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DC++ at quakecon


Mead
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This year at Quakecon there is going to be a big change in the byoc. There will be NO dc hub at the NOC(s) and none of the staff is allowed to support it. If you have have been to a lan in the last few years, you must know that one of the biggest draws of a lan is the ability to connect to a Hub with a program called Direct Connect Plus Plus (or dc++ for short), this program provides easy access and search capabilities for sharing game mods, maps, patches, and etc.

Another great things is that in the past years (since at least 2004 when I started attending) the chat feature of this program has been almost the life blood of the event. If you needed info or to ask a question, you did it in dc++. If you wanted to purchase something or sell something (case of bawls for example), you did it on dc++. If you wanted to find people to play a specific game (starcraft for example) you did so in DC++.

So it is going to be up to byoc'ers to create and run their own dc++ hub(s), and this brings a problem. First the network geography probably will limit byoc spots to 100mb connections again, and even though each table router is connected to a gigabit link to the NOC, if you do the math, 24 people at 100mb each means that the gigabit to the router could easily become a bottle neck greatly reducing the capabilities of a hub if there is only one hub.

I want to create a action plan to institute a network of dc hubs across the byoc this year in the event that a single dc hub at a byoc spot simply can't handle the traffic. I have some experience setting up and running the ynhub, but never attempted to use DC Hub-Link I need help and advice on how to create a dc hub network at this infamous lan party in the event it is needed. So far I am already have a preliminary ynhub configuration created and have a stack of cd roms to burn it to once I finalize the configuration to pass out to people to install and run hubs on their individual rows, but I really need to iron out how to link them all together.

Note: The Staff at quakecon have declared talking about this subject on the quakecon msg board or irc chat against the rules and will result in a kick or ban.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Well, here is what happened:

ASH (assistant executive director) had said that went roughly like "there will be no offical dc hub this year nor will it be block, any dc hub will be a byoc effort" but instead there was official hub that also had a DNS entry in the local dns server dcpp.at.quakecon.org .

All is good right? Well I would say not really, the dc hub had main chat window was disabled. To me and many people who have been attending quakecon for 5+ years the dc chat window has been one of the most entertaining parts of it sitting in the byoc. Yes, not whatever downloading you might be able to do, but simply the mass chaos that normally happens in a dc chat window at a lan party. Instead they were running a very locked down IRC chat server, where one mention of any type of file sharing caused a instant ban from whatever channel you it was mentioned, also cursing (among other various things) would cause a banning too. It felt like being in a elementary school computer lab and begging your hand slapped by a teacher.

Also due to the new rules this year, the byoc was quiet, no yelling. Not even any Marco Polo being played.

Next there was frigging steam updates that happen right before and during Quakecon, as you might guess trying to use the internet as such a huge lan is like trying to thread a needle with a hotdog. Add in the chinese like gag order on ALL file sharing, and the fact that most of the games besides quakelive that people were wanting to play it was one huge cluster fuck unless you were fortunate enough to have tethering cellphone.

I could bitch some more about the byoc, networking failures, and even the complete failure after the hotel lost power 7pm Saturday Night, where it was evident many of routers and switches didn't have their running config saved to NVRAM.

From the byoc guide : " You won't need a powerstrip for your computer and monitor, but may bring one if you need additional outlets. You may not bring any Uninteruptable Power Supply (UPS) equipment. While LAN parties are often famous for having power problems, QuakeCon is uncharacteristically consistent "

since 2004 there have been consistent random power failures, and now in 2009 the entire hotel and I believe the city of grapevine lost power.

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