Hackers At Large

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HAL2001 was a Dutch hacker con held at the University of Twente near Enschede, The Netherlands on 10-12 August 2001. This site, which hosts one of Europe's major network operations centers, was unique in allowing the conference to have, to date, the largest Internet uplink speeds of any conference: a fiber-optic connection in excess of 1 gigabit per second. The conference never fully utilized the bandwidth; maximum bandwidth use was approximately 200 Mb/s.

The name HAL was primarily due to the film 2001: A Space Odyssey, in which HAL is the name of the ship's artificial intelligence. The name was retronymed Hackers At Large.

The original name for the ship was going to be IBM2001, but IBM rejected having anything to do with the movie. Not being able to name it IBM2001, the letters were changed to the previous letter in the alphabet, such as I the previous letter would be H. A comes before B, and L comes before M. IBM = HAL.

The conference was held primarily outdoors. Logistically speaking, the network structure was quite a feat, with approximately 15 km of category 5 cable for the ethernet backbones, as well as supplying power feeds for the tents' computers.

There was a technology-free zone, The Solaris Sl@ckers S@lon, named for the 1972 film by Andrei Tarkovsky, perceived to be the Russian answer to 2001: A Space Odyssey. The only technology permitted in the place was a television, a DVD player running the movie, and a Turkish (electric) samovar for brewing tea. A fishtank was set aside for drowning mobile phones which rang in the tent (it remained empty).

This conference was run by Stichting HAL2001, a not-for-profit organization. Board of HAL foundation: Cor Bosman, Jaco Lockhorst, Rop Gonggrijp. HAL-staff: Gerrit Hiddink, Eric Slachmuylders.

Sequel to Hacking in Progress (1997). Followed by What the Hack (2005).