In April of 2004, Cleveland, OH became much more awesome. You see, that was the opening day of Notacon, the annual un-conference conference centered around technology, philosophy, and creativity. This year's event - Notacon 5 - will run April 4th thru 6th, and I have the honor of being one of the speakers.

Unlike the “corporate conventions” so many of us are used to, Notacon is put together by enthusiasts for enthusiasts. While that means attendees won’t walk away with swag-bags of pens, sticky pads, and logoed squishy-balls, they will most certainly learn a lot and have a great time. Here's some of the going-ons...

Speakers!
There will certainly be a lot more interesting folks than me talking; the line-up includes...

  • Jason Scott - documentarian behind BBS: The Documentary (and Get Lamp, and Arcade) and the textfiles.com guy
  • Eric Meyer - the HTML & CSS Guru
  • Jeri Ellsworth - girl geek extraordinaire and engineer behind the ever-popular Commodore-64-in-a-Joystick
  • The Fat Man, George Alistair Sanger - composer/sound man for a whole slew of popular video games

Fark!
Drew Curtis will be attending and hosting the Cleveland Fark party at the event. Boobies.

Anything But Ethernet Contest
The official description reads, "Too many kids, and a fair share of old farts, think the world runs on cat-5. It just ain't so! From the first smoke-signals and drumbeats of prehistory, to modern muti-gigabit optical links, there's a lot more to communication than just Ethernet frames riding twisted pair. This contest aims to celebrate the long and varied history of communication."

Just to give you an idea of what that means, take a look at the picture on the left here? That's the "semaphore man", which was used in last year's contest as part of a larger system, including a pattern-recognition program that read video of the semaphores. Imagine the possibilities. Wooden table, anyone?

Whose Slide is it Anyway
"Random personalities, presenters, and maybe even YOU (if you are brave enough), will be put on stage and have 5 minutes to successfully present a small random PowerPoint slide show on a randomly chosen topic. Audience members will vote via boos, hisses, claps, shouts and other utterances."

Block Party
You know those insane "demos" that take up like 4K of diskspace and do all sorts of crazy visual/aural things when run? Notacon will have those, too, in an event called BlockParty. Oh, and it just happens to be North America's biggest demo party - and it's happening all at Notacon.

Bonus - Free WTF Mug!
Pre-register today with coupon code "TDWTFMUG" - and you'll get an extra-large 15'oz mug featuring the WTF logo.