, and to phear us.

The drive in was uneventful, and Austin was quite like other major Texas towns. Either way, it was different, because it held H0h0con!! We stopped at our hotel to check in, and get situated. Five minutes later, we went to the right hotel to check in(good one Voy). We pulled up to the right hotel and started carting stuff in to the room. Two beds, 7 people, one bathroom. During the trips we noticed a group of guys in the room above us that kept staring at us as we emptied the van. DK and myself donned our USWest hardhats, and that clued them in that we were there for the con as well.

Seven o’clock rolled around, and warnings of the con being overrun with feds had already hit us. Descriptions of people ‘talking into their thumbs’ and ‘definite feds’ were rampant, and seemingly, no one at the con was to be trusted. Didn’t sound like a good start, so we emptied our pockets of all elite information, and decided to skip our outfits until we knew it was safe. Wouldn’t want to get busted on the first night of the con! We drove over to the Ramada South in someone else’s car since Cavalier had disappeared with the van. The guys in the room above us carted us over in two trips. I know TP had a great time riding in the trunk on the way over. The lobby was half full of teenagers wearing almost all black, so we figured we found part of the convention. Being the social sluts we are(heh), each of us headed off in a different direction and started meeting people. It was only a matter of minutes before we started finding a lot of people that we had previously chatted with over BBSs, or the net, and finally had the opportunity to put faces with names.

It took an hour to go throughout the lobby, meet people, check out the two h0h0 rooms, and find out what had been happening. The report of feds infesting the place was somewhat wrong, and the most we saw was a ton of hotel security (gee… wonder why) and a few possible feds. TP managed to talk to Drunkfux (organizer of the con) and rounded up DK and myself, to go visit him in his room. Five minutes later Voyager tracked me down and drug me out of Dfx’s room, so that I could go to GrayArea’s room. The topic there was the ILF, their attacks recently, and who they were. In an upcoming issue of GrayArea magazine, she will be interviewing members of the ILF that have given her an exclusive online interview.. look forward to that.

A strong desire for food hit several of us during our talks throughout the hotel, and a small band of us grouped together to walk to the local hamburger joint. On the way, I was bombarded with request for making a trojan that would kill a renegade board. Bad move. I consider BBS hacking to be pretty lame in that aspect, or at least in killing the board. If you want to use a trojan to snag files or something, that is fine, but don’t destroy for little/no reason. Food run over, we headed back to the con to see who else had arrived.

For the next two hours we sat around and talked with anyone and everyone we could. That is probably one of the best things about cons of this nature, is the openness, and willingness to trade information, and talk about anything. As things started to wind down(if that can be said), we headed back toward our hotel for a few hours of rest. At least, they did, I had no intention of sleeping when I had direct net access and a hotel room under someone else’s name.

Sleep eventually came, and abruptly left a few hours later, it was time for the con to start.

Saturday

When we left the hotel, we were decked out and ready to have a blast. DK and myself were wearing our lineman’s handsets, bell hardhats, and other misc USWest paraphernalia. Our ‘kode patrol’ van caught more eyes as we drove up, and we hopped out. Our group headed straight downstairs for the signup process and to hear the first speakers. While in line, we passed out disks containing all the issues of F.U.C.K., CoTNO, and the most recent version of the hack_faq, so as to better spread the word. The wait was short, and we had a chance to read other literature people were passing out, including how to join the CIA. 🙂

Once in the room, we spread out again, a few of the guys heading toward various vendor tables, and the rest getting decent seats. After everyone had crowded in and taken the seats, Drunkfux got up and began the con officially, and outlined the agenda for the day. He went through a list of speakers, break times, other activities, and threw in some tips for us while we were in the hotel.

First Speaker: (forgot his name) brought up Commercialism of the net and how it was going from here on out. He mentioned local companies that charged US$300 a month to create and maintain a WWW Home Page. His argument against this was, the company designed a page for you(with your input of course), set it up so anyone could reach it, but did nothing to let people know it was there. The company never advertised that all those home pages were sitting there waiting to be viewed, and did nothing to attract other net viewers. From here he went on about some other BS that 95% of us were quite familiar with, and concluded by saying the net was going to become “the Indian Nation”. During his speech, someone stood up and said “Sounds like the net is anarchy” as if he was surprised. Applause resounded after that comment.

Second Speaker: ‘Internet Master’. The topic for his speech was standards on the net, and how futile they have been. (This was a little more technical info, and standards of IP transfer protocols, etc., not standardizing other things). Two things to note out of his speech, is how bad some people are when it comes to standardizing.. IPVersion 6 is not backwards compatible with Version 4. That alone shows you that people aren’t trying to make things go in the right direction, they just want their soft controlling as much of the net as possible. Last year alone, 137 ‘standards’ were released for protocols… all unusable by most.

The next string of speakers were all members of the Prometheus Project, which I will go into a little more over the next few paragraphs. The goals of the group are as follows: Architecting an underground net, establishing digital cash, generalize all encryption routines in the various Unix’s, establish and develop client/server cryptography, and the education/advocacy of encryption.

Douglas Barnes was the first to get up and introduce us to the project, the current status, and give us an outline as to what they had been doing, and what they were planning. During his short speech on kinds of cryptography, he brought up an amusing point that should sit in the back of your mind somewhere. “It is always cheaper to send Vinnie and Dino to beat the keys out of you.” – Which he called ‘Rubber Hose Cryptanalysis’. If you are not sure what this means, read a basic file or two on encryption and how it works. From here he detailed the different kinds of encryption, gave us an idea how secure it was, speed and efficiency and other aspects.

Jeremy Porter was next up, and he continued on into the idea of Digital Cash Payment System being utilized in the near future. The presentation consisted of outlining almost every possible way to establish digital cash, and various ways of banking through a ‘global network’, in this case, the internet. He broke down the four following ways of banking via nets: Netcash, First Virtual, openmarket, and Digicash. Using those four methods, he then broke them down further and compared/contrasted by bringing up important issues relating to them. Cost of system, Anonymous transactions, Reversibility, Scalability, Reliability, Security, Fraud Resistance, and Appeal to the Merchant. I won’t go into details on this, but will share a chart he developed to sum it up.

          Cost   Sec   Reverse   Scale   Merch    Priv    Fraud
netcash    5      3       8        7       4       3        5
f.virtl    5      8       7        4       9       7        9
openmkt    3      3       5        5       3       8        10
digicsh    2      2       2        7       3       1        5

                         1=Best  10=Worst 

Averages: Netcash 4.875
          F.Virtl 6.25
          Openmkt 5.625
          Digicsh 3.125

What all of that means, is that the idea of a digital cash system, is apparently better in most aspects than the other proposed ideas of doing banking on the net. Since digicash is still being developed, they believe that it is the idea of the future, and the most secure/reliable way of doing cash transactions. This is definitely something to keep an eye on in the future.

Third Speaker: _ McCoy (didn’t catch his first name). His topic was establishing underground networks, and how they work. Fundamentals of building a hidden network are using existing tools, making it invisible to observers, limiting traffic analysis, and using a secure crypto for information. The core components of this type of network are Client software, firewalls, and nodes/hosts on the net. He went on to detail how a person could feasibly establish an underground net from the ground up, establish security and privacy for it, and maintain it without it being noticed. After his speech, I have no doubt in my mind that he has an underground net already up and running somewhere on the net. For more info on this subject: URL http://www.io.com/user/mccoy/unternet.

Before the third speaker, we took a break for lunch and fresh air, but to keep the continuity of the topics, I went a little out of order. During the lunch break, someone passed out a disk that just said “Readme” on it. Deadkat checked the disk on his notebook and found it had 13 .com files, and 5 .zip files. Each file was about 3k, just big enough to be a virus. After the disks were passed around, someone mentioned “Give viruses, the gift that keeps on giving”. After our lunch run to Taco Bell (ever notice how there is one close to you no matter where you are?), we came back and took different seats and prepared for the next string of speakers. As we were waiting, I met a journalist from Austin that will be starting a new online zine in the near future, and I am slated to be one of his first interviewed. Funfun.

Death Vegetable was the next speaker, and his topic was one that made people fear the uneducated governments. A guy named Michael Lantski (didn’t catch what state) was recently arrested for material on his BBS. Apparently, an ‘undercover’ agent called into his BBS, and logged on as a 14 year old kid. From there he DLed some files about making pipe bombs, made his case, and had the sysop arrested. When he first went to court the judge said something to the effect of “This guy is not a criminal, he doesn’t belong in jails”. Later, the judge said something like “this guy is as bad as the people who bombed the world trade center”…just because he had files on making pipe bombs. The judge also set bail at $500,000 even though most murderers only received a $200,000 bail in that state. He was then sentenced to 28 months in jail. Point of all this: The first amendment should protect cases like this. Death Vegetable had written those pipe bomb files when he was 15 (he is 21 now), and a sysop who had those files was jailed for 28 months due to them. His lawyer was quoted “I don’t want to mess with first amendment stuff”. How lame. DV later went on to tell his ideas on explosives, and mentioned “if you blow your arm off, that is just explosive Darwinism” or something like that.

Next came the fun part of the con… the raffle. Drunkfux is the master of dragging up the most elite of items to be raffled off, and this time was no exception. I would like to first rub in the fact that I was the first person to win something, and I know you all will be breaking my doors down to get it. I am the proud owner of an autographed Vanilla Ice poster. Thpppt. Other neato prizes included:

  • New Kids on the Block Merchandise
  • AOL Disks with 10 free hours
  • Porn CD-ROMs
  • Tracy Lords Videos
  • ‘Ugly’ HOPE Shirts
  • Play Cell Phones

The good prizes that I recall:

  • Back issues of 2600
  • A Phone Booth
  • Manuals
  • A keyboard (donated by Voyager)
  • Modems
  • Old (hard to find) t-files printed out

Overall, the raffle was a blast, even though all the dweebs got the good prizes. After the last item was raffled off, Drunkfux announced the next speaker, and took his seat.

The second to last speaker was Damien Thorne, writer for Nuts/Volts magazine, cellular hacking demi-god, and overall great guy. His presentation started out with a video of a news report on cell hacking, that most of us had seen, but still got a kick out of. His next video was his own creation, and showed a lot of scenes of cellular ‘stuff’ timed to a groovy tune that he had picked out. He is still working on the video, so keep an eye out for it. 🙂

Netta Gilboa was the last to hit the stand, carrying her laptop and setting it up on the podium. After loading her prepared speech, she began. I would include her speech in here (verbatim) but I wouldn’t want to bore you really…so here are some interesting lines from it. I have the whole thing on disk since she offered to copy it for anyone, and if you want to read the whole thing, mail me and I will forward you a copy. Highlights: [my comments in brackets]

“Treasure tonight..at the rate we’re going, there won’t be many cons left.. As a community, you need my magazine as much as an individual I need some of you [we need her magazine? heh]… Stop judging each other so harshly and having a double standard which allows you to be accepted while you tear down everyone who is (take your pick) fat, female, black, j00ish, gay, old, press, handicapped, etc. It is so much easier for the feds to tear apart a group that is already divided… Not surprisingly, the story brought all sorts of brushes with law enforcement ranging from copies of Gray Areas being seized (as a hacking tool) in the busts of hackers in Colorado… [She mentioned us!] Unfortunately, my crystal ball shows that a lot of the people I like most are going down too for things they did [according to her, she has a complete list of who will be busted this year]… 1995 hasn’t started yet but it’s gonna be a very rough year… I have no choice but to reveal that all of my Net accounts have been compromised [fuckin hackers!!@!]… Santa brought
me another present this year and the Internet Liberation Front has chosen me as their exclusive voice…”

Even though Netta was supposed to be the last speaker, a hacker sympathetic lawyer took the stand to answer any legal questions people had regarding hacking, phreaking, and other devious arts. We decided to leave since we knew what we were doing was probably deemed bad by the government.

Saturday Night

6th street was the destination for almost everyone it seemed. The street was reputed to be the best party spot in the whole town, and ‘everyone will be there’. We loaded up the party van with ourselves, and proceeded to drop by a liquor store for ‘spiritual guidance’ during the night. We found parking under the highway in a public parking area. Found it somewhat ironic that a couple guys were down there making money off it, by ‘parking’ cars. Although they were just directing traffic and ‘watching your car while you were gone’, they didn’t ask for money, but hinted at tips since they can’t legally ask for money for services on a public parking lot. Not a bad idea though… they probably make more than I do.

We didn’t even get to the end of the first block before we stopped at one of those huge gyro-dealies where you strap in and go spinning around at all angles. DK was the first to fork cash over to enjoy the ‘ride’. For almost ten minutes he thrashed about and spun wildly while we made jokes about throwing rocks at him while he was strapped in. Voyager was next in line, getting used to being tied down in a big wheel, and adjusting to having little control over the direction he was travelling. He eventually got the hang of it, and was soon spinning around having a blast. Last up was Cavalier, probably the biggest and ‘baddest’ among us. Ten minutes after he started, he could barely walk up 6th street without having to stop due to a greater desire to alleviate his stomach of what was in it.

It took Voyager all of three seconds to find us a restaurant when I said I was hungry. Of course, he didn’t look to see what they served, he just led us in and asked for a table. Turns out we were in a Cajun seafood joint that sounded quite good to all of us. The tables we sat at were covered with paper and a cup of crayons hinted that we were to have fun drawing while we waited for our food. DK, Voyager, Rage, and myself sat at our table, and that was the focus of dinner because Cav was sick as hell, and decided fresh air and the bathroom to be better places for him. TP and Blair took off outside since she didn’t care for seafood and they wanted to hang out together some. After placing our orders with our extremely hot waitress, the four of us proceeded to litter our table with bell logo’s, our handles, and other catchy phrases. We figured the next people sitting here would get to read it, or it would be hung on the wall with others that we saw as we sat down. As Rage was completing a nice drawing of a cell phone, our waitress returned with several bowls of what we assumed was our food. She asked who had ordered the sausage and Rage quickly spoke up, and quickly regretted it. She took the bowl and dumped it in front of him on his graffiti and proceeded to ask who had ordered the shrimp and sausage. I didn’t know if I wanted to raise my hand. It ended up that we were all to eat with our hands, and our food on the table. Quite unique to most of us, but we adapted and began to eat.

I am fond of taking quotes from our conversations and using them in files like this or CoTNO, so I kept my ears open. Throughout the first part of the meal I missed a lot, and desperately wished I could remember them, but oh well. Voyager gave me some paper and his pen so I could write a few down, but ended up losing them. The only ones of note you can guess about…

“I can’t write with this shrimp piss around.” – Dis

“Wonder what part of the pig they made this out of?” – Voy

Part of our meal was spent opening our food with our hands. I had the pleasure of ripping the heads off each of the shrimp I ate, while DK enjoyed breaking a crab apart as well as ripping the heads and legs off each of his crawldads (or is it crawdads). Amazingly violent, but quite tasty I thought. Either way, the food was good, and the amount of culture we received at that sitting was more than we were used to. Everyone finished eating, so we gathered ourselves up to hit the street again, ready for the new year to come and go like a new code (had to put one lame simile in there somewhere).

Current laws dictate that you may not have an open container of alcohol on public streets, and may not imbibe it if you do have it. Since we had three bottles among us, it was new years, and we don’t give a shit about the law, we kinda indulged ourselves. Due to the fact that the streets were littered with police, and thousands of other people, we had to disguise our drinking. Group Hugs were quite frequent among us. As the group got together to hug each other signifying their love toward the others, one of us would kneel down and chug like hell. How touching eh? It took less than two hours to finish two of the three bottles we were carrying. We had walked a mile or so up one side of the street, and noticed that things were thinning out, so I led the group across the street and back down the road toward where we had come from.

Back down the road we went, most of us considerably more happy than we had been going up the road. It took a little longer to get back to our starting point due to various stops along the way. The most memorable was a rad store that sold everything from posters to comics, from stickers to bongs, and other rad stuff. DK and I argued over buying some new Clockwork Orange shirts that we saw in there, that neither of us had seen anywhere else, but our desire for gas money on the way home was a bit stronger. We eventually reached the party van and piled in to kick back and relax for a few minutes before heading back out.

While relaxing, I missed the first sentence of a conversation that I regret now. The second sentence should tell you why: “If you like an enema, you’ll dig this” (- Deadkat). Silence filled the air along with scared looks and curiosity. After several comments and jokes about what he had said, we had ascertained that he was referring to Jägermeister, our third bottle. Jokes died down and we eventually became a little more quiet, only to be interrupted by another great quote: “Its deer blood?!? You didn’t have to tell me that” (- Rage). I didn’t even ask where it came from, but shortly after he handed me the same bottle to pass along. Funny how one bottle can produce so much humor, even without the liquor.

DK and Rage finished off the bottle before we gathered the energy to go back out and face the crowd. The new year was less than 30 minutes away, giving inspiration for a hurried pace. Wouldn’t want to miss that critical second and be in the wrong place would we? Three blocks up held the biggest group of people, a huge countdown clock, and the most noise, so naturally, we stopped there. The new year came, and we rejoiced, and screamed and toasted (handshakes since we were out of fluids) to having a decent year behind us, and a potentially good year to come.

Things wound down from there, and we headed back toward the hotel to catch some sleep. It was our intention to crash, and then go back to the hotel to visit more people from the con since a lot would still be there. Our plans were changed for us as we arrived back at the hotel. A decent sized group of people had grouped in the guy’s room above us, and we went to join in on whatever was going on. We found out that eight of the people had been waiting for us, so it ended up being fifteen people in our small hotel room. Quite the party eh? Cellular was the main topic, with other people talking about the scene, and what was happening in it. We tried to break away after a while so that we could do some stuff of our own in our room. We had grabbed Damien Thorne, Plexor, and yLe since all three were
well versed with cells. It ended up being a pretty big crowd since most everyone from above followed one person or another down to our room. The next three hours were spent mostly teaching other people that had come in the room. Everything from net hacking to diverting, to a little system hacking. All in all a fun time.

Fours hours of sleep and we were back up and ready to go. Most of us had had good nights, and most of us woke up just fine. Rage and myself were less fortunate. It seems TP and/or Blair kicked the shit out of him, waking him up sometime on Sunday morning. That alone didn’t wake me up, but after several minutes of annoying ‘tapping’, I told someone “Quit tapping on the table”, I later found out, they weren’t ‘tapping’ on any table. Breakfast and fresh air were taken first so we could all fully wake up. TP and Blair stayed behind in the room relaxing and playing Space Quest 1 again. Cavalier drove us over to the Ramada where we could chat about whatever and say our goodbyes(and hello’s in some cases) to people. Most of the morning and early afternoon was spent talking to various people and just
hanging out in the hotel lobby. As time passed, people thinned out, leaving a much smaller crowd. We had lost Cavalier earlier while the four of us were being social. Afternoon wound itself into evening, so people started making dinner plans. During the debate about where to eat, and who was to drive, Drunkfux mentioned that he wanted to interview TNo. We had planned to do it after dinner, but TP and Cav showed up, so we all sat down on a long couch and began right then.

It took almost a full hour to complete it, mostly because of our commentaries, or opinions on each other’s comments. Drunkfux ended up asking very little, since DK and Voyager asked everyone questions for him. It was a blast having the whole group there talking to someone else about our agenda and past accomplishments. Voyager had a blast insulting police officers and law enforcement in general while a local officer watched on the whole proceeding. We gave our advice to whoever ends up watching the video and wrapped things up. (I am cutting this short because I hope the video of the con will contain the highlights of our interview, or he will make the whole thing available to us later).

Japanese was the first idea on food, and everyone had agreed at some point or another, yet we ended up at Chuck E Cheeses. Pizza was close enough for most of us. We ended up taking a bunch of people including Damien, ourselves, and a few others. During the ride, someone popped in Offspring and we began our mosh… again. I do recall getting my head smashed against a camera, so watch for that on video somewhere. 🙂

CeC’s was quite different than most of us remembered as kids. Instead of being littered with arcade games, there were tons of kids games, rides, and a big play area. In one small corner were about 15 arcade games, all older than us it seemed. We took turns ordering our food and drink, and were happy to note that we each received tokens for the game with our food purchases. Voyager and I headed toward the small area of games to see what was fun. I noticed Swampe Ratte deep in his game of Centipede, so we kept heading back. Eventually we found Gauntlet(elite game) and watched as Rambone, Count Zero, Death Vegetable, and one other battle their way through the maze. Drunkfux came in to let them know their pizza was ready, so Cavalier, Voyager, and myself took over their game for them, and proceeded to kick some ass. Our fun only lasted a few minutes as our pizza was ready as well.

Fortunately for us, the tables were arranged in such a way that we could all sit at one long table. Just as we sat down, Chuck E Cheese himself started speaking to us. What… don’t you remember the live show at that place? We took turns cracking jokes about what he said, and the video’s they showed advertising ‘new movies’ that most of us had passed up last summer. Drunkfux took turns eating and getting us on camera, and that night alone promises some funny event on the h0h0 tape that is to come. The best quote I could get for that night came from Rambone: “Can I buy beer with these Chuck E Cheese tokens?

We dumped everyone off at the hotel, saying our farewells from the van as Cavalier drove off. On the way back we gassed up the van, since plans had changed and we decided to leave that night. As soon as we arrived at the hotel, we made mad dashes between the van and the room loading everything up. Yes, we had 7 people in one room to cut down on costs, and I think Voyager accidentally told the receptionist two people would be staying. Oops. It was midnight before we were off and on the road heading back to Denver, most of us quite tired. I was the designated driver for the first leg since Cavalier was barely able to stand, and it would give him a chance to sleep so he could drive later. The entire ride back was basically uneventful due to everyone sleeping the whole time. I don’t recall seeing TP, Blair, Rage, or Voyager awake for more than ten minutes for the first 10 hours of the drive. DK was up most of the time to watch the road and read some new lit he got during the con. I couldn’t keep myself awake enough to read or write(this file), so it is a little late in coming out.

That about sums the trip up, sorry to drag it out. A lot of the stuff mentioned in here was more of a ‘location joke’ and you just had to be there. If you ever have the chance to go to h0h0, or any other con like it, I would definitely recommend it.


Few General Notes

Logikal Nonsense has a new number, and is published now. Give it a call and check it out. Corrupt.Sekurity.Com is officially down so no more FTPing there for the new files. I am also glad to see (and kind of surprised) that these files are now up on the WWW. I guess Johnl (see below) is doing it, and I appreciate it. If you would like to submit an article or ideas to be published, mail them to jericho[at]netcom.com or get in contact with me another way. I still call Celestial Woodlands, Purple Hell, and a few other boards. The directory structure on Netcom has been changed, so double check it when you are on there looking for new files.

#105: Rated Best Overall…

[F.U.C.K. is an e-zine that I started on January 24, 1993 and ended on January 24, 2000. One concept is that articles should be timeless if possible, so they were not released with dates. As such, the date on this blog is not exact but I will try to use a date as close as possible.]


How many of you read and believe consumer reports and treat them like a bible when you buy a product? If you do, you may want to reconsider doing this. Let me give you a scenario and a few reasons to change your ways.

Magazines are out there for one reason. Money. They don’t care who reads them, why a person reads them, or what it says, as long as it is making money. If they are making money, then everything is cool in their book. Magazines rely on the content of the articles to sell it to the customer, but don’t make jack shit from customer subscription. All their money comes from the companies that pay for those glossy adds plugging their product. If you stop to notice, most magazines are between 50 and 75% advertisements, not articles.

Scenario: A ‘popular’ magazine isn’t doing so well. They decide to release a few consumer reports on a certain line of computer printers, or telephones, or something else. During their testing, three companies approach the magazine and offer to buy an extra large advertisement in the next issue, for three times the price normally charged. The magazine of course will run the ad, pocket the money, and nothing else happens… right? Wrong. In return for the extra funds, the panel of ‘experts’, determine that Brand X printers and Brand Y phones are the best on the market. Is it coincidence that they happen to be made by the same company that just paid for the huge ads? I think not.

These days with the power of money, there is NO guarantee that those 187 test were performed on those 64 brands of that product. Even if they sat there running through all the tests like that, do you think they have a good reason to waste that kind of time testing all those products when everyone out there will believe the results regardless? Nope.

Another reason: Those test performed are designed for a specific task. Each test will determine how a unit will perform in a specific condition, trying to utilize a specific function, in a certain way. Translated, not the way you would use it. Who cares if that item can be used while hanging upside down, in zero gravity, on a full moon? For the average use, 99% of those lame test will never be utilized nor the conditions met, so why follow it?

Instead of reading the report, using it as a buying bible, why not think of what you will be using it for. How often are you going to use it? Who in your family will use it? What kind of money are you looking to spend? Buy a product that meets THOSE needs, not the needs of some 89 year old guy who doesn’t know what the real world is like.

If you have doubts about what I say, write the magazines and ask them for a list of test and the results on something they did a consumer report on. See if they can even send the data to you, and if they will. They should have no reason to hide it since the results have been published. If they don’t send it, consider my view on it, and see if it makes more sense.

9 out of 10 Statistics are Wrong.