It was 0x13 cons ago today…

Sure, DefCon 20 is coming up this year, with its HTML5 doctype and JavaScript-driven Twitter feed on a page with CSS styling to make a green monospace font look like an old-school computer screen.

But in 1993 you almost certainly read the announcement for DefCon I in green monospace text on computer screen:

                  D E F  C O N  I   C O N V E N T I O N
                  D E F  C O N  I   C O N V E N T I O N
                          DEF CON I CONVENTION
                  D E F  C O N  I   C O N V E N T I O N


                    Finalized Announcement: 6/12/1993

              We are proud to announce the 1st annual Def Con.

    If you are at all familiar with any of the previous Con's, then you
will have a good idea of what DEF CON I will be like. If you don't have any
experience with Con's, they are an event on the order of a pilgrimage to
Mecca for the underground. They are a mind-blowing orgy of information
exchange, viewpoints, speeches, education, enlightenment... And most of all
sheer, unchecked PARTYING. It is an event that you must experience at least
once in your lifetime.

You might even have caught the announcement a day after watching the just-opened Jurassic “It’s a UNIX system! I know this!” Park. By 1993 you’d have had a few years to min-max a Shadowrunner well enough that your Doc Wagon contract didn’t trigger after every run-in with Lone Star. Your William Gibson books may have been dusty by then. That old, worn VHS (“be kind, rewind!”) of Blade Runner needed to be replaced. Too bad it’d be another four years before you could replace it with The Director’s Cut on one of those fancy new things called DVDs. (Sorry, it’d be a new millennium before you got the answer to what you suspected all along.)

But if you had gone to DefCon I, it would only have set you back $30. (Well, $15 if you paid in advance, but that $15 saved wouldn’t have covered the beer budget anyway.)

And since it’s unlikely you have a working time machine, you’ll have to settle for shelling out $200 for this year’s con. In the meantime, enjoy poking around the site for some computer culture history and be sure to check out the DefCon-related announcement.

Published by Mike Shema

Mike works with product security and DevSecOps teams to build safer applications. He also writes about information security, with an infusion of references to music (80s), sci-fi (apocalyptic), and horror (spooky) to keep the topics entertaining. He hosts the Application Security Weekly podcast.

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