At the climax of 1983’s “WarGames”, the War Operation Plan Response (WOPR) computer famously opines “The only winning move is not to play” when presented with a barrage of no-win scenarios depicting global thermonuclear war. While the stakes aren’t quite as high when it comes to putting on a brand new hacker convention, there’s certainly enough pitfalls that most of us would take WOPR’s advice and never even try. But for those who attended the inaugural WOPR Summit in Atlantic City, it was clear that not only did the team behind it have the tenacity to play the game, but that they managed to prove their supercomputer namesake wrong.
That’s not to say there isn’t room for improvement going forward, but it was hard not to be impressed by such a strong initial showing. The WOPR Summit organizers not only had to contend with the myriad of things that could go wrong, but they had to deal with what actually did go wrong; such as a sizable storm hitting the New Jersey coast just as the event got rolling. Yet from the attendees perspective the weekend-long event went off without a hitch, and everyone I spoke to was excited for what the future holds for this brand-new East Coast event.
It’s never easy to capture 20+ hours worth of talks, workshops, and hands-on projects into a few articles, but we do our best for the good readers of Hackaday. Below you’ll find just a few of the highlights from the first-ever WOPR Summit, but it’s nothing quite like attending one of these events in person. This far out we don’t know when and where the next WOPR Summit will take place, but you can be sure that Hackaday will be there; and so should you.
An Eclectic Mix
Whether intentionally or otherwise, events in the hacking community tend to be fairly segmented. You have conferences that focus on software, others that are dedicated to hardware design, and then of course the events that lean towards the InfoSec implications of it all. Before you buy a ticket, it’s usually a good idea to look at the list of talks and figure out if it’s the type of hacking you’re personally interested in or not.
But the WOPR Summit is not so easily categorized. It wasn’t a security conference, and yet there were talks focused on penetration testing and social engineering. Nor was it strictly about hardware, but it did play host to a four hour workshop that discussed how to optimize your design for manufacture. But this blend of different hacking subsets wasn’t just a stroke of good luck, it was the intention all along.
On the event’s “About” page, the organizers make it clear the goal was to try to bring some unity to the hacking community:
The mission of WOPR Summit is to provide an open and collaborative learning environment for anyone interested in developing and/or sharing their knowledge of hardware, software, and wireless technologies. We strive …read more